M. Dhamala's Research

BrainNetworksThe human brain consists of a large number of highly interconnected neuronal populations that are organized as functionally relevant local-area ensembles and large-scale networks associated with perception, thought and behavior. These large-scale functional networks, which can exist even under a rest condition in the absence of entrained task performance or in the absence of explicit external stimulus, involve the activities of individual neural systems and the signal flow among them. In addition, the brain processes are linked with peripheral physiological activities, e.g. heart rate, respiration rate, skin conductance associated with cognitive or affective functions. Thus, studying the patterns of neural interactions and interactions with peripheral physiological systems can enhance our understanding of the human brain and other physiological systems associated with different perceptual, cognitive and affective processes. We utilize various neuroimaging techniques (simultaneous fMRI/EEG, fMRI, MRI, DTI) to understand the structures and functions of the human brain. This is a top-down approach towards understanding a complex system like the human brain. We also utilize a bottom-up approach by modeling brain subsystems with coupled model neurons in order to understand the origin of the patterns of brain activity. Our research group is currently involved in several experimental and theoretical neuroscience projects: neuroimaging of human decision-making, musical creativity, epileptic seizures and stroke, development of brain network methods, and modeling of brain processes in normal functions and dysfunctions.