I am an Assistant Professor at Durham University, at the Department of Psychology.

I still have an Honorary affiliation with University of Birmingham at the Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Robotics, within the School of Psychology.

My Durham University website is 

  4/4/17: We are recruiting! See here 
  22/3/17: Marko Nardini and I have been awarded £250k by the Leverhulme Trust for the project "Learning to perceive and act under uncertainty"! 
  13/2/17: Paper with Ben Griffits, "Opposing effects of reward and punishment on human vigor" is published in Scientific Reports
  16/12/16: Open day for our new behavioural lab for multi-sensory integration, exciting!
  12/12/16: I presented a talk at Newcastle University, Economics department: "The importance of opportunity costs for human vigour and 'micro-behaviour'"
  1/10/16: Welcome to Nathanael Larigaldie who starts as a PhD student at Durham University Psychology Department supervised by Marko Nardini and I!
  26/7/16: Paper submitted with Maliheh Taheri and Pia Rotshtein, "Cooperative behaviour in a conflict situation; the effect of attachment and environmental manipulations in the prisoner’s dilemma game"
  1/6/16: We are currently working on outfitting our new experimental room with sound proofing, projector and 17 speaker setup.
  28/4/16: Paper submitted with Ben Griffiths, "The stick and the carrot: Opposing effects of reward and punishment on human vigor"
  12/4/2016: Paper published in PLoS Comp Biology with Adam Sanborn, "Fast and Accurate Learning When Making Discrete Numerical Estimates"
  1/3/2016: We have a PhD studentship available!
  25/2/2016: Poster presented at CoSyNe 2016, "Using the past to estimate sensory uncertainty" with Tim Rohe, Oliver Stegle, Uta Noppeney
  1/1/2016: Starting date at Durham University!
  1/8/2015: Faculty position accepted at Durham University
  1/4/2015: Awarded Small workshop grant (£3000) from Univ. of Birmingham School of Psychology
  1/3/2015: The print version of the 'The Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience' (Springer Verlag) is finally published 
  1/2/2015: Awarded Small research grant (£2500) from Univ. of Birmingham CN-CR
  1/1/2015: Awarded Small research grant (£3000) from Univ. of Birmingham, Psychology


The purpose of computational neuroscience is to study the computations performed by the brain and the central nervous system.
Implicit in this (by my definition) is the assumption that the brain performs computations i.e. information processing that serves a purpose. The processes in the brain are thus not presumed random but instead serve to somehow improve the conditions for the organism. It is therefore critical when analysing a neurological system to take into account what function it serves.

My own research specifically develops and tests models of optimal information processing in the human brain taking inspiration from both economics and machine learning (two disciplines very focused on optimality!)
To do this I use primarily Bayesian and Reinforcement Learning models to study human behaviour in e.g. perception and decision making, utilising experimental techniques such as psychophysicsfMRI and even pharmacology.

Here is my CV

Ulrik Beierholm
Durham University 
Department of Psychology
Durham, DH1 3LE, UK
Email: ulrik dot beierholm at durham dot ac dot uk