Andrea Stocco, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor

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Bio

Andrea Stocco is a Research Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology and the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences (I-LABS), and co-director of the Cognition and Cortical Dynamics Laboratory. He was born in Palmanova, Italy, and received both his Master’s degrees and his Ph.D. from the University of Trieste, Italy.

Dr. Stocco’s research concerns how human use abstract mental representations (like, rules, instructions, and plans) to perform complex tasks. He uses computational and mathematical models, neuroimaging techniques, and brain stimulation methods determine and predict how these mental representations are encoded in the brain, how they are transformed into behavior, and how this knowledge can be used to improve learning and skill acquisition.

In 2013, together with Dr. Rajesh Rao and Dr. Chantel Prat, Dr. Stocco has demonstrated the possibility of transferring simple information directly between two brains using non-invasive brain stimulation devices. This pilot study has been extensively covered by the media.

CV

Education

Ph. D. in Psychology, University of Trieste, Italy, April 2005.
“Laurea” (equivalent to M. S.) in Communication Sciences, University of Trieste, Italy, November 2001

 

Academic Positions Held

September 2010 – present Research Scientist, Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences, University of Washington.
January 2009 — September 2010 Special Research Faculty, Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University
September. 2008 — December 2008 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
September 2005 — September 2008 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University

 

Professional Memberships

Cognitive Science Society, Cognitive Neuroscience Society, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures Society (BICA).

 

Professional Services

Reviewer: Artificial Intelligence, Behavioral and Brain Functions, Cognition, Cognitive Science, Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures, Cortex, Journal of Artificial General Intelligence, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Journal of Cognitive Systems Research; Neuropsychologia, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Psychological Review, PLoS ONE.

Action Editor: Journal of Cognitive Systems Research (2007)

Program Committee: Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (2009), International Conference on Cognitive Modeling (2006-present), European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (2006).

Chairing/Organizing: International Conference on Cognitive Modeling (2006), Twelfth ACT-R Workshop, Trieste, Italy (2005).

Founder and Director: Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures Society (2010-2011).

 

Awards

2012 - Invited Faculty, International College, Spring 2012 (IK2012).

2009 - Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA: Brain Imaging Research Center Young Investigator Pilot Study Award.
2001 - University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy: “Dignita’ di stampa” (rarely conceded only to outstanding research dissertations)

Publications

Editied Books
 
Fum, D., Del Missier, F., & Stocco, A. (2006) Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Cognitive Modelling. Trieste, Italy: Edizioni Goliardiche.
 
Journals
 
Stocco, A., Prat, C. S., & Anderson, J. R. (in preparation). The gate and its gatekeepers: A dynamic causal modeling investigation of the role of prefrontal cortex and the basal ganglia in instructed control.
 
Yamasaki, B. L., Prat, C. S., & Stocco, A. (in preparation). Investigating the shared neural mechanisms underpinning language and task switching in bilingual individuals.
 
Prat, C. S., Kleinhans, N., & Stocco, A. (in preparation). Impaired cortical signal routing in autism spectrum disorder: A dynamic causal modeling investigation.
 
Stocco, A., & Prat, C. (submitted). Bilingualism trains specific brain circuits involved in the rapid reconfiguration of behavior: Evidence from rapid instructed task learning.
 
Stocco, A. (submitted). Meta-analysis of neuroimaging data with R.
 
Stocco, A., & Lebiere, C. (under revision). Inhibitory synapses between striatal projection neurons support ecient enhancement of cortical signals: A computational model. Journal of Computational Neuroscience.
 
Stocco, A. (in press) The co-emergence of language and rules: Indirection, not recursion, is the key. Comment on “The Bilingual Brain: Flexibility and Control in the Human Cortex” by Buchweitz and Prat. Physics of Life Reviews.
 
Stocco, A., Yamasaki, B. L., Natalenko, R., & Prat, C. S. (in press). Bilingual brain training: A neurobiological framework of how bilingual experience improves executive function. International Journal of Bilingualism.
 
Cole, M. W., Laurent, P., & Stocco, A. (2013). Rapid instructed task learning: An emerging framework for investigating the neural basis of flexible cognitive control. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 13(1), 1-22.
 
Stocco, A., Lebiere, C., O’Reilly, R. C., & Anderson, J. R. (2012). Distinct contributions of the caudate nucleus, rostral prefrontal cortex, and parietal cortex to the execution of instructed tasks. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 12(4), 611-628.
 
Prat, C. S., & Stocco, A. (2012). Information routing in the basal ganglia: Highways to abnormal connectivity in autism? Comment on “Disrupted cortical connectivity theory as an explanatory model for autism spectrum disorders” by Kana et al. Physics of Life Reviews, 9(1), 1-2.
 
Stocco, A. (2012). Acetylcholine-based entropy in response selection: A model of how striatal interneurons modulate exploration, exploitation, and response variability in decision making. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 6, 18.
 
Stocco, A., Lebiere, C., O'Reilly, R. C., & Anderson, J. R. (2010). The role of the anterior prefrontal-basal ganglia circuit as a biological instruction interpreter. Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications, 221, 153-162.
 
Borst, J. P., Taatgen, N. A., Stocco, A., & van Rijn, H. (2010) The neural correlates of problem states: Testing fMRI predictions of a computational model of multitasking. PLoS ONE 5(9), e12966. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012966
 
Stocco, A., Lebiere, C., & Samsonovich, A. (2010). The B-I-C-A of biologically inspired cognitive architectures. International Journal of Machine Consciousness, 2(2), 1-22.
 
Stocco, A., Lebiere, C., & Anderson, J. R. (2010). Conditional routing of information to the cortex: A model of the basal ganglia’s role in cognitive coordination. Psychological Review, 117(2), 540-574.
 
Stocco, A., Fum, D., & Napoli, A. (2009). Dissociable processes underlying decisions in the Iowa Gambling Task: A new integrative framework. Behavioral and Brain Functions, 5, 1.
 
Stocco, A., & Anderson, J. R. (2008). Endogenous control and task representation: An fMRI study in algebraic problem-solving. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20(7), 1300-1314.
 
Anderson, J. R., Fincham, J. M., Qin, Y., & Stocco, A. (2008). A central circuit of the mind. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 14(4), 136-143.
 
Stocco, A., & Fum, D. (2008). Implicit emotional biases in decision making: The case of the Gambling Task. Brain & Cognition, 66(3), 253-259.
 
Fum, D., Del Missier, F., & Stocco, A. (2007). The cognitive modeling of human behavior: Why a model is (sometimes) better than 10,000 words. Cognitive Systems Research, 8, 135-142.
 
Stocco, A. & Crescentini, C. (2005). Syntactic comprehension in agrammatism: A computational model. Brain and Language, 95, 127–128.
 
Peer-Reviewed Papers in Conference Proceedings
 
Lebiere, C., Stocco, A., Reitter, D., & Juvina, I. (2010). Scaling up high-fidelity cognitive modeling to real-world applications. In Proceedings of NATO Workshop on Human Modeling for Military Application. Amsterdam, NL, October 18-20, 2010.
 
Reitter, D., Juvina, I., Stocco, A., & Lebiere, C. (2010) Resistance is futile: Winning lemonade market share through metacognitive reasoning in a three-agent cooperative game. In Proceedings of the 19th Conference on Behavioral Representation in Modeling and Simulation (BRIMS). Charleston, S.C.
 
Stocco, A., Lebiere, C., & Anderson, J. R. (2009). Dopamine, learning, and production rules: The basal ganglia and the flexible control of information transfer in the brain. In A. Samsonovich (Ed.) Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures 2009. AAAI Press, pp. 169-175.
 
Borst, J. P., Taatgen, N.A., van Rijn, H., Stocco, A., & Fincham, J. M. (2009). Testing fMRI Predictions of a Dual-Task Interference Model. In A. Howes, D. Peebles, & R. Cooper (Eds), Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Cognitive Modeling.
 
Fum, D., Napoli, A., & Stocco, A. (2008). Somatic markers and frequency effects: Does emotion really play a role on decision making in the gambling task? In V. Sloutsky, B. Love & K. McRae (Eds.) Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, pp. 1203-1208.
 
Stocco, A., & Fum, D., (2006). Memory and emotion in the Gambling Task: The case for independent processes. In R. Sun & N. Miyake (Eds.) Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 2192-2197.
 
Stocco, A., Fum, D., & Zalla, T. (2005). Revising the role of somatic markers in the Gambling Task: A computational account for neuropsychological impairments. In B. Bara, L. W. Barsalou & M. Bucciarelli (Eds.) Proceedings of the 27th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society . Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 2074–2079.
 
Fum, D., & Stocco, A. (2004). Memory, Emotion, and Rationality: An ACT-R interpretation for Gambling Task results. In C. D. Schunn, M. C. Lovett, C. Lebiere & P. Munro (Eds.) Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Cognitive Modeling. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 106–111.
 
Stocco, A., Fum, D., & Drioli, S. (2004). High-Level cognitive processes in causal judgments: An integrated model. In K. Forbus, D. Gentner & T. Regier (Eds.) Proceedings of the 26th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 1267–1272.
 
Fum, D., & Stocco, A. (2003). The role of compound cues in causal judgment: Associative and probabilistic effects. In F. Schmalhofer, R. M. Young & G. Katz (Eds.) Proceedings of the EuroCogSci 03. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 127–132.
 
Fum, D., & Stocco, A. (2003). Outcome evaluation and procedural knowledge in implicit learning. In R. Alterman & D. Kirsh (Eds.) Proceedings of the 25th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 426–431.
 
Fum, D., & Stocco, A. (2003). Instance vs. rule-based learning in controlling a dynamic system. In F. Detje, D. Dörner & H. Schaub (Eds.) Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Cognitive Modelling. Bamberg, Germany: Universitäts-Verlag Bamberg, pp. 105–110.
 
Conference Posters and Presentations
 
Stocco, A., & Prat, C. S. (2012). Bilingualism trains specific brain circuits involved in the rapid reconfiguration of behavior: Evidence from rapid instructed task learning. Oral presentation given at AMLaP (Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing) Conference.
 
Prat, C. S, Stocco, A., & Yamasaki, B. L. (2012). Bilingual brain training: Investigating the overlap between language switching and general set switching in bilinguals. Poster presented given at AMLaP (Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing) Conference.
 
Stocco, A., Kleinhans, N., Martin, N., & Prat, C. S. (2012). Impaired information routing in the basal ganglia in individuals with autism. Poster presented at the Eight FENS Forum of Neuroscience Barcelona, Spain.
 
Stocco, A., Lebiere C., O’Reilly, R. C., & Anderson, J. R. (2011). The basal ganglia interpret abstract representations of cognitive actions. Oral presentation given at the 18th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society.
 
Stocco, A., Ferris, J. L., & Anderson, J. R. (2009). Associative and temporal interference affect distinct prefrontal regions during memory retrieval. Poster presented at the 15th Annual Meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping, San Francisco, CA.
 
Stocco, A., Lebiere, C., & Anderson, J. R. (2008). Procedural learning and sequential control of behavior in a neural network model of the basal ganglia. Poster presented at the 15th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco, CA.
 
Stocco, A., & Anderson, J. R. (2007). Endogenous control in algebraic problem solving: An fMRI study. Poster presented at the 14th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, New York, NY.
 
Mondolo F., Stocco, A., Biasutti, E., Sbisà, R., Zampa, A., Granà, A., Fum, D., & Di Benedetto, P.: Selective deterioration of decision making after peripheral damage of the autonomic nervous system. Poster presented at the 24th European Workshop on Cognitive Neuropsychology, Bressanone, Italy.
 
Crescentini, C., & Stocco, A. (2005). Agrammatism as a Failure in the Lexical Activation Process. Poster presented at the 27th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Turin, Italy.
 
Stocco, A. & Fum, D. (2005). Somatic markers and memory for outcomes: Computational and experimental evidence. Oral presentation given at the 14th Annual Conference of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology. Leiden, The Netherlands.
 
Invited Talks
 
“Bilingual Brain Training”, Department of Psychology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI, April 17, 2012.
 
“Response Variability in Learning and Decision Making”, Department of Artificial Intelligence, University of Groningen, the Netherlands, March 23, 2012.
 
“Cognitive Control and the Programmability of Human Behavior”, Heymans Lecture, University of Groningen, the Netherlands, March 22, 2012.
 
“The Basal Ganglia and Cognitive Flexibility”, series of four lectures given at the International College 2012 (IK2012), Guenne, Germany, March 16-23, 2012.
 
“Computational and Neural Mechanisms for Flexible Behavior”. Department of Artificial Intelligence, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, April 16, 2010.
 
“Integrated Cognitive Architectures for Robust Decision Making.” Department of Psychology, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, July 9, 2009.
 
“Looking Under the Hood: Basal ganglia and the Transfer of Information Between Brain Regions.” Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, April 28, 2009.
 
“Cognition Under the Hood: A Model of the Basal Ganglia as a General Solution to the Information-Routing Problem.” Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada, October 28, 2008.
 

“Prefrontal and Anterior Cingulate Cortices in the Control of Algebraic Problem Solving.” Institut des  Sciences Cognitive, CNRS, Bron, France, December 21, 2006.

 

About the Lab

Human thought is characterized by its flexible, dynamic nature. The Cognition and Cortical Dynamics Laboratory (CCDL) consists of a group of researchers interested in better understanding how the brain changes, or adapts, to deal with the ever present fluctuations in information processing demands.  Our research on these issues addresses a set of unifying questions, such as:

What are the biological bases of individual differences in cognitive capabilities?  What are the neural mechanisms underpinning cognitive flexibility?  The CCDL utilizes multiple methods and approaches including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), biologically constrained computational modeling, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and individual differences research to collect converging evidence about the biological nature of human thought.

 

Contact

Phone Number: 
(206) 685-8610