Dr Ben Seymour, Computational and Biological Learning Lab, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1PZ


Center for Information and Neural Networks, National Institute for Information and Communications Technology (NICT), 1-3 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.

bjs49 AT / seymour AT

F1000 reviews (paywall)



BMI Pleasure Pod

Over the last 6 months we've been working on a slightly unusual project - a neuro- and bio-responsive pleasure pod, in collaboration with architectural food artists  Bompas and Parr, generative visual artist Matt Pearson, and contemporary artistic designers from Jotta

Here's the concept: real-time physiological, facial EMG and neural data are recorded and analysed online, and parameters control a complex, computer generated visual and auditory display projected within an enclosed pod. The data is tuned to affective (emotional) responses, and since the feedback projection is designed to be aesthetic, this in turn elicits it's own affective response. This generates a closed-loop system, realised as an immersive multi-sensory fusion. In the project above, you sit in the pod (modeled aboved by Kelly Brook) and eat an ice-cream (a Magnum Infinity - thanks to our sponsors). Your response to the ice-cream stimulates an evolving, dynamic and (hopefully) aesthetically enhanced experience.



Work in progress...

The lab as it is now, and how it will (is suppoosed to) look early next year...


Posted on 25th June 2012


Interested in working in Japan?

We are always interested in hearing from anyone who would like to do research in the lab - either as a substantive post-doc / doctoral student, or as a short term visiting researcher.

The Center for Information and Neural Networks (CiNet) in Osaka, Japan, is a new dedicated neuroscience research institute with state-of-the-art neuroimaging facilities, and promises to become a world-class neuroscience center. Our research combines computational and experimental studies, especially fMRI, to ask fundamental questions about how pain and aversive experiences are processed in the brain. Our particular interests include Reinforcement Learning models of pain and aversive decision-making, perceptual models of pain and its modulation, decoding pain in the brain, neuroeconomic and social neuroscience studies of pain, and novel therapeutic methods using brain-machine interfaces. Research is based in a new lab run by Dr Ben Seymour at CiNet at Osaka University, and affiliated with the Computational and Biological Learning Lab at the University of Cambridge (UK).

The lab is run fully in English, and international fellows are well looked after with regards living in Japan. There are a range of competitively-run funding options, so if you're interested, please contact me: /

Posted on 25th June 2012


Serotonin, reward, and punishment

Our new paper shows:

- that choice values for reward (money) and punishment avoidance (pain) are integrated in ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

 - that serotonin modulates the 'exchange rate' of their common currency, but surprisingly by selectively modulating reward value, and not punishment value as previously hypothesised.

See 'Serotonin selectively modulates reward value in human decision-making' :

Posted on 1st May 2012

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