The Bernstein Center Freiburg

Informal Seminar
Enzo Tagliazucchi

Physics and Neurology Department
Goethe University Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Decoding and understanding brain states
from spontaneous brain activity

Recent years have seen a flood of papers studying spontaneous brain activity and its use to understand brain function, as well as to develop biomarkers for different diseases. In spite of many interesting results, there is little consensus about the answer to very basic questions, such as what is their origin and function. Using unsupervised and supervised learning techniques, we will show that spatial patterns of brain activity are largely preserved from wakefulness to other brain states such as deep sleep, thus arguing against unrestrained conscious cognition as their origin. We explain this peculiar result due to spatial coherence induced by underlying anatomical or structural connections. The temporal profile of spontaneous activity is, on the other hand, deeply affected during the descend to deep sleep, showing a breakdown of long-range temporal correlations in fronto-parietal regions commonly associated with conscious mentation. Finally, we establish and validate a method to decode brain states from spontaneous brain activity and apply it to disentangle wakefulness from other states in a very large (>1000) database of brain scans, with results prompting a major re-evaluation of a number of already published studies.

Monday, May 12, 2014

11:00 h
BCF Library
First Floor
Hansastr. 9a
The talk is open to the public. Guests are cordially invited!