Palva Lab
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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

Prof. Matias Palva, PhD, Docent

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

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Senior adjunct researchers
Gabriele 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.
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Postdoctoral researchers
Sheng Sheng Wang, PhD (at University of Helsinki and Aalto University) Sheng joined us in 2012 after obtaining his MA and BA in psychology and neuroscience at York University, Toronto, Canada. In November 2021, he defended with distinction his PhD in Physiology and Neuroscience at Helsinki University. Sheng has been advancing theories and methods to research brain criticality and functional connectivity, and he is now focusing on investigating brain dynamics in epilepsy. Sheng has been a visiting researcher at Aalto University from December 2019, and he is currently a Finnish Cultural Foundation and Sigrid Jusélius Foundation fellow working with Philippe Ciuciu at CEA/NeuroSpin and Inria/MIND in Paris-Scaly, France.
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Felix 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.
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Wenya Wenya Liu, PhD (at Aalto University) Wenya obtained her doctoral degree at the Faculty of Information Technology, Jyväskylä. She joined our lab in December 2021 and is working on behavioural phenotyping and MEG data analysis as part of the 'Plasticity Stimulation in the Treatment of Anhedonia' project. This project, which is funded by the Wellcome Leap Multi-Channel Psych research program, aims to study the effects of video games on depression symptoms and brain dynamics.
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PhD students
Vlad 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.
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Joonas_J Joonas Juvonen (at Aalto University) Joonas has been in our group since 2018. He 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 cognitive game science with Meliora, a novel computer game developed for depression treatment.

Lauri Lauri Lukka (at Aalto University) Lauri has Master's degrees in Psychology from University of Turku (2011) and in Game design and Production from Aalto University (2017). He is researching the design, development, and implementation of digital mental health interventions. His aim is to facilitate the development and uptake of effective and engaging interventions.
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Merlin Merlin Dumeur (at University of Helsinki)

Antti Antti Salonen (at Aalto University) Antti has a Master's degree in solution focused psychotherapy from the University of Bristol. He also has a vocational degree in business IT and experience in software design. Before joining us in 2021, he was working in treatment of psychiatric patients and as a Project Manager of digitalisation at Turku University Hospital. In our group, he is working as a Clinical Subject Coordinator, responsible for subject monitoring and symptom data handling.

Research assistants
Shokoofeh Shokoofeh Parvin (at Aalto University) Shokoofeh has a BSc degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Tehran, and an MSc degree in Biomedical Engineering from Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran. For her MSc, she explored the therapeutic effects of repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) on neuromuscular abnormalities in children with spastic cerebral palsy. She joined us in 2022 and is developing a novel platform for using brain models and virtual TMS to identify individualized biomarkers for brain stimulation.
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Undergraduate students
Joonas_K Joonas Kuusisto (at University of Helsinki and Aalto University) 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.
Lauri_P Lauri Pohjohla (at Aalto University) Lauri obtained a BSc in Bioinformation Technology from Aalto University where he is currently studying in the Life Science Technologies programme, majoring in bioinformatics and digital health. He joined the group in 2020 and is working with the digital therapeutic product Meliora, doing personalization, data analysis, and backend development.
Juhani Juhani Kolehmainen (at Aalto University) Juhani has a BSc in Bioinformation Technology from Aalto University and is currently studying Life Science Technologies, majoring in bioinformatics and digital health. His fields of research are working on game science and digital therapeutics. Juhani joined our group in 2020, mainly focusing on personalization and analysis of digital therapeutic product Meliora.
Joona Joona Repo (at Aalto University) Joona has a BSc in Bioinformation Technology from Aalto University and is studying Life Science Technologies, majoring in Human Neuroscience and Technology. He wrote his Bachelor's thesis on transcranial alternating current stimulation. He joined our group in 2022 and is working on computational modelling and virtual rMTS stimulation.
Samanta Samanta Knapič (at University of Helsinki) Samanta obtained her BSc in biopsychology at University of Primorska, Slovenia and a joint MSc in cognitive science and psychology at Umeå University, Sweden. Currently she is completing a Master's programme in Neuroscience at University of Helsinki. She joined our group in 2022 and is working on MEG and MRI data acquisition and analyses as a part of the Wellcome Leap Multi-Channel Psych research program identifying neural mechanisms of depression.
Vilma Vilma-Reetta Bergman (at University of Helsinki and Aalto University) Vilma-Reetta has a BSc in Psychology from University of Helsinki and is currently completing her Master’s programme in Psychology. She joined the lab in 2022 and is working in the group as a Clinical Subject Coordinator.
Alina Alina Suleimanova (at Aalto University) Alina has a BSc in applied informatics from Kazan Federal University and is currently pursuing her master's degree in biomedical engineering at Aalto University. Since 2022, she has been working in our group developing Kuramoto models of oscillatory brain activity.
Rudolf Rudolf Mård (at Aalto University) Rudolf obtained a BSc degree in bioinformation technology from Aalto University and is now pursuing his master's degree majoring in bioinformatics and digital health at the Life Science Technologies programme. He joined the lab in 2022 and is studying computational modelling and patient phenotype clustering for his master's thesis.

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