Section Computational Cognitive Neuroscience

Head of section

  • Prof. Dr. Tobias H. Donner, Heisenberg Professor of Integrative Neuroscience
  • Dr. Kobe Desender
  • Maxime Maheu Ph.D.
  • Dr. Peter Murphy
  • Dr. Thomas Pfeffer
  • Alessandro Toso Ph.D.
  • Dr. Ruud van den Brink
PhD / MD students
  • Anke Braun
  • Joshua Calder-Travis
  • Jan Willem de Gee
  • Keno Hagena
  • Josefine Hebisch
  • Thomas Meindertsma
  • Gina Monov
  • Bharath Chandra Talluri
Research topics

We make thousands of decisions each day, and each of these decisions determines who we are. Human decision-making is remarkably adaptive to the internal and environmental context. This indicates that the underlying brain dynamics (especially in the cerebral cortex, in which decisions are being computed) are strongly shaped by the internal state of the brain. The Section “Computational Cognitive Neuroscience” aims to understand this state dependence. The working hypothesis is that modulatory neurotransmitter systems of the brainstem play a key role in the flexible remodeling of decision-related cortical network dynamics. Unraveling this flexible remodeling in the healthy human brain will provide important clues about neurological and psychiatric disorders associated with disturbances in neuromodulatory systems.
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Methods and techniques

  • Quantitative psychophysics
  • High-resolution eye-tracking and pupillometry
  • MEG, EEG, ECoG
  • fMRI, ultra high-field (7T) fMRI
  • Retinotopic mapping, population receptive field (pRF) mapping, multivariate pattern analyses
  • Pharmacological intervention
  • Computational modeling (brain and behavior)

Major external collaborations
  • Gustavo Deco
    Department of Information and Communication Technologies, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
  • Stanislas Dehaene; Florent Meyniel; Mariano Sigman
    INSERM-CEA Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit; Universidad Torcuato Di Tella
  • John-Dylan Haynes
    Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Berlin
  • Jaime de la Rocha
    Institute for Biomedical Research August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Barcelona
  • Marius Usher
    School of Psychological Science, Tel Aviv University
  • Eric-Jan Wagenmakers
    Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam