A new webinar series from EBRAINS

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

The hour-long sessions will 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 interactive webinars are free and open to the public. The events will be recorded, streamed live on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube, where viewers can ask questions by commenting on the live streams!

Find out more about EBRAINS 

#2 Brain Matters | 27 October 2020 | 16:00–17:00 CET

Networks for Consciousness & Medical Use Cases

Moderator: Katrina Sichel

The webinar will be divided into 3 sessions:

Mavi Sanchez-Vives will talk 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 will talk about how to better determine whether non-responsive or minimally-responsive patients are conscious.

Pieter Roelfsema will address the question How can we calibrate computer brain interfaces to ensure electrical stimuli inputs reach the level of attention?

Learn more about the speakers below:

Mavi Sanchez-Vives, MD PhD, is ICREA Research Professor and leader of Systems Neuroscience at the Institute of Biomedical Research August Pi Sunyer in Barcelona, Spain. She is also co-Director of the EVENT Lab (Experimental Virtual Environments in Neurosciences and Technology) at the University of Barcelona and one of the founders of Virtual Bodyworks Inc. She is interested in the cellular and network mechanisms for the generation of spontaneous brain emergent activity in physiological and pathological conditions, neurotechnology and brain interfacing. She is also interested in brain-related applications of virtual reality, particularly in relation to body representation.

Marcello Massimini's research aims to understand the changes that take place in the thalamocortical networks when consciousness fades and recovers, such as when we sleep and wake up. After performing studies of EEG oscillations in cortical neurons during anesthesia, Massimini performed the first high-density EEGs in sleeping humans to describe the spatiotemporal dynamics of slow sleep oscillations. He then turned to the development of an innovative technique (TMS [Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation] and Simultaneous High Density EEG) to study cortico-cortical interactions from a disruptive perspective. Using this method during wakefulness, sleep, dreams, various types of anesthesia, and brain damage, he has shown that consciousness is associated with the brain's ability to integrate information. These experiments shed a different light on the mechanisms associated with loss and restoration of consciousness, and led to the development of a bedside brain complexity index that has important implications for patient stratification. unconscious. In addition to neurophysiology, Massimini is interested in the theoretical and philosophical implications of the neuroscience of consciousness.

Pieter R. Roelfsema received his MD degree in 1991 and his PhD degree in 1995. He moved to the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience in Amsterdam in 2002 and became director in 2007. He is professor at the Free University of Amsterdam and also Professor at the AMC in Amsterdam. He received a NWO-VICI award (2008) and an ERC-Advanced grant (2014). Roelfsema studies visual perception, plasticity and memory in the visual system of experimental animals, humans, and with neural networks. His main question is how neurons in different brain areas work together during thinking. Roelfsema studies how networks of neurons work together to solve cognitive tasks and how they configure themselves during learning. He develops neurotechnological solutions to create new high-bandwidth brain-computer interfaces. He combines new technological possibilities with knowledge about the visual system to create a visual prosthesis for blind people that will restore a rudimentary form of sight. Roelfsema coordinates the Dutch neurotechnology initiative NeuroTech-NL.



#1 Brain Matters | 21 September 2020 | 16:00–17:00 CEST

EBRAINS – in Search of Breakthroughs in Science and Medicine

Katrina Sichel


Watch this session to learn about 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

presented by Katrin Amunts (FZ Jülich & University of Düsseldorf)

Are you curious about your personality, and what makes people tick? Tune in to this session to find out what brain scans and Artificial Intelligence can tell you about yourself, including:

  • How old you are
  • How outgoing you are
  • How neurotic you are
  • How good your memory is
  • And much more!

presented by Simon Eickhoff (FZ Jülich)

Brain surgery is difficult to perform, and outcomes are hard to predict. But what if a virtual model of a patient’s brain could make things easier? Join this session to learn about the various applications of personalized brain models, including:

  • Understanding brain activity
  • Gaining insights into brain pathologies
  • Helping surgeons to make decisions regarding brain surgery

presented by Viktor Jirsa (Aix-Marseille Université)


Katrin Amunts did a postdoctoral fellowship at the C. & O. Vogt Institute of Brain Research at Duesseldorf University, Germany. In 1999, she set up a new research unit for Brain Mapping at the Research Center Juelich, Germany. In 2004, she became professor for Structural-Functional Brain Mapping, and in 2008 a full professor at the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics at the RWTH Aachen University as well as director of the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1) at the Research Center Juelich. Since 2013, she is a full professor for Brain Research, director of the C. and O. Vogt Institute of Brain Research, Heinrich-Heine University Duesseldorf and director of the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1), Research Center Juelich. Katrin Amunts is the programme speaker of the programme Decoding the Human Brain of the Helmholtz Association, Germany. Since 2017 Katrin Amunts is co-speaker of the graduate school Max-Planck School of Cognition and since 2018 she is a member of the International Advisory Council Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives, Canada.

Since 2016, she is the Scientific Research Director and Chair of the Science and Infrastructure Board (SIB) European Flagship, The Human Brain Project (HBP).

In order to better understand the organizational principles of the human brain, she and her team aim to integrate cyto-, receptorarchitectonic, genetic and functional as well as PLI-based maps into a multimodal atlas, which contributes to EBRAINS, the research infrastructure of the HBP. Central to her approach are the development and application of methods of high-performance computing to generate ultra-high resolution human brain models such as the BigBrain, and the Juelich-Brain, a cytoarchitectonic atlas reflecting variations in brain structure.

Simon Eickhoff is a full professor and chair of the Institute for Systems Neuroscience at the Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf and the director of the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-7, Brain and Behavior) at the Forschungszentrum Jülich. He is furthermore a visiting professor at the Chinese Academy of Science Institute of Automation. Working at the interface between neuroanatomy, data-science and brain medicine, the he aims to obtain a more detailed characterization of the organization of the human brain and its inter-individual variability in order to better understand its changes in advanced age as well as neurological and psychiatric disorders. This goal is pursued by the development and application of novel analysis tools and approaches for large-scale, multi-modal analysis of brain structure, function and connectivity as well as by machine-learning for single subject prediction of cognitive and socio-affective traits and ultimately precision medicine.

Viktor Jirsa is Director of the Inserm Institut de Neurosciences des Systèmes at Aix-Marseille-Université in Marseille, France. Dr. Jirsa received his PhD in 1996 in Theoretical Physics and Applied Mathematics and has since then contributed to the field of Theoretical Neuroscience, in particular through the development of large-scale brain network models based on realistic connectivity. His work has been foundational for network science in medicine with translations to clinical applications. Dr. Jirsa serves as scientific lead of the brain simulation platform The Virtual Brain (www.thevirtualbrain.org) and lead investigator in the Human Brain Project (https://www.humanbrainproject.eu/). Dr. Jirsa has been awarded several prizes for his research including the Grand Prix de Recherche en Provence (2018) and has published more than 160 scientific articles.

Watch the first Brain Matters webinar:


Links with further material


Contact: outreach@humanbrainproject.eu