Cédric Foucault

Contact: cedric.foucault at gmail dot com
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I’m a third-year PhD student in cognitive computational neuroscience at NeuroSpin, supervised by Florent Meyniel in the Computational Brain team. My research broadly seeks to understand the learning and decision-making processes involved when humans are confronted with dynamic and changing environments, using computational models and behavioral and neuroimaging experiments.

Previously, after completing the French classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles and passing the competitive entrance exam (2008 – 2010), I completed a double Bachelor in computer science and in applied physics and a Master of research in computer science at the École Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay (2010 – 2014). I then worked as an iOS Software engineer at Apple in California (2015 – 2018). This experience allowed me to develop unique technical skills, very useful for my current research and rarely found in academia. However, my deep interest has always been in science, which is why, after these few years as an engineer, I resumed my career in research and decided to use my skills to advance a field I am passionate about: cognitive neuroscience. I thus did a second Master of research in cognitive neuroscience at the École Normale Supérieure de Paris (2018 - 2020) and went on to do my current PhD at NeuroSpin (2020 - 2023).

During my PhD, I have used multiple levels of investigation to study dynamic learning problems in changing environments:

  1. At the computational level. I studied how recurrent neural networks (RNNs) solve these problems and dissected their mechanisms to understand how it could be done in the brain. Research article published: Foucault & Meyniel, 2021, eLife, doi: 10.7554/eLife.71801. Code available on GitHub.

  2. At the neural level. fMRI project (paper in preparation) “A neural code for probabilities”. We are investigating how the learned probabilities are encoded in the human brain.

  3. At the behavioral level. I am developing a new behavioural task and experiment which, unlike previous studies, will measure human behavioural updates continuously during the experiment in order to reveal the fine-grained dynamics of human learning.

In the past, I also published several research works in human-computer interaction before I turned to cognitive neuroscience. You can find out more in my above CV.

I’m happy to talk to fellow researchers with similar interests, and I’m open to future research opportunities. Feel free to contact me at my email above.