Gustavo Deco

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Engineering Sciences

Gustavo Deco is Research Professor at ICREA and Professor (Catedrático) at the Pompeu Fabra University where he leads the Computational Neuroscience group. He is Director of the Center of Brain and Cognition (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 was postdoc of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the University of Giessen in Germany. From 1990 to 2003, he lead 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. He wars awarded with the ERC Advanced 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.

Selected publications

- Insabato A, Pannunzi M & Deco G 2017, 'Multiple choice neurodynamical model of the uncertain option task', PLOS Computational Biology, 13(1): e1005250.

- Deco G, Cabral J, Woolrich MW, Stevner AB, van Hartevelt TJ & Kringelbach ML 2017, 'Single or multiple frequency generators in on-going brain activity: A mechanistic whole-brain model of empirical MEG data', Neuroimage, 152:538-550.    

- Adhikari MH, Hacker CD, Siegel JS, Griffa A, Hagmann P, Deco G & Corbetta M 2017, 'Decreased integration and information capacity in stroke measured by whole brain models of resting state activity', Brain, 140, 4, 1068 - 1085.

- Naik S, Banerjee A, Bapi RS, Deco G & Roy D 2017, 'Metastability in Senescence', Trends in Cognitive Science, 21 (7), 509-521.

- Deco G, Kringelbach ML, Jirsa VK & Ritter P 2017 'The dynamics of resting fluctuations in the brain: metastability and its dynamical cortical core', Scientific Reports, 7(1):3095. 

- Deco G & Kringelbach ML 2017, 'Hierarchy of Information Processing in the Brain: A Novel ‘Intrinsic Ignition’ Framework', Neuron, 94 (5), 961-968.

- Saenger VM, Kahan J, Foltynie T, Friston K, Aziz TZ, Green AL, van Hartevelt TJ, Cabral J, Stevner ABA, Fernandes HM, Mancini L, Thornton J, Yousry T, Limousin P, Zrinzo L, Hariz M, Marques P, Sousa N, Kringelbach ML & Deco G 2017, 'Uncovering the underlying mechanisms and whole-brain dynamics of deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease', Scientific Reports, 7, 9882.

- Deco G, Tagliazucchi E, Laufs H, Sanjuán A, Kringelbach ML 2017, 'Novel Intrinsic Ignition Method Measuring Local-Global Integration Characterizes Wakefulness and Deep Sleep', eNeuro, 4(5), UNSP e0106-17.