The Hyafil Lab will open at CRM in 2019! We’re interested in understanding the core computations that underly perception, decision-making and cognitive control in humans and mammals in general. Can we derive a set of general rules explaining how sensory information (the response of neurons in the retina or the cochlea) is transformed into the representation of perceived objects and how these percepts guide decisions? How are these transformations controlled or modulated by expectations that the brain develops about its environment?
We use a variety of techniques to tackle these questions. Computational modeling allows to formalize and test how the principled behavior can emerge from a set of cognitive operations, or directly from the dynamics of realistic neural networks. We run psychophysics experiments and compare how different models of behavior can qualitatively and quantitatively account for the observed behavioral metrics (responses, reaction times, etc.). These models are latter used to illuminate neural activations registered through neuroimaging devices in humans or intracranial recordings in non-human mammals. These neural recordings experiments are performed through collaboration with experimental and theoretical researchers in Barcelona (UPF, Idibaps) and outside (ENS Paris, Princeton, UT Austin).
Finally, because inferring the structure of cognition from complex behavioral and neural data requires carefully crafted statistical analyses, we also develop sophisticated tools from advanced statistics and machine learning that can be directly applied by cognitive neuroscientists. Altogether the conjunction of theory, rich experimental data and sophisticated modeling allow us to unravel the computational and dynamical principles of cognition.
Campus de Bellaterra, Edifici C
08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona)
Perception, Decision-making, Cognitive control, Attention