Research topics

Research in the laboratory concerns the network mechanisms of brain function. Our aim is to understand the dynamic operations within cortico-thalamic loops in sensory systems and cortical networks related to sensory processing, and higher cognitive functions. Using electrophysiological recording techniques in animals and humans and neuroinformatic methods for data analysis we are trying to correlate the specific activation of known neuronal networks with their behavioural context.
There are a few parallel projects under investigation:

Information processing in the cortico-thalamic part of somatosensory system
– investigations on context-dependent gating of the sensory information at the cortico-thalamic level of the whisker-barrel system of the rat;
the role of primary and secondary sensory pathways in autism spectrum disorders;
– the role of thalamic inhibition in different behavioral situations;
– the role of fast oscillations in cortical somatosensory information processing;

In cooperation with other Neurobiogy of Emotions teams :
– behavioral testing of sensory sensitivity in mice models of autism spectrum disorders;

Cognitive functions of the human brain
EEG-fingerprints (i.e. electrophysiological correlates) of cognitive functions (attention, behavioral control and working memory) – NCN project realized in consortium with UMK-ICNT and NCOB. The project is aimed to find out the way in which brain structures shape the signals registered by the basic research methods – EEG and fMRI. The main goal of the proposed project is to find out an optimal method for identification of the brain structures originating EEG activity recorded on the scalp, by disclosing the unique set of signal features that are specific for each of the involved structures (EEG-fingerprint, EEGfp). At the moment we try to differentiate activation patterns and neuronal mechanisms of various interferences in conflict tasks (Simon, flanker, Stroop, extended MSIT).
Alzheimer’s disease functional biomarkers – evaluation of cognitive functions (cognitive control and attention) in healthy middle-aged people, who bear the burden of genetic factors increasing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease – NCN project lead by Patricia Dzianok.

In cooperation with dr Jacek Rogala from professor Wróbel team :
– identification of EEG-neurofeedback mechanisms, verification of its efficacy and development of effective training strategies.

In cooperation with Neuroinformatics Laboratory (homepage)
– development and application of analytical methods for time series analysis;
– computational and theoretical studies of models of cortico-thalamic loops in visual and somatosensory systems;
– reconstruction of three-dimensional brain structures based on 2D histological atlases.

Brain mechanism of visual processing and plasticity 
– modification of visual responses by visual training and by trans-orbital electric stimulations (NCN project lead by Piotr Dzwiniel);
– the role of extrageniculate visual pathway.