Salva Ardid, PhD

Salva Ardid, PhD

GenT Distinguished Research Group Leader

Universitat Politècnica de València

My Lab is interested in identifying physiological mechanisms of brain function and dysfunction, in particular, the neural substrates of learning and intelligence. For this, we build neural network and reinforcement learning models.

While keeping a strong interest in computational neuroscience, new endeavors seek to adapt computationally efficient mechanisms of the brain into AI architectures (such as deep neural networks) aiming for more powerful learning algorithms.

Before leading the Lab of Natural and Designed Intelligence at UPV, I was an Associate Research Scientist at Yale, where I was part of the Decision Lab (led by my current collaborator Ifat Levy). As a Postdoctoral Research Scientist, I collaborated with Nancy Kopell (Boston University), Thilo Womelsdorf (Vanderbilt University), and Xiao-Jing Wang (New York University). I earned my PhD in Computational Neuroscience at the Neuroscience Institute (UMH-CSIC), under the guidance of Albert Compte (IDIBAPS – Hospital Clinic).


  • Computational Neuroscience
  • AI
  • Meta-Learning
  • Neural Networks
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Machine Learning
  • Applied Physics


  • Habilitation as Professor Lector (Tenure-Track Assistant Professor), 2019

    AQU, Catalonia

  • Habilitation in Neuroscience as Maître de Conférences (Tenure-Track Assistant Professor), 2017

    Conseil National des Universités, France

  • PhD in Computational Neuroscience, 2008

    Neuroscience Institute, UMH-CSIC

  • MEng in Electronic Engineering, 2002

    Universitat de València

  • BSc & MSc in Physics, 1999

    Universitat de València

Research Positions


Research Group Leader

Universitat Politècnica de València

2020 – Present València (Spain)
IGIC Research Institute, Department of Applied Physics


Associate Research Scientist

Yale University

2019 – 2020 New Haven CT (USA)
Department of Comparative Medicine

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Boston University

2014 – 2018 Boston MA (USA)
Department of Math & Statistics

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

York University

2011 – 2014 Toronto ON (Canada)
Centre for Vision Research, Department of Biology

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Yale University

2011 – 2008 New Haven CT (USA)
Department of Neuroscience

PhD Candidate

IDIBAPS – Hospital Clinic

2008 – 2007 Barcelona (Spain)

PhD Candidate

Neuroscience Institute (UMH-CSIC)

2006 – 2003 Alacant (Spain)

Featured Projects

Cognition across the life span

This line of research utilizes a rule-based decision task and combines experimental procedures (psychophysics and neuroimaging) with computational approaches (reinforcement learning and neural circuit modeling) to encompass the dynamics, rise and decline of goal-directed behavior in humans…

Meta-Reinforcement Learning

Meta-reinforcement learning refers to embedding meta-learning (i.e., higher-order learning) mechanisms in reinforcement learning (RL) models. I have used this approach to significantly improve a repertoire of RL models…

Selective Attention

Cortical neurons in sensory areas show patterns of irregular firing that are, however, synchronized to, e.g., gamma oscillations. This regime of noisy oscillations is further reinforced by selective attention, which arises questions such as: why do regular and irregular components appear simultaneously? are oscillations just reducing noise? Our results show that this regime has a more insteresting functionality…

Unbiased Competition

Unlike Biased Competition, Unbiased Competition is resolved internally, i.e., in the absence of external biases. In Ardid et al. PNAS (2019), I identified how dissimilarities in the physiology of competing neural populations determine the direction of the resulting bias according to the characteristics of (unbiased) external inputs. There are three general ways in which Unbiased Competition may occur…


  • sardid at upv dot es
  • Universitat Politècnica de València
    Edifici D, Despatx D-210
    Paranimf 1,
    46730 Gandia (València),