[email protected]
Computational Neuroscience Group


Professional status: Post-doctoral Fellow (Juan de la Cierva)

Institution: Pompeu Fabra University, Computational Neuroscience Group

Address: Mercè Rodoreda 24, office 24.305

08005 Barcelona, Spain.

E-mail: [email protected]



I am broadly interested in general principles underlying brain function. My current research concerns the study of neural networks, both at the microcircuit and at large-scale levels. I am interested in  1) how cognitive processes are represented in the spatiotemporal patterns of neuronal activity; 2) how different brain regions interact; 3) how collective behavior emerges in neural networks, and 4) how these collective behaviors serve brain function.

My approach uses a combination of data analysis and theoretical modeling, by means of stochastic dynamical systems, information theory, statistical physics, statistical models, and graph theory.

Finally, I am also interested in gender equity in Science, as I am part of the Center for Gender Studies (CEdGE) at the Pompeu Fabra University.


PUBLICATIONS (*: equal contribution)


[1]  Ponce-Alvarez A*, Jouary A*, Privat M,  Deco G, Sumbre G (2019) Whole-brain neuronal activity displays crackling noise dynamics. Neuron, 100, 1446-1459. 

[2] Hahn G,  Ponce-Alvarez A,  Deco G, Aertsen A, Kumar A (2019) Portraits of communication in neuronal networks. Nature Reviews Neuroscience. In press.

[3] Demirtaş M,  Ponce-Alvarez A,  Gilson M,  Hagmann P,  Mantini D,  Betti V,  Romani GL,  Friston K,  Corbetta M,  Deco G (2019) Distinct modes of functional connectivity induced by movie-watching. NeuroImage 184, 335-348.

[4] Glomb K, Ponce-Alvarez A, Gilson M, Ritter P, Deco G (2018) Stereotypical modulations in dynamic functional connectivity explained by changes in BOLD variance. NeuroImage 171, 40-54.

[5] Saenger VM, Ponce-Alvarez A, Adhikari M, Hagmann P, Deco G, Corbetta M (2018) Linking Entropy at Rest with the Underlying Structural Connectivity in the Healthy and Lesioned Brain. Cerebral Cortex 28, 2948–2958

[6] Hahn G*Ponce-Alvarez A*, Monier C, Benvenuti G, Kumar A, Chavane F, Deco G, Frégnac Y (2017) Spontaneous cortical activity is transiently poised close to criticality. PLoS Computational Biology 13(5):e1005543.

[7] Jobst BM, Hindriks R, Laufs H, Tagliazucchi E, Hahn G, Ponce-Alvarez A, Stevner ABA, Kringelbach ML, Deco G (2017) Increased Stability and Breakdown of Brain Effective Connectivity During Slow-Wave Sleep: Mechanistic Insights from Whole-Brain Computational Modelling. Scientif Reports 7(1):4634

[8] Glomb K, Ponce-Alvarez A, Gilson M, Ritter P, Deco G (2017) Resting state networks in empirical and simulated dynamic functional connectivity. NeuroImage 159, 388-402.

[9] Gilson M, Moreno-Bote R, Ponce-Alvarez A, Ritter P, Deco G (2016) Estimation of Directed Effective Connectivity from fMRI Functional Connectivity Hints at Asymmetries of Cortical Connectome. PLoS Computational Biology e1004762.

[10] Ponce-Alvarez A, He B, Deco G (2016) Task-Driven Activity Reduces the Cortical Activity Space of the Brain: Experiment and Whole-Brain Modeling PLoS Computational Biology e1004445.

[11] Ponce-Alvarez A, Deco G, Hagmann P, Romani GL, Mantini D, Corbetta M (2015) Resting-state temporal synchronization networks emerge from connectivity topology and heterogeneity. PLoS Computational Biologye1004100.

[12] Deco G*Ponce-Alvarez A*, Hagmann P, Romani GL, Mantini D, Corbetta M (2014) How local excitation-inhibition ratio impacts the whole brain dynamics. Journal of Neuroscience 34(23):7886-98.

[13] Ponce-Alvarez A*, Thiele A*, Albright TD, Stoner GR, Deco G (2013) Stimulus-dependent variability and noise correlations in cortical MT neurons. PNAS 110(32):13162-7.

[14] Deco G*Ponce-Alvarez A*, Mantini D, Romani GL, Hagmann P, Corbetta M (2013) Resting-state functional connectivity emerges from structurally and dynamically shaped slow linear fluctuations. Journal of Neuroscience 33(27):11239-52.

[15] Confais J, Kilavik BE, Ponce-Alvarez A, Riehle A (2012) On the anticipatory precue activity in motor cortex. Journal of Neuroscience 32(44):15359-68.

[16] Ponce-Alvarez A, Nácher V, Luna R, Riehle A, Romo R (2012) Dynamics of cortical neuronal ensembles transit from decision making to storage for later report. Journal of Neuroscience 32(35):11956-69.

[17] Kilavik BE, Ponce-Alvarez A, Trachel R, Confais J, Takerkart S, Riehle A (2012) Context-related frequency modulations of macaque motor cortical LFP beta oscillations. Cerebral Cortex 22(9):2148-59.

[18] Kilavik BE, Confais J, Ponce-Alvarez A, Diesmann M, Riehle A (2010) Evoked potentials in motor cortical local field potentials reflect task timing and behavioral performance. J Neurophysiol. 104(5):2338-51.

[19] Ponce-Alvarez A, Kilavik BE, Riehle A (2010) Comparison of local measures of spike time irregularity and relating variability to firing rate in motor cortical neurons. Journal of Computational Neuroscience 29(1-2):351-65.

[20] Kilavik BE, Roux S, Ponce-Alvarez A, Confais J, Grün S, Riehle A (2009) Long-term modifications in motor cortical dynamics induced by intensive practice. Journal of Neuroscience 29(40):12653-63.

[21] Johnson LR, Hou M, Ponce-Alvarez A, Gribelyuk L, Alphs H, Albert Jr L, Brown BL, LeDoux J and Doyere V (2008). A recurrent network in the lateral amygdala: a mechanism for coincidence detection. Frontiers in Neural Circuits 2:3.

Book chapters
Ponce-Alvarez A and Deco G (2015) The Emergence of Spontaneous and Evoked Functional Connectivity in a Large-Scale Model of the Brain in Arthur Toga (eds), Brain Mapping: An Encyclopedic Reference, Academic Press: Elsevier, vol. 1, pp 571-579

Press articles
Gender and Science Journal Club (2018) Feminismo en la Academia: suspenso en diversidad. Eldiario.es.