Research Group Leader
- Large-scale neural network dynamics underlying human behaviour.
- Cortical excitability, from molecular to behavioural levels.
- Neural underpinning of social cognition in healthy individuals and pathological conditions
- To understand principle mechanisms in neural connectivity in the adult and developing brain.
- To improve our understanding of the transition from normal to pathological cortical excitability in the human brain.
- To develop advanced experimental paradigms and analytical techniques for dual-fMRI “hyperscanning” investigations into social decision making and the underlying neural dynamics.
Content of research
Principles of neural connectivity underlying normal and pathological brain processing.
This research group compares the architecture of structural and functional connectivity networks, and model their interrelationships. It will also investigate changes in neural connectivity in terms of developmental, physiological and pathological neuroplasticity. The findings of these studies will contribute significantly to our knowledge of neural “wiring” in the healthy and diseased brain. Furthermore, by characterising the nature of network reorganisation in neuropsychiatric conditions, these studies can identify useful early biological markers of disease.
Cortical excitability – from molecular to behavioural levels
By performing multimodal and multilevel investigations, this group explores the manifold factors that modify cortical excitability. In doing so, we can uncover the basic neural mechanisms underlying several psychophysiological phenomena (e.g., déjà vu), and advance our understanding of pathological mechanisms behind the development of various neuropsychiatric disease (e.g., epilepsy).
Neural underpinning of social cognition in healthy individuals and pathological conditions
As social cognitive neuroscientists, this group are interested in the brain mechanisms and networks underlying social cognition – that is, the cognitive mechanisms that allow us to interact with others and conduct ourselves appropriately in social contexts. We investigate this by measuring social behaviours (e.g., empathic expression, imitative tendencies) via self-report and task performance, and the neural dynamics behind them. To elucidate the underlying brain processes as they unfold during real social interaction, we are developing experimental paradigms for two-person brain imaging ("hyperscanning") in both the healthy population and clinical disorders characterised by altered social behaviour.