CNeuro Organizers

Rava Azeredo da Silveira

University of Basel in Basel, Switzerland &
École Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Paris, France


Rava Azeredo da Silveira’s lab focuses on a range of topics in theoretical and computational neuroscience and cognitive science. These topics, however, are tied together through a central question: How does the brain represent and manipulate information?

Among the more concrete approaches to this question, the lab analyzes and models neural activity in circuits that can be identified, recorded from, and perturbed experimentally. On a more abstract level, the lab investigates the representation of information in populations of neurons, from a statistical and algorithmic — rather than mechanistic — point of view, through theories of coding and data analyses. In the context of cognitive studies, the lab investigates mental processes such as inference, learning, and decision-making, through both theoretical developments and behavioral experiments. A particular focus is the study of neural constraints and limitations and, further, their impact on mental processes.

Xiaoqin Wang

John Hopkins University in Maryland, USA

Xiaoqin’s research is in the areas of auditory neuroscience and neural engineering. His work has focused on the understanding of the structure and functions of the auditory cortex and the neural basis of vocal communication. His laboratory has developed a unique experimental model, a highly vocal New World primate - the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus). Using this model system, Dr. Wang’s lab has systematically studied neural coding properties of the auditory cortex in awake and behaving conditions. This work has revealed specialized cortical representations of complex sound features such as pitch and harmonicity, and discovered neural mechanisms involved in vocal feedback control and self-monitoring during speaking.


Using newly developed cochlear implant and wireless neural recording techniques in freely roaming marmosets, Dr. Wang’s laboratory is currently studying neural mechanisms underlying cortical processing of vocal communication signals in both normal and hearing-impaired conditions.

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Stella Christie

Tsinghua Brain & Intelligence Laboratory
at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China

Stella researches the Relational Mind: how cognitive systems learn relations and structures of the world. Using behavioral data from young human children and great apes, Stella’s work has discovered tantalizing similarities and differences between humans’ and other animals’ relational cognition. Eventually, her aim is to chart the precise learning algorithms that any mind uses to abstract relations. Having lived in six countries on all hemispheres, Stella holds a special interests in how relational reasoning is influenced by and influences language, culture, and social interactions.

Sen Song

Tsinghua Brain & Intelligence Laboratory
at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China


Sen is interested in how neural circuits carry out computations. In collaboration with experts in chip design, he is interested in applying such insights to building systems for neuromorphic computing.


He also works on deciphering the neural circuits underlying emotion and motivation using optogenetics in rodent models.


Louis Tao

Centre for Bioinformatics
at Peking University in Peking, China

Louis was transplanted from Taipei to New York at an early age and had dreams of becoming an astrophysicist. Later on, after two degrees and two postdocs in Physics, he found computational neuroscience to be his true calling.


Most recently he has worked on modeling primary visual cortex, theoretical aspects of neuronal population dynamics, information transfer and processing in neural circuits, neuromorphic computations, and live, optical imaging of C. elegans behavior and its underlying neural circuits.

Quan Wen

School of Life Sciences
at University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, China


Quan’s lab is interested in identifying basic principles for motor control and computational algorithms for sensorimotor transformation. By combining a range of experimental and theoretical approaches, his lab aims to tackle these questions by focusing on the nervous systems of C. elegans and larval zebrafish, which are relatively compact and optically transparent.


These advantages allow his lab to develop optical and computational tools for imaging and manipulating whole brain neural activity in freely behaving animals, which may provide deep insights into how collective activity in a neural network gives rise to complex behaviors.