1.8.2006-31.7.2011 and 1.1.2012-31.12.2016
Systemic and cognitive neuroscience
Riitta Salmelin (b. 1961) conducts research in the field of systemic and cognitive neuroscience. Her expertise is exceptionally far-ranging and internationally unique. She is also an expert in the world-famous MEG imaging method, which was originally developed in Finland. MEG is a non-invasive imaging technique that can be used to analyse both healthy and diseased brain function in various processes and circumstances. The Finnish neuroscience research community has some of the world’s foremost expertise in the use of this technique.
Professor Salmelin’s interdisciplinary research plan represents the absolute cutting edge in the field of cognitive neuroscience. During her second term as Academy Professor, it is expected that Salmelin’s research will generate critical new information that will have wide application in both language research and many other fields related to brain research. Closer imaging and a better understanding of brain function will open new avenues to the treatment of brain diseases and injuries.
Brain imaging can help to unravel the way in which language is organised in the brain. Different imaging methods, such as magnetic resonance imaging that detects oxygen consumption during functional brain activation (fMRI) and magnetoencelography that records brains activation by following the magnetic field generated by neural activity (MEG), describe brain function from different perspectives. The first requirement for the application of imaging data in studies of cognition and language is to establish what type of functions each imaging method detects. Secondly, well-defined imaging data will help develop brain function models of what kind of functional stages are involved in reading and listening to and producing speech. In the future, these models will pave the way to developing a predictive scientific framework for the treatment of language disturbances. These two perspectives are closely interwoven, and Salmelin’s interdisciplinary projects will aim to answer both sets of questions.
Professor Riitta Salmelin is Vice Director of the Centre of Excellence in Systems Neuroscience and Neuroimaging Research. Her research project also comes under the auspices of the Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation in Health and Well-being