Project Goals

The goal of our project is to understand how neuronal assemblies exchange information (functional neuronal communication), and how variability in neuronal communication explains variability in behavioural performance, both in the intact and injured brain. Neural communication involves temporal interactions between neuronal assemblies, not only locally within an area but also on a larger-scale between brain areas. We focus on large-scale interactions that arise at two distinct but potentially related temporal scales: 'slow' (~0.1 Hz) fluctuations of the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal, as readily measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); and 'fast' (1-150 Hz) neuronal oscillations, as can be measured at various spatial scales (e.g. multi-unit activity (MUA) and local field potentials (LFP) at fine spatial scale; electroencephalography (EEG); magnetoencephalography (MEG) at intermediate scale. We will explore how the different temporal and spatial scales relate mechanistically, and how variability in ongoing spontaneous or task-induced neuronal interactions relates to cognition and behaviour. A potentially important clinical application is the development of easy-to-use diagnostic measures of neuronal communication, and pathological changes in this, for many major brain diseases, including stroke, head injury, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease.

This project is supported through Coordination Theme 1 (Health) of the European Community's FP7, Grant agreement number HEALTH-F2-2008-200728