I am interested in understanding the relationship between cognition and the brain from an information-processing point of view, asking questions such as “What are the fundamental computations needed for this task?” and “How can these computations be implemented within this specific brain circuit?”. In particular, I have been interested in the mechanisms that permit intelligent and adaptive behavior, with a particular focus on the interaction between prefrontal cortex and the basal ganglia.
Recent Publications by Topic
Basal ganglia computations and models
Stocco, A. (in press). An Integrated Computational Framework for Attention, Reinforcement Learning, and Working Memory. Proceedings of the AAAI 2017 Fall Symposium.
Stocco, A. (in press). A biologically-plausible action selection system for cognitive architectures: Implications of basal ganglia anatomy for learning and decision-making models. Cognitive Science.
Stocco, A., & Lebiere, C. (2014). Inhibitory synapses between striatal projection neurons support efficient enhancement of cortical signals: A computational model. Journal of Computational Neuroscience, 37, 65-80.
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.
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.
Basal ganglia and higher-level cognitive functions
Stocco, A., Yamasaki, B. L., & Prat, C. S. (in press). Correlations of human performance in three cognitive tasks: Experimental data and computer simulations. Data in Brief.
Stocco, A., Murray, N., L. Yamasaki, B. L., Renno, T., J., Nguyen, J., & Prat, C. S. (2017). Individual differences in the Simon effect are underpinned by differences in competitive dynamics in the basal ganglia: An experimental verification and a computational model. Cognition, 164, 31-45.
Prat, C. S., Stocco, A., Neuhaus, E., & Kleinhans, N. (2016). Basal ganglia impairments lead to abnormal signal routing to prefrontal cortex in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Neuropsychologia, 91, 268-281.
Becker, T. M., Prat, C. S., & Stocco, A. (2016). A network-level analysis of cognitive flexibility reveals a differential influence of the anterior cingulate cortex in bilinguals versus monolinguals. Neuropsychologia, 85, 63-72.
Stocco, A., & Prat, C. (2014). Bilingualism trains specific brain circuits involved in flexible rule selection and application. Brain and Language, 137(10), 50-61.
Stocco, A., Yamasaki, B. L., Natalenko, R., & Prat, C. S. (2014). Bilingual brain training: A neurobiological framework of how bilingual experience improves executive function. International Journal of Bilingualism, 18, 66-91.
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.
Direct brain-to-brain interfacing and communication
Losey, D. M., Stocco, A., Abernethy, J. A., &. Rao, R. P. N. (2016). Navigating a 2D virtual world using direct brain stimulation. Frontiers in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, 3, 72.
Stocco, A., Prat. C.S., Losey, D. Cronin, J., Wu, J., Abernethy, J. A., & Rao, R. P. N. (2015). Playing 20 Questions with the Mind: Bi-Directional Communication with a Brain-to-Brain Interface. PLOS ONE, e0137303, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0137303
Rao, R. P. N., Stocco, A., Bryan, M., Sarma, D., Youngquist, T., Wu, J., & Prat, C. S. (2014). A direct brain-to-brain interface in humans. PLoS ONE 9(11), e111332. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0111332
Rao, R. N. P. & Stocco, A. (2014). When two brains connect. Scientific American Mind, 25(6), 36-39.