The overall goal of my research program is to examine the role of large-scale brain networks in behavior. My current research efforts are centered around this theme of large-scale networks but divided into four major threads. Firstly, I am interested in large-scale circuits in epilepsy and cognition. Basic science studies examine the potential promise of sleep-wake circuit modulation to treat epilepsy and its comorbidities. I am also investigating sleep-wake-related circuit activity in human SEEG. These projects are complemented by mouse studies using a system that I have invented to target numerous nuclei in the mouse brain simultaneously – an analog of human epilepsy approaches (SEEG) and permitting subcortical exploration. The second related stream relies on CCEPs to examine human cortical connectivity, which we have now developed to account for the confound (that affects much of the literature) of volume conduction effects from local gray matter activation, as well as monosynaptic latency recordings. Thirdly, we have developed new technologies for mouse recording that improve electrode implantation and mimic SEEG. Lastly, I am developing a way to annotate, search and organize our enormous trove of human physiology data (~ 500 TB) to execute our SEEG-related (and ICU) research, including network analysis techniques. Collaboratively, we have also developed new cognitive tests that utilize professional videography and virtual reality, with the latter type of task applied to studying the neural correlates of spatial familiarity and déjà vu. I am presently funded by the NIH and CURE Epilepsy.
Nigel P. Pedersen