Prof. Dr. Paul Verschure
Director, Synthetic Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems (SPECS) Laboratory, Pompeu Fabra University
Paul Verschure is Catalan Institute of Advanced Studies (ICREA) Research Professor, Director of the neuro-engineering program at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalunya and the Barcelona Institute of Science and technology where he runs the Synthetic Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems (SPECS) Laboratory (specs.upf.edu). He is founder/CEO of Eodyne Systems S.L. (Eodyne.com), which is commercializing a novel science grounded neurorehabilitation and cultural heritage technologies. Paul is founder/Chairman of the Future Memory Foundation (futurememoryfoundation.org) which aims at supporting the development of new tools and paradigms for the conservation, presentation, and education of the history of the Holocaust and Nazi crimes.
He received his MA and Ph.D. in Psychology, and Paul's scientific aim is to find a unified theory of mind and brain using synthetic methods and to apply it to the quality of life enhancing technologies. His theory of mind and brain, Distributed Adaptive Control, has shed light on the function of a number of brain structures, used to control advanced mobile and humanoid robotic systems and has laid the foundation for a novel neurorehabilitation approach called the Rehabilitation Gaming System (http://specs.upf.edu/research_in_neurorehabilitation). Paul explores new methods for the simulation, visualization, and exploration of complex data to support his DAC theory and advance clinical diagnostics and intervention in neuropathologies such as stroke and epilepsy (brainx3.com). Complementary to his science, Paul has developed and deployed over 25 art installations (http://specs.upf.edu/installations). These include the biomimetic mixed reality space Ada experienced by over half a million visitors (2002) and more recently three virtual/augmented reality educational installations and applications for the Memorial Site Bergen-Belsen (2012 - ) which is now generalized to other sites across Europe.
Paul manages a multidisciplinary team of 30 researchers (specs.upf.edu) with whom he has published over 300 articles in leading journals and conferences in a range of disciplines. Paul collaborates with a wide network of international researchers. He has represented Switzerland at the Global Science Forum of the OECD, is chair of the annual Barcelona Cognition, Brain, and Technology summer school and co-chair of the annual Convergent Science Network’s conference Living Machines. Paul also hosts a podcast (csnetwork.eu/talks/podcast). He is the founder and academic director of the Interdisciplinary Master programme Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media at University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.