Our research questions are centred on a basic characteristic of human brains: variability in their behaviour and their underlying meaning for cognitive mechanisms. Such variability is emerging as a key ingredient in understanding biological principles (Faisal, Selen & Wolpert, 2008, Nature Rev Neurosci) and yet lacks adequate quantitative and computational methods for description and analysis. Crucially, we find that biological and behavioural variability contains important information that our brain and our technology can make us of (instead of just averaging it away): Using advanced body sensor networks, we measured eye-movements, full-body and hand kinematics of humans living in a studio flat and are going to present some insightful results on motor control and visual attention that suggest that the control of behaviour "in-the-wild" is predictably different ways than what we measure "in-the-lab". The results have implications for robotics, prosthetics and neuroscience.
Biography: Aldo read Computer Science and Physics in Germany, where he wrote his Diplomarbeit (M.Sc. thesis) in non-linear dynamical systems and neural networks (with Helge Ritter). He moved on to study Biology at Cambridge University (Emmanuel College) and wrote his M.Phil. thesis on the electrophysiological and behavioural study of a complex motor behaviour in freely moving insects with Tom Matheson in the group of Malcolm Burrow FRS. For his Ph.D. he joined Simon Laughlin FRS group at the Zoology Department in Cambridge investigating the biophysical sources of neuronal variability. He was elected a Junior Research Fellow at Cambridge University (Wolfson College) and joined the Computational & Biological Learning Group(Engineering Department) to work with Daniel Wolpert FRS on human sensorimotor control. Between and after his studies he gained insights into strategic mangement consulting with McKinsey & Co. and as a "quant" with the investment bank Credit Suisse. In winter 2009 Aldo setup the Brain & Behaviour Lab at Imperial College to pursue a research program that aims at understanding the brain with principles from engineering which often immediately translates into direct technological applications for patients and society.
Aldo received a number of awards and distinctions, including being scholar of the German National Merit Foundation (Studienstiftung des Deutsche Volkes;Undergraduate and PhD training), a Fellow of the Böhringer-Ingelheim Foundation for Basic Biomedical Research and elected as a Junior Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge (Wolfson College).