Dr Danyal Akarca


I'm a medical doctor and computational neuroscience PhD student at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, researching generative models of brain networks.

I'm interested in the essential generative principles driving the development of structural and functional brain organisation, and how this relates to the emergence of both biological and artificial cognition/intelligence. I'm further interested in how these systems can be shaped by external influences and become perturbed. To investigate these questions, I utilise a range of computational and neuroimaging techniques.

My work is supervised by Dr Duncan Astle (Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge) and advised by Dr Petra Vertes (Alan Turing Institute, London), and is funded by the Medical Research Council and Vice Chancellor's Scholarship of the Cambridge Trust. Previously, I trained as a medical doctor at the University of Southampton and have conducted a wide range of clinical neurological and neurosurgical research.

Research Focus


Computational Neuroscience



Generative models


Clinical conditions

Cognitive impairment

Developmental disorders


Computational modelling

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)



Jascha Achterberg

Duncan Astle

Kate Baker

Edward Bullmore

Petra Vertes

United Kingdom

Mark Woolrich Web: https://www.psych.ox.ac.uk/team/ma...

Associated News Items

    Key publications

    Akarca D, Vertes PE, Bullmore ET, the CALM team, Astle D (2020), “A generative network model of neurodevelopment” bioRxiv

    Hawkins E*, Akarca D*, Zhang M, Brki? D, Woolrich M, Astle D (2019), “Functional network dynamics in a neurodevelopmental disorder of known genetic origin” Hum Brain Mapp 1;41(2):530-544



    Greener DL*, Akarca D*, Durnford AJ, Ewbank FG, Buckland GR, Hempenstall J (2020), “Idiopathic intracranial hypertension: shunt failure and the role of obesity” World Neurosurg S1878-8750(20)30048-6


    Akarca D, Durnford AJ, Ewbank FG, Hempenstall J, Sadek AR, Gould AER, Bulters DO (2017), “An evaluation of commonly used external ventricular drain securement methods in a porcine model: recommendations to improve practice” World Neurosurg 110:e197-e202