Giancarlo La Camera
physics   -   Neuroscience
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My interests are in Cognitive Neuroscience. My background is in Physics and Computational Neuroscience.

For a thesis towards a Laurea in Physics (eq. to a Master Sci.) at the University of Rome "La Sapienza", I studied with Daniel Amit on models of working memory based on persistent activitiy in populations of spiking neurons, using the tools of mean field theory.

I then did a Ph.D. in Neurobiology at the University of Bern with Walter Senn and Stefano Fusi. Together with Alex Rauch, we provided the first experimental demonstration that neocortical neurons respond as integrate-and-fire neurons to "in vivo-like" input current, a central tenet of the theory developed in Rome.

After my Ph.D. I moved to the NIH in Bethesda, US, to work with Barry Richmond. We demostrated the violation of the principle of invariance in monkeys performing visually-cued reinforcement schedules, a result at variance with standard theories of Reinforcement Learning. We introduced and studied a model which accounts for the observed behavior. I then started my own experimental investigation on rapid learning and abstract concept formation in monkeys, showing that monkeys can spontaneously learn to perform a delayed-matching to sample in ~3 days as opposed to the months required in more traditional implementation of such a task.

In 2008 I moved back to the University of Bern to work with Walter Senn on the origin of this fast learning in the context of Reinforcement Learning in populations of spiking neurons.

Degree Ph.D.
Occupation Wissenschaftl. Mitarbeiter
Current institution Institute of Physiology, University of Bern
Address Giancarlo La Camera
Buehlplatz 5
3012 Bern
ScienXe address
Phone ++41 31 631 3509
Fax ++41 31 631 4611