It is the essence of certainty to be established only with reservations”.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phénoménologie de la perception (1945)

We are an interdisciplinary research team led by Dr Flavia Mancini, at Computational and Biological Learning (CBL), Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge.

Our body is exposed to a myriad of stressful events and dangers in our lifetime. Sometimes it copes well with them, sometimes it doesn’t. But why?

We aim to answer this question by studying the neural and computational processes involved in body homeostasis and defence from aversive states, from autonomous control to high-order decision making. We develop and use a mix of computational methods from machine learning, control theory, dynamical systems. We also use a range of neural imaging techniques in humans (brain and spinal fMRI, fNIRS, EEG).

Our work has broad implications for clinical neuroscience and psychiatry. Some of our research is specifically relevant to chronic pain, which affects 1 in 5 people and is the leading cause of disability in the world.