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Dr Luc Berthouze
Appointment
  • Honorary Senior Lecturer
  • UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences
Research Themes
Research Summary

Brain development and criticality

The notion of the brain operating at, or near, a critical bifurcation has been receiving a lot of attention due to the potential benefits of such a regime, namely, meta-stability and maximised dynamic range of processing. However, ascertaining that the brain is operating at criticality and establishing how it may tune to criticality raises a number of methodological challenges, both in terms of analysing empirical data and developing computational models that are both analytically tractable and amenable to experimental predictions. I specialise in the development of methods for detecting markers of criticality in macroscopic brain activity, particularly EEG/MEG and EMG signals. My work is both theoretical and empirical. 

Currently, I am particularly interested in the characterisation/modelling of the very preterm EEG (24-31 weeks), a key period of development when the brain undergoes major structural changes and brain activity transitions from bursting to continuous activity. Relevant research questions are: 

  1. Identifying the presence of markers of criticality in the EEG, and how these change in time
  2. Understanding the role of transient structures such as the subplate in cortical development
  3. Investigating through modelling the role of key developmental changes in the transition between bursting and continuous EEG activity, specifically, changes in brain metabolism and in cortical folding.
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