Alexandre POUGET - Tokyo College
Tokyo College Professor

Alexandre POUGET

Other Affiliations Geneva University Research interests Cognitive Computational Neuroscience Period of stay May 6, 2023 - June 25, 2023
01 Description of Research

The goal of our research is to uncover general principles of representation and computation in neural circuits. Most computations of interest, such as recognizing an object or making a decision, are performed in the presence of high uncertainty. Recent behavioral work in humans and animals has shown that the nervous system handles this uncertainty near optimally, which is to say that the brain represents probability distributions over variables of interest and combine these distributions according to the laws of statistical inference. Our current work focuses on understanding how these inferences are performed at the neuronal level using a type of neural code known as population code. We apply our theory to a variety of domains, including decision making, multisensory integration, number representation, early visual processing and perceptual learning.

02 Short Biography

1985-1989 Student at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris
1987 B.A., Cellular Biology. University Paris VI, France
1988 M.S., Neuroscience. University Paris VI, France
1994 Ph.D. Biology. University of California, San Diego
1994-1996 Post-Doctorate Fellow. University of California, Los Angeles
1996-1998 Assistant Professor. Georgetown University
1999-2011 Associate/full Professor. Brain and Cognitive Science Dept. University of Rochester
2011-Present Professeur Ordinaire (Full). Département de Neuroscience. Université de Genève. Suisse.

03 Publications and Other Research Activities

Selected publications

Cai, R.H., Pouget, A., Schlag-Rey, M. and Schlag, J. Perceived geometrical relationships affected by eye
movement signals. Nature. 386:601-603. 1997.

Deneve, S., Latham, P.E. and Pouget, A. Efficient computation and cue integration with noisy population
codes. Nature Neuroscience. 4(8):826-831. 2001.

Ma, W.J., Beck, J., Latham, P.E. and Pouget, A. Bayesian inference with probabilistic population codes.
Nature Neuroscience. 9(11), 1432-1438. 2006

Moreno-Bote, R., Beck, J., Pitkow, X., Kanitscheider, I., Latham, P.E. and Pouget, A. Information-limiting
correlations. Nature Neuroscience. 17(10):1410-7. 2014.

Tajima, S., Drugowitsch, J., Patel, N., and Pouget, A. Optimal policy for multi-alternative decisions
Nature Neuroscience. 2019 Aug 5. doi: 10.1038/s41593-019-0453-9.

Aitchinson, S., Jegminat J. Mendez, J., Pfister, J.P., Pouget, A., and Latham P. Synaptic plasticity as
probabilistic inference. Nature Neuroscience. 2021 Mar 11. doi: 10.1038/s41593-021-00809-5.

04 Honors and Awards

1985-1990 Fellowship from the Ecole Normale Supérieure.
                    Awarded to the top 20 biology students in France.
1988-1989 Pre-Doctoral Fellowship from the George Lurcy Foundation.
1994-1996 Post-Doctoral Training grant from the McDonnell-Pew Foundation
2000-2002 Research grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
2000-2003 ONR Young Investigator Award
2002 Invited Professor at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Chaire Condorcet). Paris. France.
2007-2008 Invited Professor at the College de France. Paris. France.