Serge Ahmed is Research Director in Neurosciences, Psychology, and Pharmacology at CNRS and leader of the team “Pathological decision-making in addiction” at Bordeaux Neurocampus, University of Bordeaux. He is internationally recognized for his seminal research on innovative animal models of drug addiction. He is also vice-chair elect of the Gordon Research Conferences on the Neurobiology of Addiction.
Dr. Anna Beyeler was initially trained as an electrophysiologist during her doctoral work where she studied the connectivity of spinal central pattern generators (CPG) controlling locomotion. As a postdoctoral fellow, at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), she identified neural circuit mechanisms underlying encoding and retrieval of reward and aversion memories. Dr. Beyeler has recently been tenured as a Principal Investigator of the French NIH (INSERM) where she is establishing an independent research program to decipher the role of neural populations of the insular cortex in emotional valence and anxiety, using technologies at the forefront of circuit neuroscience.
Jean Daunizeau, 41 y.o., holds a BSc in psychology, and obtained a PhD in physics from Université de Montréal (Montréal, Canada) and a PhD in medical imaging from Université Paris XI (Paris, France). From 2006 to 2009, he performed a first post-doctoral training at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging (FIL, UCL, London, UK), under the supervision of Pr. Karl Friston. From 2009 to 2012, he performed a second post-doctoral training at the Social and Neural Systems Laboratory (Dpt. of Economics, UZH, Zurich, Switzerland), headed by Pr. Ernst Fehr. Since 2013, he is heading a research group at the Brain and Spine Institute (ICM, Paris, France) focused on learning and decision making.
Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Basel. Interested in computational models of learning and decision-making, the dopamine reward circuit, and Bayesian statistics.
RUTH VAN HOLST
I am a clinical neuropsychologist focused on understanding why people make unfortunate decisions and display harmful behaviors, and importantly, why don’t they stop?! I study these behaviors and their neural underpinnings by using behavioral experiments, fMRI and PET imaging. During my PhD I studied patients with gambling disorder and alcohol addiction and since then, I got intrigued by the fact that dysfunctional decision-making and dopamine dysfunction underlie more psychiatric disorders than addiction alone. So in recent years, I expanded my research also to include obsessive-compulsive disorder, gaming disorder and obesity, hoping to find a common denominator across psychiatric disorders.
Renaud Jardri is professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Lille University school of medicine (France). After graduating a PhD in cognitive neuroscience at Lille University in 2009, he spent 3-years as post-doctoral fellow in computational neuroscience at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, ENS Paris (2009-2011). He currently leads the Plasticity & SubjectivitY team (PSY, INSERM) at the Lille Neuroscience & Cognition Centre, while remaining associate faculty at the ENS, where he can combine behavioral, computational, brain imaging and developmental approaches. He is member of the steering committee of the International Consortium of Hallucinations Research since 2014.
Rebecca is a Royal Society Wellcome Trust Henry Dale Fellow at the University of Cambridge where she is a Lecturer and leads the Prediction and Learning Lab. She uses computational modelling in conjunction with pharmacological manipulations and neuroimaging methods to understand how differences in learned expectations influence neural processing in health, development, and disorder. Her work has been recognised with the British Neuropsychiatry Association Lishman Prize (2014), the Society for Biological Psychiatry Early Career Investigator Award (2018), the British Association of Psychopharmacology award (2018) UCL Neuroscience Early Career Research Prize (2018).
What drives us to do what we do? How does our brain make choices between different rewards, different actions, or adapt behavior to different social contexts? The cognitive and neural bases of motivation are addressed in the recent field of decision neuroscience, and represent a key question in many clinical situations, since abnormal value-based decision-making processes are pervasive in neuro-psychiatric diseases. My research goal is to characterize the computational principles and the neural bases of normal and pathological decision-making in healthy subjects and in patients with focal or neurodegenerative lesions, in order to contribute to the development of future diagnostic tools and therapeutic strategies for behavioral disorders. A particular focus of my work is on using computational modeling in conjunction with neuroimaging techniques (fMRI, VBM, VLSM, etc.) that allow inferring of the patients’ dysfunctional mechanisms in both cognitive and neural terms. This computational approach may therefore not only give insight into the motivation deﬁcit but may help with diagnostic and prognostic, and hence with personalizing treatment.
I am currently a Senior Research Associate, based at the Swiss Center for Affective Science (CISA), at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), in Switzerland. My work investigates the computational and biological (neural, genetic) basis of economic phenotypes and behavior (choices, preferences, socio-economic status) - a recent disciplinary field called Neuroeconomics. I try to combine at best my rudimental knowledge in (cognitive) neurosciences, (behavioral) economics, and (reinforcement) learning to provide new hints about our (often irrational) behavior, by associating (behavioral) experiments, (computational) models and (functional) neuroimaging.
Dr Camilla Nord is an MRC Investigator Scientist and AXA Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit. After completing an undergraduate degree in Physiology, Psychology, and Philosophy at Magdalen College, Oxford, she undertook a PhD in Neuroscience at University College London with Prof. Jonathan Roiser on the role of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex dysfunction in depression. She then moved to Cambridge to complete a post-doctoral position with Dr Valerie Voon at the Department of Psychiatry, before taking up her current role at the MRC CBU. Her key interests are in characterising the common neurocomputational mechanisms driving the symptoms of multiple (neuro)psychiatric disorders, including anhedonia and somatic symptoms.
SOYOUNG Q PARK
Soyoung Q Park is a joint professor of Decision Neuroscience and Nutrition at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Neuroscience Research Center) and German Institute for Human Nutrition (DIfE – Leibniz Alliances). Her research focuses on the metabolic, social and neural mechanisms underlying human decision making, with the ultimate goal to develop novel intervention strategies for its optimization. Here, the reward-based decisions, such as consumer decisions and decisions in social contexts are at focus. She studied Psychology at the Institute of Technology Berlin and received her PhD in Neuroscience from the Free University of Berlin, during her stay as a stipend holder at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain at the Humboldt University. After her PhD, she moved to Switzerland for a postdoctoral research training at the department of economics at the University of Zurich. Before moving to Berlin/Potsdam, she has been working as a professor for social psychology and decision neuroscience at the University of Lübeck, where she was the head of the Psychology degree program (B.A. and M.A.).
Photo credit: by DIfE and David Ausserhofer
Peggy Seriès is a senior lecturer at the Institute for Adaptive and Neural Computation, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, UK. Her research is in computational psychiatry, applying probabilistic models of perception and decision-making with the aim of better understanding behavioural differences in schizophrenia, autism, depression and anxiety and their underlying neurobiological mechanisms.
I'm an associate professor (MCU-PH) of Psychiatry at Université de Paris. As a psychiatrist, I work at the GHU Paris Psychiatry & Neuroscience (Service Hospitalo-Universitaire), in a department specialized in treatment-resistant depression and treatment-resistant schizophrenia. As a researcher, I try to combine computational modeling, cognitive neurosciences and psychopharmacology to better understand the cognitive pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders. I’m particularly interested in (i) the cognitive mechanisms allowing the emergence of abnormal mental representations and pathological mental states (ii) how these states impact decision making, and (iii) how pharmacological or neurostimulation interventions modulates them. My research projects are organized in 3 axes: the emergence of delusional ideas, the characterization of motivation disorders, and the neural correlates of slow kinetics variables such as mood.
Valentin is an Inserm group leader at the Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience Lab of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. His group studies how we make decisions in uncertain and changing environments, and especially why we make avoidable errors. His research combines computational modeling of behavior with multimodal functional neuroimaging. He has recently applied this line of research to characterize cognitive dysfunctions of learning and decision-making in psychiatric diseases. His work is currently funded by the European Research Council (ERC) and the French National Research Agency (ANR).