Das Bild zeigt eine Ärztin am Schreibtisch im Gespräch mit einem Mann und einer Frau.

BrainModes Group

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There are different levels at which brain function may be studied, through the measuring of data related to individual nerve cells, small neural networks or the entire brain. So far, however, we have lacked the ability to simultaneously collect data on all of the brain's spatial and temporal scales. For this reason, we still know very little about the way in which different levels of the brain interact. We also continue to have difficulties in linking perception, understanding and behavior with specific cellular processes. Our aim is to develop a theoretical network model that will demonstrate and quantify the degree of connectivity between different levels.

The researchers use data collected on individual processes to develop simulations of the whole brain. Functional imaging techniques continue to be of limited use when dealing with individual patients, and individual prognoses are usually impossible to make. We need to change this, and we need to develop a kind of 'mathematical microscope' for the brain. We want to show that, when combined with imaging technology, computer simulations can help us link up the brain's temporal and spatial scales.

Electroencephalography, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and diffusion tensor imaging - each of these three tools/techniques form a part of the repertoire of Dr. Ritter's interdisciplinary team, to be used to measure brain structure and function. All of these technologies are known to produce enormous data sets. The challenge is to combine all of these data into one coherent theory. We assemble them into a model of the brain. In cooperation with international partners, we have developed 'The Virtual Brain', a brain-modeling platform that allows mathematical models of individual brains to be standardized, in order to create fully reproducible simulations. Aside from promoting collaborations between different research teams from across the globe, this open-source platform also encourages the exchange of information - both of which are of crucial importance as they help maximize the collection of data sets and comprehensive theories.

We use supercomputers to process enormously complex and detailed simulations, in the hope of learning more about how the brain works and, by extension, what happens when it stops to function normally. We are hoping that these brain simulations will enable us to make prognoses regarding certain conditions and the ways in which they might progress. Our technology, which is able to provide information on the effect of drug-based interventions and interventions aimed at changing the anatomy of the brain, may even prove to be key to the development of new biomarkers and therapies.

Funding

  • 2016-2021 H2020, ERC Consolidator Grant: Personalized whole-brain simulations - linking connectomics and dynamics in the human brain
  • 2016-2019 German Ministry of Education and Research, US-German Collaboration in Computational Neuroscience Connectomics and large-scale dynamics of the human brain
  • 2010-2016 JS McDonnell Foundation, Brain Network Recovery Group: Understanding brain network dynamics and how it relates to recovery of function
  • 2009-2016 German Ministry of Education and Research, Bernstein Focus State Dependencies of Learning. Collaboration between 7 research groups from 5 different institutions in Germany. The goal is to link empirical data on learning obtained invasively from the microscopic scale with empirical neuroimaging data of learning and identify the underlying biophysical mechanisms with cross-scale computational modeling
  • 2015-2017 German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Development of a mobile app for commercial brain computer interfaces using The Virtual Brain Technology
Prof. Dr. med. Petra Ritter

CCM: Campus Charité Mitte

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Staff

Chettouf, Sabrina
t: +49 30 450 560 219
Raum 04.001

Ghani, Amna
t: +49 30 450 560 219
Raum 04.001

Komissarov, Anton
t: +49 30 450 560 798
Raum 04.001

Mendoza Montoya, Omar
t: +49 30 450 560 798
Raum 04.001

Palmer, Jessica
t: +49 30 450 560 219

Roloff-Östergaard, Mirko
t: +49 30 450 560 219
Raum 04.001

Rothmeier, Simon
t: +49 30 450 560 197
Raum 04.018

Schirner, Michael
t: +49 30 450 560 197
Raum 04.018

Stefanovski, Leon
t: +49 30 450 560 219
Raum 04.001

Triebkorn, Paul
t: +49 30 450 560 219
Raum 04.001

Zhang, Juanli
t: +49 30 450 560 798
Raum 04.001