Palva Lab
group members
Matias Palva Group — System level human brain dynamics
Matias Palva group studies the systems-level neuronal mechanisms of emergent neuronal and behavioral dynamics.

Spontaneous brain activity fluctuates in time scales spanning at least across five orders of magnitude. These fluctuations have also been observed on all studied spatial scales and they are statistically governed by spatio-temporal power-laws.

Such a scale-free organization at a macroscopic level is, however, contrasted by salient scale-specific neuronal activities - neuronal oscillations. Our research addresses the functional significance of scale-free and scale-specific brain dynamics in human sensory perception, cognitive performance, and motor output.

We have developed methods for MEG/EEG source reconstruction, optimized cortical parcellations, and quantification of neuronal/behavioral scaling-laws as well as for the mapping of dynamic neuronal interaction networks from invasive and non-invasive electrophysiological recordings of human brain activity. We are also in the process of translating our data management, analysis, and visualization platform into a more easily shareable python package.

Our three main research lines are 1. Assessing the functional roles of brain criticality and connectivity in human cognition by using MEG/EEG and SEEG based connectomes of neuronal couplings and "dynomes" of spatio-temporal dynamics. We are also performing simulations of brain dynamics and utilize several lines of interventional approaches, from electric and magnetic brain stimulation to cognitive training. 2. Identifying the roles of dysconnectivity and dysdynamics in mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, ADHD and schizophrenia, with the major depressive disorder being our main research focus. 3. Developing neuroplasticity-recruiting cognitive training methods for targeted alterations of cortical connectivity and dynamics.

Matias' lab members

Matias Palva, PhD, Docent

E-mail: matias.palva(@), Tel: +358 2941 576 12

[TUHAT] [Google Scholar] [LinkedIn] [ORCID]
Senior adjunct researchers
Gabriele Gabriele Arnulfo, PhD Gabriele has a PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Genoa (2012). For his thesis, he analyzed large-scale brain networks in intra-cranial data acquired from human subjects.
He is currently investigating large-scale synchronized brain networks and trying to disentangle the effects on synchronized neural activity in case of different neurological disorders such as focal epilepsy or Parkinson's disease.
[Google Scholar] [LinkedIn]
Postdoctoral researchers
Nitin Nitin Williams, PhD Nitin studied engineering at Anna University, India and obtained his PhD at University of Reading, UK, on EEG signal processing under by Profs. Slawomir Nasuto and Douglas Saddy. He has also worked as a Postdoc with Prof. Rik Henson at MRC Cognition & Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, UK.
He joined our group in 2015 and has been analysing the network of functional interactions obtained from human SEEG data in resting state, using methods from graph theory.
[TUHAT] [Google Scholar]
Ehtasham Ehtasham Javed, PhD Ehtasham has a doctoral degree in Methods, Models and Instrumentation for Neuroimaging from Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences, Gabriele D'Annunzio University, Chieti-Pescara, Italy, where he developed a method to analyze the spectral associations of spatial topographies calculated using microstate analysis. He joined the group in September 2019 as a postdoctoral researcher and is studying dynamic multi-scale oscillation networks using MEG data.
PhD students
Sheng Sheng Wang, MA Sheng has a BA in psychology and a MA in psychology and neuroscience from York University in Toronto, Canada. He joined us in 2012 and has been advancing methods to research functional connectivity, long-range temporal correlations and critical dynamics.
[TUHAT] [LinkedIn]
MD students
Joonas_K Joonas Kuusisto Joonas Kuusisto has been studying medicine at Helsinki University since 2017. Being strongly interested in basic research, he joined the group in summer 2020 and is focused on modelling the oscillatory activity of the brain and studying the relationship between neuronal activity in silico and in vivo.
Undergraduate students (co-supervised with Satu)
Joonas_J Joonas Juvonen Joonas is an electrician who arrived via studying electronics and electrical engineering at neuroscience and complex systems. He works with different technical projects, programming, laboratory and experiment design, and complex analysis of electrophysiological data. Currenty Joonas is finalizing his M. Sc. (Tech.) degree at Aalto University.

Atte Atte Hanski Atte studies cognitive science and joined the group in spring 2016. He has been investigating abnormal synchrony in depression, and is currently in his final stages in his Master's studies.

Contact: All group members can be contacted via email at