Our research aims to address a fundamental gap of knowledge concerning the precise timing and anatomical location, as well as the causal significance of specific neuronal populations in the brain that work together on a millisecond scale to support human behavior and experience. We try to understand the principles of cross-regional dynamics of processing in the human brain.
To achieve this, we directly record neural activity within the brains of neurosurgical patients implanted with multiple electrodes and apply electrical stimulation to probe their causal relevance. Additionally, we administer direct electrical currents to specific neuronal populations to modify their function, assessing the impact of these perturbations on the subjective experiences and task performance of our human participants.
The significance of our research extends to each individual patient who volunteers for our cognitive and behavioral experiments. By mapping the functional units within each individual patient’s brain, we gather clinically valuable information to formulate precise and safer surgical plans and reduce the risk of significant cognitive deficits following surgery. Furthermore, we pinpoint the location of pathological activity, aiding in the identification of the source of seizures and the mode of their propagation within each patient's brain.
Beyond the clinical realm, our work holds broader societal significance and implications for public health. We strive to gather novel insights into the functional organization of the human brain, enhancing our understanding of its mode of operation. This knowledge is crucial for unraveling the pathophysiology of neurological and psychiatric disorders that impair higher-level cognitive functions and pose substantial challenges for affected individuals, their families, and society as a whole.