Groups and projects

Movement disorders and sensorimotor plasticity

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Neural correlates of (un)consciousness in anesthesia and coma

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Our research group is concerned with the cortical mechanisms that generate human consciousness. The question of where and how human consciousness arises has employed philosophers for centuries. In recent years, neuroscience could make significant contributions to the neurophysiological foundations of consciousness. Key, wide-ranged networks of neurons in the brain could be identified that are crucial to generate highly complex and dynamic patterns of brain activity. These patterns are thought to reflect conscious processes in the first place. Our group made contributions to the field using both fMRI and EEG techniques in anesthetized and comatose patients, identifying robust neurophysiological plausible markers of intact consciousness. These insights offer new perspectives into improving monitoring of anesthesia during surgical procedures and answering difficult ethical questions arising in unresponsive, but seemingly wakeful patients.

 

Translational Neurotechnology

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We study higher-order cognitive functions at the level of individual neurons and their networks. Intelligent, goal-directed behavior is produced by the interaction of populations of neurons in the cognitive brain centers such as the prefrontal cortex, the parietal cortex and the basal ganglia. We develop and use technologies for recording from individual neurons directly in human subjects and combine these with a variety of state-of-the-art methods in animal models (fluorescent neuroimaging, large-scale extracellular recordings, optogenetics, and computational modelling).

More information at simonjacob.de

 

Brain structure and function in schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder

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Neurooncology and functional neuronavigation and -monitoring

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Morphometry in Multiple Sclerosis

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PainLabMunich

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Our research group investigates how the human brain generates pain. Understanding these processes provides basic insights into how the brain translates objective sensory information into a subjective experience. Beyond, such insights are crucial for harnessing these processes for the treatment of pain. Moreover, changes of these processes figure prominently in the susceptibility, development and maintenance of long-lasting pain in chronic pain disorders. Insights into the brain mechanisms of chronic pain can therefore help to develop biomarkers and novel treatment strategies for chronic pain. To achieve these goals, we use electroencephalography (EEG) and cutting-edge analysis techniques to investigate the role of neuronal oscillations, or brain rhythms, in the cerebral processing of pain. Moreover, we use non-invasive brain stimulation (transcranial alternating current stimulation, tACS) and neurofeedback to modulate neuronal oscillations and alleviate pain.

Please check our website PainLabMunich.de for more information.

 

MR physics

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Neuroenergetics of the human brain

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The human brain consumes around 20% of the energy produced by the body. While neuroscience research has immensely progressed in understanding the micro- and macroscopic architecture of the brain, the reason for its high energy demands is still a mystery. In my research group, we study how energy metabolism drives neural signaling and whether it is altered in neuropsychiatric disorders. At TUM, I have established simultaneous measurements of glucose, oxygen and neurotransmitter metabolism in the human brain combining quantitative PET, calibrated fMRI and edited MRS on an integrated PET/MR-scanner. We also use TMS to non-invasively modulate human brain activity.

Please check my webpage for current projects and open positions via: valentinriedl.de

 

Neuropsychiatry and Neuroimaging Lab

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The Neuropsychiatry and Neuroimaging Lab studies large-scale brain systems in healthy humans and neuropsychiatric patients by the use of multi-modal imaging techniques. Main focus is on neurodevelopmental (schizophrenia and premature birth) and neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer’s disease). Key method is functional MRI extended by EEG, perfusion-based MRI, and PET.

We are interested how blood oxygenation fluctuates – i.e. the main functional MRI signal -, how these fluctuations link with both neural oscillations and blood perfusion, how they spread across the cortex, how they are altered by neuromodulators such as dopamine, and how these processes are impaired in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Therefore, we use simultaneous in-vivo imaging of ongoing brain processes at rest in humans together with a modelling approach on processes of interest.

 

Analysis of functional connectivity dynamics from fMRI

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