Meet the team

Professor Rodrigo Quian Quiroga

Research Centre Director

Rodrigo profile picture

Rodrigo is basically puzzled by how the brain works. In particular he is interested in principles of Neural Coding, visual perception, memory, visuo-motor transformations, single-trial evoked potentials, synchronization and the development of methods for the analysis of neurophysiology data.

Rodrigo claims he makes the best asado argentino within the UK neuroscience community.

e-mail: rqqg1


Michael Okun


Upon completing a PhD in computer science Michael realised he would rather study neuroscience, and ended up investigating neuronal population dynamics in cortical microcircuits. This remains Michael's primary research interest to this very day.


Jian K LiuJian K Liu


Dr Jian K Liu received the PhD in mathematics from UCLA. He did his thesis with Dean Buonomano about synaptic plasticities and neuronal network modeling. After that, he did his postdocs with Nicolas Brunel in Paris and Tim Gollisch in Goettingen. His area of research includes computational neuroscience and brain-inspired computation for artificial intelligence with some experiences on vision, cerebellum, dynamics of neuronal circuits, and neuroprosthesis algorithms. For more information, see his webpage at

Francesca Rocchi

Early Career Fellow

Rocchi profile pictureMy core background is in Cognitive Neuroscience. After my PhD in Visual Neuroscience and Psychophysics at the University of Nottingham, I got the chance to perform single-cell recordings in subcortical auditory areas of Non-Human Primates, while working at Vanderbilt University. I then conducted a project at Newcastle University that combined Electrical Intracranial Microstimulation and fMRI for investigating brain directed effected connectivity in monkeys and humans. After a collaboration with Radboud University where I studied how multisensory integration of (visual-auditory) signals affect gaze-orientation during sound localization, I have now joined the Centre for Systems Neuroscience where I am planning to carry out electrophysiological recordings in the Medial Temporal Lobe of epileptic patients to study the neuronal representations of long-term declarative memories.


Martynas Dervinis

Post Doctoral Researcher

I am interested in combining computational modelling and experimentaMDl approaches to studying the computational function of cortical microcircuits. I did my PhD in Neuroscience in Vincenzo Crunelli’s lab modelling brain rhythms in sleep and absence seizures. Currently I am researching infra-slow (<0.1 Hz) neural activation dynamics in the mouse neocortex using multielectrode arrays.

Email: Martynas Dervinis

Bradley Dearnley

PhD Student

Profile picture of Bradley Dearnley

Bradley is interested in developing and evaluating the therapeutic tools used to predict, diagnose and treat disorders of the brain and nervous system. He is currently studying for a PhD supervised by Dr Michael Okun looking at cortical dynamics on infraslow timescales. He is particularly interested in how this will help to better understand and interpret fMRI data as it becomes more readily used as a diagnostic tool in the medical community.


Ben Netherwood

PhD Student

Ben Netherwood profile picture

I enjoy learning about the theoretical computation behind learning and memory – specifically in the mammalian hippocampus and the former's linkage with neocortex. I am a neuroscience graduate with Matlab specialisation who, in parallel, casually learnt about game design, development, and coding in my spare time. My PhD will leverage the (recent) advent of virtual reality gaming, as I will be producing bespoke, engaging VR head-mounted display experiments in epilepsy refractive patients undergoing curative micro-electrode recording and surgery. The data from these experiences will then facilitate the probing of human hippocampal function.

Email: Ben Netherwood

Marta Boscaglia

PhD Student

Marta Boscaglia profile picture

I am Marta and I am doing my PhD studies at the CSN. Before arriving here, I got my Bachelor and Master degrees in biomedical engineering at the Polytechnic University of Turin, spending my final year in Switzerland where I did my Master thesis in an experimental neuroscience lab at EPFL in Lausanne. I joined the CSN because I am interested in combining my interest for quantitative subjects and neuroscience. Currently I am focusing on the analysis of single-cell recordings in the human fusiform face area, which is a brain area particularly involved in face processing.


Visiting Fellows

Lorenzo GutiérrezProfile picture of Lorenzo Gutierrez

Honorary Visiting Fellow

My name is Lorenzo Emiliano Gutierrez. I'm a physicist interested in data analysis, machine learning and the use of physics tools in other fields. I'll be doing my PhD Argentina, the UK and China. Currently I'm here in order to be trained for running several experiments in Argentina and in China, also I'm working in noise-reduction in the spike detection algorithm Wave_clus.

And my main project: dethrone Rodrigo of the "Best Argentinian Asado" throne!

Hernan ReyFernando Chaure

Hernan is working on single cell recordings from the human brain in collaboration with the Epilepsy Research Group at King’s College London. Particularly, he is interested in studying the timing of medial temporal lobe responses. He is also interested in abstract concept learning and decision making.



Fernando ChaureProfile picture of Fernando Chaure

Fernando mainly worked on unsupervised spike sorting algorithms and other experiment analysis automatizations. On the side, he developed a few graphical tools for real-time signal analysis and data exploration. Fernando is the repository's maintainer of Wave_Clus and he keeps working on improving the reproducibility and quality of spike sorting algorithms.



Associate Members


Professor Ian Forsythe

Molecular Neurophysiology Laboratory

We are interested in how neurons regulate their excitability and process information about sound.  Our research concerns mechanisms of hearing (and hearing loss or deafness). We study how exposure to loud sound damages the ear and the brain, by inducing long term changes in gene expression and changes in ion channel function.

Todor Gerdjikov

The overall aim of my research is to understand how cortical and related brain regions encode sensory stimuli as well as cognitive procesTodorses related to attention and motivated behaviour. My work relies on awake electrophysiological recordings and optogenetics in target structures including sensorimotor and prefrontal cortex as well as striatum

David Souto

David Souto profile picDavid is interested in visuo-motor interactions, in particular the visual processing that is required to execute saccadic and smooth pursuit eye movements. His investigations use a combination of psychophysical modelling and oculometric measurements. In collaboration with the Centre for Systems Neuroscience he plans to use fixation-related potentials extracted from the EEG signal to uncover the cortical processing of visual prediction errors during saccades.

Vincenzo Marra

Vincenzo MARRA profile picVincenzo is interested in how neurons communicate using electrical and chemical signals. He uses a range of techniques to study neurotransmission at different levels to investigate how localised changes can affect entire networks in healthy and pathological conditions such as epilepsy.


Qi Xu

Honorary Visiting Fellow

Qi Xu profile pictureQi Xu visited the Centre for Systems Neuroscience in 2019/20 as an honorary visiting fellow under the supervision of Dr Jian Liu. Qi is a Ph.D. candidate at the College of Computer Science and Technology, Zhejiang University. Qi's research interests include Neuromorphic Computing, Cyborg Intelligence, Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence. He has published refereed papers on Neural Networks, IJCAI, Neurocomputing, Electronics Letters, etc. His current research focuses on the design and implementation of advanced cognitive models based on both deep learning and spiking neurons.

Email: Qi Xu

Taylan Takan

Post Doctoral Researcher

Taylan is interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the type of neural representations used for memory processes and works on the recording and analysis of the 2-photon imaging and electrophysiology data collected in mice hippocampi. During his PhD in physics at METU, he worked on developing terahertz imaging systems.

Jiangrong Shen

Visiting Scholar

Jiangrong Shen profile pictureJiangrong Shen is a Ph.D. candidate at the Qiushi Academy for Advanced Studies and College of Computer Science and Technology at Zhejiang University. Jiangrong visited the Centre for Systems Neuroscience as a visiting scholar under the supervision of Dr Jian Liu. Her research focuses on Neuromorphic Computing, Computer Vision and Neural Computing. Her current project focuses on efficient neural network algorithms for cognitive models based on biological data in neuroscience.

Email: Jiangrong Shen

Flávio Mourão

Post Doctoral Researcher

foto flav

Flávio is interested in how neural networks encode sensory information and how they operate as functional circuits able to generate endogenous activity and observable behaviour. He joined the Centre as Doctoral Researcher in July 2017 and worked for one year on the recording and analysis of 2-photon imaging.

Today he works at the Neuroscience Center (NNC/UFMG - Brazil) with multichannel electrophysiology in freely moving animals coupled with paradigms of learning and memory.


Guadalupe Pascal

Visiting Fellow

Guada PASCAL profile pic

Guada was a Visiting Fellow in the Centre until April 2019 during her PhD.

She was working on methods to identify the activity of neurons from multiple site recordings in order to develop new advanced methods to combine information from different site recordings.

Email:Guadalupe Pascal

Adria Tauste

Adria studied how memories are generated, maintained and ad 2recalled in humans through the simultaneous analysis of single-neuron responses, local field potentials and intracranial EEG recordings from epileptic patients during specific cognitive tasks.


Belén Gori

Belen is a biologist researching her PhD in the School of Medicine,University of

belen croppedBuenos Aires, Argentina. She has been awarded a Scholarship funded by Bec.Ar Training Program abroad in Science and Technology to join the Centre. She is working on visual perception and memory in patients with epilepsy, by recording single cell and local field potential activity of the human brain.

Emanuele Schiavon

Emanuele Schiavon

Emanuele joined the centre in January 2015. He has a broad interest for the physiology and the pathology of the brain. His research with the Centre covered the molecular mechanisms of signal and synaptic transmission as well as the study of compounds that are able to modulate neuronal homeostasis. With a background in electrophysiology and a PhD in physiology he recorded neuronal activity while mice explored a virtual environment.


Fanis PanagiotarapoulosFanis Panagiotaropoulos

Fanis is interested in the electrophysiological correlates of consciousness and memory and the functional structure of electrophysiological activity in the brain.

His research in the Centre for Systems Neuroscience involved intracortical recordings of single cells and local field potentials from the medial temporal lobe of human epileptic patients at King’s College, London. He holds a visiting researcher position at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Germany, where his group investigates the neural correlates of conscious perception and predictive coding in the non-human primate brain.

Julieta Campi


Julieta is worked on a project to provide new insights to understand memory formation in the hippocampus. To do this, she combined in vivo electrophysiology with neuroimaging (co-supervised by Professor Ian Forsythe) of mice place cells navigating on a virtual environment.




Emanuela De Falco

Emanuela De Falco profile picture

Emanuela completed her PhD at the CSN in 2017 working on a project funded  by the Human Frontiers Science Program. During her graduate career she worked with electrophysiological recordings from patients suffering from epilepsy, investigating declarative memory and how associated concepts are encoded in the human medial temporal lobes. She is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at EPFL in Switzerland.


Alex Varatharajah


Alex studied for his PhD with the Centre after completing a bachelors at the University of Leicester in Electrical and Electronic engineering. He is interested in Cognitive Neuroscience and was working on a facial recognition project.



Federico ZimmermanFederico
Honorary visiting fellow

Federico is an electronic engineer specialised in biomedical applications. He takes advantage of the fact that we spend most of our time using our smartphones and tablets in order to develop applications for both entertainment and large-scale cognitive experiments.He visited the centre for 6 months in 2017.



Joaquin Navajas

Joaquin is continuing his work on the development of an online and unsupervised spike sorting algorithm that will be implemented in a chip (collaboration with Imperial College London and Newcastle University). He's also interested in face perception and the neural correlates of consciousness.


Maryam Ahmadi Shapourabadi


Maryam's project seeks to study of single-trial evoked potentials, as recorded by an electroencephalogram and their correlation to different sensory and cognitive processes, such as pattern learning. A promising approach to extract the single trial evoked activity is to use a denoising implementation based on the Wavelet transform. She is working on the optimization of the denoising algorithm and study of several strategies to make it completely unsupervised.


Hugo Caffaratti


PhD Student

“The eyes are faster than the hands, the brain is even faster than the eyes. That's why you have to attack the brain. Magic is then, surprise, before everything surprise” Fu Manchu.
Hugo graduated in Biomedical Engineering at University of Barcelona (Spain). He is a semi-professional magician and member of the Spanish Society of Illusionism (SEI-ACAI). His PhD thesis project covered the pioneering field of Cognitive Neuroscience: The Neuro-Magic. He's particularly interested in investigating how the attention system modulates cognitive processes such as memory and conscious visual perception from paradigms based on techniques of the art of illusion.


Matias Ison

Lecturer in Bioengineering


Matias is currently collaborating with Dr Fried's lab at UCLA on single cell recordings from the human brain to study the formation of memories by learning associations.With a background in computational and statistical physics (PhD in Physics), he is interested in applying principles from information theory and statistical mechanics to the study of neural ensembles as well as in developing quantitative analysis techniques to extract new information from neural experimental data.


Pinar Boyraz


Pinar will be working to optimise unsupervised online spike sorting algorithms in Wave_clus for ultra-low-powered brain-machine interfaces. She has a background in electrophysiological recordings from the primate visual cortex, and she will be combining extracellular recordings and optical imaging in the mouse hippocampus in our lab. She is particularly interested in the network

interactions between neurons participating in the recall of specific memories.


Harsimrat Singh

Harsimrat Singh 200px

Harsimrat is a neural engineer with research experience in clinical and cognitive neuroscience. His doctoral research was on BCI approaches for ‘disorders of consciousness’. Before joining CSN, he undertook postdoctoral research at UCL in ‘Affective touch’ (UCL Interaction Centre) and ‘Neonatal seizures’ using multimodal imaging (neoLAB, Cambridge & Biomedical Optics Research Lab, UCL). At CSN, he is now working on developing reliable, unsupervised spike detection and sorting system.


Manuel MolanoManuel

Manuel is working on a project that involves simultaneous imaging (2-photon) and electrophysiology recordings in mice. With a background in Mathematics, he is interested in memory formation in the hippocampus and its spatial correlates. Manuel contributes to the imaging and electrophysiology data collection and analysis, and is currently developing the virtual environment for the mice.


Natalia Grion


In collaboration with the Visual Neuroscience Lab in SISSA led by Dr Zoccolan, Natalia is worked on a projectaimed to better understand how abstract representation arises in the functional architecture of the brain. She is particularly interested in how neural populations transform visual percepts into an abstract representation. The study involves simultaneous multiple single-cell recordings in MTL and visual cortex in rats engaged in an invariant recognition task.


Zaira Pineda


Zaira worked on neurophrostetic applications. She was implementing a neural network simulating previous recordings from the posterior parietal cortex in monkeys, reproducing the firing characteristics of neurons in this area to move a robot arm.


Carlos Pedreira


Carlos worked on the analysis of human single-cell recordings and the formation of memories as sequences of events. He also worked in the optimization of spike sorting algorithms. Other interests of Carlos are neuroelectronic interfaces and neuroprosthetics.


Cedric Spire

Cedric Spire

Visiting Student

Cedric joined us in February 2014 as part of a 4 month internship from Paris-Descartes University. He looked at design and program data processing techniques for optimal recordings from the eye-tracker and robotic arm.


Jennifer Binnie

PhD Student

Jen was involved in a collaborative project between the departments of Engineering and Museum Studies, and the Art Fund. This was looking at how people experience art within museums, and shall use eye-tracking and complementary ethnographic research techniques. She was supervised by Rodrigo Quian Quiroga, Sandra Dudley (Museum Studies) and David Barrie(Art Fund). This project is funded by AHRC and the Art Fund.


Luis Camunas

Postdoctoral Researcher

Luis worked on the analysis of multiple single-cell recordings from the nervous system of the locust in collaboration with the laboratory of Dr Tom Matheson in the Department of Biology of the University of Leicester. Studying the correlation of these data, he is interested in the characterization of the roles of motor nerve cells during limb movements. He is also interested in bio-inspired sensorial information processing.


Lisandro Kaunitz

Postdoctoral Researcher

Lisandro joined the lab to work on a project that studied the EEG responses of subjects while they performed eye movements and watch natural scenes. With a special interest in visual perception, Lisandro has always been intrigued by the puzzle of visual awareness (particularly in the scope and limits of unconscious visual perception) and by how the brain keeps a stable conscious representation of the visual world across eye movements.


Vitor Lopes dos Santos

Visiting PhD Student

Vítor joined us in December 2012, for a one-year-long project from the Brain Institute of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil. He was interested in how distributed neurons interact in order to process stimuli and store memories. He worked on the development and application of analysis tools that are able to extract meaningful patterns from large neuronal populations. Vítor is applying information theory and machine learning methodologies to quantify the information encoded by firing patterns and correlations in cell assemblies.


Mariano Molina

Artist in residence

Mariano is visual artist doing a rotation in the lab. The goal of his residence, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and by the Leverhulme Trust, was to study the links between neuroscience and arts in the study of visual perception. His rotation culminated with an exhibition "The art of visual perception" at Embrace Arts in January 2012.


Jonathan Becedas

Postdoctoral Researcher

Jonathan worked on a Neuroprosthetics project. He studied the activity of single-neurons to control a robotic arm for reaching and grasping objects to be used in handicapped people and amputees. He also collaborated with the UCLM to develop new position and force control strategies for robot manipulators.


Juan Martinez

PhD Student

Juan worked on the development of technology for the analysis of neural ensembles, specially spike sorting algorithms and realistic simulations of extracellular recordings. He is particularly interested in quantitative analysis techniques to extract relevant information from experimental datasets.

Juan Kamienkowsk - Visiting Researcher

Alberto Capurro - Postdoctoral Researcher

Andreas Kaltenbrunner - Erasmus rotating student

Emanuele Perugia - Erasmus rotating student


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Centre for Systems Neuroscience

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour
University of Leicester
George Davies Centre
Lancaster Road
Leicester LE1 7HA

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