Brain Matters

The webinar series from the Human Brain Project

Entering its third and final phase, the Human Brain Project has launched ‘Brain Matters’, a webinar series which explores the various issues being tackled by the HBP scientific community.

The hour-long sessions focus on different areas of brain research and feature expert speakers, with the goal of highlighting the HBP’s scientific achievements and the state-of-the-art services offered by its new infrastructure for brain research, EBRAINS.

The webinars are hosted on Zoom. Please note that participation is free but registration is mandatory! Recordings of the webinars are available on the Human Brain Project YouTube channel.

If you have any questions, please contact: outreach@humanbrainproject.eu

Next episode

Brain Matters #11 - "Schizophrenia: a temporal disorder?"

Click here to register

The next episode of Brain Matters will take place on 20 October from 16:30-17:30 CET and will feature the following HBP researchers:

  • Georg Northoff (The Royal's Institute of Mental Health Research)
  • Anne Marie Wolff (University of Ottawa)
  • Maria Karanikolaou (University of Athens)

We hope you will join us for this episode! Make sure to register here.

Previous episodes

This episode featured the following researchers in the Human Brain Project:

  • Leon Stefanovski (Charité Berlin) who presented 'Brain simulation to improve classification in Alzheimer’s dementia and in silico drug testing'
  • Jil Mona Meier (Charité Berlin) who presented 'In silico deep brain stimulation to improve patient outcomes in Parkinson’s dementia'
  • Michael Schirner (Charité Berlin) who presented 'Multiscale brain network modeling to infer principles of cognitive brain function'

The session was moderated by Petra Ritter, Head of the Brain Simulation Section at Charité Berlin.

Watch the recording here.

This episode featured the following researchers in the Human Brain Project:

  • Borana Dollomaja (Aix-Marseille University) presented her poster 'Virtual Epileptic Patient: From science to clinical trial'. The virtual epileptic patient is a brain modeling approach which combines mathematical models of seizure dynamics, patient brain imaging data and model fitting techniques to estimate the epileptogenic zone of the patient’s brain and help in the surgical prognosis of the patient.
  • Pierpaolo Sorrentino (Aix-Marseille University) presented his poster 'On the topochronic map of the human brain dynamics'. Drawing from techniques adapted from statistical mechanics, this presentation introduces a new in vivo approach for measuring functional delays across the whole brain using magneto/electroencephalography and integrating them with the structural bundles.
  • Giovanni Rabuffo (Aix-Marseille University) presented his poster 'Neuronal Cascades shape whole-brain functional dynamics at rest'. His team has uncovered a new phenomenon, neuronal cascades, and demonstrates their role in driving the switching behavior of functional connectivity states.

The session was moderated by Egidio D'Angelo, who is Full Professor of Physiology at the Dept. of  Brain and Behavioral Sciences of the University of Pavia.

Watch the recording here.

This webinar featured young researchers in the Human Brain Project: 

  • Robin Gutzen (Forschungszentrum Jülich) presented his poster from SfN 2021. The abstract reads: "Wave-like activity in the brain can be found in various recordings across measurement techniques and experiments. To coherently understand, compare, and build on these heterogeneous findings we need analysis pipelines that are adaptable and reusable, as presented in this use-case."
  • Alessandra Camassa (IDIBAPS) presented "Ongoing neural interactions under unconscious brain states." The emerging rhythm characteristic of unconscious brain states is known as Slow Wave Activity. To better understand the neural mechanisms and dynamical principles that underlie such activity, Alessandra and her team studied the network's synchronization dynamics at multiple scales.
  • Antonio Pazienti (Istituto Superiore di Sanità) presented "Emerging slow waves in premotor cortex during task performance", showing how Antonio and his colleagues found signs of sleep in the neural activity during quiet periods within a task execution, and what this activity tells about criticality in the brain.

The session was moderated by Jennifer Goldman (European Institute for Theoretical Neuroscience).

Watch the recording here.

This webinar featured young researchers in the Human Brain Project: 

  • Enny Van Beest (Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience) presented her poster 'The direct and indirect pathway modulate dorsal cortical activity and future perceptual decisions'
  • Julien Fiorilli (University of Amsterdam) presented his poster 'Neural correlates of multisensory object sampling and associated choice outcome: Comparison of visual and somatosensory cortices, perirhinal cortex and hippocampus'

The session was moderated Prof. Dr. Cyriel Pennartz, head of the Department of Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

This webinar featured Human Brain Project researchers who were selected to present posters at the Neuroscience 2021 virtual conference organized by the Society for Neuroscience (SfN)!

  • Tao Yao (KU Leuven) is a postdoctoral researcher working on high cognitive function.
  • Eline Mergan (KU Leuven) is a doctoral student whose work explores face perception in the prefrontal cortex of macaque monkeys.
  • Jerome Herpers (KU Leuven) studies the effects of artificial stimulation of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) on visual plasticity and behaviour.
  • Xiaolian Li (KU Leuven) is a PhD student of neuroscience whose research focuses on the study of the brain, particularly using high-resolution fMRI for high cognitive functions.

The session was moderated by Mavi-Sanchez Vives, MD PhD, ICREA Research Professor and leader of Systems Neuroscience at the Institute of Biomedical Research August Pi Sunyer in Barcelona, Spain.

In the fifth edition of the Brain Matters Webinar we turned our attention from scientific results to scientific activity underway in the final phase of the Human Brain Project. In the Virtual Big Brain project teams at Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany and Aix-Marseille University are working together to build a massively scaled up version of The Virtual Brain (TVB) a tool which simulates the whole human brain using mean field models.

The webinar featured the following speakers:

  • Viktor Jirsa (Aix-Marseille University)
  • Timo Dickscheid (Forschungszentrum Jülich) 
  • Marmaduke Woodman (Aix-Marseille University)
  • Sandra Diaz Pier (Forschungszentrum Jülich)

The session was moderated by Katrina Sichel.

Watch the recording here.

Brain Simulation Science and Technology: Looking Forward explored simulation science in the Human Brain Project in three specific brain areas:

  • Michele Migliore (CNR) discussed the hippocampus.
  • Eduardo Ros (University of Granada) addressed the cerebellum.
  • Jeanette Hellgren Kotaleski (KTH) presented the basal ganglia.

The session was moderated by Katrina Sichel.

Watch the recording here.

  • Steve Furber (University of Manchester), who has built the largest neuromorphic super-computer in the world in Manchester, introduced the origins of bio-inspired computing, which go back a lot longer than you might expect.
  • Rainer Goebel (Maastricht University) talked about the work being done in the Human Brain Project’s "Adaptive networks for cognitive architectures:
  • from advanced learning to neurorobotics and neuromorphic applications" Work Package.
  • Christopher Summerfield (Oxford University), who works with the Deep Mind team in Google, talked about how insights from brain research are actively incorporated into efforts to build better artificial intelligence.

The session was moderated by Katrina Sichel.

Watch the recording here.

  • Mavi Sanchez-Vives (IDIBAPS) talked about the scientific work package she leads “Brain Networks Underlying Cognitition and Consciousness” and the work underway to develop a “general model of brain states.”
  • Marcello Massimini (University of Milan) spoke about how to better determine whether non-responsive or minimally-responsive patients are conscious.
  • Pieter Roelfsema (Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience) addressed the question How can we calibrate computer brain interfaces to ensure electrical stimuli inputs reach the level of attention?

The session was moderated by Katrina Sichel.

Watch the recording here.

This webinar explained how the Human Brain Project and EBRAINS are ushering in a new era in brain research by:

  • Moving the field of neuroscience towards the world of connectivity
  • Gaining a better understanding of the human multiscale connectome
  • Providing brain researchers with high quality models, data sets, and robust tools through EBRAINS

It featured the following speakers:

  • Katrin Amunts (FZ Jülich & University of Düsseldorf)
  • Simon Eickhoff (FZ Jülich)
  • Viktor Jirsa (Aix-Marseille Université)

The session was moderated by Katrina Sichel.

Watch the recording here.