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Michał J. Wójcik


DPhil Candidate

  • Attention & Working memory Lab (Stokes Lab) & Cognitive Computational Neuroscience Lab (Hunt Lab)

The learning dynamic of abstraction in humans, non-human primates, and artificial networks


My research focuses on how the brain gives rise to representations of complex relations that can be encountered in the environment. Furthermore, a special focus of my DPhil is the process of generalising them across different domains to facilitate learning.

To probe the neuronal activity for the emergent properties necessary for generalisation, I use human electroencephalography and high resolution neural population recordings from animals. Novel machine learning algorithms and representational geometry are employed to open a window into the computational processes underlying generalisation and its link to flexible, inteligent behaviour. 

Some artificial systems like are also able to learn an abstract representation and achieve a high level of generalisation. However, training them requires more resources than human learning. Understanding what makes human learning so energy-efficient and fast could provide useful insights in such fields like machine learning and artificial intelligence. 

I am supervised by Mark Stokes, Laurence Hunt and Nicholas Myers, and funded by the Clarendon Fund Scholarship in partnership with the Saven European Scholarship.


Żochowska, A., Nowicka, M. M., Wójcik, M. J., & Nowicka, A. (2021). Self-face and emotional faces—are they alike? Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 16(6), 593-607.

Doradzińska, L., Wójcik, M. J., Paź, M., Nowicka, M. M., Nowicka, A., & Bola, M. (2020). Unconscious perception of one's own name modulates amplitude of the P3B ERP component. Neuropsychologia, 147, 107564.

Wójcik, M. J., Nowicka, M. M., Bola, M., & Nowicka, A. (2019). Unconscious detection of one’s own image. Psychological science30(4), 471-480.

Wójcik, M. J., Nowicka, M. M., Kotlewska, I., Nowicka, A. (2018) Self-face captures, holds and biases attention. Frontiers in Psychology, 8:2371.

Nowicka, M. M., Wójcik, M. J., Kotlewska, I., Bola, M., & Nowicka, A. (2018). The impact of self-esteem on the preferential processing of self-related information: electrophysiological correlates of explicit self vs. other evaluation. PloS one, 13:7.

Kotlewska, I., Wójcik, M. J., Nowicka, M. M., Marczak, K., Nowicka, A. (2017) Present and past selves: a steady-state visual evoked potentials approach to self-face processing. Scientific Reports, 7:16438.