Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, Institute of Neurology, UCL
Professor Friston is a neuroscientist and authority on brain imaging. He invented statistical parametric mapping: SPM is an international standard for analysing imaging data and rests on the general linear model and random field theory (developed with Keith Worsley). In 1994, his group developed voxel-based morphometry. VBM detects differences in neuroanatomy and is used clinically and as a surrogate in genetic studies. These technical contributions were motivated by schizophrenia research and theoretical studies of value-learning (with Gerry Edelman). In 1995 this work was formulated as the disconnection hypothesis of schizophrenia (with Chris Frith). In 2003, he invented dynamic causal modelling (DCM), which is used to infer the architecture of distributed systems like the brain. Mathematical contributions include variational (generalised) filtering and dynamic expectation maximization (DEM) for Bayesian model inversion and time-series analysis. Friston currently works on models of functional integration in the human brain and the principles that underlie neuronal interactions. His main contribution to theoretical neurobiology is a free-energy principle for action and perception (active inference). Friston received the first Young Investigators Award in Human Brain Mapping (1996) and was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (1999) in recognition of contributions to the bio-medical sciences. In 2000 he was President of the international Organization of Human Brain Mapping. In 2003 he was awarded the Minerva Golden Brain Award and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2006. In 2008 he received a Medal, Collège de France and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of York in 2011. He became of Fellow of the Society of Biology in 2012.
Dr Penny is head of the Methods group and Reader in Neuroscience at the Wellcome Trust Centre and a world expert in Bayesian Statistics and Brain Dynamics. He has co-authored many of the articles describing the variational Bayesian algorithms used in the Free Energy Principle. In his current research he has developed Dynamic Causal Modelling for phase coupling, a methodology to probe phase synchrony among brain regions and how it arises during cognitive processes. Will is a co-author of SPM.
Dr Daunizeau is a Principle Investigator at the ICM and an honorary Research Fellow at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging. Jean’s work spans dynamical system analysis, neuroimaging methodological development and empirical neuroscience, investigating bayesian decision theory from the constructs of Free Energy minimisation. He has worked with Karl to develop stochastic extensions to model inference. Jean is a co-author of SPM.
Dr Kiebel heads the “Modelling of dynamic perception and action” group at the MPI in Leipzig. In his current work he examines cortical hierarchies and how they may implement prescribed features from the Free Energy Principle. His theoretical work has examined perception using heteroclinic cycles to mimic Birdsong. He has also developed Dynamic casual modelling approaches to examine brain connectivity in neural circuits. Stefan is a co-author of SPM.
Mr Bastos is a PhD candidate at the Ernst Strüngmann Institute supervised by Professor Pascal Fries. Andre has collaborated with Karl to review the anatomical evidence for a canonical microcircuit. In his work he examines the electrophysiological correlates of connectivity profiles using grid-based local field potentials. He has co-authored a recent article outlining how dynamic causal models can be applied to complex spectral data.
Dr Moran is a senior fellow at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging. She pioneers ‘mathematical microscopes’ using dynamic causal modelling and Bayesian statistics to probe how certain chemicals modulate brain connectivity. She employs these methods in empirical neuropharmacological studies to examine their algorithmic role in hierarchical inference under the Free Energy Principle. Rosalyn is a co-author of SPM.
Ms Brown is a clinician and PhD student with Karl Friston. Her work has examined attention under the Free Energy Principle using EEG. She has developed generative models of visual illusions; the cornsweet paradigm and tested the neurobiological predictions from the theory. Her research has been published in recent articles in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience and Frontiers in Human Psychology.
Dr Adams is a neuropsychiatrist currently undertaking a PhD with Karl Friston. His undergraduate degree was at Cambridge University, and his clinical training at UCL. He is interested in using free energy-based predictive coding models to explain failures of inference in two psychopathologies: psychosis and medically unexplained (‘psychogenic’) symptoms. He has authored a recent paper examining the anatomical connectivity responsible for active inference in motor outputs.
Dr Kilner is a Principle Investigator at the Sobell Dept, where his research focuses on human social interaction. Little is known about the neural basis of the ability to 'read' the intentions of others. Current projects of his group investigate how someone elses’ intentions can be inferred by the mirror neuron system by considering the system within a framework that appeals to the Free Energy Principle. James is a co-author of SPM.
Dr Bestmann is a Principle Investigator at the Sobell Dept, where his research focuses on human decision and action selection. His group’s current research focuses on how the value of actions, the time of occurrence of a stimulus, or the emotional valence of events are ultimately transformed into actions. He has co-authored a recent paper examining Free Energy predictions on the role of dopamine in motor sequence learning.
Professor Stephan heads the Translational Neuromodeling Unit at the ETH and Zurich University and is an Honorary Principal at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging. Following a doctoral degree in medicine and a Ph.D. in neuroinformatics, he has been working on mathematical models for inferring subject-specific mechanisms of brain disease from non-invasive measures of behaviour and neuronal activity. His work combines advanced methods with an empirical program that examines the neurobiological implementation of the Free Energy Principle. Klaas is a co-author of SPM.
Professor Fletcher is the Bernard Wolfe Professor of Health Neuroscience at Cambridge University. Paul’s research focuses on psychosis and aims to understand the brain basis for how associations are made and how we come to think of particular environmental stimuli as important. This work speaks to predictive coding theories of Brain function. Using neuroimaging and pharmacological experiments together with studies with patients his group explores the extent to which such symptoms may be related to deficits in basic learning processes. Paul is a psychiatrist and former Editor-in-Chief of Neuroimage.
Professor Hopkins is a philosopher who published widely on psychoanalysis in philosophical and other leading journals. He is Visiting Professor at University College London, and Reader (Emeritus) in Philosophy at King’s College London. He is an editor of Mind. His current research interests include issues in psychoanalysis such as the death drive, Freud and Darwin, representation, and problems of consciousness.