We study intelligent systems.

Our goal is to identify the general principles of brain function that support intelligent behaviour and to implement them in machines.

Specifically, we focus on how the brain constructs a representation of the environment: How is this representation learned? How is it encoded in the activity of neural networks? How is it used to control adaptive behaviour?

The projects, strategies, and goals of the lab are summarized in the following.



What is the role of mammalian cortex? Evolution clearly suggests that this area of the brain is important for intelligent behaviour, but what exactly does it do?

The Kampff Lab develops new assays to identify, characterize, and classify behaviours that require cortex. These assays introduce controlled complexity into an environment in order to recreate challenges encountered in the natural world, challenges that nervous systems have specifically evolved to deal with.

Our teleology projects provide the conceptual foundation for the lab's research; we believe that it will be much easier to understand how cortex works when we have a better idea about what it does.

     What does the cortex do?

     What does the cortex do?

    How does the cortex work?

    How does the cortex work?


The Kampff Lab also develops the tools required to understand how cortex functions; tools that allow us to monitor and manipulate cortical activity at a network scale.

We are now testing novel devices for simultaneously recording from large populations of neurons throughout the brain. These devices are built with modern techniques for microfabrication (CMOS) and have the potential to record the electrical activity of thousands of individual neurons simultaneously. The first devices, developed by the EU funded NeuroSeeker consortium, will be available at the end of 2015.

The data from these (and other) new devices will be made available here.




Open Data, Tools and Science

All of the Kampff Lab's data and software is available upon request, and that which is of most use to the community is already hosted and actively curated on this website (see Datasets and Tools). We believe that the best way to make progress in understanding the brain is to involve as many brains as possible. 

In the future, we will explore new ways for anyone interested in the questions and techniques of the Kampff Lab to directly participate in our research...stay tuned!

Training and Mentoring

We are an academic lab, and although we tend to emphasize our research strategy and contributions, one of our major roles is to support the intellectual and professional development of lab members, colleagues, and peers. The Kampff Lab is committed to helping all its affiliates pursue the next step in their career...be it in academia, industry, art, or education.



The Kampff Lab is always looking for new members. Please contact us for more information.


The Kampff Lab is located here:

The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre @ UCL

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