Page 1



2016 Content CIBR in a nutshell From the Director`s Desk Executive Team and Advisory Board Research and Infrastructure Seminars, Events and Training Teaching Communications Networking and Stakeholders International Visits Funding

PICTURES: Viki-Veikko Elomaa Evelyn Gil Tarja Vänskä-Kauhanen Petteri Kivimäki Praghajieeth Raajhen Ilkka Vuorinen Simon Walker

Centre for Interdisciplinary Brain Research

Text: Marja Saarinen, Tiina Parviainen, Viki-Veikko Elomaa, Simo Monto, Jan Wikgren, Kaisa Välimäki Layout: Kaisa Välimäki Printed in: Jyväskylä University Press 2017

CIBR in a nutshell Jyväskylä Centre for Interdisciplinary Brain Research (CIBR) is an international centre of expertise in connection with the Department of Psychology at University of Jyväskylä. It provides research facilities and support for neuroscientific research across disciplines. It has acces to state-of-the-art techniques for measuring and stimulating brain, ranging from single neuron level to the brain and body functions. Research activities focus especially on brain changes throughout the lifespan in the context of learning and development, interventions, wellbeing and physical exercise. The most important purchase of the CIBR has been Finland’s third magnetoencephalography scanner (MEG). The main focus of this annual report is the activity of the MEG laboratory.


7.1 milj.




18.3 milj.

Setup Organizational work User training starts



MEG in function Piloting and training Reseach phase starts


Consolidation of research activities and research network


To celebrate the first anniversary of the MEG scanner, the MEG users, cooperation partners and the crew that installed the scanner were invited over for coffee and cake. There was possibility to see the MEG-laboratory in action, and to have a sneak peak to the data from some of the first MEG-measurements. As appropriate for a first birthday party, there was also a magician doing tricks to amuse the audience. The Rector of the University of Jyv채skyl채, Matti Manninen attended as the guest of honour. Acquiring the MEG scanner to benefit the research in the university was a long process, and would not have been possible without the support of Rector Manninen. The relaxed and inviting festive atmosphere also encouraged the guests to discuss the possibilities of brain research and to plan new forms of collaboration. The MEG community of the University of Jyv채skyl채 is ready to move on towards the next goals!


Director TIINA PARVIAINEN A year full of action has passed in the Jyväskylä Centre for Interdisciplinary Brain Research. MEG research is in full swing and the first series of measurements have been completed. As our focus is now shifting to training and development concerning analysis of the data, the collaboration with the Faculty of Information Technology, the Faculty of Mathematics and Science and with international experts has gained even more importance than before. Collaboration is the most important prerequisite for interdisciplinary research and it is great to see that we already have an extensive international collaboration network. An EU ITN network called ChildBrain, coordinated by Prof. Paavo Leppänen, trains future experts. Also the increasing collaboration with other Nordic MEG centres enhances our possibilities to standardize MEG research. With the support from the European Regional Development Fund, we were also able to strengthen the cooperation with enterprises from various branches of business in the utilization of brain research knowledge. Brain research was selected as one of the profiling areas of the university of Jyväskylä in the Academy of Finland application round 2016. More detailed themes of the area are based on the strong expertise of our university in the research of psychological development, ageing and physical exercise and health. Within the brain research institutes globally, our special focus is on understanding phenomena that promote health and wellbeing throughout the human lifespan Collaboration plays a key role also in the planning of the future of the CIBR. I would like to thank all the researchers, workers, cooperation partners and volunteers who have taken part in the work of the CIBR. We have done something right, because students and young scientists are increasingly interested in neurosciences. We are on a good track for continuing to expand the scope of training in neurosciences in collaboration with the international MEG network.

Executive Team The executive team guides and monitors the activities of CIBR. It also helps and supports the director in decision making. Chairperson: Prof. Heikki Lyytinen (Psychology) Secretary: Coordinator Marja Saarinen (Psychology) Director: Univ. researcher Tiina Parviainen (Psychology)

Team members (department): Prof. Timo Ahonen (Psychology) Prof. Janne Avela (Biology of Physical Activity) Prof. Päivi Häkkinen (Finnish Institute for Educational Research) Prof. Tapani Ristaniemi (Mathematical Information Technology) Prof. Jari-Erik Nurmi (Psychology) (on invitation)

Advisory Board Advisory board evaluates research and developmental activities and steers the strategic planning of the brain research centre. Chairperson: Prof. Heikki Lyytinen (Psychology)/Pasi Tyrväinen 12/2016 onwards Secretary: Coordinator Marja Saarinen (Psychology) Members (department): Prof. Markus Ahlskog (Physics) Prof. Timo Ahonen (Psychology) Prof. Mikko Aro (Education) Prof. Janne Avela (Biology of Physical Activity) Development manager Päivi Fadjukoff (Agora Center) Prof. Ari Huhta (Centre for Applied Language Studies) Prof. Päivi Häkkinen (Finnish Institute for Educational Research) Lecturer Timo Jaakkola (Physical Education) Prof. Juha Karvanen (Mathematics and Statistics) Prof. Jussi Kotkavirta (Social Sciences & Philosophy) Prof. Paavo Leppänen (Psychology)

Univ. Researcher Tiina Parviainen (Psychology) Prof. Tapani Ristaniemi (Mathematical Information Technology) Prof. Sarianna Sipilä (Health Sciences) Head of Administration Riitta Sokka (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Univ. Researcher Ina Tarkka (Health Sciences) Prof. Petri Toiviainen (Musics) Prof. Pasi Tyrväinen (Agora Center) Prof. Outi Uusitalo (Business and Economics) Univ. researcher Jan Wikgren (Psychology)

PERSONNEL The personnel of the centre maintains and develops MEG-service environment. It provides support and knowledge for researchers and other collaborators. 2016 centre had 6 employees. Ph.D Tiina Parviainen Director MA Marja Saarinen Coordinator D.Sc (tech) Simo Monto MEG-analysis Ph.D Viki-Veikko Elomaa Laboratory Engineer Ph.D Jan Wikgren Development of education Ph.D Jarno Mikkonen Research facilitator


The name ChildBrain hints what the project is about. ”The object is to train the next generation of brain researchers who utilize the latest methods and knowledge to help children who suffer from various neurocognitive disorders”, explains Professor Paavo Leppänen, the coordinator of the ChildBrain network. The multinational joint venture includes several scientific host institutions throughout Europe. ”The strength of the ChildBrain project is that it brings together research units from very different scientific fields. We can utilize, for example, the strong expertize in signal analysis of in the University of Muenster, or the analysis programs developed in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour. We, on the other hand, share our long-term expertize on learning problems in children, especially dyslexia, and the research of auditory and linguistic processing development”, says Professor Leppänen. The PhD students participating in the project meet regularly in international workshops where top experts share their expertise on, for example, various neurocognitive disorders, learning problems and brain research methods. As the new doctors graduate, they already are a part of a broad international network, which makes developing and advancing their own research ideas easier. ”We also offer the young scientists a possibility to acquaint themselves with the world of business. The businesses participating in the project offer training in project skills and starting a business. They are also potential partners for the researchers, should they be interested in commercialising their idea in the future.” At the moment, Leppänen himself is the most interested in developing as natural brain research methods and research designs as possible, as well as child-friendly research.”Hopefully, in the future, Jyväskylä Centre for Interdisciplinary Brain Research could be even stronger internationally, especially in the research of child brain, learning and learning problems. And hopefully the knowledge would be used to develop practical applications to support learning.”

Research and Infrastructure Brain research has a long history in the University of Jyväskylä. At the moment, brain research is conducted in the fields of Psychology, Musicology, Health Sciences, Biology of Physical Activity, Computational Sciences and Business and Economics. A common theme is in describing change in the brain in the context of development, ageing, learning, training or interventions.

The essential lines of research are learning and learning languages and the effects of music, sports and physical exercising and different therapies on brain. The methodological expertise in information technology and mathematical modelling in the University of Jyväskylä is utilized in brain research.

RESEARCH COLLABORATION NETWORK Jyväskylä Centre for Interdisciplinary Brain Research has a vast research collaboration network in both Finland and abroad. In the year 2016, preparations were made for the next round of funding in the Academy of Finland Profiling Actions, and brain development was chosen to be one of the focus areas in the University of Jyväskylä. Research collaboration was prepared and carried out with universities and institutes in Finland, including Aalto University, the University of Helsinki, the University of Eastern Finland, the University of Turku, the University of Tampere, LIKES Research Centre for Physical Activity and Health, KIHU – Research Institute for Olympic Sports, Niilo Mäki Institute and the Science of Mind and Art network. In the field of brain research, there is collaboration with several partners abroad, including, for example, Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Reading and Aston, as well as Haskins Laboratories in the USA, the University of Zurich in Switzerland, the Westfalian Wilhelms-University of Muenster, the University of Tartu in Estonia, Radboud University and Donders Institute in the Netherlands, the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Norway and Hungarian Science Academy in Hungary. In addition, the University of Jyväskylä and Dalian University of Technology have agreed on a joint doctoral program.

MEG-PROJECTS 2016 The projects, their PI´s and departments are shown, more information on our web page: Active, fit and smart Univ. researcher Tiina Parviainen/Psychology Neural control of force production in lower limbs Post-doctoral Researcher Simon Walker/Biology of Physical Activity Audiovisual learning in children Univ. researcher Jarmo Hämäläinen/Psychology Digital customer experience Univ. researcher Tiina Parviainen/Psychology eSeek Professor Paavo Leppänen/Psychology Eye contact Professor Jari Hietanen/TaY, Faculty of Social Sciences Interoception, brains and exercise Univ. researcher Tiina Parviainen/Psychology Neuro-cognitive changes in aging Univ. researcher Piia Astikainen/Psychology Cholinergic system and declarative learning Univ. researcher Jan Wikgren/Psychology Learning of speech sound discrimination Univ. researcher Piia Astikainen/Psychology Read Twin Univ. researcher Minna Torppa/Teacher education Neural Effects of Exercise, Diet and Sleep Univ. researcher Eero Haapala/UEF Neurocognitive risk for dyslexia Professor Paavo Leppänen/Psychology Nociceptive modulation of voluntary movement Univ. researcher Ina Tarkka/Health Sciences A real-time machine-learning neurofeedback system for facilitating sustained attention and mindfulness Univ. researcher Tiina Parviainen/Psychology Speech perception, auditory system and brain rhythms in dyslexia Univ. researcher Jarmo Hämäläinen/Psychology Signatures of Auditory Maturation n Univ. researcher Tiina Parviainen/Psychology Speech perception and production Univ. researcher Jarmo Hämäläinen/Psychology Sweet sorrow research fellow Vesa Putkinen/Musics


Visualization of the activation within the brain during movement

”To find ways to help aging people cope longer and better with the aid of physical exercise, that is my ultimate goal”, says Simon Walker, Academy of Finland Post-doctoral Researcher and one of the first persons to use the MEG scanner in Jyväskylä. In his project, Walker studies the effect of aging on loss of force production and balance control. By applying brain imaging, it is possible to study neural control of force and balance and the effect of resistance training on both. Walker learned about the CIBR in the fall of 2014 when the research centre held an introductory lesson at the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences. “I saw the potential of the new technology to broaden my own research into an area where I could find completely novel answers to old questions”, explains Walker. Although brain research is part of Sport Sciences, new imaging methods, such as MEG are used very little. In his field, Walker is a pioneer. Nevertheless, applying a new field of science has also required collaboration with the experts in the CIBR. Walker is grateful to the working group at the Centre. “The whole team at the CIBR work very hard towards successful outcomes in interdisciplinary brain research”. If everything goes as Walker plans, in the future individually tailored resistance training may improve quality of life in the later years of aged people. The first results show that passive movement of the legs manifests in the aging brain differently from the young. In other words, the joint-position sense works differently. In the future, studies will be carried out to find out if resistance training can affect peoples’ joint-position sense.

MEASUREMENTS The year 2016 was the first whole year of MEG usage. The MEG scanner was installed in the fall of the year 2014 and first taken into use in spring 2015. In 2016, the utilization rate was approximately 76 per cent, and spring term was the most active period. MEG was used in piloting a few new projects, which will start fully in the spring of 2017. During the year 2016, Elekta updated the MEG scanner with the purpose of diminishing the artefacts created by the vibration of the scanner.

The operating hours (red) of MEG scanner in relation to the limit of maximum use (blue).

INFRASTRUCTURE From the beginning, the MEG laboratory has been designed as a interdisciplinary research facility with a special attention to the needs of the university’s strategic focus areas, teaching and learning and physical activity and exercise. During a MEG measurement, carefully defined series of visual, auditory, tactile and kinetic stimulation can be applied to the subject. In addition,

it is possible to monitor the behaviour of and physiological changes in the subject during the measurement, using, for example, a high-quality eye tracker, pulse measurement, accelerometers and video synchronized to the MEG measurement. New stimulation and monitoring devices are developed and constructed in collaboration with the research groups. For the analysis of the

data, there is a separate computer classroom within the facilities of the Department of Psychology, with 12 computers connected to the centralized server environment of the CIBR. In its current form, the server has dozens of processing cores, a great amount of memory and the essential computational tools for analyzing MEG data. The laboratory facilities have been furnished and decorated to ensure the comfort of the clients. For example, works of art chosen from the art collection of the University adorn the facilities. In addition, the researchers have an access to a reference library which currently holds circa 50 volumes. The greatest single purchase of the year 2016 was a basic structure of an adjustable dynamometer chair. It is used for studying the brain functions related to muscle control and position sense. The first point of concentration will be the muscular function of the lower

limbs and, consequently, how muscular development is reflected in the brain functions. The dynamometer chair equipment needed to be tailor-made to meet the needs of the researchers, and the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences took the leading role in preparations. In the year 2016, a wireless impedance measurement device was also acquired, in support of EEG measurements conducted in the context of MEG measurements. In order to support research, the CIBR has established a participant registry for volunteers. Anyone interested may participate in brain research as a test subject by leaving his/her contact information in the registry. The contacted volunteers will experience modern brain imaging methods and help promoting Finnish brain research. Currently, there are 273 volunteers in the registry, and it has been used for the purposes of several research projects.

Seminars, events and trainings The aim of the Jyväskylä Centre for Interdisciplinary Brain Research is to develop a vast collaboration network between scientists, businesses and a larger audience interested in brain research findings. To support this aim, the CIBR is active in arranging training, seminars and meetings.

BUILDING MEG COMPETENCE One of the most important goals for the year 2016 was to train researchers to use the MEG scanner and to analyze the produced data. During the year, four MEG Driving License courses, two MEG data analysis trainings and five MEG

Methods trainings were arranged. In total, there were 13 meetings with 6 to 20 participants in each. In addition, in the beginning of June, Elekta arranged a one-week-long system start training with approximately 20 participants.

FUNCTIONAL RESEARCHER COMMUNITY The CIBR aims at increasing the communication between researchers from different disciplines in many ways. In the year 2016, a joint CIBR seminar series was continued with speakers representing various viewpoints in neurosci-

ence, coming from Finland and abroad. In 2016, six CIBR seminars were arranged. In addition, on the 30th of November, there was the CIBR Annual seminar and on the 8th of September a Brain Breakfast for the MEG researchers.

THE CIBR IN THE SOCIETY The CIBR wishes to make brain research conducted in the University of Jyväskylä visible to the society. In the year 2016, the CIBR arranged or participated in five science popularization events, aimed at the larger public. The CIBR arranged, for example, a public event during the International Brain Awareness Week on the 16th of March, and was introduced to the public at the Forum shopping centre during Researchers’

Night. In addition, the work of the MEG laboratory was demonstrated in several occasions, for example in the house warming event of the Department of Psychology. Other visitors to the laboratory included Professor Dongming Guo, the President of the Dalian University of Technology and his party; British Honorary Consul Jämsen and the Rector and General Major Ilkka Korkiamäki of the National Defence University.

Teaching UNDERGRADUATE TEACHING Cognitive neuroscience study program started in the fall of 2014. In the fall of 2016 40 new students started the program. This study program, coordinated by the Department of Psychology of the University of Jyväskylä and by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Brain Research, offers the students comprehensive basic knowledge on brain research and its applications in differents fields of science. The interdisciplinary study program combines the theory of neural and brain activity to the latest brain imaging technologies which are based on the electrical activity of the brain. The study program trains the students to understand and measure the functioning of brain and the nervous system, their development and functional disorders and diseases, as well as mastering and modelling different analysis techniques of signals of the brain and the nervous system. The scope of the study program is 30

credits. In the field of brain research, several theses have been and are being written for different faculties including for example: Humanities and Social Sciences, Information Technology, Sport and Health Sciences, Mathematics and Science, Education, School of Business and Economics.

DOCTORAL TRAINING NETWORK In the latter half of the year 2016, it was decided that the cooperation of the CIBR researcher collegium with the multidisciplinary doctoral education network would be increased. The network arranges training and events related to neurosciences, for PhD students from different graduate schools.

AT THE ROOTS OF INHIBITION Doctoral student DORIS HERNANDEZ-BARROS Doris Hernandez-Barros, a doctoral student at the Department of Psychology, studies in her dissertation the effect of long-term physical exercise on the brain functioning and especially to attention and inhibition. The preliminary results show for example, that continuous physical training enhances the brain’s ability to shut out irrelevant information. This may partly explain the connection found between physical exercise and good learning results. Originally, the Cuban Hernandez came to Finland because of the project. ”After finishing my Master’s studies I decided to pick an interesting project in any country”, says Hernandez. She chose Finland because of the opportunity to work with the MEG scanner, which she considers a technique that will raise even more interest in the future. The doctoral student is very happy with her choice. The CIBR has offered great facilities for her research, and the colleagues are a source of inspiration. In the future, Hernandez hopes she will be able to continue with research. Now she is finishing her doctoral dissertation. Hernandez hopes that her work will result to be used alongside of medicines, especially in situations where physical exercise could be used as a therapy more systematically. Such situations could be, for example, memory disorders or even Tourette syndrome. ”It would be great to see MEG being used more for clinical purposes”, says Hernandez.

Hernandez uses a fish animation to study how brains utilize subtle cues of uppcoming events.

Communications A central aim of the CIBR is to increase the visibility of brain research among both researchers and the public. High quality communications play an important role for reaching this aim. With the help of its networks and University Communications, the CIBR has reached vast publicity in various medias, such as radio, television and the newspapers. The website of the CIBR ( en) is a window to the operation of the Centre and its main communications channel. In the website there are short descriptions of MEG research and research projects, upcoming events and contact details of the personnel. The Facebook page of the CIBR has been created in the fall of 2015. The page is used to promote upcoming events and to increase publicity in social media. https://www.facebook. com/JCIBR. A growing number of followers interested in research and innovations have found the page - 290 in the December of 2016. The CIBR researcher collegium network and its mailing list, maintained by the CIBR, act as a channel to reach students and researchers in the field of research and education of cognitive neuroscience. There are approximately 160 members in the mailing list. In the MEG users mailing list, concentrating on issues concerning the use of the scanner and meant for MEG users only, there are over 40 brain researchers.

CIBR in action on the web pages of national broadcasting company YLE and newspaper Keski-Suomalainen 16.3. and 19.3.2016. Image captured from internet.

Wep page of CIBR is available at cibr/en

Networking and stakeholders A strong multidisciplinary network for applied research has formed around the CIBR. The research aims at understanding the connections between brain functioning and behaviour in a vast interdisciplinary manner. From the beginning, there have also been participants from private, public as well as third sector. Hospitals and hospital districts are an important stakeholder for the CIBR. Networking has been done especially with the Central Finland Health Care District, Kuopio University Hospital and the University of Eastern Finland. There is, for example, an ongoing research project which studies the effect of group inventions as depression therapy. The CIBR has also started a project in collaboration with the health care district studying the effect of carotid artery stenosis operations on the brain. The CIBR also develops collaboration with research institutes with close ties to the university: such as Research Center for Sport and Health Sciences (LIKES), Research Institute for Olympic Sports (KIHU) and Niilo Mäki Institute (NMI, research and development centre for learning and learning difficulties). In a collabora-

tion project, started in 2014 and coordinated by LIKES, MEG is used for examining the effects of physical activity to the brain functions supporting learning. Collaboration has also been started with researchers of olympic sports. Networking is done with the support of ”Brain Innovation Network” (BIN) by the Central Finland county government 2012 – 2015. On the basis of the BIN project brain research knowhow activities continued in 2016 under the project ”Brain knowledge refinery – from research to expertise” funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The aim of the Brain knowledge refinery is to generate a service concept for the Jyväskylä Centre for Interdisciplinary Brain Research, that facilitates the use of good quality brain research knowhow for the non-research use of private and public sector. This aim will be operationalized by enhancing the ‘knowledge management” of brain research results and other human oriented research results, expertly producing knowledge to meet the needs for different purposes and by bringing research infrastructure closer to public and private sector.

CIBR scientists took part to BIOMAG2016 conference in Seoul

BRAIN KNOWLEDGE REFINERY – from research to expertise The aim of the Brain knowledge refinery, started in the fall of 2016, is to generate a service concept for the Jyväskylä Centre for Interdisciplinary Brain Research for producing knowledge tailored for various target groups. The long-term goal of the project is to enable service and product development based on brain and human sciences in small and medium-sizend enterprizes.

INCLUDED IN THE PROJECT: Humap Consultation Oy: Interaction is theme of the brain research workshop and knowledge package for this company. Hippo Terapiaklinikka Oy: Emotional self regulation and developing brains are key topics in the collaboration with this company.

International visits Visits were paid to collaboration universities in the context of MEG research projcets, for example the ChildBrain project (University of Leuven, Belgium; University of Munster, Germany) and the AFIS project (University of Oxford, the UK). In addition, visits were paid to institutes and universities with which there is collaboration con-

cerning MEG measurements and analysis standards (e.g. Karolinska Institute, Sweden), or with whom research collaboration is planned on the basis of a larger mutual agreement (e.g. Brunel University London, the UK). The CIBR was also represented in the BIOMAG2016 conference in Seoul, South Korea.

Funding The starting phase of research at the CIBR has been funded with the support of the University of Jyväskylä: in the operating and financial planning negotiations in the year 2016 the CIBR was allocated € 520,000, including the depreciation deduction of investments of € 280,000. With the funding for the Brain knowledge refinery project from the European Regional Development Fund, the CIBR has broadened its business cooperation. The funding (1st March 2016 to 28th February 2018, € 333,284) has been used to make contacts to businesses that participate in piloting the use of brain

research knowledge in their operations. In the year 2016, three businesses have participated in the project. One of the signs of the importance of the CIBR in the University of Jyväskylä are the funds that various research projects have been allocated both from Finland and as a part of EU projects. During the years 2014 to 2020, various research projects with connections to the CIBR are funded by € 18,3 million, of which the share of the University of Jyväskylä is € 7,1 million.

Centre for Interdisciplinary Brain Research Postal address: P.O. Box 35, 40014 University of Jyväskylä,Finland Street address: Mattilanniemi 6 (Kärki), 40100 Jyväskylä Phone: +358 (0)40 805 3531

Centre for Interdisciplinary Brain Research

CIBR annual report 2016  

The annual report of Jyväskylä Centre for Interdisciplinary Brain Research.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you