MethodsOur main research question is the functional response of the brain to changes in the environment.
How does the brain process information from the environment, how are these information modulated by different states of the brain during daytime, experience or pathology? How plastic is the brain for training and what training serves best for what outcome? On what spatial dimension can we observe plasticity? Is this achievable only on a micrometer scale in an high field animal scanner, or in huge functional entities in human brain mapping, or only in looking for neural networks? What is the role of motivation, shaping, feedback during training? What makes a trained subject an expert? How can we train a damaged brain? What makes a plastic process maladaptive, for instance for learning pain? How can we predict who is responsible for such maladaptive plasticity? How can representative cohorts help to solve these questions?
We use structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), behavioral strategies and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Our research grants are predominantly centered on stroke rehabilitation (hand motor function and swallowing), emotional processing and the research on neurophysiologic basics of chronic pain.
fMRI and MRI
- 3 Tesla Verio scanner with 12 and 32 channel headcoil
- VBM, DTI, lesion mapping
- visual presentation (rostral or caudal)
- MRI triggered presentation
- optical microphone
- eye-tracker and startle measurement
- hand force with feedback, finger movements (fiber optic glove), keyboards (finger sequences)
- EMG, scin conductance response
- Respiration and EKG
- auditory stimulation (MR-confon headphones)
- somatosensory stimulation of the fingers
- pain stimulation (mechanic, thermic)
- passive splint movements
fMRI- and MRI-navigated TMS lab
- MagVenture option
- Navigation with Localite system
- Presentation and Signal software
- CED-based MEP-amplifyer