The role of the attention system is of selecting the most relevant information to perform a given task at a given moment [1,2]. This attention system allows to better interpret, and learn from, multi-modal sensory data (e.g., vision, audio, thermal, range). With an embedded attention mechanism inference can be performed by efficiently exploiting the data and computational resources. The development of such a system poses a number of challenges and research endeavors, such as: (i) active sensing for relevant sensory events -- voluntary (top-down); (ii) detecting signals for intentional (“conscious”) processing -- reflexive (bottom-up); (iii) sustaining alertness to process high priority signals -- covert attention; (iv) guiding for long-term delay rewards; and (v) dealing with sensing pitfalls and previously unseen situations -- plasticity and introspection.
This project will be tailored to the student's preference out of the different research topics listed above and level of theoretical/practical research. The applicant should express this preference in the email.
 S.M. Kosslyn, J.M. Shephard, W.L. Thompson. Spatial Processing during Mental Imagery: A
Neurofunctional Theory. In Spatial processing in navigation, imagery and perception, pp. 1-15,
Springer, Boston, MA. 2007.
 M.I. Posner, S.E. Petersen. The attention system of the human brain. Annual Review of
Neuroscience, vol. 13, n. 1, pp. 25-42, 1990.
The specific work packages will change depending on the topic selected. However, the general structure follows:
- Literature Review on Attention.
- Problem setup and assumptions.
- Proposed solution: exploration and/or adaptation.
- Highly motivated and independent student.
- Strong C++ and/or Python coding skills.
- Students from outside of D-MAVT (particularly, from D-INFK, D-ITET, D-PHYS, D-MATH, and Neuroscience) are also highly encouraged to apply.
If you are interested, please send your grade transcripts, CV, and a few sentences about your topic of preference and motivation to Cesar Cadena (firstname.lastname@example.org).
CLS Student Project (MPG ETH CLS)
ETH Organization's Labels (ETHZ)
Information, Computing and Communication Sciences
Engineering and Technology
Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences