Research Abstract

One of the most distinctive features of natural intelligence compared to AI is its extraordinary versatility. What allows animals to learn quickly and flexibly, and continually adapt their skills to changing environments and conditions? My group develops theoretical and computational approaches to answer different instances of this question. Areas of focus in the lab include:

Statistical and biophysical models of perceptual learning. Context has a powerful effect on the neural representation of sensory inputs.... read more

Selected Publications

  • Tavoni, G., Kersen, D., & Balasubramanian, V. (2020). Cortical feedback and gating in olfactory pattern completion and separation. BioRxiv:10.1101/2020.11.05.370494.
  • Tavoni, G., Doi, T., Pizzica, C., Balasubramanian, V., & Gold, J. I. (2019). The complexity dividend: when sophisticated inference matters. BioRxiv:10.1101/563346.
  • Tavoni, G., Balasubramanian, V., & Gold, J. I. (2019). What is optimal in optimal inference? Current Opinion in Behavioural Sciences, 29, 117-126.
  • Tavoni, G., Ferrari, U., Battaglia, F. P., Cocco, S., & Monasson, R. (2017). Functional coupling networks inferred from prefrontal cortex activity show experience-related effective plasticity. Network Neuroscience, 1 (3), 275-301.
  • Cocco, S., Monasson, R., Posani, L., & Tavoni, G. (2017). Functional networks from inverse modeling of neural population activity. Current Opinion in Systems Biology, 3, 103-110.
  • Tavoni, G., Cocco, S., & Monasson, R. (2016). Neural assemblies revealed by inferred connectivity-based models of prefrontal cortex recordings. Journal of Computational Neuroscience, 41 (3), 269-293.

Gaia Tavoni, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neuroscience

Washington University
School of Medicine
Campus Box 8108
East McDonnell Medical Sciences, 312B
St. Louis, MO 63110

Other Information

2010, BS in Physical Engineering, Polytechnic University of Turin

2012, International MS in Physics of Complex Systems, International university consortium (Polytechnic University of Turin, International School for Advanced Studies and International Centre for Theoretical Physics of Trieste, Universities Pierre & Marie Curie, Paris Diderot, Paris-Sud and École Normale Supérieure at Cachan)

2015, PhD in Physics, École Normale Supérieure (Paris), Laboratories of Statistical and Theoretical Physics

2020, Post-doc in Theoretical Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania, Computational Neuroscience Initiative

Selected Honors
2017, Swartz Foundation Fellowship Award for Theory in Neuroscience

2015, Computational Neuroscience Initiative Postdoctoral Fellowship

2010, admitted to the Alta Scuola Politecnica (declined)