What is the relationship between brain activity and conscious thought? Like other difficult questions in science, a good model system is needed so that this question can be investigated. I have chosen epilepsy as a model system for investigating consciousness, because in epilepsy there is a spectrum of levels of consciousness, which may be explained in terms of different states of brain activity. Ongoing studies in my laboratory include experiments to explore electrophysiologic and network mechanisms common to seizures and other states of impaired consciousness. In particular, we are investigating the role of subcortical structures such as the thalamus and brainstem in the propagation and behavioral manifestations of seizures. Current projects include in vivo and in vitro multimodal electrophysiology and fMRI recordings from animal models of epilepsy, human neuroimaging (fMRI and SPECT) and intracranial EEG studies in relation to behavior during seizures.
Other related themes in my laboratory include:
- Computational methods for neuroimaging data analysis.
- Fundamental relationships between neuroimaging signals and underlying brain physiology.
- Molecular mechanisms of epileptogenesis and strategies to prevent or cure epilepsy. For more information visit my website.