One-day workshop: Learning as a general principle in biology

A one day non-orthodox workshop...

Date: April 30th, 2024

Location: Technion, Zisapel building Room 506

Natural learning and intelligence are commonly associated with the nervous system. Fundamentally, these processes entail complex systems coupled to their environment, that modify their own properties and often the environment's, thereby attaining novel functionalities. 

The aim of this workshop is to explore the hypothesis that learning is not an exclusive function of brains, but is shared by various biological and artificial systems. We want to discuss general concepts and principles that emerge from concrete examples of learning in various disciplines. 

The format, borrowed from law school conferences, and reminiscent of the journal BBS, is the following:

The day will revolve around four paper. For each paper

1) Two "responders" (not authors) present the paper, along with connection to other literature, connection to their own work, constructive criticism, whatever. (10 min each)
2) The author reponds to their presentation (10 min)
3) Free discussion by all participants (30 min)
The papers are:
  1. Representational drift as a result of implicit regularization. Ratzon, Derdikman & Barak, 2024
  2. Phenotype switching of the mutation rate facilitates adaptive evolution. Lobinska, Pilpel & Ram, 2023
  3. Early-life experience reorganizes neuromodulatory regulation of stage-specific behavioral responses and individuality dimensions during development. Nasser, Harel and Stern, 2023
  4. Plants sum and subtract stimuli over different timescales
    Rivière & Meroz, 2023



Want to attend?

Fill the form, or just send us an email

Omri Barak and Naama Brenner,


Tentative schedule

10:30 Greetings
10:45 - 11:45
Ratzon et al. eLife 2024
Responders: Hadas Benisty, Noam Ziv
Author: Omri Barak
11:45 - 12:00 Coffee break
12:00 - 13:00
Lobinska et al. Genetics 2023
Responders: Omri Barak, Uri Hershberg
Author: Tzachi Pilpel
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 - 15:00
Ali Nasser et al. eLife 2023
Responders: Naama Brenner, Yoni Savir
Author: Shai Stern
15:00 - 15:15 Coffee break
15:15 - 16:15
Rivière et al. PNAS 2023
Responders: Tamar Friedlander, Kabir Dabholkar + Yoav Ger
Author: Yasmine Meroz



Sara and Moshe Zisapel building, room 506 (5th floor)

Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering



For those arriving by train, there are buses from Hof Carmel, or the scenic route - via cable car from Merkazit Hamifratz.


The 5th floor of Zisapel is connected to the 8th floor of Meyer.


We thank the generous support of the Technion Human Health Initiative