About Me

I’m a PhD student on Cognitive Science and Language, under the direction of Prof. Cedric Boeckx (universitat de Barcelona), as part of the Cognitive Biology of Language research group.

My current focus is on the evolution of the Homo Sapiens cognitive profile, from genotype to expression data to phenotype. That means I study human cognition from a very interdisciplinary approach, including data from Genetics, Neurobiology, Comparative Cognition, Archaeology and early brain development. Or that’s the idea, at least.

TwitterGithubGoogle Scholar.


I’m currently working on ways to use open genomics databases to draw conclusions about cognitive phenotypes from extinct and current humans. The fact that I use public datasets forces me to come up with creative ways to combine and treat data, with an increasing emphasis in reproducibility and open science.

I have a number of tangential interests I haven’t been able to pursue as much as I’d want to yet. These include a liking for Population Genetics, human-specific cognitive disorders and Deep Learning.

Apart from the academic stuff, in my free time I like to play bass.


  1. Zanella, M., Vitriolo, A., Andirko, A., Martins, P. T., Sturm, S., O’Rourke, T., Laugsch, M., Malerba, N., Skaros, A., Trattaro, S., Germain, P.-L., Mihailovic, M., Merla, G., Rada-Iglesias, A., Boeckx, C., & Testa, G. (2019). Dosage analysis of the 7q11.23 Williams region identifies BAZ1B as a major human gene patterning the modern human face and underlying self-domestication. Science Advances, 5(12), eaaw7908. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aaw7908

First author preprints

  1. Andirkó A., Moriano J., Vitriolo A., Kuhlwilm M., Testa G., Boeckx C. (2021). Fine-grained temporal mapping of derived high-frequency variants supports the mosaic nature of the evolution of Homo sapiens. BiorXiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.01.22.427608
  2. Andirkó A., & Boeckx C. (2019). Modern human alleles differentially regulate gene expression in brain tissues: Implications for brain evolution. BiorXiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/771816

For more preprints where I was involved, see my CV.


I sometimes like to write posts about tricks, tips and thoughts about my field and academic life as a PhD student.