The first ECoG/sEEG FieldTrip bootcamp

posted Mar 14, 2019, 8:17 PM by Arjen Stolk

We’re hosting the first ECoG/sEEG FieldTrip bootcamp at the UC Davis Medical Center (Sacramento, California) on March 20-22. The workshop will consist of lectures and hands-on sessions covering the methods implemented in FieldTrip, and is co-organized by Ignacio Saez (UC Davis). Speakers include Robert Oostenveld (Donders Institute), Bob Knight (UC Berkeley), Fady Girgis (UC Davis), and myself. For the program, please see here.

A novel cause for communication deficits in autism

posted Jan 31, 2019, 9:19 AM by Arjen Stolk

This work supports our working hypothesis that human communication is not simply an exchange of information using already known words and gestures, but a deeply interpersonal and innovative process that involves the creation of a Shared Cognitive Space (our 2016 Trends in Cognitive Sciences paper). Building more bridges to the clinical domain, this study provides evidence indicating that the problematic communication in autism arises from an inability to produce and comprehend communicative behaviors in light of past interactions with specific partners.

Frontiers for Young Minds

posted May 8, 2017, 10:16 AM by Arjen Stolk

Translation of a recent research finding published in a journal aimed at educating and enthusing kids for science. Made for and in collaboration with actual young minds, either in the form of a classroom, offline, or live peer review (e.g.

The article is about the role of the prefrontal cortex in adjusting communication to implicit knowledge about another person during social interaction.
Frontiers for Young Minds is a scientific open access journal edited by and for kids.

Understanding each other: textbook + game

posted Mar 4, 2017, 4:25 PM by Arjen Stolk   [ updated Mar 4, 2017, 4:27 PM ]

An English translation of the textbook chapter entitled Understanding each other has been published (Dutch version). The chapter is the product of a collaboration between scientists, teachers and elementary school kids. It aspires to educate children on the principles of human communication as brought about by recent scientific endeavors. 

A 'fribble game' is included for children (and adults!) to discover in a fun way why human communication is much more than an exchange of words and gestures (online materials). 

Will computers ever truly understand what we’re saying?

posted Jan 11, 2016, 7:25 PM by Arjen Stolk   [ updated Jan 11, 2016, 7:27 PM ]

See this great write for an answer. Or this Dutch article.

Electrode placement tool

posted Nov 15, 2015, 1:17 PM by Arjen Stolk   [ updated Nov 15, 2015, 1:27 PM ]

A new tool was released in FieldTrip which allows localization and assignment of electrode locations and their names in patient CT/MR scans. This tool was developed in collaboration with Cal Dewar (UC Berkeley) and Robert Oostenveld (Donders Institute) and aims to facilitate the analysis of 'direct brain recordings' (neural signal recordings done directly on the brain's cortex or inside the brain).

Hoe we elkaar begrijpen

posted Jun 11, 2015, 2:33 AM by Arjen Stolk   [ updated Feb 23, 2017, 9:33 AM ]

Dit boek hoofdstuk is geschreven naar aanleiding van een initiatief van het Wetenschapsknooppunt Radboud Universiteit om actuele wetenschappelijke doorbraken de klas in te krijgen. De tekst zal, vergezeld van workshop materiaal voor in de klas, verschijnen in het 5de boek in de reeks ‘Wetenschappelijke doorbraken de klas in!’ (2016). Voor meer informatie, zie

Frontal lesion study published in Current Biology

posted Apr 23, 2015, 12:11 PM by Arjen Stolk

The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) has been strongly implicated with social functioning. This study demonstrates that this region is not necessary for taking communicative decisions per se, but for tuning those decisions with knowledge about a social partner, as inferred from prior stereotypes and ongoing behaviors.

dual-fMRI paper accepted in PNAS

posted Dec 9, 2014, 2:43 AM by Arjen Stolk

Stolk A, Noordzij ML, Verhagen L, Volman I, Schoffelen JM, Oostenveld R, Hagoort P, and Toni I. Cerebral coherence between communicators marks the emergence of meaning.

When we interact with another person, we consider what we mutually know. This new study suggests this knowledge is continuously and simultaneously adjusted in our minds as the interaction unfolds.

Brain oscillations paper accepted in J Neurosci

posted Sep 26, 2014, 8:37 AM by Arjen Stolk

Loek Brinkman, Arjen Stolk, H. Chris Dijkerman, Floris P. de Lange, Ivan Toni

Rhythmic neural activity within the alpha (8 - 12 Hz) and beta (15 - 25 Hz) frequency bands is modulated during actual and imagined movements. Changes in these rhythms provide a mechanism to select relevant neuronal populations, although the relative contributions of these rhythms remain unclear. Here we use magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate changes in oscillatory power while healthy human participants imagined grasping a cylinder oriented at different angles. This paradigm allowed us to study the neural signals involved in the simulation of a movement in the absence of signals related to motor execution and sensory reafference. Movement selection demands were manipulated by exploiting the fact that some object orientations evoke consistent grasping movements, whereas other orientations are compatible with both over-hand and under-hand grasping. By modulating task demands, we show a functional dissociation of the alpha- and beta-band rhythms. As movement selection demands increased, alpha-band oscillatory power increased in the sensorimotor cortex ipsilateral to the arm used in the imagined movement, whereas beta-band power concurrently decreased in the contralateral sensorimotor cortex. The same pattern emerged when motor imagery trials were compared to a control condition, providing converging evidence for the functional dissociation of the two rhythms. These observations call for a re-evaluation of the role of sensorimotor rhythms. We propose that neural oscillations in the alpha-band mediate the allocation of computational resources by disengaging task-irrelevant cortical regions. In contrast, the reduction of neural oscillations in the beta-band is directly related to the disinhibition of neuronal populations involved in the computations of movement parameters.

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