Floating Brains

Please find our guests for this series by alphabetic order by surname

Thomas Carlson

Thomas Carlson

A/Prof Thomas Carlson is a neuroscientist at the University of Sydney, where he founded the Sydney Computational Cognitive Neuroscience Lab. His lab uses brain imaging to understand how the brain transforms sensory information into cognitive representations for decision making and action. He received his PhD from the University of Minnesota and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Harvard Vision Science lab. He is a former Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow and is currently president of the Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Society (ACNS).

michael j frank

Michael J Frank

Our research combines multiple levels of computational modelling and experimental work to understand the neural mechanisms underlying reinforcement learning, decision making and cognitive control. We develop neural circuit and algorithmic models that simulate systems-level interactions between multiple brain areas (primarily prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia and their modulation by dopamine). We test theoretical predictions of the models using various neuropsychological, pharmacological, genetic, and imaging (primarily EEG) techniques.


John Dylan Haynes

John-Dylan Haynes is a Neuroscientist and Principal investigator at Haynes Lab at the Berlin Center for Advanced Neuroimaging.

Haynes studied psychology and philosophy at the University of Bremen from 1992 to 1997. In 2003 he received his doctorate from the Institute of Biology in Bremen. After research stays in MagdeburgPlymouth (Plymouth Institute of Neuroscience, 2002-2003) and London (Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience, University College London, 2002-2005) he became head of a research group at the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Neurosciences in Leipzig in 2005.[1]

Since 2006 he has been a professor of theory and analysis of long-range brain signals at the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience and at the Berlin Center for Advanced Neuroimaging (BCAN) of the Charité and the Humboldt University of Berlin. In 2007 his research group was able to predict volitional decisions up to 7 seconds before they became conscious,[2] thus improving the time-bound of 0.5 seconds found in the 1980s by Benjamin Libet. In 2008 he was a member-at-large of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness‘s executive committee. In 2016, he got a Brain-Computer Interface Award for the work Brain-Computer Interfaces based on fMRI for Volitional Control of Amygdala and Fusiform Face Area: Applications in Autism with the TU Berlin‘s Neurotechnology Group.


Niko Kriegeskorte

Nikolaus Kriegeskorte is a computational neuroscientist who studies how our brains enable us to see and understand the world around us. He received his PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from Maastricht University, held postdoctoral positions at the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research at the University of Minnesota and the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, and was a Programme Leader at the U.K. Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at the University of Cambridge. Kriegeskorte is a Professor at Columbia University, affiliated with the Departments of Psychology and Neuroscience. He is a Principal Investigator and Director of Cognitive Imaging at the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute at Columbia University. Kriegeskorte is a co-founder of the conference “Cognitive Computational Neuroscience”, which had its inaugural meeting in September 2017 at Columbia University.

John Laird

John Laird

John E. Laird is the John L. Tishman Professor of Engineering at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on cognitive architecture, integration of cognitive architecture with robotics, interactive task learning, and the development of a common model of cognition. Central to his research has always been the continued evolution of Soar with his graduate students, including the development and integration of reinforcement learning, episodic memory, semantic memory, visual and spatial mental imagery, and appraisal-based emotion. Soar has been used in many applications from classic AI problems to computer game AI, military training simulations, autonomous robotics, and health care applications. He is a founder and Chairman of the Board of Soar Technology, Inc. He is a founder and co-director of the non-profit Center for Integrated Cognition, a component of IQMRI. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science Society, and Association for Computing


Sebastian Musslick

Sebastian is a quantitative and computational neuroscientist at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute and a Graduate Fellow of the Cognitive Science Program at Princeton University. Before joining Princeton, Sebastian studied Psychology at the Technische Universität Dresden in Germany and conducted a research stay at the University of Colorado in Boulder to build computational models of brain function.  

Sebastian’s research seeks to understand why the human brain is so strikingly limited in its capacity to exert mental effort (e.g. listening to a podcast while performing mental arithmetic). His work suggests that these limitations arise from fundamental computational dilemmas in neural network architectures. As a co-developer of SweetPea—a programming language for experimental design—Sebastian also works towards automating empirical research. Finally, he co-organizes several acclaimed conferences and workshops at the intersection of neuroscience and machine learning, including the annual Workshop on Mental Effort, as well as the annual Conference on the Mathematical Theory of Deep Neural Networks.

Giulio Roginin

Giulio Rognini

Giulio Rognini is a robotic engineer, neuroscientist and co-founder of Metaphysiks Engineering SA. He holds a M.Sc. degree in biomedical robotics from the University of Pisa, Italy, and a PhD in neuroscience robotics from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL, www.epfl.ch). His work lies at the intersection of human neuroscience, transformative technologies – virtual reality, robotics, neural stimulation – and startups. He has 15 publications in leading neuroscience, medical and robotic journals and proceedings, and his scientific work was covered by The BBC, Le Monde, National Geographic, The Economist, and more.  He holds 3 patent applications and 3 granted patents on new robotic interfaces to engineer experience in health and disease. Together with Prof. Olaf Blanke, he has pioneered the field of cognetics: the use of robotics to study, restore and enhance human cognitive functions and consciousness.