Sander van Bree
Research title: Uncovering neural patterns of cognition by aligning oscillatory dynamics
As we wade through a rich and confusing world, the brain continuously solves information processing puzzles. The enterprise of cognitive neuroscience is to understand how the brain does this. My conviction is that studying the brain in flux will prove fruitful in our attempts to find an answer. If every PhD is a lens through which to view nature, then my lens is one which sees the brain as a highly dynamic system rather than a static bundle of neurons.
The first branch of my PhD is dedicated to improving analysis of the dynamic cognitive brain. Critically, the brain employs a regime of time which is quite different from the seconds and minutes we use, and we argue that this needs to be reflected in scientific analysis. We have developed a toolbox which can transform data in a way that improves the readout of evolving information in the brain.
The second branch of my PhD asks how the dynamic brain stores information in the service of behaviour. What is special about successful memory formation? We measure activity from individual neurons and pit various accounts in the literature against each other.