Marco Simões

Researcher / PhD student

I am a researcher at IBILI, studying the neurocorrelates of social development in autistic children using Virtual Reality and Electroencephalography (EEG), aiming improvements in the understanding, diagnosis and rehabilitation of autism.

I hold a master degree in Informatics Engineering and I am currently doing my PhD in a partnership between IBILI and the Department of Informatics Engineering - University of Coimbra, Portugal, with a PhD grant funded by FCT, reference SFRH/BD/77044/2011. The research is performed in a tight partnership with the Unit for NeuroDevelopment and Autism, from the Pediatric Hospital of Coimbra - Portugal (UNDA-HP-CHUC).

I've taught some courses of the BSc of Informatics Engeneering and also of Design and Multimedia, from the Department of Informatics Engineering - University of Coimbra, Portugal.

Education

PhD Student

DEI-FCTUC and IBILI-FMUC

2012 - now

I am finishing my PhD on the applications of naturalistic interfaces and virtual reality, combined with EEG, for social neuroscience research on autism, developing applications for diagnosis and rehabilitation.

I am enrolled in the Doctoral Program in Information Science and Technology of the DEI-FCTUC. This project is a partnership between IBILI-FMUC and DEI-FCTUC.

PhD grant funded by FCT, reference SFRH/BD/77044/2011

MSc of Informatics Engineering

DEI-FCTUC

2009 - 2011

Courses focusing Evolutionary Computation, Artificial Inteligence, Machine Learning, Pattern Recognition and Classification, Natural Language Processing, High-Performance Computation, Medical Informatics and Biosignals, Software Reuse, among others.

Master dissertation: A Virtual Reality Application with a Brain-Computer Interface for Rehabilitation of Social Development in Autism". Grade: 19/20

MSc Final Grade: 17/20

BSc of Informatics Engineering

DEI-FCTUC

2006 - 2009

Courses focusing Software Development, Programming Languages, Information Systems, Operating Systems, Databases, Artificial Inteligence, Compilers, Information Theory, Digital Signal Processing, among others.

BSc Final Grade: 17/20

Technology degree in Informatics

Escola Secundaria Avelar Brotero

2003 - 2006

Courses focusing Software Development and Programming Languages, Informations Systems and Technologies.

Final Grade: 18/20

Work Experience

Microsoft Portugal

Microsoft Student Partner

09/2009 - 09/2010

Making the bridge between the Microsoft Portugal and the students of the University of Coimbra.

Wit-Software

Developer (Wit-Lab)

02/2008 - 11/2009

Development of new applications in the area of telecommunications, including extending mobile communication capabilities to video-game consoles (Wii, PSP, etc).

Teaching Experience

DEI-FCTUC

Invited Assistant

02 - 09/2014, 2015 and 2016

Lecturing Advanced Java Programming and Final Project tutoring from Acertar o Rumo course.

DEI-FCTUC

Invited Assistant

09/2011 - 09/2012

Lecturing Lab Classes of the courses Information Theory from Informatics Engineering BSc and Graphical Computing from Design and Multimedia BSc.

DEI-FCTUC

Monitor Professor

09/2010 - 09/2011

Lecturing Lab Classes of the courses Information Theory and Compilers from Informatics Engineering BSc.

Research

IBILI-FMUC

Researcher

09/2010 - now

Research in the ambit of my MSc and PhD: Brain-Computer Interfaces, Electroencephalography, Event-Related Potentials, Virtual Reality, Naturalistic Interfaces, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Diagnosis and Rehabilitation applications.

IST

Researcher

12/2009 - 07/2010

Research and development of algorithms for multi-objective optimization on the knapsack problem.

Awards

Best Clinical Poster Award - 9th EHDN Plenary Meeting 2016

2016

Award for the best poster in the clinical field of the 9th European Huntington’s Disease Network Plenary Meeting.

BCI Award Nominee

2016

Finalist of the award for brain-computer interface research with the work Carlos Amaral, João Andrade, Marco Simões, Susana Mouga, Bruno Direito, Miguel Castelo-Branco - A P300-based brain-computer interface for social attention rehabilitation in autism.

Best Student Poster Award (Honourable Mention) - ICVR 2015

2015

Honourable mention for the second best short paper resulting from the work of a student, at the conference ICVR 2015.

Best Student Short Paper Award (Runner Up) - ICDVRAT 2012

2012

Award for the best three short papers resulting from the work of a student, at the conference ICDVRAT 2012.

Best Paper Award - EvoCOP 2011

2011

Best Paper Award at EvoCOP 2011 - Evolutionary Computation in Combinatorial Optimization Conference (from Evo*).

Merit Scholarship Award

2007

Merit Scholarship Award (recognizing the 12 best students from the Faculty of Science and Technologies from the University of Coimbra.

3% Best Students Award

2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

3% Best Students Award, recognizing the 3% best students from the Department of Informatics Engineering of FCTUC.

Publications

Journal Articles

2017

Virtual Travel Training for Autism Spectrum Disorder: A proof-of-concept Interventional Study

Marco Simões*, Miguel Bernardes*, Fernando Barros and Miguel Castelo-Branco
Journal of Medical Internet Research Seriour Games submitted.

2017

Processing of facial expressions in autism: a systematic review of EEG/ERP evidence

Raquel Monteiro, Marco Simões, João Andrade and Miguel Castelo-Branco
Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders submitted.

2017

A novel Brain Computer Interface for classification of social joint attention in Autism and comparison of 3 experimental setups: a feasibility study

Carlos Amaral, Marco Simões, João Andrade and Miguel Castelo-Branco
Journal of Neuroscience Methods submitted.

2017

Separability of motor imagery of the self from interpretation of motor intentions of others at the single trial level: an EEG study.

João Andrade, José Cecílio, Marco Simões, Francisco Sales, and Miguel Castelo-Branco
In J Neuroeng Rehabil.14: 63, 2017. doi: 10.1186/s12984-017-0276-4

2015

Neural Signals Evoked by Stimuli of Increasing Social Scene Complexity Are Detectable at the Single-Trial Level and Right Lateralized.

Carlos Amaral, Marco Simões, Miguel Castelo-Branco
In PLoS ONE 10(3): e0121970, 2015. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121970

2013

Algorithmic improvements on dynamic programming for the bi-objective {0,1} knapsack problem

Jose Rui Figueira, Luis Paquete, Marco Simoes, Daniel Vanderpooten.
In (P. Merz and J.-K. Hao, Eds.) Computational Optimization and Applications, pages 48 - 59, 2013

Articles in Conference Proceedings

2017

Correlated Alpha Activity with the Facial Expression Processing Network in a Simultaneous EEG-fMRI Experiment

Simões, M., Direito, B., Lima, J., Castelhano, J., Ferreira, C., Couceiro, R., Carvalho, P., & Castelo-branco, M.,
In 2017 39th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.

2015

Feature analysis for correlation studies of simultaneous EEG-fMRI data: a proof of concept for neurofeedback approaches.

Simões, M., Lima, J., Direito, B., Castelhano, J., Ferreira, C., Carvalho, P., & Castelo-branco, M.,
In 2015 37th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (pp. 4065–4068).

2015

A serious game with virtual reality for travel training with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Miguel Bernardes, Fernando Barros, Marco Simões, Miguel Castelo-Branco
In 2015 International Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation (ICVR).

2014

Neurohab: A Platform for Virtual Training of Daily Living Skills in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Simões, M., Mouga, S., Pedrosa, F., Carvalho, P., Oliveira, G., & Castelo-Branco, M.,
In HCIST 2014 - International Conference on Health and Social Care Information Systems and Technologies, Procedia Technology, 16, 1417–1423. doi:10.1016/j.protcy.2014.10.161

2013

Specific EEG/ERP Responses to Dynamic Facial Expressions in Virtual Reality Environments

Marco Simões, Carlos Amaral, Paulo Carvalho, Miguel Castelo-Branco,
In Y.-T. Zhang (Ed.), The International Conference on Health Informatics, IFMBE Proceedings (Vol. 42, pp. 331–334). Vilamoura: Springer International Publishing, 2013. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-03005-0

2012

Virtual reality and brain-computer interface for joint-attention training in autism.

M Simões, P Carvalho, M Castelo-Branco,
In Proc. 9th Intl Conf. on Disability, Virtual Reality and Assoc. Technologies, P M Sharkey, E Klinger (Eds), pp. 507-510, Laval, France, 10 - 12 Sept. 2012.
Best Student Short Paper Award (Runner Up).


2011

Connectedness and local search for bicriteria knapsack problems.

A. Liefooghe, L. Paquete, M. Simões, J.R. Figueira
In Proc. of the 11th European Conference on Evolutionary Computation in Combinatorial Optimization (EvoCOP 2011), LNCS 6622, 48-59, Springer, 2011.
Best paper award.

2010

Local Search for the Bi-objective Unconstrained Optimization Problem

Arnaud Liefooghe, Marco Simões, Luís Paquete, and José Figueira.
In International Conference on Metaheuristics and Nature Inspired Computing, pages 5–6, 2010.

Posters

2017

A Novel Electrophysiological Marker of Autism Spectrum Disorder Based on Facial Expression Mental Imagery

Marco Simões, Raquel Monteiro, João Andrade, Susana Mouga, Paulo Carvalho, Guiomar Oliveira, Miguel Castelo-Branco
in IMFAR - International Meeting for Autism Research, San Francisco, 2017

2017

Development and Validation of a Virtual Reality Intervention for Adaptive Outdoor Activities in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Miguel Castelo-Branco, Marco Simões, Guiomar Oliveira, Fernando Barros and Miguel Bernardes
in IMFAR - International Meeting for Autism Research, San Francisco, 2017

2016

Everyday executive function in huntington’s disease: early deficits assessed by a virtual reality task

Filipa Júlio, Alexandre Malhão, Fábio Pedrosa, Hélio Gonçalves, Marco Simões, Mário R Simões, Marieke van Asselen, Miguel Castelo-Branco and Cristina Januário
in EHDN2016 - 9th European Huntington’s Disease Network Plenary Meeting, Haia, 2016

2016

Processing of Facial Expressions and their Mental Imagery in ASD: an EEG study with feasibility analysis for a neurofeedback approach

Marco Simões, João Andrade, Raquel Monteiro, Susana Mouga, Paulo Carvalho, Guiomar Oliveira, Miguel Castelo-Branco
in IMFAR - International Meeting for Autism Research, Baltimore, 2016

2015

Neurofeedback Approaches in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Marco Simões, João Andrade, José Cecílio, Raquel Monteiro, Susana Mouga, Paulo Carvalho, Miguel Castelo-Branco
in Talk 2 UR Brain - Advances in Neurofeedback: research and practice, Tel-Aviv, 2015

2015

A Real-Time Neurofeedback approach for emotion regulation

João Lima, Bruno Direito, Marco Simões, Michael Luhrs, Miguel Castelo-Branco
in Talk 2 UR Brain - Advances in Neurofeedback: research and practice, Tel-Aviv, 2015

2015

Comparing different ‘friendly’ EEG systems for a P300-based brain-computer interface for rehabilitation in autism.

Carlos Amaral, Marco Simões, João Andrade, Miguel Castelo-Branco
in Annual Conference on Clinical Neurophysiology and NeuroImaging 2015 - Joint Meeting of ECNS, ISNIP and ISBET. , Munich, 2015

2015

Can virtual reality be used for behavioral analysis in autism spectrum disorder? A simulation for interpersonal distance preference assessment

Marco Simões, Susana Mouga, Andreia Pereira, Paulo Carvalho, Guiomar Oliveira, Miguel Castelo-Branco
in IMFAR - International Meeting for Autism Research, Salt Lake City, 2015

2014

Behavioral assessment in autism spectrum disorder using virtual reality – a study of interpersonal distance preference

Marco Simões, Susana Mouga, Andreia Pereira, Paulo Carvalho, Guiomar Oliveira, Miguel Castelo-Branco
in VI IBILI Meeting, Coimbra, 2014

2014

Using serious games and virtual reality to improve the adaptive behaviour of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Miguel Bernardes, Fernando Barros, Marco Simões, Miguel Castelo-Branco
in VI IBILI Meeting, Coimbra, 2014

2014

Neurohab: a game platform for controlled virtual training of daily living skills in autism spectrum disorder

Fábio Pedrosa, Marco Simões, Susana Mouga, Paulo Carvalho, Guiomar Oliveira, Miguel Castelo-Branco
in VI IBILI Meeting, Coimbra, 2014

2014

Repetition Suppression effect as evoked by visualization of same vs. different emotional expressions – a functional magnetic resonance imaging approach

João Lima, Bruno Direito, Marco Simões, José Rebola, Miguel Castelo­-Branco
in VI IBILI Meeting, Coimbra, 2014

2014

Understanding the interaction between the underlying neural activity and different feedback interfaces: A functional magnetic resonance imaging neurofeedback study

Bruno Direito, João Lima, Marco Simões, Miguel Castelo­-Branco
in VI IBILI Meeting, Coimbra, 2014

2014

Desenho e implementação de um laboratório de realidade virtual para estudo neurocomportamental no autismo

Marco Simões, Susana Mouga, Miguel Castelo-Branco, Guiomar Oliveira
in VIII Seminário da Sociedade Portuguesa da Pediatria do Neurodesenvolvimento - Avanços em Pediatria do Neurodesenvolvimento, 2014

2014

Projecto HomeTech: a tecnologia no desenvolvimento da autonomia pessoal e social

Susana Mouga, Marco Simões, Fábio Pedrosa, Guiomar Oliveira, Miguel Castelo-Branco
in VIII Seminário da Sociedade Portuguesa da Pediatria do Neurodesenvolvimento - Avanços em Pediatria do Neurodesenvolvimento, 2014

2013

EEG responses to dynamic facial expressions in virtual reality environments

Simões M, Amaral C, Carvalho P, Castelo-Branco M
in V IBILI Meeting, Coimbra, 2013

2013

Specific EEG/ERP responses to dynamic facial expressions in virtual reality environments

Marco Simões, Carlos Amaral, Paulo Carvalho, Miguel Castelo-Branco
in Day of the Faculty, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, 2013

2013

Specific EEG/ERP responses to animated facial expressions in virtual reality environments

Marco Simões, Carlos Amaral, Paulo Carvalho, Miguel Castelo-Branco
in Perception 42 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 196, 2013

2013

A neural social oddball signal lateralized to the right hemisphere

Carlos Amaral, Marco Simões, Miguel Castelo-Branco
in Perception 42 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 218, 2013

2012

Biomarking autism through social ERPs: a pilot study

Marco Simões, Paula Tavares, Susana Mouga, Paulo Carvalho, Miguel Castelo-Branco
in IV IBILI Meeting, Coimbra, 2012

2012

Social animations in virtual reality environments generate specific brain responses

Carlos Amaral, Marco Simões, Miguel Castelo-Branco
in IV IBILI Meeting, Coimbra, 2012

2012

Gestures classification using Artificial Neural Networks

Pedro Vaz, Marco Simões, Miguel Castelo-Branco
in IV IBILI Meeting, Coimbra, 2012

2011

Neurophysiological correlates of the detection of complex animation in social stimuli

Carlos Amaral, Marco Simões, Miguel Castelo-Branco
in III IBILI Meeting, Coimbra, 2011

Talks

Talks by Invitation

07-07-2017

Novel fMRI-based approach to target the posterior Superior Temporal Sulcus for neurofeedback training of facial expressions perception @ 7th Iberian Congress on Perception, Coimbra

18-04-2017

Transferring MRI-based neurofeedback to EEG @ D'Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR), Rio de Janeiro

24-03-2017

Serious Gaming for the training of daily living activities @ Virtual Power Solutions company, Coimbra

26-10-2016

Updates on real life transfer of neurofeedback paradigms and serious games development @ Annual Meeting of Braintrain Project, Coimbra

24-11-2015

EEG-fMRI correlation analysis @ Annual Meeting of Braintrain Project, Tel Aviv

30-03-2015

Autism rehabilitation through serious games and neurofeedback @ Euro Mini Conference 2015 - Improving Healthcare: New Challenges, New Approaches.

24-03-2015

Electroencephalography - from concepts to applications @ Seminários de Instrumentação Médica e Hospitalar, Master of Biomedical Engineering, University of Coimbra.

11-10-2014

Novas Tecnologias Aplicadas ao Autismo @ II Jornadas Perturbãções do Espetro do Autismo: Uma perspetiva longitudinal - APPDA Coimbra.

08-10-2014

Facial Expressions in Autism Spectrum Disorders @ Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) workshop and hands-on seminar from gTec.

24-01-2014

A tecnologia computacional no diagnóstico e reabilitação das patologias do neurodesenvolvimento (o que se faz em Portugal: Ambient Assisted Living e Neurofeedback) @ VIII Seminário da Sociedade Portuguesa da Pediatria do Neurodesenvolvimento - Avanços em Pediatria do Neurodesenvolvimento.

03-12-2013

Projeto HomeTech @ Dia Internacional da Pessoa com Deficiência 2013 - C. M. Viseu.

12-10-2013

A tecnologia como apoio à autonomia no autismo @ I Jornadas Perturbãções do Espetro do Autismo: Uma perspetiva longitudinal - APPDA Coimbra.

27-10-2012

Novas Tecnologias para diagnosticar e reabilitar o Autismo @ V Curso de Autismo - UNDA-HP-CHUC.

16-06-2012

Autismo: A utilização e os Benefícios das TIC @ I Conferência Ferramentas e Inovação na Educação Especial - Psicosoma Lisboa.

06-06-2012

Realidade Virtual: Uma nova abordagem para treino social no Autismo @ I Seminario Perturbações do Espectro do Autismo.

19-05-2012

As novas tecnologias para desenvolvimento de crianças com Autismo @ VII Congresso de Neurociências e Educação Especial - Psicosoma Viseu.

Other Talks

23-06-2017

Using EEG to predict BOLD activity in the facial expression network @ IBILI-ICNAS, Coimbra.

03-06-2016

Processing of Facial Expressions and their Mental Imagery in ASD: an EEG study @ IBILI-ICNAS, Coimbra.

03-03-2011

Virtual Reality application with a Brain-Computer Interface for rehabilitation of Social Development in Autism @ IBILI-ICNAS, Coimbra.

22-07-2010

PyMT - Python Multi-Touch @ Summer University at DEI-UC, Coimbra.

26-05-2010

An algorithm for the Multiobjective Knapsack @ Ecos Research Group - CISUC, Coimbra.

Participation in Approved Funding Applications

2016

GameAAL P2020

Funding for national projects on research and development. Project developed in partnership between the University of Coimbra (research center: IBILI - Faculty of Medicine) and IntelliCare. The project consists on the creation of a integrated solution for rehabilitation and monitoring of elderly people.

2014

Viagem à Mente Concurso Mais Ciência

Funding for the creation of scientific modules to be in display on the Science Museum Exploratrório

2013

BrainTrain FP7 European Project

FP7-HEALTH-2013-INNOVATION-1 european project on Self-regulation of brain systems for mental disorders, with University of Coimbra and HP-CHUC being responsible for EEG and fMRI studies in autism.

2013

Brain Awareness Week grant FENS - Dana Foundation

FENS funding for organizing activities of scientific dissemination during the Brain Awareness Week, awarded to a joint application of IBILI and Exploratório.

2012-2013

Grant for Scientific Research Bial

Bial funding for studies of hierarchical relations low level and intermediate level of visual processing of 3D faces.

2012

HomeTech QREN

Funding for national projects on research and development. Project developed in partnership between the University of Coimbra (research centers: IBILI - Faculty of Medicine and ISR - Faculty of Sciences and Technology), BrainEyes and ISA. The project consists on the creation of a smart home for housing individuals with high-functioning autism, having sensors on the utilities of the house (stove, taps, etc), surveillance by video and a virtual reality room for cognitive rehabilitation, all connected with an alarm system for the caregivers.

Organization of Technologic or Scientific Events

February 2017, 24 @ FMUC (Coimbra)

Regulation of Software as Medical Devices

Organizer and speaker on a workshop about medical devices regulations applied to software.

October 2016, 24 @ CHUC (Coimbra)

Medical Devices in Brain Research

A symposium on medical devices used for brain research, including neurofeedback, BCI, interventions and clinical trials.

March 2013, 11-17 @ IBILI and Exploratório (Coimbra)

Brain Awareness Week

A week full of activities for students and kids, composed by two open days in IBILI with demonstration of several techniques used in the research center (Eye-tracking, EEG, Skin Conductance, fMRI, Virtual Reality), another two days with sessions for the youngsters in Exploratório and an open talk with Luis de Matos (Magician) and Miguel Castelo-Branco (Neuroscientist) about "The magic brain".

December 2008, 12-13 @ Dolce Vita Coimbra

Interactivius

An event to show new technologies of interaction with several stands demonstrating multi-touch, accelerometers, body and object tracking by computer vision. The event was also repeated in December 2008, 6-7 @ CAIC school and March 2009, 13 @ Mealhada EB 2,3 school