About CoBra

Cognitive Brain Laboratory (CoBra) consists of a methodological palette with complementary and interlinked components, being an ideal center for investigating a wide range of human cognitive brain function and its deficits.

CoBra is hosted by experts of the human mind, brain diseases, learning, communication, development, and engineering, promoting its professional implementation and nation-wide use as well as providing a platform for its continuous interdisciplinary development. Due to the personnel with multidisciplinary expertise, its location in the hospital environment, and its world-wide unique know-how in, e.g., infant and brain disease studies, it will attract national and international users on a large scale and facilitate the training of internationally competitive researchers. CoBra includes the following LSRIs:

Cognitive Brain Research Unit (CBRU)

(directors: Prof. Kujala, Ph.D., and Dr., Doc. Tervaniemi, Ph.D.), now having personnel of more than 40 individuals, has been selected 3 times as the Center of Excellence (Academy of Finland (AF)/University of Helsinki (UH)) and partly belonged to it once. Current infrastructure consists of high-resolution electroencephalography (EEG) for adult recordings, child-adjusted EEG for infant recordings, the Navigated Brain Stimulation system (nTMS), autonomic nervous system (ANS), and eye-tracking devices (see: CBRU facilities), systematically utilized also in an integrated manner, e.g., by combined EEG and TMS recordings. The joining of CBRU to the “NEUROIMAGING” infrastructure, belonging to Euro-Bio-Imaging (EuBI) ESFRI project, is in progress.

BioMag Laboratory

(director: Dr. Hanna Renvall, MD, Ph.D.), jointly coordinated by Helsinki University Hospital (HUH, the host), UH, and Aalto University (AU), is one of the world’s best-equipped bioelectromagnetism laboratories. It houses two magnetically shielded rooms, a whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG; upgraded in 2015 to Elekta Triux with the prototype of the world’s first zero-level helium boil-off system) & EEG, including a custom-made time-locked video recording system and commercial eye tracking device, nTMS combined with EEG, electromyography (EMG) and video, near-infrared spectroscopic imaging (NIRSI), and a 99-channel flat-bottom SQUID magnetometer. BioMag belongs to the “NEUROIMAGING” research infrastructure of AU, UH, and HUH. “NEUROIMAGING” belongs, as a part of the Finnish consortium participating in the EuBI ESFRI project, to the roadmap of the Finnish Research Infrastructures. The laboratory premises were renewed in 2018 by HUH.

BABA center

(director: Prof. Vanhatalo, MD, Ph.D.) is the only hospital-based, clinical research laboratory in Europe dedicated to multidisciplinary studies on early brain development in healthy and neurologically sick children. BABA collects together a number of clinical research activities running in Helsinki Children’s Hospital. The infrastructure of BABA includes high-resolution EEG systems custom-built for infant and pediatric studies, two eye-tracking systems built for infant psychophysical and neurocognitive studies, neuropsychological testing setups, video-based infant mobility analysis, intensive care monitoring, and multimodal stimulation systems, as well as a laboratory environment built for studying newborns, infants, and toddlers.