Paul Verschure

Institut de Bioenginyeria de Catalunya

Engineering Sciences

Dr. Paul Verschure (1962) is an ICREA Research Prof. and director of the Center of Autonomous Systems and Neurorobotics at Univ. Pompeu Fabra where he runs the Laboratory of Synthetic Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems (SPECS). He received both his MA and PhD in Psychology and pursued his research at different leading institutes: the Neurosciences Institute and The Salk Institute, both in San Diego, the Univ. of Amsterdam, Univ. of Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology-ETH and currently with ICREA and Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Paul's research group comprises a multidisciplinary team of 25 doctoral and post-doctoral researchers including psychologists, engineers and biologists. He is a consultant for the European Commission regarding the integration of Neuroinformatics in the 5th-6th & 7th FP, Horizon 2020 and a referee for Science, Nature, Royal Society London, Trends in Neuroscience, IEEE neural networks, PLoS Computational Biology and PLoS ONE.

Research interests

His scientific aim is to find a unified theory of mind, brain and body through the use of synthetic methods and to apply such a theory to the development of novel technologies and quality of life enhancing applications. Paul's research group on Synthetic Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems ( comprises a multidisciplinary team of about 25 doctoral and post-doctoral researchers that include physicists, psychologists, engineers and biologists. Paul has organized SPECS along three dimensions: 1) computational models of neuronal mechanisms underlying perception, cognition, emotion and behavior, including: the cerebellum and motor learning, the hippocampus, ventral striatum and prefrontal cortex in decision making and the amygdala and cortex in emotional learning. 2) robotics and avatars as artificial bodies for neuronal models. 3) the application of the technologies developed in 2) combined with the theories from 1) to the enhancement of the quality of life.

Selected publications

- Caligiore D, Pezzulo G, Baldassarre G, Bostan AC, Strick PL, Doya K, Helmich RC, Dirkx M, Houk J, Jörntell H, Lago-Rodriguez A, Galea JM, R Miall C,  Topa T, Kishore A, Verschure PFMJ, Zucca R & Herreros I 2017, 'Consensus Paper: Towards a Systems-Level View of Cerebellar Function: the Interplay Between Cerebellum, Basal Ganglia, and Cortex', Cerebellum., 16(1):203-229. 

- Maffei G, Herreros I, Sanchez-Fibla M, Friston KJ & Verschure PF 2017, 'The perceptual shaping of anticipatory actions', In Proc. R. Soc. B, Vol. 284, No. 1869, p. 20171780. The Royal Society.

- Rubio Ballester B, Nirme J, Camacho I, Duarte E, Rodriguez S, Cuxart A, Duff A & Verschure PFMJ 2017, 'Domiciliary VR-Based Therapy for Functional Recovery and Cortical Reorganization: Randomized Controlled Trial in Participants at the Chronic Stage Post Stroke', Jmir Serious Games, 5, 3, e15.

- Llobet JYP, Gonzalez-Ballester MA & Verschure PFMJ 2017, 'Modeling the neural substrates of learning through conditioning: A two-phased model', IBM Journal of Research and Development61(2/3), 9-1.