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Dr. Tristan Bekinschtein

Dr. Tristan Bekinschtein

Technician in Chemistry

BA in Biology

Master in Neurophysiology

PhD in Cognitive Neurosciences

Office Phone: (7)66315


Tristan Bekinschtein is a biologist, Master in Neurophysiology and PhD in Cognitive Neurosciences, from the University of Buenos Aires. He has been an EU Marie Curie Fellow (2008-2010) and Independent researcher at the MRC-Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit (MRC-CBU 2011-2014), Cambridge, and a Fyssen fellow at ICM(2007), Paris. He has also been an Invited Researcher at QBI (2014), Australia, He as regular researcher and invited professor at INECO (2007-2020), Argentina and Universidad Adolfo Ibanez (2010-2020), Chile. In 2011 he started the Consciousness and Cognition Lab when he received his Young Research Grant (Wellcome Trust 2011-2017) at the MRC-CBU and moved to the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge  in late 2014. He is Alan Turing Institute Fellow and works in science and arts communication through different projects.

Departments and Institutes


Research Interests

The Cambridge Consciousness and Cognition Lab is a multi-PI umbrella that we've created with Drs Daniel Bor, Valdas Noreika and Andres Canales Johnson. I am particularly interested in non-classic approaches to study the physiology and cognition of consciousness. The new program of research is about cognitive and neural resilience in humans challenged by different types of stress, combined with the understanding of the experiences in different states of consciousness, including dreams.

I am mainly attacking the limits of cognition in the process of falling asleep or getting sedated (losing consciousness) with a combination of behavioural measures, brain markers of cognitive processes and brain markers of the micro-conscious state. Together with my students and collaborators, we use behaviour measures, electromyography, electroencephalography, functional MRI, intracranial electrodes and transcranial magnetic stimulation, to respond the main questions at the intersection between awareness and wakefulness.

Recently The lab has evolved to wider aspect of cognition, embracing translational research. We have a stable collaboration with Papworth Hospital (Dr. Ian Smith) to look at sleep disorders in normal people, different pathological states, in particular we are working with hospital staff challenged by circadian stress (shiftwork). 

Through a stable collaboration with David Huepe (Chile) and Agustin Ibanez (Argentina), we have developed a series of project to look at resilience in vulnerable populations in the outskirts of Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile. A similar collaboration is emerging with Prof. Sidarta Ribeiro from Natal in Brazil, but in a young population, children from poor neighborhoods.  

Key Publications

  1. Andres Canales-Johnson, Lola Beerendonk, Salome Blain, Shin Kitaoka, Alejandro Ezquerro-Nassar, Stijn Nuiten, Johannes Fahrenfort, Simon van Gaal, Tristan A Bekinschtein. Decreased alertness reconfigures cognitive control networks. Journal of Neuroscience 2020.

  2. Arzi, Rozenkrantz, Gorodisky, Rozenkrantz, Holtzman, Bekinschtein, Galperin, Krimchansky, Cohen, Oksamitni, Aidinoff, Sacher, Sobel. ( 2020) Olfactory Sniffing Signals Consciousness in Vegetative Patients (Nature)
  3. Canales-Johnson, Billig, Olivares, Gonzalez, María del Carmen Garcia, Silva, Vaucheret, Ciraolo, Mikulan, Ibanez, Noreika, Chennu, Bekinschtein (2020) Dissociable neural information dynamics of perceptual integration and differentiation during bistable perception. Cereb Cortex 2020.
  4. Canales-Johnson, Merlo, Bekinschtein and Arzi. Neural Dynamics of Associative Learning during Human Sleep. Cereb Cortex 2020)
  5. Sridhar R. Jagannathan, Alejandro E. Nassar, Barbara Jachs, Olga V. Pustovaya, Corinne A. Bareham, Tristan A. Bekinschtein. Tracking wakefulness as it fades: micro-measures of Alertness. (Neuroimage 2018)
  6. Chennu S, O'Connor S, Adapa R, Menon DK, Bekinschtein.  Brain Connectivity Dissociates Responsiveness from Drug Exposure during Propofol-Induced Transitions of Consciousness. PLoS Comput Biol. 2016 Jan 14;12(1):e1004669
  7. Canales-Johnson, Silva, Huepe, Rivera-Rei, Noreika, Garcia, Silva, Ciraolo, Vaucheret, Sedeño, Couto, Kargieman, Baglivo, Sigman, Chennu, Ibáñez, Rodríguez and Bekinschtein (2015) Auditory feedback differentially modulates behavioral and neural markers of objective and subjective performance when tapping to your heartbeat. Cereb Cortex. 2015 Apr 21. pii: bhv076
  8. Chennu S, Finoia P, Kamau E, Allanson J, Williams GB, Monti MM, Noreika V, Arnatkeviciute A, Canales-Johnson A, Olivares F, Cabezas-Soto D, Menon DK, Pickard JD, Owen AM, Bekinschtein TA. (2014) Spectral signatures of reorganised brain networks in disorders of consciousness. PLoS Comput Biol. 10(10):e1003887
  9. Kouider S, Andrillon T, Barbosa LS, Goupil L, Bekinschtein TA. (2014) Inducing task-relevant responses to speech in the sleeping brain. Curr Biol. 24(18):2208-14. 
  10. Bareham CA, Manly T, Pustovaya OV, Scott SK, Bekinschtein TA. (2014) Losing the left side of the world: rightward shift in human spatial attention with sleep onset. Nat. Sci Rep. 4:5092. 
  11. Chennu S, Noreika V, Gueorguiev D, Blenkmann A, Kochen S, Ibanez A, Owen AM, and Bekinschtein TA. (2013) "Expectation and attention in hierarchical auditory prediction". J of Neuroscience 33,11194-11205.
  12. Bekinschtein, Davis, Coleman, Rodd and Owen. Why Clowns taste funny? A study on how we process jokes through semantic ambiguity. Journal J Neurosci. 2011 Jun 29;31(26):9665-71.
  13. Bekinschtein, Shalom, Forcato, Herrera, Manes and Sigman. (2009) Classical conditioning in the vegetative and minimally conscious state. Nature Neuroscience 12, 1343 - 1349 
  14. Bekinschtein, Dehaene, Rohaut, Tadel, Cohen, Naccache. (2009) Neural signature of the conscious processing of auditory regularities. PNAS