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 (University of Genoa)
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.
Nitin Williams, PhD (at Aalto University)
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.
Felix Siebenhühner, PhD (at University of Helsinki)
Felix obtained his MSc in physics at Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany. He then researched abnormal neuronal synchrony in schizophrenia with Danielle Bassett in Santa Barbara, USA, before joining our group in 2012.
In his doctoral research, he investigated cross-frequency synchrony in human MEG and SEEG data and graduated in 2019. He is now part of he Virtual Brain Cloud project and analyzing resting-state data.
Ehtasham Javed, PhD (at University of Helsinki)
Ehtasham has a PhD 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.
Marco Fuscà, PhD (at University of Glasgow)
Marco obtained his doctoral degree in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Trento, Italy. Before joining our lab in 2019, he worked as a postdoc in Trento and at the University of Salzburg, Austria, researching conscious perception with MEG & EEG and neurostimulation (tCS & TMS).
He is now investigating the multi-scale structure of network synchrony and criticality in human MEG and sEEG data.
Sheng Wang, MA (at University of Helsinki and Aalto University)
Sheng has a BA and a MA in psychology and neuroscience from York University in Toronto, Canada. He joined us in 2012 and has been advancing theories and methods to research functional connectivity and neuronal criticality.
Vladislav Myrov, MSc (at Aalto University)
Vlad has a MSc in bioinformatics from Saint Petersburg Academic University. He joined us in 2018 and is working on computational modelling of oscillatory processes.
Joonas Kuusisto (at University of Helsinki)
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.
Joonas Juvonen (at University of Helsinki)
Joonas has a wide background, including electronics, electrical engineering, complex systems, and neuroscience. He is working on EEG data acquisition, synchrony analyses of electrophysiological data, and studying cognitive game science with Meliora, a novel computer game developed for depression treatment.
Currently he is finalizing his MSc (Tech) thesis.
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