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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Ulrik Beierholm, PhD, MSc, BSc, HEA Fellow

Personal web page

Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43249
Room number: L13
Department Representative, Durham Research Methods Centre

Contact Dr Ulrik Beierholm

I am very interested in how the nervous system deals with uncertainty, whether in perception, decision making or learning. We use computational ideas (e.g. bayesian inference or reinforcement learning) to model this and test these ideas using several techniques such as psychphysics, fMRI, pharmacology etc.

Research Groups

Department of Psychology

Research Interests

  • Computational Neuroscience, Perception, Decision Making, Neuroeconomics, Machine Learning

Teaching Areas

  • Cognitive Psychology (10 hours/year.)
  • Current Issues in Cognitive Psychology (MSc) (5 hours/year.)


Chapter in book

  • Reniers, R., Beierholm, U. & Wood, S. (2018). Reward sensitivity and behavioural control: neuroimaging evidence for brain systems underlying risk-taking behaviour. In The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Forensic Neuroscience. Beech, Anthony R., Carter, Adam J., Mann, Ruth E. & Rotshtein, Pia Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Beierholm, Ulrik R. (2015). Bayesian Approaches in Computational Neuroscience: Overview. In Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience. Springer New York. 7-8.
  • Shams, Ladan & Beierholm, Ulrik R. (2011). Humans' Multisensory Perception, from Integration to Segregation, Follows Bayesian Inference Sensory Cue Integration. In Sensory Cue Integration. Trommershäuser, Julia, Kording, Konrad & Landy, Michael S. Oxford Univ Press.

Journal Article

  • Ursino, Mauro, Cuppini, Cristiano, Magosso, Elisa, Beierholm, Ulrik & Shams, Ladan (2019). Explaining the Effect of Likelihood Manipulation and Prior through a Neural Network of the Audiovisual Perception of Space. Multisensory Research 32(2): 111–144.
  • Jones, Samuel A., Beierholm, Ulrik, Meijer, David & Noppeney, Uta (2019). Older adults sacrifice response speed to preserve multisensory integration performance. Neurobiology of Aging 84: 148-157.
  • Odegaard, Brian, Beierholm, Ulrik, Carpenter, Jason & Shams, Ladan (2019). Prior expectation of objects in space is dependent on the direction of gaze. Cognition 182: 220-226.
  • Taheri, Maliheh, Rotshtein, Pia & Beierholm, Ulrik (2018). The effect of attachment and environmental manipulations on cooperative behavior in the prisoner’s dilemma game. PLOS ONE 13(11): e0205730.
  • Jucker, J. L., Thornborrow, T., Beierholm, U., Burt, D. M., Barton, R. A., Evans, E. H., Jamieson, M. & Boothroyd, L. G. (2017). Nutritional status and the influence of TV consumption on female body size ideals in populations recently exposed to the media. Scientific Reports 7(1): 8438.
  • Griffiths, Benjamin & Beierholm, Ulrik (2017). Opposing effects of reward and punishment on human vigor. Scientific Reports 7(1): 42287
  • Sanborn, Adam & Beierholm, Ulrik (2016). Fast and Accurate Learning When Making Discrete Numerical Estimates. PLOS Computational Biology 12(4): e1004859.
  • Beierholm, Ulrik R (2014). Bayes Optimality of Human Perception, Action and Learning: Behavioural and Neural Evidence. Lecture notes in computer science 8603: 117-129.
  • Beierholm, Ulrik, Guitart-Masip, Marc, Economides, Marcos, Chowdhury, Rumana, Düzel, Emrah, Dolan, Ray & Dayan, Peter (2013). Dopamine Modulates Reward-Related Vigor. Neuropsychopharmacology official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 38: 1495-1503.
  • Beierholm, Ulrik R., Anen, Cedric, Quartz, Steven & Bossaerts, Peter (2011). Separate encoding of model-based and model-free valuations in the human brain. NeuroImage 58(3): 955-962.
  • Wunderlich, Klaus, Beierholm, Ulrik R., Bossaerts, Peter & O'Doherty, John P. (2011). The human prefrontal cortex mediates integration of potential causes behind observed outcomes. Journal of neurophysiology 106(3): 1558-1569.
  • Guitart-Masip, M, Beierholm, UR, Dolan, R, Duzel, E & Dayan, P (2011). Vigor in the Face of Fluctuating Rates of Reward: An Experimental Examination. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 23(12): 1-6.
  • Shams, Ladan & Beierholm, Ulrik R. (2010). Causal inference in perception. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 14(9): 1-8.
  • Beierholm, Ulrik R. & Dayan, Peter (2010). Pavlovian-Instrumental Interaction in ‘Observing Behavior’. PLoS Computational Biology 6(9): e1000903.
  • Wozny, David R., Beierholm, Ulrik R. & Shams, Ladan (2010). Probability Matching as a Computational Strategy Used in Perception. PLoS Computational Biology 6(8): e1000871.
  • Beierholm, UR, Quartz, SR & Shams, L. (2009). Bayeisan priors are encoded independently from likelihoods in human multisensory perception. Journal of Vision 9(5): 1-9.
  • Wozny, D.R. David R, Beierholm, Ulrik R & Shams, Ladan (2008). Human trimodal perception follows optimal statistical inference. Journal of Vision 8(3): 24.
  • Körding, K.P., Beierholm, U., Ma, W.J., Quartz, S., Tenenbaum, J.B. & Shams, L. (2007). Causal inference in multisensory perception. PLoS One 2(9): e943.
  • Beierholm, Ulrik Ravnsborg, Jacobsen, Jens Christian Brings, Holstein-Rathlou, Niels-Henrik & Alstrøm, Preben (2007). Characteristics of blood vessels forming 'sausages-on-a-string' patterns during hypertension. Physica A 376: 387-393.
  • Shams, Ladan, Ma, W.J. Wei Ji & Beierholm, Ulrik (2005). Sound-induced flash illusion as an optimal percept. Neuroreport 16(17): 1923-7.
  • Jacobsen, J.C.B., Beierholm, U., Mikkelsen, R., Gustafsson, F., Alstrøm, P. & Holstein-Rathlou, N.H. (2002). “Sausage-string” appearance of arteries and arterioles can be caused by an instability of the blood vessel wall. American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 283(5): R1118-R1130.
  • Alstrom, P, Beierholm, U, Nielsen, C, Ryge, J & Kiehn, O (2002). Reliability of neural encoding. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications 314(1-4): 61-68.
  • Beierholm, U., Nielsen, C.D. D, Ryge, J., Alstrøm, P. & Kiehn, O. (2001). Characterization of reliability of spike timing in spinal interneurons during oscillating inputs. Journal of neurophysiology 86(4): 1858-68.

Conference Paper

  • Yates, Tim, Larigaldie, Nathanael & Beierholm, Ulrik (2017), A non-parametric Bayesian prior for causal inference of auditory streaming, in Gunzelmann, G., Howes, A., Tenbrink, T. & Davelaar, E. J. eds, Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. London, UK, Computational Foundations of Cognition, London, 1381-1386.
  • Beierholm, U.R., Kording, K.P., Shams, L. & Ma, W.J. (2008), Comparing Bayesian models for multisensory cue combination without mandatory integration, in Platt, J.C., Koller, D., Singer, Y. & Roweis, S.T. eds, Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 20: 21st Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems 2007. Vancouver, BC, Curran Associates, Red Hook, NY, 81-88.

Other (Print)

  • Beierholm, Ulrik R. (2015). Bayesian models of perception. 2236-2239.