HBBL Guest Lecture, Thursday, August 28th – Dr. Friederike Hohlefeld

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Dr. Friederike Hohlefeld is visiting the HBBL from Berlin, Germany. She will present us a lecture in BS-12 room 303 at 4 pm, August 28th. The title of her lecture is “To move and not to move – neural variability and quasi-movements in the Parkinsonian and healthy motor system“:

Movements are the basis for our daily mobility and communication. However, even a simple finger movement is only the final stage of complex, “covert” neural processing in the brain and spinal cord. Investigating neural variability in the motor system, already at rest and during covert motor stages (i.e., before movement onset), can contribute to our understanding of optimal neural prerequisites for motor performance, and is highly relevant for therapy of movement disorders and for developing brain-computer interfaces.

I will approach these topics by presenting electrophysiological data from Parkinson patients (local field potentials from basal ganglia) and from healthy subjects (cortical EEG). I will focus on the spatio-temporal dynamics of neural oscillations in terms of long-range temporal correlations (fractals), functional/effective connectivity, and classification for brain-computer interfacing. Furthermore, I will introduce our novel paradigm “quasi-movements”, which are defined as volitional movements with zero muscle output. In general, quasi-movements represent an effective paradigm for studying neural correlates of motor intention and sense of movement, and were shown to be advantageous for brain-computer interfacing. Furthermore, quasi-movements represent a suitable paradigm for studying phase transitions in the motor system between rest and muscle contraction, in which “to move and not to move” are not as exclusive as it seems.