Computational Neuroscience

Translating psychological theories into mathematical and computational models helps us to identify gaps in the current understanding of how brains develop, how they process information, and how they guide behaviour. Computational modelling provides us with new insights into the neural processes that underpin human behaviour and decision-making, and can help generate experimental predictions that allow psychological theories to be tested and improved. What we discover in the process helps us design new technologies, such as learning algorithms for advanced computing, human and animal-like robots, and assistive devices for healthcare applications.


Professor Paul Dean

  • The identification of the basic cerebellar algorithm
  • Calibration of a basic gaze-stabilisation reflex and classic conditioning of the eyeblink
  • Deriving candidate models from experimental observations and embedding them in control systems for testing in real environments

Professor Kevin Gurney

  • Decision making
  • Active vision

Dr Hannes Saal

  • Mathematical models of sensory coding and perception
  • Elucidating the fundamental computations that allow us to make sense of our environment through touch
  • Applied machine learning

Dr Robert Schmidt

  • Neural mechanisms underlying action control.
  • How different circuits in the basal ganglia contribute to the control of actions and how this can be modulated
  • Combining computational models with electrophysiological data

Dr Tom Stafford

  • Learning and decision making
  • The relationship between ADHD traits and sensory sensitivity
  • How understanding the intelligence of simple actions, can allow us to understand intelligence more generally 

Dr Stuart Wilson

  • Understanding how self-organisation and natural selection interact to shape complex systems
  • Mathematical and computational models of adaptive self-organising networks
  • Exploring how self-organising networks are shaped in developing animal brains

Research Groups

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Active Touch Laboratory

The Active Touch Laboratory uses methods in animal behaviour, neuroethology, human psychophysics, computational modelling and robotics to investigate tactile sensing in animals, people and intelligent machines