System level human brain dynamics
Matias Palva research group

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.


J. Matias Palva
PhD, Docent
P.O. Box 21, FI-00014 University of Helsinki
Phone: 57612 (internal), +358 50 4484 761

Lab address

Haartmaninkatu 3 B, E-wing, 4th floor,
00014 Helsinki, Finland.
Phone: +358 2941 57611