We know the pieces fit

News


Our work was featured in the cover of PRL

Our work on the modeling of global conscious states using generative autoencoders ("Generative embeddings of brain collective dynamics using variational autoencoders", Perl et al.) was featured in the cover of the journal Physical Review Letters

First naturalistic study of the neurocience of psychedelic effects published

Our work "Neural and subjective effects of inhaled DMT in natural settings" was accepted for publication in Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Natural language processing reveals speech disorganization under LSD

Our manuscript "The entropic tongue: Disorganization of natural language under LSD" was just accepted for publication in Consciousness and Cognition.

Grant to study the long-term effects of COVID-19 on mental health using big data

We lead a large collaborative grant to understand how isolation can impact on several behavioral and psychological measures in the long-term.

COCUCO is devoted to the quantitative analysis of high-throughput field and naturalistic studies of human consciousness and cognition.

Research


We are interested in the neural bases of human consciousness and cognition. Most of our current knowledge on these topics stems from carefully controlled laboratory experiments conducted in WEIRD ("western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic") volunteers, the vast majority during ordinary wakefulness. These experiments are useful to unveil neural mechanisms that support cognitive function during very special conditions, but their results are of difficult extrapolation to the real world where humans live and interact. Equally difficult is to understand the nuances in the subjective experience and cognitive function of healthy individuals, or those who experiment non-ordinary states of consciousness as a consequence of neuropsychiatric diseases or pharmacological stimulation.

Our research program is concerned with overcoming these limitations by adopting non-traditional approaches beyond the classical setting of laboratory experiments, with the objective of gaining an ampler knowledge on the relationship between the human mind, and the cultures and societies emerging from it.

Some of our projects and research methods are the following:

  • We process and analyze large volumes of Internet data containing behavioral information and subjective reports of different experiences. Applying natural language process (NLP) methods we quantify different states of consciousness using information obtained in natural settings and by unconstrained reports
  • We take the lab to the field, using state of the art mobile EEG technology (MBT 24 channel Smarting and 8 channel Neuroelectrics EEGs) to investigate altered states of consciousness in natural settings. Recently we have published the first study of the neural and psycholgical correlates of DMT consumption in urban and ceremonial settings
  • We conduct electrophysiological experiments of cognition and behavior (hd-EEG, brain stimulation, eye tracking, virtual reality) in comfortable settings while subjects perform natural tasks.
  • Our lab contains facilities for whole-night sleep recordings with MRI-compatible state-of-the-art polysomnography (BrainProducts 32 channel BrainAmp system) as well as several less invasive options for home monitoring (wristbands and portable PSG systems)
  • We integrate different levels of analysis by means of computer simulations, modeling with continuous and discrete dynamical systems and applying concepts and methods from the physics of complex systems
  • Our lab is equipped with several high-performance GPUs (Titan V and dual RTX 3090) for the purpuse of deep learning, in particular, for the construction of deep networks as models of cognitive processing in humans
For our work on the neuroscience, psychology and clinical uses of psychedelic drugs visit our sister laboratory PHALARIS

Interested? We are seeking highly proactive and motivated advanced students of physics, computer science, engineering, biology and psychology students with a strong quantitative background and strong interest in experimental studies of consciousness and cognition

Team


Enzo Tagliazucchi

Lab Director

Carla Pallavicini

Researcher

Yonatan Sanz Perl

Researcher

Laura De La Fuente

PhD student

Camila Sanz

PhD student

Federico Zamberlan

PhD student

Matías Palmucci

PhD student

Federico Cavanna

PhD student

Débora Copa

PhD student

Sofía del Pozo

PhD student

Ignacio Pérez Ipiña

PhD student

Juan Piccinini

PhD student

Alejandro Pardo Pintos

PhD student

Stephanie Muller

PhD student

Nicolás Bruno

PhD student

Outreach


You can find videos of talks and interviews in our YouTube channel, including Enzo's TEDx talk on the use of psychedelics in neuroscience and psychiatry (also see this great overview), and Carla's talk on perception and cannabis strains at ExpoCannabis 2019. We also include interviews with Futurock, Aprender de grandes, and academic presentations.

Our work has been covered by several national and international media, including the following:


We have also published many articles for the general audience, mostly due to the platform of El Gato y la Caja:


OutreachOutreach

Papers + data


Our work has been featured in venues such as Neuron, PNAS, Science Advances, Nature Communications, Current Biology, Physical Review Letters, among others.

For a full lists of publications see Google Scholar, and for pre-prints check arXiv, biorXiv and medRxiv


Here we list only recent publications with data or code available for download:


Neural and subjective effects of inhaled DMT in natural settings. Pallavicini, C., Cavanna, F., Zamberlan, F., de la Fuente, L. A., Arias, M., Romero, M. C., ... & Tagliazucchi, E.  Journal of Psychopharmacology     [DATA]

Modeling the relationship between regional activation and functional connectivity during wakefulness and sleep. Ipiña, I. P., Perl, Y. S., Kringelbach, M. L., Kehoe, P. D., Deco, G., Laufs, H., & Tagliazucchi, E.  Neuroimage     [CODE]

 The avalanche-like behaviour of large-scale hemodynamic activity from wakefulness to deep sleep. Bocaccio, H., Pallavicini, C., Castro, M. N., Sánchez, S. M., De Pino G., Laufs, H., Villarreal, M. F., Tagliazucchi, E. . Journal of the Royal Society Interface     [DATA]  [CODE]

Relationship among subjective responses, flavor, and chemical composition across more than 800 commercial cannabis varieties. Alethia de la Fuente, Federico Zamberlan, Andrés Sánchez Ferrán, Facundo Carrillo, Enzo Tagliazucchi, Carla Pallavicini. Journal of Cannabis Research     [DATA]


Our laboratory depends from the Physics Department of the University of Buenos Aires and the Buenos Aires Physics Institute (CONICET)