POURATIAN LAB

UCLA Neurosurgical Brain Mapping and Restoration Lab

The UCLA Neurosurgical Brain Mapping and Restoration Lab was established in 2009. Our primary mission is to extract clinically meaningful signals from various brain mapping modalities and use these signals to develop innovative approaches to restore function to patients with neurological and psychiatric diseases.

Restoring neurological function to debilitated patients requires a sophisticated and multi-faceted approach that integrates neuroscientific knowledge and advanced biomedical engineering and signal classification techniques. In our laboratory, we record brain mapping signals using multiple modalities, including structural MRI, functional MRI, diffusion tensor MRI, electroencephalography, electrocorticography, and electrical stimulation mapping to better understand the nature and significance of brain mapping signals, both in health and in disease. We focus on characterizing and classifying signals associated with unique physiological function, such as motor movements and language, as well pathophysiological phenomenon, such as cognitive impairments and deficits in inhibitory control.

Our work takes advantage of the unique opportunities provided by open neurosurgical procedures in patients that are awake to maps human motor and cognitive function. Ultimately, our goal is to develop a complex understanding of brain signals to develop high-dimensional, real-time, and reliable brain-computer interfaces to restore function to debilitated patients.

Currently, we are pursuing research projects related to:

  • Optimization of p300 speller signal classification (EEG)
  • Characterizing activity-related electrophysiological changes in the human motor system (ECoG)
  • Developing individualized maps of deep brain structures using diffusion tractography (DTI)
  • Investigating neuroanatomic correlates of cognitive impairments in patients with movement disorders (MRI)
  • Mapping cortical representations of human language expression (ECoG)
  • Determining electrophysiologic signatures of optimal sites of DBS stimulation and efficacious therapy (LFPs)
  • Elucidating the network basis of individualized patterns of fMRI activations (fMRI and DTI)

Grants & Support

  • National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering – K Award
  • National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke – R01 Award
  • National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke – U01 Award
  • Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation
  • Second Sight Medical Products, Inc.

Patents

  • "A Method for Deep Brain Stimulation Targeting"

Keywords describing our research

Electrocorticography, brain mapping, motor system, fMRI, p300, language mapping, neurosurgery, electrical stimulation mapping, diffusion tractography, deep brain stimulation, closed-loop, thalamic segmentation, brain-computer interface.