Special Issue "Behavior as a Window to the Brain: How Fine-Grained Behavioral Modelling Can Advance Neuroscience"

A special issue of Behavioral Sciences (ISSN 2076-328X). This special issue belongs to the section "Cognition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2023 | Viewed by 287

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Silvia Maggi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
Interests: discovering the behavioural and neural mechanisms underlying learning and flexibility through fine-grained data analysis and modelling, with a focus on the prefrontal cortex’s neural mechanisms during rule learning and shift
School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
Interests: investigating the neuroscience of learning in songbirds, rodents, and humans through a combination of computational and statistical approaches, including reinforcement learning and latent variable models

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, our knowledge of neural circuitry and its relation to behavior has progressed due to the fast advancement of technologies and computational tools to record, manipulate and analyse neurons in the brain. However, a deeper understanding of behavior has not yet received the same attention. Indeed, it is particularly challenging to investigate high cognitive functions and complex behaviors, such as decision-making, learning and cognitive flexibility. These complex behaviors rely on the coordinated activity of multiple brain regions, thus preventing full characterisation of behavior from the activity of single regions. Another caveat is that most available tools do not take into account individual variations and behavioral idiosyncrasies, focusing instead on group-level behavioral analysis. Furthermore, it is becoming clearer that specifics of the experimental protocol, such as training schedules and food-restriction considerations, introduce another source of variability in behavior and neural activity. In this Special Issue, we invite contributions on fine-grained behavioral modelling that can broaden our understanding of the computational principles of complex behavior, the importance of individual variations, and how behavior can advance our understanding of neural computation.

Dr. Silvia Maggi
Dr. Hazem Toutounji
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Behavioral Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • behavioral modelling
  • decision-making
  • learning
  • cognitive flexibility
  • computational modelling
  • behavioral neuroscience
  • reinforcement learning
  • algorithms
  • protocol design

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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