Computational Models and Machine Learning for Neuroscience

CVC Seminar


Curiosity, the intrinsic desire to know and explore, is a fundamental drive in human behavior with far-reaching implications. It serves as a catalyst for cognitive improvement, enriching internal models of the world and fostering non-instrumental information seeking. Recent studies highlight the neural underpinnings of curiosity, revealing activation of reward-related mesolimbic dopaminergic pathways, with the reward-motivated aspect of curiosity playing a crucial role in attributing value to new information. Furthermore, this process, facilitated by dopaminergic-dependent regions, contributes to the consolidation of information in the hippocampus, thereby improving long-term memory encoding. In this way, he contributed to a research line for studying the temporal evolution of curiosity and pleasure in response to musical stimuli, and lastly their influence on memory.

Transitioning to a different topic, the ability to differentiate between self-initiated and externally generated actions is a critical factor shaping learning and adaptive behavior. Past studies have underscored that, during instances of error commission or perception, distinct error-related potentials (ErrPs), including the error-related negativity (ERN) component, can be discerned in the electroencephalographic (EEG) signal. In a parallel research line, he investigated error-related potentials by means of classifiers for the identification and prevention of human motor errors. In summary, his research is focused on the combination of computational models and machine learning techniques to introduce novel insights into the neuroscience (or cognitive neuroscience) field.

Short bio:

Xim Cerdá-Company received his PhD in Computer Science at the Computer Science Department (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona) and Computer Vision Center, where he computationally modeled the neural mechanisms underlying color perception. Following this, he conducted postdoctoral research at the Vall Hebron Research Institute, delving into the neural mechanisms associated with migraine. Since January 2022, he has been contributing to the field as part of the Cognition & Brain Plasticity Unit, exploring curiosity through music and investigating error-related brain potentials. Currently, Xim Cerda-Company holds a Lecturer position at the Computer Science Department at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.