Projects

We are funded by the European Research Council, the Human Brain Project, the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council UK, the Economic and Social Research Council UK, and private sources. We are grateful to all our funders for their generous support.

Currently, major projects in the lab include the following:

1/ Abstraction and generalisation in human decision-making (ERC Consolidator Award 725937 NEUROABSTRACTION). Collaborators: Tim Behrens, Mark Stokes, Matthew Rushworth.

The goal of this project is to understand how humans acquire conceptual knowledge, and use this knowledge to make decisions in novel settings. We want to address the following questions:

  1. How do neural representations in the human brain change during concept acquisition?
  2. How do humans learn to perform of multiple tasks at once, and encode task representations in a way that avoids interference?
  3. How can we build computational models, such as neural networks, that learn and generalise new abstract concepts?

2/ Hierarchical planning during navigation (Human Brain Project award, SGA2 T2.2.7 and T2.2.8). PIs: Giovanni Pezzulo, Hugo Spiers, and Christopher Summerfield. Collaborators: Nico Schuck, Kate Jeffery.

The goal of this project is to understand how representations of the world are formed and used during the navigation. The work combines neural recordings in rats and brain imaging in humans. We want to answer the following questions:

  1. How to rats and humans plan in complex environments? We predict that they will use multi-scale representations (i.e. both coarse and fine in space and time) and plan over both scales simultaneously.
  2. What is the relationship between the hippocampus, the medial orbitofrontal cortex, and the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex during planning? All three regions have been implicated in forming state representations that may be useful for planning. What is their relative contribution?