The 2012 International Conference on Brain Inspired Cognitive Systems (BICS 2012) will be held in Shenyang, China, as a sequel of BICS 2004 - 2010. Shenyang is the capital city of Liaoning Province with a long history and rich heritages. Shenyang was first used by the Manchu people as their capital in the 17th century and is today the biggest city in Northeastern China. Shenyang is now an important political, industrial, and cultural center, and serves as the transportation and commercial hub of Northeastern China. The city is well-known for its modern infrastructure, convenient land and air transport network, and abundant natural resources. BICS 2012 aims to provide a high-level international forum for scientists, engineers, and educators to present the state of the art of brain inspired cognitive systems research and applications in diverse fields. The symposium will feature plenary lectures given by world renowned scholars, regular sessions with broad coverage, and some special sessions focusing on popular and timely topics.