The human brain and its functions are shaped by genetic processes and its environmental context, such as the social environment but also the human body. We think that to gain insights into human cognition and ultimately human mental and physical health, it is important to uncover and understand the biological rules that shape stability and plasticity of the human mind. Thus to answer our research question, we develop and apply computational and system-level approaches integrating genetic (and evolutionary), brain, and behavioral data in a holistic framework. A more short-term goal is to contribute to meaningful science and help members of our lab develop, learn new skills, and gain insights into the human brain and (neuro)scientific practise.
What are the scaffolds of human cognition? We have been able to establish a link between the macroscale cortical axes recounting the genetic correlation between brain regions and phylogenetic models of cortical expansion and the dual origin model in humans and macaques. Such axes provide a coordinate system along which brain development and function can be understood.
How do genes and environment interact? To understand this question, we leverage longitudinal designs based on open data repositories and experimental paradigms using local resources. We are particular curious about the social environment in this context.
We are integrating our models of brain organization with maps of disorder impact to further understand how brain structure and function may provide biological axes in which mental disorders and conditions are embedded. Such insights provide insights into the nosology of mental health and disease.
Together with the mica-lab we have developed brainspace, a statistical and decoding toolbox in matlab and python. By co-developing various toolboxes we hope to contribute to robust and integrative neuroscience.