Brain Space Initiative Talk Series: Gamer in the Scanner

Primary tabs

Date: Friday, December 16, 2022

Time: 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Location: Virtual (log-in information below)

Speaker:  Pierre Bellec 

Speaker’s Title:  Associate Professor

Speaker’s Affiliation: Department of Psychology of University of Montreal

Seminar Title: Gamer in the scanner: imitation of human video gameplay and fMRI brain activity using artificial neural networks

Artificial neural networks can successfully play video games, yet these AI agents have difficulty adapting to changes in the game environment, or transfer knowledge across different games. As human players can efficiently transfer skills across environments, the Courtois NeuroMod team is working to align the representations of artificial neural networks with human players [1]. We first designed and validated a fully MRI-compatible video game controller [2]. The data collected for this project are part of an extremely deep individual fMRI sample currently featuring up to 140 hours of fMRI per subject (N=6), made available for the community as part of the Courtois NeuroMod data bank (https://cneuromod.ca). We successfully trained artificial agents to imitate the actions of humans playing the game “Shinobi III: revenge of the ninja master” and found that the internal representations of the agents could be used to effectively predict individual brain activity measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging [3]. This work could open new avenues to train robust AI video game characters, and gain new insights in brain representations for active and complex stimuli.

Pierre Bellec is an associate professor at the department of Psychology of University of Montreal. His main research interest is to train artificial neural networks to mimic human brain activity and behavior, at the level of individuals.

Recommended Article:

  1. Bellec, P., and Boyle, J. Bridging the gap between perception and action: the case for neuroimaging, AI and video games. Psyarxiv 2019. Link to Paper
  2. Harel*, Y., Cyr*, A., Boyle, J., Pinsard, B., Jerbi, K. and Bellec, P. Gamer in the scanner: open design and validation of a video game controller for MRI and MEG. Psyarxiv 2022. Link to Paper * joint first authorship
  3. Kemtur, A., Paugam, F., Pinsard, B., Sainath, P., Harel, Y., Le clei, M., Boyle, J., Jerbi, K. and Bellec, P. AI-based modeling of brain and behavior: Combining neuroimaging, imitation learning and video games. Proceedings of Computational Cognitive Neuroscience Conference 2022. Link to Paper

Meeting information:

Meeting number: 2622 837 1132

Password: w2tNeqFiM63 (92863734 from phones) 


Join by phone

+1-415-655-0002 US Toll

Access code: 2622 837 1132


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:dwatson71
  • Created:12/01/2022
  • Modified By:dwatson71
  • Modified:12/01/2022