My previous areas of research were in the fields of Brain Evolution and Computational Neuroscience at Dr Suzana Herculano-Houzel Comparative Neuroanatomy Laboratory. I was particularly interested the cellular scaling rules of the brains of mammals, especially those of the Artiodactyla order, were investigated using the Isotropic Fractionator, an inexpensive method to quantify total numbers of neuronal and non-neuronal cells in the brain or any dissectable regions thereof. That informs us about the mechanisms of brain evolution and how minds are “implemented”. It will give us clues to how much redundancy is there in the system, how integrated it is, how modular it is. From the work of the lab in the last few years, we know quite a bit already about variation in brain composition: interspecific and intraspecific, in adults and during development, in mammals and birds.
With the basic science on my core background, I now explore the wonders of applied and even more interdisciplinary research, at the University of Reading, under the supervision of Professor Slawomir Nasuto. The Brain Embodiment Laboratory is a multidisciplinary and multicultural place by its nature, and here I am developing a project that will explore the ambitious animat platform as an in vitro model of stem cell repair in stroke patients.
The animat model consists, briefly, of a neuronal culture grown over a micro-electrode array. This culture is, then, linked to a mobile robotic device that acts as its body. The major advantage here is the possibility of witness the recovery of function after a lesion in real-time since the platform provides the link between a brain and its behaviour without the need for an in vivo model.
In addition, I am currently investigating with Dr Bruno Mota (Physics Institute/UFRJ) the post-natal neuronal death of rodent brains with a computational model for emergent order in neuronal networks through selective neuronal and synaptic death.