Chris Eliasmith

Professor, Director, Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience, Canada Research Chair in Theoretical Neuroscience
Chris Eliasmith

Areas of interest

Philosophy of mind, cognitive science, theoretical neuroscience, philosophy of science, mental representation, neural computing, neural networks, neuromorphics, neural dynamics, semantic pointer architecture, neural engineering framework, large-scale neural modelling

Areas of graduate supervision

  • philosophy of mind
  • cognitive science
  • philosophy of science
  • philosophy of neuroscience
  • philosophy of psychology

Current research

My research focuses on understanding the mind through large-scale neural modelling. My lab built the world's largest functional brain model, 'Spaun'. Understanding the representations, computations, and dynamics of biological systems leads to new characterizations of related philosophical topics addressing concepts, language, experience, mental representation, computation, embodiment and so on.

Selected publications

For a complete list of my publications, see my personal webpage and lab webpage.

  • Chris Eliasmith, Terrence C. Stewart, Xuan Choo, Trevor Bekolay, Travis DeWolf, Yichuan Tang, and Daniel Rasmussen. A large-scale model of the functioning brain. Science, 338:1202-1205, 2012.

  • Chris Eliasmith. Moving beyond metaphors: understanding the mind for what it is. Journal of Philosophy, 100:493-520, 2003. Reprinted in Brooks and Akins (eds). Cognition and the Brain. 2005. Cambridge University Press. p.131-159.

  • Chris Eliasmith. How to build a brain: A neural architecture for biological cognition. Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 2013.

Selected grants, fellowships, and awards

  • NSERC Polanyi Prize, 2015
  • Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society
  • Royal Society of Canada, College of New Scholars

Selected supervisions

  • Eric Hochstein (MA/PhD; Philosophy of Science)
  • Pete Blouw (MA/PhD; Philosophy of Mind)
  • Anatoly Zhitnik (MA; Philosophy of Mind)


Contact information
519-888-4567  x42638
Office: E7 6324