Guillermo A. Cecchi  Guillermo A. Cecchi photo         

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Principal Research Staff Member - Manager, Computational Psychiatry and Neuroimaging
Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY USA


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More information:  Computational Biology Center  |  Computational Psychiatry  |  Neuroimaging  |  Brain Modeling



Academic background

Guillermo Cecchi received an education in Physics (MSc, University of La Plata, Argentina, 1991), Physics and Biology (PhD, The Rockefeller University, 1994-1999), and Imaging in Psychiatry (Postdoctoral Fellow, Cornell University 2000-2001). He has been interested in diverse aspects of theoretical biology, including Brownian transport, molecular computation, spike reliability in neurons, song production and representation in songbirds, statistics of natural images and visual perception, statistics of natural language, and brain imaging. In 2001 he joined IBM Research to work on computational approaches to brain function.

In recent years, Dr. Cecchi has pioneered the use of a computational linguistics approach to quantify psychiatric conditions from short speech samples, applying it successfully to conditions as diverse as schizophrenia, mania, prodromal psychosis, and drug and alcohol intake. 

Areas of research

Dr. Cecchi directs the Computational Psychiatry and the Neuroimaging groups.  

Selected Publications 

Brain Imaging

  • Resting-state connectivity stratifies premanifest Huntington's disease by longitudinal cognitive decline rate, Scientific Reports (2020)
  • Loss of nucleus accumbens low-frequency fluctuations is a signature of chronic pain, PNAS (2020)
  • Single-trial classification of awareness state during anesthesia by measuring critical dynamics of global brain activity, Scientific Reports (2019).
  • Brain and psychological determinants of placebo pill response in chronic pain patients, Nature Comms. (2018).
  • Loss of consciousness is associated with stabilization of distributed cortical dynamics, Journal of Neuroscience (2015).
  • Self-organized Dynamical Criticality in Human ECoG, Frontiers Integrative Neuroscience (2012).
  • Full-brain Auto-Regressive Modeling (FARM) using fMRI, Neuroimage (2011).
  • Predictive network models of schizophrenia, NIPS (2009).
  • Scale-free brain functional networks, Physical Review Letters (2005).


  • Linguistic markers predict onset of Alzheimer's disease, The Lancet eClinical (2020)
  • Modeling Psychotherapy Dialogues with Kernelized Hashcode Representations: A Nonparametric Information-Theoretic Approach, AAAI (2020)
  • Prediction of psychosis across protocols and risk cohorts using automated language analysis, World Psychiatry (2018).
  • Automated Analysis of Free Speech Predicts Psychosis Onset in High-Risk Youths, NPJ Schizophrenia (2015).
  • A Window into the Intoxicated Mind? Speech as an Index of Psychoactive Drug Effects, Neuropsychopharmacology (2014).
  • Speech Graphs Provide a Quantitative Measure of Thought Disorder in Psychosis, PLoS One (2012).
  • Global properties of the Wordnet lexicon, PNAS (2002).


  • Predicting natural language descriptions of mono-molecular odorants, Nature Comms. (2018).
  • Reverse-engineering human olfactory perception from chemical features of odor molecules, Science (2017).
  • Perceptual basis of evolving Western musical styles, PNAS (2013).
  • Predictive Dynamics of Pain Perception, PLoS Computational Biology (2012).
  • On a common circle: natural scenes and Gestalt rules, PNAS (2001).

Neural Systems

  • The relevance of the time domain in neural networks models, Springer (2012).
  • A theory of loop formation and elimination by STDP, Frontiers in Neuroscience (2010).
  • Self-tuned critical networks, Physical Review Letters (2009).
  • Ordered cyclic motifs contribute to dynamic stability in biological and engineered networks, PNAS (2008).
  • Unsupervised segmentation with dynamical units, IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks (2008).
  • Unsupervised learning and adaptation in a model of adult neurogenesis, Journal of Computational Neuroscience (2001).
  • Simple motor gestures for birdsong, Physical Review Letters (2001).
  • Noise in neurons is message-dependent, PNAS (2000).
  • Toward a Song Code: Syllabic Representation in the Canary Brain, Neuron (1998).

Recent Press Coverage & Talks

New York Times (2021)

New York Times Magazine (2021)

New York Post, Wired (2020)

USA Today, Scientific American, BBC, The Times London (2020)

IBM Blog (2020)

IBM Blog (2020)

National TV Argentina (2020)

ZDNet (2020)

Engadget (2020)

The Scientist (2019)

SuperDataSience podcast (2019)

Practical AI podcast (2019)

Technology in Psychiatry Symposium, Harvard Medical School (2018)

Quartz (2018)

Wall Street Journal (2018)

Engadget, Futurism, HuffPost (2018)

Gizmodo (2017)

IBM 5 in 5, covered in Fortune, Forbes, YouTube among others (2017)

The Atlantic (2016)

Global and Mail, Canada (2016)

TEDx (2016)

Forbes (09/2015) 

The Atlantic (08/2015)

NIMH Director's Blog (08/2015)

IBM Blog (08/2015)

Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts (10/2014) 

The Verge (07/2014)

Smarter Planet Blog (07/2014)

Argentina Public TV (09/2013)

Science Magazine Podcast (07/2013)

IBM Blog (05/2013)

Scientific American (Italy) (05/2013)

Diario Perfil, Argentina (2013)

La Nacion, Argentina (2013)

IBM Blog (10/2012)

IBM Blog (5/2012)

Folha de Sao Paulo, Brazil (2012)

La Nacion, Argentina (2011)

The Guardian, UK (2011)