Member of team :


Phone :

01 34 25 75 41


Nicolas Cuperlier is Associate professor at the University of Cergy-Pontoise in the Neurocybernetic teamof the ETIS lab. He received in 2006 a Ph.D in Computer Science from Cergy-Pontoise University for his work on a neuromimetic architecture for planned navigation of a mobile robot based on the prediction and learning of sensorimotor elements. From 2006-2007, he worked on active vision and attentional processes at the LIMSI laboratory (CNRS, University of Orsay). Since 2008, his research interests are focused on the modeling of cognitive processes involved when mammals are engaged in a navigation task. Following a Neurorobotics approach, bio-inspired models are embodied in mobile robotic plateforms. Navigation behaviors of these autonomous robots are evaluated both in indoor and outdoor environments. In parrallal to these works, he also investigates the interplay between cognitive and emotional mechanisms by attempting to asses the role played by emotions in learning, behavior adaptation and Human-Robot Interaction.

Research activities

  • Neurorobotics
  • Cognitive sciences
  • Spatial cognition
  • Perception
  • Navigation
  • Self-assesment
  • Emotions
  • Sensorimotor learning
  • Embodiment
  • Autonomous robotics
  • Developmental robotics
  • Neural networks

Ongoing projects

My research interests are at the interface between computational neuroscience, psychology and robotics, focusing on cognition and emotions in both biological and artificial autonomous systems. The goal of my research is twofold :
Firstly, it strives to a better understanding of the neural machinery in living beings involved in cognitive, emotional and social functions.
Secondly, the modelling of these functions could lead to new control architectures for autonomous mobile robots able to learn and to exhibit flexible and adaptive behaviors.

Common to most animals, navigation is also a required skill for autonomous mobile robots and it thus provides an ideal ground for studying both biological and artificial cognition. I thus study, through neurobiologically inspired robotics (neurorobotics), how the cognitive abilities involved in navigation, ranging from multi-modal perception, sensorimotor coupling to action selection, are built by the robot body’s interactions with the environment (physical and social). Navigation behaviors of these autonomous robots are evaluated both in indoor and large outdoor environments.

In parrallal to these works, I also investigate how emotional signals could modulate several of these cognitive functions (perception, action selection, attention).

My current project is at the crossroads of these two themes and focuses on the design and evaluation of control architectures for autonomous vehicles evolving in large outdoor environments in partnership with the VEDECOM institute. For this project I also colloborate with the CELL team of ETIS to help designing a dedicated hardware solution for the real-time computing of our neural model.