Dr. Paul F.M.J. Verschure (1962) is a research professor with the Catalan Institute of Advanced Studies (ICREA) and director of the laboratory of Synthetic Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. He received both his Ma. and PhD in psychology and pursued his research at different leading institutes: the Neurosciences Institute and The Salk Institute, both in San Diego, the University of Amsterdam, University of Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology-ETH and currently with ICREA and Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain.
His scientific aim is to find a unified theory of mind, brain and body through the use of synthetic methods and to apply such a theory to the development of novel technologies and quality of life enhancing applications.
He is a consultant for the European Commission regarding the integration of Neuroinformatics in their 5th, 6th, 7th frame work programs; and also a referee for Science, Nature, Proceedings Royal Society London, Trends in Neuroscience, IEEE neural networks, Public Library of Science: Computational Biology and PLoS one among other journals.
Paul has organized his research group, SPECS, along three dimensions:
1) computational models of neuronal mechanisms underlying perception, cognition, emotion and behaviour, including: the cerebellum and motor learning, the hippocampus, ventral striatum and prefrontal cortex in decision making and the amygdala and cortex in emotional learning.
2) robotics and avatars as artificial bodies for neuronal models.
3) the application of the technologies developed in 2) combined with the theories from 1) to the enhancement of the quality of life.
He has received an Advanced Research Merit by AQU (Agència per la Qualitat Universitària) and has also received an iCub, the European Humanoid robot, as 1 of only 6 labs worldwide to receive one (www.robotcub.org).