Complex behavior and cognitive functions of the human brain are suggested to be “mapped at the level of multi-focal neural systems rather than specific anatomical sites, giving rise to brain-behavior relationships that are both localized and distributed”. Further understanding of these brain mechanisms requires both structural and functional knowledge to answer (i) where are the foci of activity, (ii) when are these areas activated and what is the temporal sequence of activation, and (iii) how does the information flow in large-scale neural networks during the execution of cognitive and behavioral tasks. Noninvasive medical imaging tools are able to localize brain activities at high spatial and temporal resolution. Quantitative modeling to interpret these data can suggest how distributed neuronal interactions underlying perception, cognition, and behaviors emerge and change over time.
Our lab focuses on the development and application of human neuroimaging methods, including hardware development, data analysis, and mathematical modeling. In particular, we are interested in magnetic resonance imaging/spectroscopy, electro-/magnetoencephalography, and non-invasive stimulation methods, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation. These efforts are geared toward improving our understanding of brain function and dysfunction. Current research projects aim at improving the sensitivity and spatiotemporal resolution of brain imaging in both individual and combined modalities. In addition, mathematical approaches for identifying large-scale neural networks and their correlation to behaviors are investigated. One ultimate goal of our research is to develop a seamless integration of neuorimaging and neuromodulation methods to better understand human brain function and dysfunction underpinning the processing of complex naturalistic stimuli.