Cognition and oscillations Lab - cURRENT Members


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Federica meconi - postdoctoral researcher (marie-curie fellow)

Federica’s project, MEMPATHY, has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, MSCA-IF-2015, under grant agreement Nº702530.

research interest

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.

key publications

Meconi, F., Doro, M., Lomoriello, A., Mastrella, G., & Sessa, P. (2018). Neural measures of the role of affective prosody in empathy for pain. Scientific Reports8(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-18552-y

Meconi, F., Anderl-Straub, S., Raum, H., Landgrebe, M., Langguth, B., Bäuml, K., & Hanslmayr, S. (2016). Aberrant prefrontal beta oscillations predict episodic memory encoding deficits in schizophrenia. Neuroimage: Clinical12, 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 neural empathic reactions towards non-human entities. Neuropsychologia89, 132-140. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.06.004

Sessa, P., & Meconi, F. (2015). Perceived trustworthiness shapes neural empathic responses toward others' pain. Neuropsychologia79, 97-105. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2015.10.028

Meconi, F., Vaes, J., & Sessa, P. (2014). On the neglected role of stereotypes in empathy toward other-race pain. Social Neuroscience10(1), 1-6. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17470919.2014.954731

Sessa, P., Meconi, F., & Han, S. (2014). Double dissociation of neural responses supporting perceptual and cognitive components of social cognition: Evidence from processing of others' pain. Scientific Reports4(1). http://dx.doi.org/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 Neuroscience9(12), 1872-1879. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/scan/nst189

 

Contact

F.Meconi.1 [at] bham.ac.uk


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Emmanuel Biau - Post Doctoral researcher (Sir henry Wellcome trust fellow)

research interest

 My research aims to investigate how the natural alignment between speaker’s lip movements and verbal utterance onto dominant theta rhythm in audiovisual speech shapes the formation of new multimodal memories. I’ll combine naturalistic material presentation to MEG and iEEG recording to address the incidence of audiovisual synchrony on endogenous theta oscillations in sensory cortical areas, and whether such a coordinated activity is potentially reflected deeper in the binding memory sites (i.e. hippocampus). 

Key Publications

 Biau, E., Fromont, L. A. and Soto-Faraco, S. (2018), Beat Gestures and Syntactic Parsing: An ERP Study. Language Learning, 68: 102-126.

Fromont, L.A., Soto-Faraco, S., & Biau, E. (2017). Searching high and low: Prosodic breaks disambiguate Relative clauses. Frontiers in Psychology, 8:96.

Biau, E., Fernandez, L.M., Holle, H., Avila, C., & Soto-Faraco, S. (2016). Hand gestures as visual prosody: BOLD responses to audio-visual alignment are modulated by the communicative nature of the stimuli. NeuroImage, 132, 129-137.

Biau, E., & Soto-Faraco, S. (2015). Synchronization by the hand: The sight of gestures modulates low-frequency activity in brain responses to continuous speech. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9, 527.

Biau, E., Torralba , M., Fuentemilla, L., de Diego Balaguer, R., & Soto-Faraco, S. (2015). Speaker’s hand gestures modulate speech perception through phase resetting of ongoing neural oscillations. Cortex, 68, 76-85.

Biau, E., & Soto-Faraco, S. (2013). Beat gestures modulate auditory integration in speech perception. Brain and Language, 124(2), 143–52.

Contact

E.Biau [at] bham.ac.uk


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George Parish - Post Doctoral researcher

research INTEREST

My background is in computer science (making games) and A.I. (making smarter games). This eventually led to a PhD in computational neuroscience, where I began to simulate models of brain functionality rather than side-scrollers. As we know that all models are wrong, but some occasionally useful, I'll keep throwing creative solutions at the hypotheses in the field until something sticks. I am currently analysing iEEG data from epilepsy patients, so that we can generate some new theories and eventually, some new models. 

KEY PUBLICATIONS

Parish, G., Hanslmayr, S., & Bowman, S. (2018), The Sync/deSync Model: How a synchronised hippocampus and a desynchronised neocortex code memories. Journal of Neuroscience, 38(14), 3428-3440

Contact

G.Parish [at] bham.ac.uk


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Danying Wang - Post Doctoral researcher

research INTEREST

I am interested in underlying neural mechanisms of how information is selected, processed and encoded into episodic memory. I am now focusing on investigating how multisensory information is bound into a coherent episodic memory representation. I will be mainly using rhythmic sensory stimulation to investigate the causal role of brain oscillations of theta and gamma frequency bands in enhancing multisensory episodic memory formation.

KEY PUBLICATIONS

Wang, D., Clouter, A., Chen, Q., Shapiro, K. L., & Hanslmayr, S. (2018). Single-trial Phase Entrainment of Theta Oscillations in Sensory Regions Predicts Human Associative Memory Performance. Journal of Neuroscience, 0349-18.

conference contributions

Wang, D., Clouter, A., Chen, Q., Shapiro, K. L., & Hanslmayr, S. Externally induced inter-regional theta phase synchronisation mediates human associative memory. 13th International Conference for Cognitive Neuroscience (ICON), Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2017.

Wang, D., Konen, C. S., Liu, W., & Otten, L. J. State-related oscillatory brain activity associated with successful memory encoding. 6th International Conference on Memory (ICOM 2016), Budapest, Hungary, 2016.

Wang, D., Otten, L. J. Brain states and learning: probing memory before a delayed match-to-sample task indicates enhanced learning. The Cognitive Neuroscience Society 2014 Annual Meeting, Boston, USA, 2014.

Wang, D., Otten, L. J. How long does it take to prepare for a new memory? An electrophysiological investigation into the influence of anticipation time on memory encoding. The Cognitive Neuroscience Society 2013 Annual Meeting, San Francisco, USA, 2013.

Wang, D., Gruber, M. J., Bauch, E. M., & Otten, L. J. The influence of graded perceptual preparation on encoding-related prestimulus activity. The Cognitive Neuroscience Society 2012 Annual Meeting, Chicago, USA, 2012

Contact

D.Wang.4 [at] bham.ac.uk


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benjamin james griffiths - PHD STUDENT

research INTEREST

Ben uses MEG, simultaneous EEG-fMRI and intracranial EEG to probe the neural mechanisms that underpin the formation and retrieval of episodic memories. Currently, his research focuses upon how alpha/beta power decreases and theta/gamma power increases co-operate to accomplish these processes. When he is not unravelling the mysteries of memory, he spends his time dreaming of adopting a pet bear.

 

KEY PUBLICATIONS

Griffiths, B. J., & Fuentemilla, L. (2019). Event conjunction: How the hippocampus integrates episodic memories across event boundaries. bioRxiv.

Griffiths, B. J., Mayhew, S. D., Mullinger, K. J., Jorge, J., Charest, I., Wimber, M., & Hanslmayr, S. (2019). Alpha/beta power decreases track the fidelity of stimulus-specific information. bioRxiv.

Salvidegoitia M. P., Jacobsen, N., Bauer, A.R., Griffiths, B. J., Hanslmayr, S., & Debener, S. (2019). Out and about: subsequent memory effect captured in a natural environment with smartphone EEG. Psychophysiology, e13331.

Griffiths, B. J., Michelmann, S., Roux, F., Rollings, D., Sawlani, D., Chelvarajah, R., Gollwitzer, S., Kreiselmeyer, G., Hamer, H., Staresina, B., Wimber, M., & Hanslmayr, S. (2018). Hippocampal theta/gamma synchronisation and neocortical alpha/beta desynchronisation co-operate during the encoding and retrieval of human episodic memories. bioRxiv.

Michelmann, S., Treder, M. S., Griffiths, B., Kerren, C., Roux, F., Wimber, M., Rollings, D., Sawlani, D., Chelvarajah, R., Gollwitzer, S., Kreiselmeyer, G., Hamer, H., Bowman, H., Staresina, B., & Hanslmayr, S. (2018). Data-driven re-referencing of intracranial EEG based on independent component analysis (ICA). Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 307, 125-137.

Griffiths, B., & Beierholm, U. (2017). Opposing effects of reward and punishment on human vigor. Scientific Reports, 7, 1-7.

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.

Contact

B.J.Griffiths.1 [at] pgr.bham.ac.uk


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Mircea Van der Plas - PHD STUDENT

research INTEREST

My PhD revolves around exploring stimulation methods that alter brain states (such as tACS and intracranial stimulation) and applying these to causally test specific hypotheses relating to our episodic memory system. More specifically I am interested in manipulating the communication between the neocortex and hippocampus, as derived from models such as the 'Sync-Desync' model. This research will consolidate our knowledge on how our brain is able to encode and retrieve episodic memories by actively altering these processes. The optimistic long-term goal of this line of research is to aid/improve our memory processes using these methods.

Key Publications

Drijvers, L., van der Plas, M., Özyürek, A., & Jensen, O. (2019). Native and non-native listeners show similar yet distinct oscillatory dynamics when using gestures to access speech in noise. NeuroImage, 194, 55-67.

 

Contact

MXV796 [at] student.bham.ac.uk


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lUCA dominik kOLIBIUS - PhD student

research INTEREST

The hippocampus as an indexing machine: Computational model and validation. According to the indexing theory the hippocampus does not store memory content, but instead indexes the memory content that is stored in the neocortex. During my PhD I investigate how the hippocampus manages this task during encoding and retrieval of episodic memories. I approach this through the analysis of human single unit activity. Using the insights inferred from these analyses, I will build a computational model to test if we can replicate our empirical findings.

kEY PUBLICATIONs

Voss, U., D'Agostino, A., Kolibius, L. D., Klimke, A., Scarone, S., & Hobson, J. A. (2018). Insight and dissociation in lucid dreaming and psychosis. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1-9. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02164

Kolibius, L. D., Born, J., & Feld, G. B. (in prep.). The effect of sleep on the consolidation of declarative memories under conditions of high information load.

Kolibius, L. D., & Sassenhagen, J. (in prep.). Visualization of ERP data: An empirical investigation.

BOOKS

Brenner, T. C., & Kolibius, L. D. (2019). Computerspiele im Diskurs: Aggression, Amokläufe und Sucht. Heidelberg: Springer.

Brenner, T. C., & Kolibius, L. D. (2019). Grundlagen der Computerspiele und der Spielspychologie. Heidelberg: Springer.

Contact

LDK898 [at] student.bham.ac.uk


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Qiaoyu Chen - PhD student

research INTEREST

 My enthusiasm lies in the mechanism how brain oscillations from different brain regions work together for cognitive functions, especially the formation of memory. Currently my PhD project is exploring whether STDP is crucial for the efficiency of associative memory formation by sensory entrainment.

kEY PUBLICATIONs

Wang, D., Clouter, A., Chen, Q., Shapiro, K. L., & Hanslmayr, S. Externally induced inter-regional theta phase synchronisation mediates human associative memory. 13th International Conference for Cognitive Neuroscience (ICON), Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2017.

Contact

QXC648 [at] student.bham.ac.uk

 

Cognition and oscillations Lab alumni