The Algonauts Project

Explaining the Human Visual Brain

Workshop and Challenge

Dates: July 19-20, 2019

Place: MIT, Cambridge, MA

Explore the Challenge Explore the Workshop


Thank you very much to everyone who participated in the Challenge and Workshop for the Algonauts Project 2019!
Click here for the current edition of the Algonauts Project

Sep, 2019: All data for the Challenge and Hidden Test Sets has now been released here.
Jul, 2019: Detailed analyses, including 3-D visualizations, for all Challenge participants are now available to view from the "Detailed Results" column on the Challenge leaderboards.


The quest to understand the nature of human intelligence and engineer more advanced forms of artificial intelligence are increasingly intertwined. The Algonauts Project brings biological and artificial intelligence researchers together on a common platform to exchange ideas and advance both fields. Our first challenge and workshop, Explaining the Human Visual Brain, will focus on building computer vision models that simulate how the brain sees and recognizes objects, a topic that has long fascinated neuroscientists and computer scientists.

An Algorithmic Exploration

Inspired by the astronauts who launched into space to explore a new frontier, the Algonauts Project aims to explore human and machine intelligence with the latest algorithmic tools. Comparing how brains and models respond could lead to unexpected insights into what makes intelligent systems efficient, robust and trustworthy.

Faster Innovation

The brain has inspired many of the algorithms responsible for the recent and spectacular progress in artificial intelligence. Those algorithms are now critical in testing new theories about the brain. The Algonauts Project brings together intelligence researchers in both domains to accelerate the pace of innovation.

Collaborative Neuroscience

Hackathon-like competitions like the Explaining the Human Visual Brain Challenge create an environment for sharing and collaboration, which are important for advancing science and ensuring that results are valid and reproducible. The Algonauts Project is committed to a spirit of open collaboration.

The Future

The Algonauts Project is designed to expand to other fields, from physics and biology to the social sciences, and to complement experimental, theoretical and computational disciplines. It will grow, in content and methods, with the communities that shape this endeavor.

Call For Participation


The first Algonauts Project challenge will evaluate computational models based on human visual brain data.
Learn more about the challenge

PRIZES FOR WINNERS: top 1 and top 2 entries for each track will receive a travel reimbursement for one attendee to present their method at the Algonauts Workshop at MIT on 19-20 July 2019. Top 1 entries for each track will receive a gift.

Teams with best submission results will receive an invitation to participate in the Algonauts Workshop, held at MIT on July 19-20, to give a talk about their method during the workshop.

Two-Day Workshop, July 19-20, 2019

The first day, July 19, features introductory tutorials on how the human brain processes visual stimuli; state-of-the-art object recognition models in computer vision; an overview of methods for studying human visual brain function.

The second day, July 20, features keynote talks by leading experts at the intersection of human and machine vision, and a poster session. Challenge winners will be invited to present their models.

Learn more about the workshop and abstract submission

Important Dates


Training data, test data, and development kit released:April 1, 2019
Challenge submission deadline:July 1, 2019 at 11:59pm (UTC-4)
Challenge results released:July 5, 2019


Workshop registration opens:June 7, 2019
Abstract submission deadline:July 16, 2019
Workshop registration deadline:July 19, 2019
Workshop:July 19–20, 2019

Use this form to register for the workshop.
Use this form to submit an abstract to present a poster at the workshop.
If you participated in the Challenge, use this form to submit the challenge report.


For general inquiries about the Algonauts Project workshop, please contact

For specific questions about the Algonauts Project challenge, please use the Forum of the respective track — Track 1 (fMRI) and Track 2 (MEG).

Paper and Citation

Please refer to this page for guidance on citation if you have used any data associated with the Algonauts Project 2019.

We will provide a more extensive paper including the results of the challenge at a later time point. When published, news will be announced via an update on our homepage.

Challenge and Workshop Team





Event Planners