Academic degrees

PhD (2014), MSc (2009) and BSc (2007), all in Computer Science and Engineering, from the IST, the engineering school of the University of Lisbon, Portugal.


I am a postdoctoral researcher with Walter Senn at the Department of Physiology of the University of Bern. We work on computational neuroscience. In broad terms we want to understand the neural basis of learning and memory using computer models and mathematical tools. More specifically we try to figure out how realistic neuronal circuits adapt through synaptic plasticity and how this might explain our brain's ability to learn difficult problems.

I have also been collaborating with the Mark van Rossum lab (U Edinburgh) on synaptic plasticity rules and memory storage in neural networks.

From 2010 to 2015 I worked at GAIPS (U Lisboa), where I was a PhD student with Andreas Wichert, and later a postdoc with Francisco C Santos and Ana Paiva.


Senn W, Sacramento J (2015). Backward reasoning the formation rules.
Nature Neuroscience 18(12):1705-1706. News and Views on Lim et al.
[ abstract ]
Sacramento J, Wichert A, van Rossum MCW (2015). Energy efficient sparse connectivity from imbalanced synaptic plasticity rules.
PLOS Computational Biology 11(6):e1004265.
[ abstract and pdf ]
Rendeiro D, Sacramento J, Wichert A (2014). Taxonomical associative memory.
Cognitive Computation 6(1):45-65.
[ abstract | pdf ]
Sacramento J, Wichert A (2012). Binary Willshaw learning yields high synaptic capacity for long-term familiarity memory.
Biological Cybernetics, 106(2):123-133.
[ abstract | pdf ]
Sacramento J, Burnay F, Wichert A (2012). Regarding the temporal requirements of a hierarchical Willshaw network.
Neural Networks, 25:84-93.
[ abstract | pdf ]
Sacramento J, Wichert A (2011). Tree-like hierarchical associative memory structures.
Neural Networks, 24(2):143-147.
[ abstract | pdf ]
Poster presentations
Sacramento J, Wichert A, Santos FC, van Rossum MCW (2015). One-class learning in networks.
OCCAM 2015, Osnabrück, Germany.
Sacramento J, van Rossum MCW (2014). Imbalanced synaptic plasticity rules lead to energy efficient connectivity.
Neuroscience 2014, SfN's 44th annual meeting, Washington DC, USA.
[ abstract ]

Talks and public seminars

Efficient storage and retrieval of memories in neural networks (December 2014).
Public PhD thesis defense, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal.
Learning with imbalanced plasticity and the information vs. efficiency dilemma (November 2013).
Invited talk, Institute for Adaptive and Neural Computation, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, UK.
Synaptic capacities for recognition memory (April 2012).
Invited talk, Institute for Adaptive and Neural Computation, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, UK.

Supervised theses

Diogo Rendeiro (2011). Taxonomic associative memory.
MSc thesis, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Technical University of Lisbon.
Jointly supervised with Andreas Wichert.


In the past I served as a teaching assistant at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of IST, where I lectured practical classes on computer programming and basic algorithms.