Cognition and oscillations Lab - Members
Federica meconi - postdoctoral researcher (marie-curie fellow)
My main research interest is in empathy towards others' pain. As part of my Marie-Curie project, I will be exploring how autobiographical memories are involved when we empathize with others' physical pain.
Meconi, F., Anderl-Straubb, S., Raumc, H., Landgrebed, M., Langguthd, B., Bäuml, K.-H. T., & Hanslmayr, S. (2016). Aberrant prefrontal beta oscillations predict episodic memory encoding deficits in schizophrenia. Neuroimage: Clinical, 12, 499–505. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2016.08.017
Vaes, J., Meconi, F., Sessa, P., & Olechowski, M. (2016). Minimal humanity cues induce neuro-empathic reactions towards non-human entities. Neuropshychologia, 89, 132-140.
Sessa, P.*, & Meconi, F.* (2015). Perceived trustworthiness shapes neural empathic responses toward others’ pain. Neuropsychologia, 79, 97-105.
*: shared first-authorship
Meconi, F., Vaes, J., & Sessa, P. (2015). On the neglected role of stereotypes in empathy towards other-race pain. Social Neuroscience, 10, 1–6. DOI:10.1080/17470919.2014.954731
Sessa, P., Meconi, F., & Han, S. (2014). Double dissociation of neural responses supporting perceptual and cognitive components of theory of mind: Evidence from processing of others’ pain. Scientific Reports. doi: 10.1038/srep07424
Meconi, F., Luria, R., & Sessa, P. (2014) Individual differences in anxiety predict neural measures of visual working memory for untrustworthy faces. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 9, 1872–1879.
Sessa, P., Meconi, F., Castelli, L., & Dell'Acqua R. (2014). Taking one's time in feeling other-race pain: An event-related potential investigation on the time-course of cross-racial empathy. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 9, 454–463.
FREDERIC ROUX - POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER
Episodic memory is "what" enables us to remember unique events such as whom we met at a particular place and time. Thus, events that occur only once per lifetime can be remembered forever. My interest is to understand how the brain accomplishes this extraordinary feat by combining experimental and theoretical techniques. I have turned to computer modeling to test hypotheses on how brain cells process and store episodic memories. To refine these models I look at the electric activity generated by single cells in human hippocampus while new memories are being created.
Roux, F., Armstrong, B. & Carreiras, M. (2016). Chronset: an automated tool for detecting speech onset. M Behav Research, 48:1-18. doi:;10.3758/s13428-016-0830-1
Uhlhaas, P. & Roux, F. (2016). Thalamo-Cortical Interactions and Synchronous Oscillations in MEG Data. In Palva, S. (Ed.), Multimodal Oscillation-based Connectivity Theory (pp 69-86). Springer Link. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-32265-0_5
Roux, F., & Uhlhaas, P. (2014). Working memory and neural oscillations: α-γ versus θ-γ codes for distinct WM information. Trends in Cognitive Science, 18(1):16-25.
Roux, F., Wibral, M., Aaru, J., Singer, W., Uhlhaas, P (2013). The phase of thalamic alpha activity modulates cortical gamma-band activity: evidence from resting-state MEG recordings. The Journal of Neuroscience, 33(45):17827-35. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5778-12.2013.
Roux, F., Wibral, M., Mohr, HM., Singer, W., Uhlhaas, P (2012). Gamma-band activity in human prefrontal cortex codes for the number of relevant items maintained in working memory. The Journal of Neuroscience, 32(36):12411-20. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0421-12.2012.
Contact: F.Roux [at] bham.ac.uk
Rodika Sokoliuk - Postdoctoral researcher
I'm the only one in the team who is not working on memory - but I do remember that I am interested in brain oscillations and their influence on visual perception and attention. While I was more focused on visual perception during my PhD, I'm now discovering a bit more the salient world of visual attention. In my current project, I am interested in spatio-temporal properties of alpha oscillations during different attentional states, using EEG/fMRI co-registration. In order to get a spatial close-up, we are using a 7 Tesla MRI at the Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre in Nottingham and combine it - for the precise timing - with a compatible EEG system. With that approach, I hope we can find out more about the origin of alpha oscillations and how they act in time and space to shape the ongoing stream of sensory information into bite-sized chunks for an effective processing.
Sokoliuk, Rodika, and Rufin VanRullen. "The flickering wheel illusion: When α rhythms make a static wheel flicker." The Journal of Neuroscience 33.33 (2013): 13498-13504.
Zoefel, Benedikt, and Rodika Sokoliuk. "Investigating the Rhythm of Attention on a Fine-Grained Scale: Evidence from Reaction Times." The Journal of Neuroscience 34.38 (2014): 12619-12621.
Sokoliuk R., VanRullen R. (2015, January). Human brain oscillations and their link to visual perception. Invited talk at the Sensory Perception Symposium, ICN, Erlangen, Germany
Sokoliuk R., Busch N.A., Hanslmayr S., Reddy L., VanRullen R. (2015, May). The influence of attention on the relationship between the alpha phase and the BOLD response. Talk at NeuroDoWo, Berlin, Germany
Sokoliuk R., VanRullen R. (2013, May). Tracking the spatio-temporal propagation of entrained alpha oscillations across the visual field. Poster presentation at VSS, Naples, Florida, USA
Sokoliuk R., Busch N.A., VanRullen R. (2012, May). Cross-Frequency Coupling during the resting state with and without visual input. Poster presentation at VSS, Naples, Florida, USA
Sokoliuk R., VanRullen R. (2011, August). The Flickering Wheel Illusion: New Psychophysical Insights. Poster presentation at 34th ECVP, Toulouse, France
Sokoliuk R., VanRullen R. (2011, May). The Flickering Wheel Illusion: when alpha rhythms make a static wheel flicker. Poster presentation at VSS, Naples, Florida, USA
Contact: sokoliur [at] adf.bham.ac.uk
danying wang - Postdoctoral researcher
Verena braun - phd student
Verena is interested in oscillatory mechanisms underlying episodic memory formation and retrieval. Her main focus lies on investigating the causal role of brain oscillations in memory. During her PhD project she will use brain stimulation techniques like transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as well as electrophysiological (EEG) and neuroimaging (fMRI) methods.
Braun, V., Sokoliuk, R., Hanslmayr, S. (in press). On the effectiveness of event-related beta tACS on episodic memory formation and motor cortex excitability. Brain Stimulation. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brs.2017.04.129
Stonkus, R., Braun, V., Kerlin, JR., Volberg, G., Hanslmayr, S. (2016). Probing the causal role of prestimulus interregional synchrony for perceptual integration via tACS. Scientific Reports, 6: 32065. doi: 10.1038/srep32065
Waldhauser, GT., Braun, V., Hanslmayr, S. (2016). Episodic memory retrieval functionally relies on very rapid reactivation of sensory information. The Journal of Neuroscience,36(1):251-260. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2101-15.2016.
Braun, V., Sokoliuk, R., Hanslmayr, S. (2017, April). An alternative view on tACS: Is it an effective tool for cognitive research? Poster presented at the BNA2017 Festival of Neuroscience, Birmingham, UK
Braun, V., Sokoliuk, R., Hanslmayr, S. (2016, November). Is transcranial alternating current stimulation an effective tool for cognitive research? Poster presented at Society for Neuroscience, Annual Meeting, San Diego, USA.
Braun, V. & Hanslmayr, S. (2016, July). Slow rTMS over left DLPFC unexpectedly enhances memory encoding. Poster presented at the International Conference on Memory (ICOM6), Budapest, Hungary.
Braun, V., Kerlin, J., Stonkus, R., Hanslmayr, S. (2015, September). Modulating memory formation by entrainment of prefrontal beta oscillations using tACS. Talk presented at EBO – Entrainment of Brain Oscillations 2015, Delmenhorst, Germany.
Braun, V., Kerlin, J., Stonkus, R., & Hanslmayr, S. (2015, May). Entrainment of prefrontal beta oscillations by tACS modulates memory formation. Poster presented at the 2015 Context and Episodic Memory Symposium (CEMS), Philadelphia, USA.
Waldhauser, G., Braun, V., & Hanslmayr, S. (2013, September). Brain oscillations indicate the rapid reactivation of lateralized visual memories. Poster presented at Brain Oscillations and Cognition. A Symposium in the Honour of Prof. Wolfgang Klimesch, Salzburg, Austria.
Contact: v.braun [at] pgr.bham.ac.uk
sebastian michelmann - Phd student
Sebastian is interested in the temporal dynamics of neural oscillations that are involved in episodic memory. His PhD project mainly focuses on the use of multivariate similarity measures to find temporal signatures of memory, namely to find correlates of learned content during its retrieval from memory. He therefore records and analyses EEG, MEG and iEEG data.
Michelmann, S., Bowman, H., Hanslmayr, S. (2016) The Temporal Signature of Memories: Identification of a General Mechanism for Dynamic Memory Replay in Humans. PLoS Biol, 14(8):e1002528. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1002528
Andreatta, M., Michelmann, S., Pauli, P., Hewig, J. (2017) Learning processes underlying avoidance of negative outcomes. Psychophysiology 54(2) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/psyp.12822/full
Staresina, B.P., Michelmann, S., Bonnefond, M., Jensen, O., Axmacher, N., and Fell, J. (2016) Hippocampal pattern completion is linked to gamma power increases and alpha power decreases during recollection. eLife 2016;5:e17397. http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17397
Michelmann, S., Bowman H., & Hanslmayr, S. (2016, July). The temporal signature of dynamic memories. Talk presented at ICOM-6 6th International Conference on Memory, Budapest, Hungary.
Michelmann, S., Bowman H., & Hanslmayr, S. (2016, July). The temporal signature of dynamic memories. Talk presented at 2nd EEG Research Methodology Meeting, London, UK.
Michelmann, S., Bowman H., & Hanslmayr, S. (2015, June). Phase coding of content during reinstatement of dynamic memory trajectories in the visual and auditory domain. Poster presented at ESI Systems Neuroscience Conference (ESISyNC), Frankfurt, Germany.
Michelmann, S., Bowman H., & Hanslmayr, S. (2015, May). Reinstatement of dynamic memory trajectories in the visual and auditory domain – Towards a mental chronometry of memory replay. Conference abstract for the 2015 Context and Episodic Memory Symposium (CEMS), Philadelphia, PA.
Contact: sxm1085 [at] bham.ac.uk
Andrew Clouter - phD Student
My current research focuses on the question of how the brain binds elements from different sensory modalities into a representation in episodic memory. Specifically, I am investigating how theta phase synchronisation causally promotes episodic memory formation in humans. Other ongoing projects investigate the effects of transcranial current stimulation on working memory, visual short-term memory, and episodic memory in the healthy population and in patient groups.
Clouter, A., Wilson, R., Allen, S., Klein, R. M., & Eskes, G. A. (2015). The influence of verbal and spatial working memory load on the time course of the Simon effect. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 41(2), 342.
Chiou, M., Hawes, N., Stolkin, R., Shapiro, K., Kerlin, J., & Clouter, A. (2015) Towards the Principled Study of Variable Autonomy in Mobile Robots. IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, 1053 - 1059.
Clouter, A., Shapiro, K., & Hanslmayr, S. Vision Sciences Society 16th Annual Meeting (VSS 2016; poster)
Clouter, A., Shapiro, K., & Hanslmayr, S. Entrainment of Brain Oscillations, Carl von Ossietzky Universität, Oldenburg (2015, poster, best poster award)
Clouter, A., Wilson, R., Allen, S., Klein, R. M., & Eskes, G. A. International Conference on Working Memory, Cambridge (2014, poster)
Clouter, A., & Eskes, G. A. Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute Annual Neuroscience Conference: Brain Plasticity and Neurorehabilitation (2013, poster)
Clouter, A., & Eskes, G. A. Attention Symposium on the Future of Attention Research and Practice: Defining, Measuring, and Repairing Networks of Attention (2012, poster)
Contact: aclouter [at} hotmail.com
benjamin james griffiths - PHD STUDENT
Ben’s current research focuses on the role of alpha and beta desynchronisation in episodic memory formation and retrieval. In an ongoing simultaneous EEG-fMRI project, he is examining the relationship between oscillatory desynchronisation and the BOLD correlates of memory reinstatement. Meanwhile, his work with epilepsy patients is examining the interaction between neocortical low-frequency desynchronisation and hippocampal theta-gamma synchronisation during episodic memory formation.
Griffiths, B., & Beierholm, U. (2017). The stick and the carrot: Opposing effects of reward and punishment on human vigor. Scientific Reports.
Griffiths, B., Mazaheri, A., Debener, S., & Hanslmayr, S. (2016). Brain oscillations track the formation of episodic memories in the real world. NeuroImage, 143, 256-266.
McKeown, D., Holt, J., Delvenne, J-F., Smith, A., & Griffiths, B. (2014). Active versus passive maintenance of visual non-verbal memory. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 21(4), 1041-1047.
Griffiths, B., Michelmann, S., Staresina, B., Wimber, M., Chelvarajah, R., Rollings, D., Sawlani, V., Hamer, H., Gollwitzer, S., Kreiselmeyer, G., Hanslmayr S. (2017). Poster presentation. British Neuroscience Association. Birmingham, UK.
Griffiths, B., Michelmann, S., Staresina, B., Wimber, M., Chelvarajah, R., Rollings, D., Sawlani, V., Hamer, H., Gollwitzer, S., Kreiselmeyer, G., Hanslmayr S. (2017). Poster presentation. Event Representations in Episodic and Semantic Memory Workshop. York, UK.
Griffiths, B., Michelmann, S., Staresina, B., Wimber, M., Chelvarajah, R., Rollings, D., Sawlani, V., Hamer, H., Gollwitzer, S., Kreiselmeyer, G., Hanslmayr S. (2016). Poster presentation. Society for Neuroscience. San Diego, USA.
Griffiths, B., Mazaheri, A., Debener, S., & Hanslmayr, S. (2016). Oral presentation. 6th International Conference on Memory. Budapest, Hungary.
Griffiths, B., & Hanslmayr, S. (2015). Poster presentation. Context and Episodic Memory Symposium. Philadelphia, USA.
Griffiths, B., & Beierholm, U. (2015). Poster presentation. Integrated Systems Neuroscience Workshop. Manchester, UK.
Contact: b.j.griffiths.1 [at] pgr.bham.ac.uk
Cognition and oscillations Lab - alumnae and alumni
Hector de jesus Cervantes