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  1. Learning

    Learning to adaptively respond to cues in the environment that predict behaviourally relevant events is critical for survival. However, in the natural world, where animals are exposed to myriad sensory stimuli, learning the predictive value of cues is non-trivial. How do animals figure out which cues are predictive, and of what? This is called the credit assignment problem. Conceiving of this problem as statistical inference in the time domain offers a parsimonious account of animals’ learning abilities. In other words, when cues occur relative to meaningful events is what determines their information content, their usefulness, and thus, whether they warrant learning about. However, we still do not understand how the brain might keep track of times. We aim to reveal neural mechanisms for time by observing and manipulating neurophysiology in behaving rodents performing tasks that lead them to estimate intervals.

Latest Publications

  • Drugowitsch J, Mendonça A, Mainen ZF, Pouget A (2019) Learning optimal decisions with confidence Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 116 (49)
  • Pardo-Vazquez JL, Castiñeiras-de Saa JR, Valente M, Damião I, Costa T, Vicente MI, Mendonça AG, Mainen ZF, Renart A (2019) The mechanistic foundation of Weber's law Nat. Neurosci. 22 (9)
  • Maia, A.; Oliveira, J.; Lajnef, M.; Mallet, L.; Tamouza, R.; Leboye, M.; Oliveira-Maia, A. J. (2019) Oxidative and nitrosative stress markers in obsessive-compulsive disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis Acta Psychiatr Scand
  • Brugada-Ramentol, Victoria; Clemens, Ivar; de Polavieja, Gonzalo G. (2019) Active control as evidence in favor of sense of ownership in the moving Virtual Hand Illusion
  • Rao-Ruiz, Priyanka; Couey, Jonathan J.; Marcelo, Ivo M.; Bouwkamp, Christian G.; Slump, Denise E.; Matos, Mariana R.; van der Loo, Rolinka J.; Martins, Gabriela J.; van den Hout, Mirjam; van IJcken, Wilfred F.; Costa, Rui M.; van den Oever, Michel C.; Kus (2019) Engram-specific transcriptome profiling of contextual memory consolidation Nat Commun