The first edition of Brainhack Donostia was held in May 2018 at the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL), a world-class interdisciplinary research center located in Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain. For three days, attendees from all over Europe worked together and learned about various neuroimaging tools and software for data handling (involving data preprocessing, analysis, and presentation). Specialized talks on how to process and analyze MRI, MEG, and NIRS data using state-of-the-art tools were complemented by hands-on tutorials where attendees were able to put these procedures into practice. Despite being a pilot experience, Brainhack Donostia 2018 was a success. We hosted 50 attendees from across Europe, and participants’ feedback after the event was positive. The second edition was an even greater success, with more than 70 participants! The challenge of Brainhack Donostia 2019 was to improve the development of projects in order to generate collaborations that would continue beyond the event. For the first time, we had two international speakers: Dimitri Van De Ville and Matteo Bastiani. Our guest speakers brought new experiences and knowledge to the table, contributing to our goal of promoting and sharing knowledge in an open and transparent way between disciplines and specialties, as well as to the development of open source tools.

Despite the challenges we have faced and continue to work through in 2020, this year, Brainhack Donostia is going to be bigger and better than before! With our new online format, you will have access to workshops, invited talks, and hands-on projects in four main areas of interest: functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), magnetoencephalography (MEG), diffusion imaging (DTI), and Open Science. A gender-balanced board of researchers from BCBL is currently building a five-day workshop composed of talks, tutorials, and project development sessions. Following the philosophy of Brainhack, we will focus on learning and developing high-quality, cutting-edge tools for handling neuroimaging data, while also sharing experiences and building new collaborations among researchers, students, and industry professionals. This year, we want to improve project development and, in particular, create collaborations that will continue past the event. In addition and for the first time, we will host three international keynote speakers that will share their experience and knowledge in their respective neuroimaging areas of expertise. By doing so, we will continue to grow our contributions towards sharing knowledge openly and transparently across disciplines and specialties, and to the development of open-source tools.


Eneko Uruñuela

New chair of BHD. PhD student @ BCBL and biomedical engineer. His research focuses on the development of deconvolution methods for fMRI. As a proper engineer, he’s a computer/phone/tech/programming geek. He also loves hiking (especially at sunset) and photography, and is into playing the electric guitar. Finally, he’s a big (not so) secret fan of the 80s.

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Stefano Moia

PhD student @ BCBL and ex-chair of BHD. Resting-state aficionado, he’s currently studying how physiological factors impact BOLD signal measurements. When he’s not coding, he’s probably in the kitchen, cooking.

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Polina Timofeeva

Ex-chair of BHD, she is a PhD student in Cognitive Neuroscience with an engineering background. Her previous research focused on Speech motor learning mechanisms and Speech perception. Her current research interests lie in the field of the neural basis of bilingual language control and, more specifically, she focuses on people who undergo brain surgery. Hiking, climbing, and singing.

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Daniel Alcalá

Cognitive neuroscientist and fMRI advocate. Studying the neural basis of the psychological processes we engage in when trying to understand other individuals. Also interested in large-scale meta-analytic methods and statistical learning.

Hülya Aldemir

Research Trainee @ BCBL. While learning how to do science in a better way every single day, she likes studying different languages in her free time, varying between Japanese to Basque, Italian to Klingon.

Jose Aguasvivas

PhD student @ BCBL and Python enthusiast. Currently studying the cognitive mechanisms of language learning in multilingual populations. Other interests include patient post-operative outcome prediction using machine learning techniques and cognitive computational modeling. In his free time, he enjoys doing CrossFit and cooking.

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Irene Arrieta

Interested in sound perception in the hearing impaired, from the psychoacoustic and developmental points of view. Focused on predicting Cochlear implantation outcomes in babies. Music perception should be a right for everybody!

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César Caballero-Gaudes

César likes developing new signal processing algorithms and imaging methods to understand human brain function, mainly using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Lately, he has been interested in novel analyses of dynamic functional connectivity and multi-echo functional MRI. If he finds you around, he might invite you to participate in one of his MRI studies with highly-sampled individuals. Apart from research, he tries to be a good father and an appropriate mentor for his students.

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Catherine Clark

PhD student @ BCBL interested in reading and reading acquisition in typical and atypical readers. Currently studying cross-modal integration of visual and auditory information to support visual word recognition.

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Florent Dueme

PhD student @ BCBL. He is a former French teacher and interpreter. Interested in phonetic transfer between a bilingual’s two languages and uses mostly behavioural techniques and acoustic analysis. Outside the lab, he likes reading, learning new languages, and doing sports.

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Teresa Esteban

PhD student @ BCBL interested in brain functioning in healthy aging as well as in neurodegenerative diseases.

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Vicente Ferrer

PhD student @BCBL and IT department chief at Brainhack Donostia, focused on Cognition in Parkinson’s disease. Also a bit of a geek with computers and programming. Loves surfing, hiking, and of course watching TV series. If you have any IT problems I can send one of my minions.

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Candice Frances

PhD student @ BCBL, she has done mostly behavioral research on cognition in animals, accents (obviously, in humans), and cognition in bilinguals (also human). Her current research focuses on how bilinguals learn new information in a foreign language and her free time focuses on attempting to dance.

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Alberto Furgoni

PhD candidate @ BCBL with a background in applied linguistics and, consequently, language freak. His current research aims at better understanding the relationship between orthography and phonemic representations by means of behavioral methods. In his free time, he enjoys cooking and planning trips he cannot go on.

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Meritxell García

Currently working with functional and structural biomarkers of cognitive outcome after brain tumor resection.

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Marta García-Huéscar

Cognitive neuropsychologist currently studying the neural bases of memory and consciousness with fMRI. Also interested in machine learning and neural modelling. In the outside world, she enjoys live music, hiking, and photography.

Shuang Geng

PhD student @ BCBL. She is interested in the neural correlates of speech production and bilingual language processing. Now, she focuses on MEG data analysis to figure out language functions in patients. She likes relaxing music.

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Sandra Gisbert

PhD student @ BCBL. She works with tumor patients, before, during, and after surgery. She focuses on fMRI analysis and has an interest in brain reorganization after surgery. She enjoys reading and Harry Potter merchandise.

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Garikoitz Lerma-Usabiaga

He is interested in using behavioral, functional, and structural MRI techniques to investigate the neural basis of vision and reading, and in the development of quantitative methods to enhance neuroimaging reproducibility and clinical application. Currently, he is in his third year at Stanford University working on population receptive fields, diffusion MRI, and single-subject quantification methods to better understand and characterize reading in proficient and poor readers.

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Mengxing Liu

PhD student @ BCBL, working on the language-related functions of the thalamus.

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Ning Mei

Undergrad in Arizona State, Master in New York University, and currently postgrad in BCBL. He is interested in topics like unconscious semantic processing, probabilistic programming, machine learning, and artificial general intelligence. With tons of experience in Python/R programming, he likes to make scripts that automate a small part of his life. Because doing so, he can spend more time watching basketball and statistically analyze basketball.

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Piermatteo Morucci

He is interested in how the brain implements semantic composition, abstract knowledge, and conscious perception. In his experiments, he uses behavioral, EEG, and MEG measures, sometimes simultaneously.

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Carlos Pérez-Serrano

PhD student @ BCBL and neuropsychologist, coming from the field of attention and consciousness and currently working on characterizing the neurodevelopmental basis of metacognition using a multi-modal MRI approach. Outside the lab, he is a Muay-Thai practitioner and enjoys reading dystopian literature.

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Ileana Quiñones

Postdoctoral researcher @ BCBL. Is there a causal link between individual differences in cognitive abilities and the architecture of the human connectome? Can the human connectome re-orchestrate the function(s) of its constituent nodes in order to cope with brain lesions? Does the malleability of the human connectome represent an adaptive advantage for post-surgery brain recovery processes? Her current research attempts to answer these questions using a combination of different non-invasive neuroimaging techniques, such as MRI, fMRI, and DTI.

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Chiara Luna Rivolta

PhD student @ BCBL. She has a background in psychology and cognitive science. Her research is focused on understanding the neural basis of Spanish Sign Language, with an interest in comparing the temporal structure of signed and spoken languages.

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Trisha Thomas

PhD student @ BCBL interested in speech perception, non-native speech processing, and auditory information retention.

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Manuel Carreiras

Ikerbasque Research Professor and Scientific Director @ BCBL. Working on research for over 30 years, he has lots of experience in psycho and neurolinguistics.

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