Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Harnessing Electrocorticographic Signals for Neuroscience and Neurosurgery
by de Pesters, Adriana, Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2017, 199; 10606239
Abstract (Summary)

Daily human activities, such as speaking, driving or listening to music, are produced by activations of neurons in the brain. Where, when and how these activations occur has been the subject of intense debate for the last decades. Traditional techniques to image the human brain, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) or electroencephalography (EEG), only provide limited information regarding where and when these activations take place. For that reason, critical information is currently missing regarding how neurons from different parts of the brain interact and coordinate their activity to implement behavior. This information is critical to understand human behavior and to develop new medical diagnostic and treatment options for neurological disorders that compromise behavior such as epilepsy or brain tumors.

Recently, electrocorticography (ECoG) has been shown to provide an unprecedented opportunity to image the subtle dynamics of the human brain in action. ECoG is a technique traditionally used in the treatment of epileptic patients, and consists of recording brain signals from arrays of electrodes placed directly on the surface of the brain. The high quality of signals recorded with ECoG allows neuroscientists to investigate the temporally and spatially precise activation of groups of neurons in the human brain.

In this dissertation, we take advantage of the possibilities offered by ECoG imaging to derive novel understanding of the precise temporal and spatial coordination of neuronal activity during behavior. We demonstrate that different parts of the brain dynamically interact and coordinate their activity to implement behavior. Furthermore, we translate our findings into two novel clinical applications that build on existing neurological procedures to treat patients suffering from epilepsy and brain tumors. The proposed applications improve the speed and safety of existing procedures and expand the number and type of patients that can benefit from them.

Together, our results advance our understanding of the mechanisms implementing the coordination of the different brain regions necessary to produce behavior, and open new avenues for the development of safer clinical tools to treat those neurological disorders that compromise behavior.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schalk, Gerwin
Commitee: Bolivar, Valerie, Carp, Jonathan, Gunduz, Aysegul, Pata, Janice, Voytek, Bradley
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Biomedical Sciences
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Neurosciences, Medical imaging
Keywords: Alpha oscillations, Brain mapping, Broadband gamma, Electrocorticography, Neurosurgery
Publication Number: 10606239
ISBN: 978-0-355-17274-4
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