Palestra “The International Brain Laboratory: ​A distributed network for reproducible neuroscience” – Niccolò Bonacchi

21 Junho 2023

Sala de Atos

Ispa – Instituto Universitário

Encerra-se o Ciclo de Conferências | As novas profissões em Ciências Cognitivas e do Comportamento com a palestra The International Brain Laboratory: ​A distributed network for reproducible neuroscience de Niccolò Bonacchi.

A sessão será transmitida, também, online – por Zoom.


The International Brain Laboratory (IBL) is a collaborative scientific project that aims to understand how the brain generates behavior. It is a multinational and multidisciplinary initiative that brings together neuroscientists from different research institutions around the world. The IBL was established with the goal of studying the neural basis of decision-making processes and related behaviors in animals. The project focuses primarily on studying the brains of mice, which serve as model organisms for understanding the basic principles of brain function. The laboratory conducts large-scale experiments that involve recording neural activity from multiple brain regions simultaneously while animals perform the same behavioral task. By integrating data from different labs and combining expertise in different areas of neuroscience, the IBL aims to uncover the underlying mechanisms of brain function and behavior. The IBL not only focuses on generating large datasets but also emphasizes open science and data sharing. The project promotes transparency and collaboration by making its data, methods, and analyses freely available to the scientific community. This approach allows researchers from different backgrounds to access and analyze the data, accelerating scientific progress and fostering new discoveries in the field of neuroscience. The International Brain Laboratory represents a significant effort to advance our understanding of the brain and has the potential to contribute to various fields, including neuroscience, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence.


Niccolò Bonacchi is a visiting scientist at Champalimaud Research and an assistant professor at ISPA – Instituto Universitário where he teaches graduate-level courses in experimental programming and neurobiology. He holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the Nova University of Lisbon (UNL) and an MSc in Psychobiology from Ispa – Instituto Universitário in Lisbon, Portugal. His doctoral work at the Champalimaud Center for the Unknown (CCU) examined how brains represent spatial objectives, olfactory cues, the results they anticipate, and how these expectations affect both behavior and brain function. During his Ph.D., he also contributed to the development of the Bonsai-RX programming language, which is now utilized in research laboratories all around the world. His work at the International Brain Laboratory (IBL) as Data Architect focused, among other things, on the development of the experimental data acquisition system and procedures. He recently moved on to another international collaboration researching consciousness in humans, the COGITATE consortium. His work at the COGITATE Consortium focuses on the development of an experimental metadata ontology used to describe cognitive and systems neuroscience experiments, and on data curation and data release procedures that enable FAIR data sharing practices. Niccolò Bonacchi is interested in bridging the gap between mechanistic explanations of brain processes and the emergent cognitive constructs that underpin them. To do this, he has concentrated his efforts on developing ever more precise and accurate approaches to behavioral quantification and data analysis, which he believes are critical for contextualizing and interpreting any type of (neuro)physiological measurements in an experimentall setting. He is also enthusiastic about the open movement in its various forms, particularly in regard to open science and its potential to improve experimental reproducibility.

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