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Gustavo Deco is Research Professor at the Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA) and Professor (Catedrático)  at the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) where he leads the Computational Neuroscience group. He was also Director of the Center of Brain and Cognition from 2001 to 2021 (UPF). In 1987 he received his PhD in Physics for his thesis on Relativistic Atomic Collisions. In 1987, he was a postdoc at the University of Bordeaux in France. From 1988 to 1990, he obtained a postdoc of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the University of Giessen in Germany. From 1990 to 2003, he leads the Computational Neuroscience Group at Siemens Corporate Research Center in Munich, Germany. He obtained in 1997 his Habilitation (maximal academical degree in Germany) in Computer Science (Dr. rer. nat. habil.) at the Technical University of Munich for his thesis on Neural Learning. In 2001, he received his PhD in Psychology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich. In 2012, he received an ERC Advanced Grant and recently in 2022 he received an ERC Synergy Grant.

Research interests

Perceptions, memories, emotions, and everything that makes us human, demand the flexible integration of information represented and computed in a distributed manner. Normal brain functions require the integration of functionally specialized but widely distributed brain areas. The main aim of my research is to elucidate precisely the computational principles underlying higher brain functions and their breakdown in brain diseases. My research allows us to comprehend the mechanisms underlying brain functions by complementing structural and activation based analyses with dynamics. We integrate different levels of experimental investigation in cognitive neuroscience (from the operation of single neurons and neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neuroimaging and neuropsychology to behaviour) via a unifying theoretical framework that captures the neural dynamics inherent in the computation of cognitive processes.

Academic background

  • PhD in Psychology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (2001)
  • PhD and Habilitation in Computer Science, Technische Universität München (1997)
  • PhD in Physics, Universidad Nacional de Rosario ( 1987)
  • Degree in Physics, Universidad Nacional de Rosario (1983)

Postdoctoral training and fellowship appointments

  • Universidad Nacional de Rosario (1984 – 1988)
  • Université de Bordeaux 1 (1987)
  • Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen (1988 – 1989)
  • Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience (2001 – 2001)

Professional experience

  • ICREA Research Professor, Universitat Pompeu Fabra – Department of information and technologies (2003 – present)
  • Full Professor (Catedrático) at the University Pompeu Fabra
  • Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition (2001-2021)
  • Director of the Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience Group
  • Associate Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Science (2017 - present)
  • Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Monash University, Australia (2017 - present)
  • Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Medicine, School of Psychological Sciences and Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, Monash University (2019 - present)

Honours and Awards

  • ERC Synergy Grant (2022)
  • Advanced ERC Grant (2012)
  • Inventor of the Year (Siemens World Wide Competition) (2001)