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Background

Our group has started fMRI research in 1997 within Oulu Medical Image Research Group (MIRG), which later spined off to Neagen. We have longest expertise in Europe on resting state brain analysis research with ongoing collaboration with leading researchers of the field globally. In 1999 Kiviniemi was drafted to Medical College of Wisconsin, U.S. by resting state pioneer Biswal and they collaborated in first papers on anesthetized resting state analysis in 2000.

Based on the collaboration with MCW experts and locally on docent Jukka Jauhiainen's excellent spectral analysis skills, our group developed methods for analysis of functional connectivity for resting state fMRI data. Jussi Kantola's ingenious ideas and direct contact with Aapo Hyvärinen led us on data driven detection of functional brain cortices from with independent component analysis (ICA). ICA and frequency domain methods later became dominant tools in the field for detecting networks of brain regions functionally connected by spontaneous activity, e.g resting state networks (RSN). Our group has extensively demonstrated normal RSN patterns and developmental changes in them over whole cortex. Collaborative efforts within Oulu University Hospital and Northern Finland Birth Cohorts (www.kelo.oulu.fi/NFBC) have shown that a wide variety of disorders marked with social interaction deficits (schizophrenia, autism), affective and mood problems (seasonal affective disorder - SAD) and abnormal electrophysiological activity (epilepsy) alter functional connectivity in RSNs.

Collaborative work with Stanford University Michael Greicius showed that altered consciousness in sedation modulates RSN connectivity especially within default mode network  (DMN). Professor Yu-Feng Zang has further developed power spectral methods in detecting changes in brain activity and we are very fortunate to have had his student Xianguy Long visiting our laboratory. Based on personal collaboration and our previous pioneering experience we were able to initiate MREG scanning of resting state in Oulu in collaboration with Freiburg University researcher Pierre LeVan. Collaboration with the FMRIB leader Stephen Smith and Christian Beckmann has introduced high model order ICA in order to obtain a more comprehensive picture of functional brain sources. Most recently we have opened collaboration on mood disorder analysis and treatment research with Magdeburg University researcher Martin Walter.

Recently our focus has turned into multimodal (MREG, EEG, NIBP, NIRS) imaging of neurovascular unit activity together with pioneering prof. Juha Voipio on blood brain barrier and glymphatic mechanisms by with prof. Maiken Nedergaard.

Last updated: 13.7.2017