Kampff Lab

Research Area

We study how the brain creates intelligence. Specifically, we focus on how the cortex 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 intelligent behaviour?

Research Topics

1) Neuro-teleology

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 Group develops new assays to identify, characterize, and classify behaviours that require cortex. These assays introduce controlled complexity into an environment to recreate challenges encountered in the natural world, the actual challenges that nervous systems evolved to overcome. 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.

An image overlay of a rat playing a videogame

An image overlay of a rat playing a videogame. The game’s goal is to collect spots of light that move throughout and interact with both a physical and virtual environment.

2) Neuro-technology

The Kampff Group 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. 

Recording from a probe developed by the NeuroSeeker project

Recording with a 1400 channel scanning CMOS neural probe developed by the NeuroSeeker project. The raw electrical signal detected by each electrode (row) is displayed as a colour intensity for each 50 microsecond sample (column). This image shows 100 milliseconds of data recorded simultaneously in cortex, hippocampus, and thalamus.

Adam Kampff
Group Leader
George Dimitriadis
Senior Research Fellow
Lorenza Calcaterra
PhD Student
Mayo Faulkner
Visiting PhD Student
Selected publications

A robust role for motor cortex

Lopes G, Nogueira J, Paton JJ, Kampff AR
Published by:
bioRxiv (doi:10.1101/058917)
18 May 2017

T-SNE visualization of large-scale neural recordings

Dimitriadis G, Neto JP, Kampff AR
Published by:
bioRxiv (doi:10.1101/087395)
14 November 2016

Validating silicon polytrodes with paired juxtacellular recordings: method and dataset

Neto JP, Lopes G, Frazão J, Nogueira J, Lacerda P, Baião P, Aarts A, Andrei A, Musa S, Fortunato E, Barquinha P, Kampff AR
Published by:
Journal of Neurophysiology (116(2):892-903) (doi:10.1152/jn.00103.2016)
01 August 2016

Development of social behavior in young zebrafish

Dreosti E, Lopes G, Kampff AR, Wilson SW
Published by:
Frontiers in Neural Circuits (9 (39) (doi: 10.3389/fncir.2015.00039)
18 August 2015

Motor cortex is required for learning but not for executing a motor skill

Kawai R, Markman T, Poddar R, Ko R, Behlum A, Fantaa A, Dhawale A, Kampff AR, Ölveczky BO
Published by:
Neuron (86 (3):800-812) (doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.03.024)
06 May 2015