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Systems Neuroscience


Mainen Lab

Mainen Lab

We do not perceive the world directly. Rather, our brains must decipher what is out there using the window of information we receive from our senses. The result of this process is referred to as a ‘model’ of the world. Understanding how brains construct and use internal models is a central problem in neuroscience. This problem can be approached by thinking of the brain as a kind of an intuitive scientist, collecting and analysing data, constructing and testing hypotheses based on those data, and revising them in light of new data. Each brain gets different data and produces a different model, making the beliefs that guide our actions subjective and sometimes wrong. Fortunately, like a good scientist, our brains can and do evaluate the quality of the data. This gives us a sense of confidence in our beliefs and decisions, helping us to know when our subjective reality is worth acting on and when to question it. Understanding how all this works in terms of neural circuits is the long-term goal of research in the Systems Neuroscience lab. 



If you are interested in joining our group, please contact Zachary Mainen via email.


Mainen Lab

Know our Team

Zachary Mainen

Principal Investigator

Alireza Tavanfar

Postdoctoral Researcher

Catarina Pimentel

Lab Manager

Cindy Poo

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dario Sarra

2016 INDP PhD Student

Fanny Cazettes

Postdoctoral Researcher

Guido Meijer

Postdoctoral Researcher

Hanne Stensola

Postdoctoral Researcher

Inês Laranjeira

Research Technician

João Morais

Masters Student

José Miguel Teixeira

Research Technician

Julia Huntenburg

Postdoctoral Researcher

Kcénia Bougrova

2017 INDP PhD Student

Margarida Duarte


Margarida Nunes

Lab Administrator

Megha Patwa

Research Technician

Niccolò Bonacchi

Postdoctoral Researcher

Olivier Winter

Senior Technician

Pietro Vertechi

2014 INDP PhD Student

Romain Ligneul

Postdoctoral Researcher

Solène Sautory

2017 INDP PhD Student

Tiago Quendera

External Student

Tor Stensola

Postdoctoral Researcher


Mainen Lab

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