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
Senior adjunct researchers
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 interested in characterizing 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.
Nitin Williams, PhD
Nitin has a background in engineering from Anna University, India. His PhD on EEG signal processing was supervised by Profs. Slawomir Nasuto and Douglas Saddy, University of Reading, UK. Before coming to Helsinki, he also gained post-doctoral experience on MEG analysis methods, working with Prof. Rik Henson at MRC Cognition & Brain Sciences (CBU)
, Cambridge, UK.
He joined the 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.
PhD students (co-supervised with Satu)
Tuomas Puoliväli, MSc
Tuomas Puoliväli has a master's degree in mathematical information technology from the University of Jyväskylä. He is studying visual perception using psychophysics and closed-loop EEG and MEG.
Tuomas is also developing the MultiPy
software for multiple hypothesis testing and is a member of the student council
of the Doctoral Program Brain and Mind.
Alina Tetereva, MSc
Alina received her master's degree in Theoretical and Experimental Psychology from the Lomonosov Moscow State University. Her field of research is resting-state brain connectivity and network dynamics in health and pathology.
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.
Jonni Hirvonen, MSc
Jonni joined the group in 2011 to study neuronal and behavioural scaling laws, which then became his master's thesis project. Additionally, he has worked as a research assistant processing and analysing SEEG and MRI data derived from epileptic patients. He graduated with a master's degree in physiology in 2013. In 2014 he started research for his PhD on two separate projects: somatosensory awareness in healthy subjects and face recognition deficits in schizophrenia patients.
Undergraduate students (co-supervised with Satu)
Atte studies cognitive science and joined the group in spring 2016. He mainly works on the depression study and is currently in his final stages in his Master's studies.
Sami is a psychology student who has been working as a research assistant in the group since 2013.
He has been recording data with MEG and combined TMS-EEG for various projects. He's writing his Master's thesis on the differences in neural mechanisms of attention between ADHD patients and neurotypical controls.
Anna studies cognitive science and joined the group in spring 2016. She is studying depression and ADHD and is currently writing her Master's thesis.