Gustavo Deco

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 was awarded an 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

Deco G, Cruzat J, Cabral J, Tagliazucchi E, Laufs H, Logothetis NK & Kringelbach ML 2019, ‘Awakening: Predicting external stimulation to force transitions between different brain states’, Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, 116, 36, 18088 – 18097.

Deco G, Cruzat J, Kringelbach ML., 2019, ‘Brain songs framework used for discovering the relevant timescale of the human brain’, Nature Communications, 10(1):583.

– Wang P, Kong R, Kong X, Liégeois R, Orban C, Deco G, van den Heuvel MP, Thomas Yeo BT 2019, ‘Inversion of a large-scale circuit model reveals a cortical hierarchy in the dynamic resting human brain‘, Science Advances, 5(1):eaat7854.

– Hahn G, Skeide MA, Mantini D, Ganzetti M, Destexhe A, Friederici AD, Deco G 2019, “A new computational approach to estimate whole-brain effective connectivity from functional and structural MRI, applied to language development”, Science Reports 11;9(1):8479.

– Donnelly-Kehoe P, Saenger VM, Lisofsky N, Kühn S, Kringelbach ML, Schwarzbach J, Lindenberger U, Deco G 2019, “Reliable local dynamics in the brain across sessions are revealed by whole-brain modeling of resting state activity”, Human Brain Mapping, 40(10):2967-2980.

– 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.

– Stevner ABA, Vidaurre D, Cabral J, Rapuano K, Nielsen SFV, Tagliazucchi E, Laufs H, Vuust P, Deco G, Woolrich MW, Van Someren E & Kringelbach ML 2019, ‘Discovery of key whole-brain transitions and dynamics during human wakefulness and non-REM sleep’, Nature Communications, 10, 1035.

– Grabenhorst F, Báez-Mendoza R, Genest W, Deco G, Schultz W. 2019, “Primate Amygdala Neurons Simulate Decision Processes of Social Partners”, Cell, 177(4):986-998.