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Short biography [CV]

From April 2020 to September 2021, Alberto Arturo Vergani is a postdoctoral researcher in computational neuroscience working on modelling visual computation principles at NeOpto Team (lead by Frédéric Chavane) Institute de Neuroscience de la Timone (INT), Aix Marseille University, France.

This project is funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR) under the ANR Horizontal V1 grant (coordinator Y. Frégnac) which aims at understanding the emergence of sensory predictions linking local shape attributes (orientation, contour) to global indices of movement (direction, speed, trajectory) at the earliest stage of cortical processing (primary visual cortex, i.e. V1). The cross-talk between physiological and theoretical approaches is fostered by the close collaboration with the teams of Frédéric Chavane at INT and Yves Frégnac at UNIC. The theoretical work is performed in close collaboration with Lyle Muller (Western U) and Jan Antolik (Prague). This project is primarily hosted at the Institut de Neurosciences de la Timone and the Vergani's research advisor is Laurent Perrinet.

From January 2019 to March 2020, Vergani was a postdoctoral researcher in neuromorphic computing at Middlesex University in London. He works in the NEAL project (Neuromorphic Agents that Learn), headed by Prof. Chris Huyck, that is part of the Human Brain Project(SP9 Neuromorphic Subproject).

The main tasks were to develop agents for virtual environments implemented in simulated and emulated spiking neurons. In particular, he was working on designing full agents (e.g., cell assembly bot (CABOT)), cognitive components (e.g., associative memories, cognitive maps, rule-based systems, planners, parsers, language generators), and cognitive patterns (e.g., neural finite state machine and timer). He is also exploring the thermodynamics of stationary attractor by using Hopfield neuronal network.

The systems were developed in the Python Neural Net middleware (PyNN), with the simulated backend in NEST, whereas emulated neurons use sPyNNaker and BrainScaleS neuromorphic hardware. The project made use of both the HBP neurorobotics platform and HBP neuromorphic platform.

In 2018, he achieved the PhD in Computer Science and Computational Mathematics (XXXI cycle) as ESR at CRAIIM, Centre for Research in Image Analysis and Medical Informatics, headed by Prof.ssa Elisabetta Binaghi, at University of Insubria, Dipartment of Theoretical and Applied Science, Varese, Italy, in collaboration with the Medical Physics Unit, the Neurosurgery Unit and the Functional Neuroradiology Unit, at Hospital of Varese (Circolo e Fondazione Macchi).

His PhD research concerned:

  1. the design of a new hybrid brain functional atlas;
  2. the applications of computational intelligence methodologies in the context of functional neuroimaging, i.e., fMRI, where he
    1. formalized a new soft clustering evaluation index;
    2. conceptualized the crossed clustering framework (namely, the χ (chi) clustering) for spatio-temporal data;
  3. the solution of the clustering problem as an ill-posed problem through the adoption of numerical techniques.

In 2014, he graduated (MSc) in Cognitive Science at University of Milan with Prof.ssa Folgieri and Prof. Gianfranco Prini writing a thesis on both the analysis of the electrophisiologic signals recorded by the brain-computer-interfaces and on the history of computing (e.g., from Pascal, Leibniz and Babbage machines to high performance computing and neuromorphic hardwares)

In 2010, he graduated (BSc) in Psychology (Neuroscience curriculum) at the Nuclear Medicine Unit of Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan with Dr.ssa Perani, working on a thesis about the neuro-cognitive reserve hypothesis in neurology.

Integrated to his education, Alberto attended several PRACE courses on high performance computing and courses on the relations between brain, mind and computer science offered by the Human Brain Project (HBP) and by the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF). Before to start the PhD, he was a postgraduated student at International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy.


  • PhD in Computer Science and Mathematics, University of Insubria, Varese, IT (2018)

    Thesis: Contributions in computational intelligence with results in functional neuroimaging

    Supervisor: Prof.ssa Elisabetta Binaghi

  • MSc in Cognitive Science, University of Milan, IT (2014)

    Thesis: Computational science and emergent neuroinformatics technologies

    Supervisors: Prof.ssa Raffaella Folgieri, Co-Supervisor: Prof. Gianfranco Prini

  • BSc in Psychology, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, IT (2011)

    Thesis: The reserve of cognitive functions in dementia

    Supervisor: Prof.ssa Daniela Perani

  • Diploma in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering, Busto Arsizio, IT (2007)

    Project: Design and assembly of a thermostatic system

    Supervisors: Prof. Bau and Prof. Maini

Visiting Research Periods

  • Kirchhoff-Institut für Physik, Heidelberg University, DE (May 2019)
  • Tutor: Prof. Sebastian Smith

  • Department of Computer Science, Middlesex University, London, UK (Spring 2018)
  • Tutor: Prof. Chris Huyck
    • Induction on the Neuromorphic Computing Platform of Human Brain Project (HBP)
    • Modeling of neurocognitive agents by using cell assemblies theory with PyNN, Nest and sPyNNaker

  • Institute of Biophysics, CNR, Palermo, IT (Fall 2017)
  • Tutor: Prof. Michele Migliore
    • Induction on the Brain Simulation Platform of Human Brain Project (HBP)
    • Modeling cellular level model of the hippocampus with NEURON and python.

Continuative Training

Schools, courses, workshops and technical or research seminars on Scientific Computing and Cognitive Science(s)

  1. School (2021/09/06-17) Summer School of Marseille Imaging Institute
  2. Course (2021/07/01-02) Glial cells, XV European Meeting on Glial Cells, online
  3. School (2021/07/05-07) Physiology and Biophysics, University of Pavia, Online
  4. Workshop (2021/06/10) Computational Neuroscience with EBRAINS, EITN
  5. Workshop (2021/05/5-6) Energy and entropy concepts to characterize and understand brain activity, EITN
  6. Workshop (2021/03/10) Multisite recordings and distributed representations in the macaque brain, EITN
  7. Tech. sem. (19/02/2021) Extracellular electrophysiological recordings, INT, Marseille, FR
  8. Tech. sem. (12/02/2021) Intracellular electrophysiological recordings, INT, Marseille, FR
  9. Workshop (04/02/2021) Whole-brain simulations of the monkey brain, EITN, Paris, FR
  10. Tech. sem. (29/01/2021) Tensor Network for Machine Learning (Rebusseau, UdeM), INT, Marseille, FR
  11. Tech. sem. (22/01/2021) Principles of neuronal activity and excitability, INT, Marseille, FR
  12. Tech. sem. (18/12/2021) Functional MR Imaging, INT, Marseille, FR
  13. Tech. sem. (11/12/2021) Structural MR Imaging, INT, Marseille, FR
  14. Hackaton (02-04/12/2020) Brianhack Marseille, INT, Marseille, FR
  15. Workshop (10-11/01/2020) Modeling Brain Signals, EITN, Paris, France
  16. Workshop (09-13/09/2019) HBP Neuromorphic computing, University of Manchester, UK
  17. BSc class (Fall 2019) History of Science, University of Milan, IT
  18. MSc class (Fall 2019) Moral Philosophy, University of Milan, IT (
  19. MSc class (Fall 2019) Advanced topics in Logics, University of Milan, IT
  20. BSc class (Fall 2019) Theoretical Philosophy, University of Milan, IT
  21. BSc class (Spring 2018) Antropology, University of Insubria, Varese, IT
  22. BSc class (Spring 2018) Pedagogy, University of Insubria, Varese, IT
  23. School (21-25/05/2018) Numerical Methods for Inverse Problems, University of Insubria, Como, Italy
  24. School (17-21/09/2017) Advanced Numerical Techniques, University of Cagliari, IT
  25. Course (31/07 - 04/08, 2017) 8th G-Node Neural Data Analysis, LMU, Munich, DE
  26. School (24-28/07/2017) Applied Harmonic Analysis, University of Genova, IT
  27. School (28/11, 04/12, 2016) HBP Future Neuroscience, Obergurgl, Austria
  28. Workshop (05-09/09/2016) Integrability, Recursion, Geometry and Mechanics, RISM, Varese, IT
  29. School (27-30/09/2016) PRACE HPC 2016, Jhoannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria
  30. Course (20-22/09/2016) Tools for Massive Data Analysis, PRACE, CINECA, Milan, IT
  31. Course (31/08 - 01/09, 2016) Introduction to Neuroinformatics, INCF, Reading, UK
  32. Workshop (20-22/06/2016) Brain, Minds and Machines, MIT/IIT, Sestri Levante, IT
  33. Workshop (11-15/01/2016) HBP Future Computing, Manchester, UK
  34. Course (Fall 2015) Dynamical Systems, Santa Fe Institute, online (fall 2015)
  35. Course (29/06-01/07, 2015) Paradigms for Hybrid Architectures, PRACE, CINECA, Bologna, IT
  36. School (21/05-19/06, 2015) Physics of Complex Systems, ICTP, Trieste, Italy
  37. Course (Spring 2015) C++, PRACE, CINECA, Milan, IT
  38. Course (Spring 2015) Complexity, Santa Fe Institute, online
  39. Course (13-18/02/2015) Python, PRACE, CINECA, Milan, Italy
  40. Course (Winter 2015) HPC Simulation, PRACE, BSC, Barcelona, SP
  41. Course (Winter 2015) Fortran, PRACE, CINECA, Rome, IT
  42. Course (Fall 2014) CUDA and GPGPU, PRACE, CINECA, Milan, Italy
  43. School (13-17/10/2014) Scientific Visualization, PRACE, CINECA, Bologna, IT
  44. School (08-19/09/2014) Parallel Computing, PRACE, CINECA, Milan, IT