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Psychology professor to discuss neural communication research at March 4 Director's Seminar

Sepideh Sadaghiani, a professor of psychology, will present her research at the next Director’s Seminar at noon March 4. Her talk will discuss how combining fMRI with scalp or intracranial EEG, especially when recorded concurrently, paints a rich picture of neural communication across the connectome in the brain.
Published on Feb. 17, 2021

Editor's note: See our Director's Seminar webpage for upcoming speakers and topics, as well as videos of past lectures.

Psychology Professor Sepideh Sadaghiani will speak at the Beckman Institute's virtual Director's Seminar at noon Thursday, March. 4. Sadaghiani will discuss “The functional connectome across spatiotemporal scales: How integrating fMRI and (i)EEG changes our understanding of the human brain.” Registration is required for Zoom access.REGISTER NOW

 

sepideh-414-web250Sepideh Sadaghiani“The functional connectome across spatiotemporal scales: How integrating fMRI and (i)EEG changes our understanding of the human brain” 

The view of human brain function has drastically shifted over the last decade, owing to the observation that the majority of brain activity is intrinsic rather than driven by external stimuli or cognitive demands. Specifically, all brain regions continuously communicate in spatiotemporally organized patterns that constitute the functional connectome, with consequences for cognition and behavior. The presented findings highlight the importance of multimodal approaches for understanding brain function.

In this talk, Sadaghiani will argue that another shift is underway, driven by new insights from synergistic interrogation of the functional connectome using different acquisition methods. The human functional connectome is typically investigated with functional magnetic resonance imaging that relies on the indirect hemodynamic signal, thereby emphasizing very slow connectivity across brain regions. Conversely, more recent methodological advances demonstrate that fast connectivity within the whole-brain connectome can be studied with real-time methods such as electroencephalography. The group’s findings show that combining fMRI with scalp or intracranial EEG, especially when recorded concurrently, paints a rich picture of neural communication across the connectome. Specifically, the connectome comprises both fast, oscillation-based connectivity observable with EEG, as well as extremely slow processes captured by fMRI. While the fast and slow processes share an important degree of spatio-temporal organization, a considerable proportion of these processes is independent. This observation motivates revision of the viewpoint that fMRI and EEG provide different windows onto the same neural processes. Rather, the exciting view arises that the functional connectome comprises distinct processes unfolding in partially non-overlapping spatial and temporal patterns. Depending on their timescale, these patterns dominate the signals in hemodynamic and real-time acquisition methods, respectively.

Speaker biography

Sepideh Sadaghiani is an assistant professor in the Cognitive Neuroscience program area of the Psychology Department and the Neuroscience Graduate Program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She directs the CONNECTlab at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology where she is a full-time faculty member.

Sadaghiani received a Ph.D. in neural and behavioral sciences from the Max Planck Graduate School and postdoctoral training at the University of California, Berkeley and at Stanford University.

She investigates the role of neural connectivity and spontaneous brain activity in cognitive control and behavior through a multi-modal lens. She has been recognized as Lincoln Excellence for Assistant Professors Scholar of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health and of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

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  • Sepideh Sadaghiani
    Sepideh Sadaghiani's directory photo.