Mark van Rossum 's Webpage


I have now moved to the University of Nottingham.

This is a very exciting move as I’ll be setting up a new centre for Computational Neuroscience.

Positions will be announced soon (feel free to email me).

You can contact me at: markX.vanrossum -at- (remove the X)

Research Summary 

My research area is computational neuroscience. I use computational and mathematical techniques to understand the working of the brain. I hope that, like in physics, it will be possible to find simple underlying principles of the brain's functioning.
My particular interests are:

  • Synaptic plasticity:  Synaptic plasticity is thought to underly memory formation in the nervous system. I'm researching the computational consequences of realistic, spike timing dependent plasticity rules. In particular, the stability of memory and homeostasis have my current interest.
    One particular project is about synaptic tagging and capture.
  • Noise in neural systems: The nervous system has  extrinsic and intrinsic noise sources. From an engineering point of view this leads to the question, how does the nervous system deal with this noise. It turns out that the noise might be beneficial in some cases. More precisely, noise prevent synchronization (which reduces information content) and allows for fast and accurate propagation of signals.
  • The early visual system and neural coding: Models of the visual cortex leading us towards the principles of neural computation and  efficient hardware implementations.
Former labs


Here you find the official webpages of the Neural Computation (NC) course (these pages are local access only).
The Lecture notes for Neural Computation are available here to all.

New postdocs and students

I'm always interested in new PhD students with a solid quantitative background interested in the brain.
Here is a brief FAQ about switching to neural computation from physics or math (based on own experiences).
Please check the follow links for general policies and funding: Informatics , ANC.

Currently I have no openings for postdoc. A number of self-funded possiblities exist:
- Many funding councils (MRC, EPSRC) have options for fellowships, in particular for people wanting to shift careers.
I'm happy to sponsor applications for such fellowships and I have been successful doing so.



    Sander Keemink


Jennifer Sanger
Wioleta Kijewska
Nathalie Dupuy
Scott Lowe

Former members

Matthijs van der Meer (PhD 2007) worked on the head-direction system in rats (supervision with Emma Wood); now assistant professor.

Andrea Greve (PhD 2008) worked on ERPs and models related to memory and familiarity (supervision with David Donaldson); now research fellow at Wales Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience in Cardiff.
Guy Billings (PhD 2008) worked on STDP and stability; worked on cerebellum with Angus Silver at UCL.
Tim O'Leary (PhD 2009) worked on homeostasis (supervision with David Wyllie); now postdoc with Eve Marder, Brandeis.
Adam Barrett (postdoc 2007-2008) now research fellow in Sussex
Jesus Cortes (postdoc 2005-2008) Now professor at Ikerbasque
Steve Huang (PhD 2010) worked on head direction cells (supervision with Emma Wood).
Lawrence York (PhD 2011) worked on contrast dependent latencies (supervision with Mike Oram), worked with Zhiaoping Li (UCL)
Judith Law (postdoc 2010) worked on contextual interaction and synaptic depression.
Cian O'Donnell (PhD 2012) worked on stochastic ion channels, now postdoc with Terry Sejnowski
David Acunzo (PhD 2012) worked on EP, emotion and data analysis, now at Ecole des Mines, Paris
Paolo Puggioni (PhD 2014)
Rui Costa (PhD 2015) Postdoc with Tim Vogels
Lukas Solanka (PhD 2015) Seebyte Edinburgh
Miha Pelko (PhD expected 2015)
Angus Chadwick (PhD 2016) Postdoc at Gatsby

Google scholar (most up to date)

Publications by year

Publications by topic

Computer code:

Code of finished projects can be found here. However, the code will be messy and largely uncommented.

Computer tips