We are pleased to announce that the below symposiums have been accepted onto the Biomag2022 programme.

Click on the title for each one for further details.

  • Time-resolved cortico-subcortical connectivity in patients with deep brain recordings

    Co-chairs: Chunyan Cao, Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China and Vladimir Litvak, UCL, London, UK

    Simultaneous MEG and local field potential recordings in patients undergoing deep brain stimulation surgery have established the existence of multiple cortico-subcortical coherent resting networks and mapped their topography. The next stage in the study of these networks is understanding their function and one way to address this is to find out how their strength varies over time and how it is modulated by cognitive tasks. The deep structures that one can study in patients are not reachable for MEG alone and thus coherence between deep brain structures and cortical signals measured by MEG is free from confounds that hinder its use in non-invasive studies and can provide unparalleled insights into the role of dynamic modulation of neurophysiological connectivity in the human brain.

    Only a handful of groups worldwide have the possibility to do this kind of studies and the proposed symposium will bring together representatives from all of them.


    • Dynamic changes in cortico-subthalamic connectivity studied with Hidden Markov Models
      Dr. Esther Florin, Heinrich-Heine University, Duesseldorf, Germany
    • Viewing negative images induces specific responses in habenular activity and cortico-habenular connectivity of psychiatric patients
      Chunyan Cao, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine affiliated Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai, China
    • Conflict detection in a sequential decision task is associated with increased cortico-subthalamic coherence and prolonged subthalamic oscillatory response in the beta band
      Dr Zita Patai, Lecturer, Queen Mary University, United Kingdom
    • Cortico-subcortical beta coherence during the regulation of movement inhibition
      Bernadette van Wijk, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    • Dorsomesial prefrontal-subthalamic communication during reactive task-switching
      Julien Bastin, Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Inserm, U1216, Grenoble Institut Neurosciences, GIN, Grenoble, France
  • Advances and applications in the field of dynamic functional connectivity

    Co-chairs: Arjan Hillebrand, Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology and MEG Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Prejaas Tewarie, Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology and MEG Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Cognitively relevant fluctuations in oscillatory neuronal activity typically occur at the millisecond time scale. Interactions between distinct neuronal populations take place at similar time-scales. Magnetoencephalography offers the temporal resolution to characterise these fast fluctuations in functional connectivity. The last decade has brought the field new insights on the estimation of dynamic connectivity, its relevance for cognition, and clinical applications. This ranges from in-depth analysis of sliding window approaches, use of Hidden Markov models, application of Kalman filtering and the use of high temporal resolution metrics of functional connectivity. This symposium will shed light on new methods, but also on applications of dynamic connectivity in cognitive neuroscience and neurological disorders.


    • Variational Bayes approach for dynamic functional connectivity estimation from MEG data
      Lauri Parkkonen, Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, Aalto University, Denmark
    • Dynamic functional connectivity from sliding windows to instantaneous high temporal resolution measures: how sensitive are connectivity metrics to capture genuine fluctuations in functional connectivity?
      Lucrezia Liuzzi, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Washington, USA
    • Characterization of dynamic resting-state electrophysiological functional connectivity fluctuations: reduction of neuronal coupling variability in patients with mild cognitive impairment and dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease
      Pablo Nunez, Biomedical Engineering Group, University of Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain
  • Contribution of MEG, EEG and TES to the presurgical diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy

    Co-Chairs: Carsten Wolters, Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis, Münster, Germany, and Stefan Rampp, Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany

    Our session will present new methods and their successful application for the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. It will start with MEG source analysis successfully used to localize epileptic foci and high-frequency oscillations in adult and pediatric populations. It will include the largest MEG source analysis epilepsy patient cohort study performed up to date (Rampp et al., Brain, 2019). In the second part, multimodal MEG, EEG and MRI source analysis methods based on individualized and calibrated head models will be proposed and successfully applied in the context of epilepsy and their superiority over standard approaches will be demonstrated. Finally, a new targeted (using combined MEG/EEG source analysis) multi-channel transcranial electric stimulation (TES) optimization approach will be proposed to be used for patients who are unsuitable surgery candidates and for whom a series of stimulation sessions over a longer period of time are planned with the goal to inhibit epileptic activity and thereby reduce the number of seizures.


    • MEG detection of HFOs and stereo-EEG validation in pediatric epilepsy surgery
      Dr Elaine Foley, Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom
    • Combined EEG/MEG targeting and optimized transcranial electric stimulation in an inoperable epilepsy patient
      Marios Antonakakis, Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignal Analysis, Münster, Germany
    • Combined EEG/MEG beamforming can outperform single modality EEG or MEG in presurgical epilepsy diagnosis
      Frank Neugebauer, University of Münster, Münster, Germany
    • Magnetoencephalography for epileptic focus localization: A series of 1000 cases
      Dr. Stefan Rampp, University Hospital Erlangen, Department of Neurosurgery, Erlangen, Germany, and University Hospital Halle (Saale), Department of Neurosurgery, Halle (Saale), Germany
    • Neuromagnetic evidence of remote functional suppression from temporal lobe epilepsy to primary sensory cortex
      Nobukazu Nakasato, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan
  • New insights from animal and human studies into the functional role of sensorimotor beta burst dynamics

    Co-Chairs: Sven Bestmann, University College London, London, United Kingdom, and Catharina Zich – University College London, London, United Kingdom

    Sensorimotor beta activity (13-30Hz) is a hallmark feature of healthy and pathological movement and sensory processing, yet its functional role remains unclear. Recent work in animals and humans has revealed that this activity comprises high amplitude, transient, and aperiodic bursts, whose contribution to the classical sensorimotor beta activity as well as their functional role remains largely undetermined. This symposium will review recent developments on the detection, soatio-temporal characteristics and putative functional role of transient sensorimotor beta events, across a range of species and methodologies.

    First, Cagnan will review recent work in rodents and patients with Parkinson’s Disease on the temporal dynamics of beta burst activity within cortico-striatal circuits, and the relevance of these signals for healthy and pathological movement. Silva will discuss cross-species commonalities of beta burst activity, their putative neurocomputational role using novel biophysical network modelling approaches, and the putative relevance of transient beta events for sensory processing. Bonaiuto will review recent work on high-precision MEG and new source localization approaches that has allowed for resolving the laminar profile of beta bursts in sensorimotor cortex. Finally, Mullinger will discuss novel analytical approaches using Hidden Markov Modelling (HMM) to identify beta bursts across cortex and the dynamics of these beta events across different cortical regions, as well as leveraging HMMs to provide novel insights about the functional role of post-stimulus beta responses (occurring after stimulus cessation).

    The purpose of this symposium is to highlight the current state of the field and new approaches for studying the physiological and behavioural foundations of healthy and pathological movement, and to identify forthcoming challenges and open questions about the functional relevance of sensorimotor activity in the beta range, and beyond.


    • High precision MEG for time-resolved laminar analysis of sensorimotor beta bursts
      James Bonaiuto, CNRS, Lyon, France
    • The role of transient beta events in tactile perception revealed through integrated human imaging, modeling and animal studies
      Danielle Sliva, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA
    • Using Hidden Markov Models in the quest to increase understanding of dynamic brain function (“beta bursts”)
      Dr Karen Mullinger, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, and University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
    • Beta bursts and Parkinson’s disease
      Hayriye Cagnan, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Biomagnetic Imaging in Dementia

    Chair: Srikantan Nagarajan, UCSF, San Francisco, USA

    Biomagnetic Imaging has revealed a multitude of impact of neural oscillations in various types of Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. This symposium seeks to highlight the latest work in this burgeoning field of biomagnetic imaging in Dementia. Speakers included here have made important contributions in this research area and hearing updates on their latest work should be of broad interest to the Biomag 2020 community.


    • Resting state slowing in dementia: relationships to functional activation and cognitive status
      Jed Meltzer, Baycrest, and University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
    • Hypersynchronization in the early stages of AD: the X model
      Fernando Maestu, Complutense University, Center for Biomedical Technology, Madrid, Spain
    • Neurophysiological signatures in Alzheimer’s disease distinctly associated with tau and amyloid-beta accumulations and cognitive decline
      Srikantan Nagarajan, UCSF, San Francisco, USA
    • Magneto-encephalography as a routine diagnostic tool in memory clinic patients
      Alida Gouw, Amsterdam UMC, Amsterdam, Netherlands
    • A magnetoencephalographic platform for experimental medicine in dementia
      Professor James Rowe, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • How can we study social cognition in the MEG lab? The tug-of-war between experimental control and ecological validity

    Chair: Ana Pesquita, University Of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom

    This symposium aims at exploring the challenges of investigating the neuronal mechanisms of complex social behaviour using magnetoencephalography. Neuroscientists often study social cognition by measuring how the brain responds to simplified social stimuli, such as static pictures of faces. Whereas this approach allows for well-controlled studies with high experimental reliability, the resulting findings might not generalize to real-life social experiences. In recent years, the field has moved towards increased ecological validity. In particular, new studies have focused on capturing the dynamic and interactive nature of social behaviour, narrowing the gap between how we investigate social cognition in the lab and how we experience real social interactions. However, these novel approaches bring along their own set of challenges and confounds to do with the use of complex stimuli and open-ended experimental designs. Consequently, research on social cognition is characterized by a tension between experimental control and ecological validity. In this symposium, we will hear from researchers who are negotiating this tension in their work. The talks will cover multiple distinct approaches to the study of the neural basis of social cognition, from the analysis of neuronal responses to simplified social stimuli, to simultaneous MEG recordings from two participants who are interacting in real-time. The symposium will offer a unique space to discuss how to best harness magnetoencephalography methods to advance the field of social cognition. Furthermore, we hope to foster a broader discussion on how to study complex human behaviour – with high ecological validity – inside the constraints of the MEG lab.

    Inclusivity Statement: The symposium features a panel of female and male speakers. It comprises talks by a doctoral student, a postdoctoral researcher, as well as several established academics working in different countries.


    • Oscillatory dynamical correlates of social contact
      Dr Nathalie George, Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinière (ICM), Inserm, U 1127, CNRS, UMR 7225, Sorbonne Université, and Ecole Normale Supérieure, ENS, Centre MEG-EEG, Paris, France
    • Synchrony and coupling in social interactions
      Professor James Kilner, UCL, London, United Kingdom
    • Social binding: Is social interaction more than the sum of actions?
      Ana Pesquita, University Of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
    • Modulating social-emotional control by synchronizing rhythmic brain circuits
      Bob Bramson, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Nijmegen, Netherlands
    • Studying natural interaction with MEG: Possibilities and pitfalls
      Prof. Lauri Parkkonen, Aalto University, ESPOO, Finland
  • Tracking neural development of cognitive functions

    Co-chairs: Margot J. Taylor, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada and Charline Urbain, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium

    Unravelling the developmental bases of high-level cognitive functions is critical to understand brain function and dysfunction across the lifespan.  MEG studies show tremendous age-related changes in brain activity, its localisation, timing and oscillation frequencies.  The challenge is developing neuroimaging tasks that assess complex cognitive functions across age ranges that can also be applied to clinical paediatric populations.  We present cutting-edge MEG investigations of cognitive function in typically developing and clinical youth, focussing on cognitive and social-cognitive processing through four presentations:

    1) The role of sleep in memory formation, using a task completed pre- and post a 90minute nap or wakeful rest, all while in the MEG.  Sleep impacts theta-band brain synchronization (connectivity) mechanisms associated with the delayed retrieval of new declarative memories in children; its role will be discussed with regard to children with epilepsy who have accelerated long-term forgetting. 2) The importance of theta oscillations, anchored in the temporo-parietal junction, is studied in embodied perspective taking in adults and adolescents, highlighting the embodied origins of high-level social and spatial cognition.  In contrast, adolescents with autism utilise alpha oscillations, suggesting a distinct strategy.
    3) Functional networks that underlie emotional face processing were determined in a large series of youth (300 participants, 5-19years of age) including typically developing and three groups of neurodevelopmental disorders (ASD, ADHD, OCD).  Results highlight frequency-specific differences as well as significant overlap across groups.
    4) Creative analyses of phonological and semantic interactions during language processing in high-functioning autism show distinct temporal-parietal delays.   Current studies are extending this work to minimally verbal ASD and Fragile-X populations.  A link between motor and language development is highlighted.

    All these aspects of cognition have protracted maturational courses. Determining their development, in both typical and atypical populations, facilitates the understanding of these abilities, brain-behaviour relations across age and future translational clinical applications.


    • Orchestrating sound and meaning in language development: Insights from MEG
      Dr. Maria Mody, MGH Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
    • Rhythm makes the world go round: MEG oscillatory analysis of embodied perspective taking in typical and autistic individuals
      Prof Klaus Kessler, Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom
    • Functional networks underlying emotional face processing in children with neurodevelopmental disorders
      Dr. Kristina Safar, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada
    • Investigating the developmental advantage of slow sleep oscillations on memory-related brain connectivity mechanisms
      Dr Charline Urbain, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
  • Optically Pumped Magnetometers for Magnetoencephalography

    Co-chairs: Kasper Jensen, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom and Gareth Barnes, UCL, London, United Kingdom

    For over forty years, the fundamental building block of magnetoencephalography (MEG) systems has been the superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID). SQUIDs offer extremely high sensitivity to the small magnetic fields generated by the human brain. However, they are also limited by a requirement for cryogenic cooling, meaning MEG systems are cumbersome, static, ‘one-size-fits-all’ and expensive to buy and run. In recent years, a number of new technologies have emerged that offer similar sensitivity to SQUIDs, but without the requirement for cooling. Arguably the most advanced of these is the optically pumped magnetometer (OPM). OPMs exploit the quantum properties of alkali metals, and a technique known as optical pumping, to measure magnetic fields with a noise floor <10 fT/sqrt(Hz). Recent miniaturisation and commercialisation means that OPMs are now available in self-contained packages enabling multiple sensors to be mounted within a lightweight helmet on the scalp. With appropriate control of background magnetic fields, OPMs enable “wearable” MEG systems, with a subject able to move their head freely during data acquisition. This new technology therefore offers the potential of a new generation of MEG scanner, with higher sensitivity, improved spatial resolution, and novel neuroscientific experimentation as the constraints on subject movement are lifted.

    In this symposium, we will assemble talks from leading groups which span the gamut of OPM-MEG development and application. We will introduce the technical challenges that are faced by the introduction of OPM systems, and the new technologies that are beginning to meet those challenges. We will describe the latest multi-channel OPM systems in operation, and showcase recent data, with an emphasis on comparison to established (SQUID based) recordings. Finally we will highlight the unique opportunities that OPM based measurement affords, in particular the promise of MEG recording during subject movement, enabling a paradigm shift in experimental design.


    • A 50-channel whole-head OPM system for MEG measurements
      Dr Elena Boto, Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
    • Magnetic field mapping and correction for moving OP-MEG
      Stephanie Mellor, University College London, London, United Kingdom
    • Functional-Brain-Imaging with an Optically-Pumped-Magnetometer-Based Magnetoencephalography System
      Peter Schwindt, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, USA
    • Optically pumped magnetometers (OPMs) for brain-computer interface (BCI)
      Fan Wang, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    • Towards a wearable MEG system for clinical MEG
      Xavier De Tiege, ULB Neuroscience Institute, Université libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
    • From OPM sensors to MEG applications: Where are we now?
      Prof. Lauri Parkkonen, Aalto University, ESPOO, Finland
  • Recent advances in biomagnetic applications of optically pumped magnetometers beyond MEG

    Co-chairs: Daniel Baumgarten, UMIT – University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Hall in Tirol, Austria, and Tilmann Sander, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Berlin, Germany

    Optically pumped magnetometers (OPM) have made significant progress in terms of performance and applicability. The recent commercial availability allows to study benefits beyond typical SQUID setups, which are more flexible positioning and the omission of cryogenic cooling. However, they are still trailing SQUIDs in noise performance and bandwidth. Beyond the field of MEG, where OPMs have already attracted significant attention, a variety of biomagnetic applications will benefit from OPMs. In this symposium, the application of OPMs for characterization and imaging of magnetic nanoparticles, magnetocardiography, magnetomyography and low field NMR will be covered, and recent advances will be demonstrated.

    Magnetic nanoparticles (MNP) open novel pathways in cancer therapy and non-invasive diagnostics. Magnetorelaxometry allows for their characterization and quantitative imaging. OPMs offer benefits in terms of flexible positioning and measurement in background fields.

    One method to produce MNPs is microfluidics, where a reaction mixture is passed through capillary test tubes. The transit time and temperature, among other factors, determine the physical properties of the MNPs. An instant method to measure the magnetic susceptibility using OPMs is being developed.

    Fetal magnetocardiography was early on identified as potentially benefitting from OPMs. Comparing OPM magnetocardiography recordings with existing SQUID data in terms of metrics such as heart rate variability has shown good agreement, but at much simpler device operation.

    Magnetic measurements of periphery limbs offer a non-invasive probe of muscle activity with comparably high temporal resolution as electromyograms. We use an array of optically pumped magnetometers to detect muscle activity in the human hand, evoked via transcranial magnetic stimulation.

    Nuclear magnetic resonance at ultra-low magnetic fields offers a specifically pronounced contrast in the longitudinal relaxation time to characterize pathogenic tissue. Measurements on phantom samples show the potential for this type of OPM NMR.


    • Magnetorelaxometry imaging of magnetic nanoparticles using optically pumped magnetometers
      Aaron Jaufenthaler, Private University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology (UMIT), Hall in Tirol, Austria
    • T1 Relaxation at Ultra-low Magnetic Fields using an Optically Pumped Magnetometer
      Stefan Hartwig, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Berlin, Germany
    • Low Frequency AC Susceptometry with Optically Pumped Magnetometers
      Oswaldo Baffa Filho, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
    • Optically pumped magnetometer based magnetomyography of muscle potentials evoked with transcranial magnetic stimulation
      Yinan Hu, The Institute of Biophysics,  Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing, China
    • Recording and Quantification of Fetal Magnetocardiography Using Optically-Pumped Magnetometers
      Dr Hari Eswaran, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, USA
  • Multivariate methods to disclose brain networks in multiple functional neuroimaging modalities

    Chair: Laura Marzetti, University of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy

    The development of methods to improve our understanding of the temporal dynamics of brain networksfrom functional neuroimaging is one the current challenges in the neuroscience community. In this framework, MEG and non-invasive electrophysiology at large are currently gaining an important role, nevertheless they still have an unexploited potential.

    In this symposium, we will introduce current advances in multivariate methods that are crucial forcharactering brain networks by taking advantage of all information contained in the data from one or more neuroimaging modalities. Indeed, the vast majority of currently available methods relies on bivariate approaches. For instance, connectivity between brain regions is usually estimated by computing the correlation or coherence between their activities commonly reduced to univariate time series, e.g. after averaging across voxels or by imposing functional or anatomical priors.

    Conversely, multivariate methods have the potential to:

    1) exploit the full information contained in the data by directly addressing relationships between multiple timeseries, e.g., in a region or parcel;

    2) provide a unified framework for multimodal integration of MEG data with other imaging modalities.

    This symposium will present methodological studies that describe and apply multivariate approaches in MEG, EEG, fMRI and their combinations in a 120 minutes format with 4 presenters and an introduction from the chair.

    This symposium will present methodological studies that describe and apply multivariate approaches in MEG, EEG, fMRI and their combinations in a 120 minutes format with 4 presenters and an introduction from the chair. Given that, together with novel methods, the presenters will show also relevant neuroscience applications, this symposium is of interest for the community at large. Presenters will be from laboratories in different countries (1 Italy, 1 Belgium, 1 U.S.A, 1 Canada), of different nationalities (Italian, Indian, Iranian, Belgian), gender (2 females, 2 males) and carrier stages (from post-doc to faculty).


    • Individual Resting-State Brain Networks enabled by Massive Multivariate Conditional Mutual Information
      Padmavathi Sundaram, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
    • Multivariate methods to characterise functional connectivity between pairs of regions in MEG/EEG
      Alessio Basti, University of Chieti-Pescara, and Institute for Advanced Biomedical Technologies, Chieti, Italy
    • Dynamic causal modelling: foundations and developments
      Frederik Van de Steen, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
    • Decoding feedback representations in ventral visual pathway
      Yalda Mohsenzadeh, The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada, and The Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Toronto, Canada
  • Insights into the laminar basis of neural oscillations: multimodal and multi-species approaches

    Co-chair: Mathilde Bonnefond, Inserm, Lyon, France, and James Bonaiuto, CNRS, Lyon, France

    One of the major challenges of systems neuroscience is to determine whether brain oscillations serve any functional role in local computations and brain communication or whether they are simply an epiphenomena of recurrent neural circuitry. To tackle this challenge, it is crucial to study oscillations at the level of cortical layers since specific, falsifiable predictions can be derived from different theoretical frameworks at this scale. In light of these frameworks, this symposium will introduce different methodological approaches to investigate the laminar profile of oscillations within the visual cortical hierarchy, from laminar fMRI-EEG and high precision (laminar) MEG, to laminar electrode recordings in both monkeys and humans.


    • Laminar investigation of oscillatory rhythms in macaque monkey
      Iris Grothe, Ernst Strüngmann Institute (ESI) for Neuroscience in Cooperation with Max Planck Society, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    • Laminar intracranial recordings of neural oscillations in humans
      Milan Halgren, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA
    • Feature specific cortical oscillations on a laminar scale: High resolution fMRI and simultaneous EEG unveil differential high and low frequency-band responses in different cortical layers in human visual cortex
      Tommy Clausner, Inserm, Lyon, France, Donders Institute, Nijmegen, Netherlands
    • Frequency and laminar specificity in visual and sensorimotor cortical dynamics
      James Bonaiuto, CNRS, Lyon, France
    • Cross-species comparison of laminar profile of resonance phenomena in the visual cortex
      Dr. Rasa Gulbinaite, Centre de Recherche en Neurosciences de Lyon (CRNL), Lyon, France
  • Open source and the MEG community: advancing science together

    Co-chair: Britta Westner, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark, and Caroline Witton, Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom

    Data analysis in MEG research relies heavily on open source toolboxes. Their openness makes them transparent data analysis tools and they are one of the main pillars for reproducible research and open science. However, while sharing of data and open access publishing is often discussed in the MEG community, the contribution to open source projects seems to be less in the focus and is often limited to a relatively small pool of developers. In this symposium, we aim to bring open source efforts closer to the MEG community. Rather than summarising the capabilities of the existing toolboxes, which are well-documented, we focus on the broader ecosystem of open source tools in MEG and how user communities and developers can work together to advance our science. We investigate how open source development can enable and catalyze reproducible research efforts, within and beyond the toolboxes’ horizons. Maintainers and contributors will share their experiences and their vision of the open source community in MEG research, giving insights into the inner workings of open source efforts and toolbox development. We hope to motivate a greater number of people of different groups and diverse backgrounds to contribute to open source software development efforts. We also hope to advocate for a greater recognition of the value of open source efforts in our scientific field.


    • Alone you go fast but together we go far”: the reason for community-driven MEG/EEG open source software
      Dr Alexandre Gramfort, Inria, Palaiseau, and CEA/Neurospin, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
    • Maintaining open source code for scientific impact that lasts

    Dr. Robert Oostenveld, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands, and Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

    • The perspective and motivations of contributing to open source packages
      Dr Johanna Zumer, Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom
    • The Brain Imaging Data Structure (BIDS), a common standard to advance neuroimaging
      Dr Guiomar Niso, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
    • Reproducible results across open-source toolboxes and commercial software!?
      Prof. Lauri Parkkonen, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland
  • Infant MEG: Examining normal and abnormal brain development

    Co-chair: Yuhan Chen, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadephia, USA, and Julia Stephen, The Mind Research Network, Albuquerque, USA

    Prenatal brain growth occurs at an astonishing rate and continues through early infancy. This rapid brain development allows for rapid acquisition of skills but has also been associated with “sensitive periods.” Alterations in brain development during these periods may lead to long-term consequences for behavioral and cognitive functioning. Therefore, understanding how brain dynamics change through infancy may provide opportunities to better understand the critical features of brain development, identify early markers of altered brain development with long-term consequences on cognitive and behavioral function and open opportunities for early intervention. This symposium covers recent infant MEG research focuses on understanding early brain development, examining basic sensory processes as well as examining precursors to higher-level cognitive processes. with a focus on large sample studies. Presenting infant data from well over 100 infants, Dr. Yuhan Chen will discuss the creation of normative infant databases (auditory, visual, resting-state, and face processes). Moving to pathology, Dr. Julia Stephen will present findings on atypical brain development in at-risk infants, Dr. Heather Green brain abnormalities in infants at-risk for developmental disorders, and Dr.PäiviNevalainen will discuss the somatosensory cortical responses in term and preterm infants. Finally, moving to clinical patient population, Dr. Banu Ahtam will discuss about utilizing baby MEG for pre-surgical localization of epileptiform activity in pediatric populations. It is hoped that the symposium facilities discussion the methods used to identify clinically relevant infant MEG measures.


    • Somatosensory cortical responses in term and preterm infants
      Dr Päivi Nevalainen, HUS medical imaging center, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
    • Infant brain development: Differential maturation of auditory, visual and resting-state systems
      Yuhan Chen, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, USA
    • Examining the effects of prenatal exposures on infant brain development
      Julia Stephen, Mind Research Network, Albuquerque, USA
    • Auditory latency a potential biomarker for infants at-risk for developmental disorders
      Heather Green, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, USA
    • BabyMEG for Pre-surgical Localization of Epileptiform Activity in Pediatric Populations
      Dr. Banu Ahtam, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
  • The pathophysiology of mild Traumatic Brain Injury

    Despite the world-wide high incidence of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), estimated to be > 600 per 100,000 people annually, its diagnosis remains challenging. The pathophysiology of mTBI is poorly understood but neurochemical, metabolic, and structural damage are thought to lead to post-concussive symptoms (PCSs). These complaints spontaneously resolve in about 80% of cases within three months, but the rest show persistent long-term cognitive, emotional and/or behavioural impairments, often without trauma-specific changes in structural brain imaging (MRI and CT).

    As there are currently no unequivocal brain imaging markers available for mTBI, the diagnostic criteria are based on clinical findings, and assessing treatment efficacy is based on patient report of symptom remission. In the absence of objective trauma indicators, healthcare professionals may fail to recognize these patients. In addition, follow-up is often difficult to determine as there are no objective measures to gauge brain recovery. Finally, regarding the interpretation of brain imaging findings in mTBI, it is of note that co-morbidity of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) adds complexity to the mTBI diagnosis due to a substantial overlap in the symptoms of these two disorders.

    This symposium explores recent advances in the development and application of MEG in mTBI. Topics include studies in the acute and chronic phases post injury, in both paediatric and adult populations, as well as military and civilian cohorts. We will explore how PTSD and mTBI can be differentiated using MEG.

    Data will show how changes in local and large-scale neural network synchrony and in source magnitude measures, are related to symptoms and scores in neuropsychological exams in mTBI patients. Furthermore, we explore the application and value of machine learning techniques on MEG data to aid differential diagnostics and prognosis. This symposium will frame future priorities to aid in diagnosis and prognosis of a ‘silent epidemic’.


    • Neural injury in adolescents with concussion: a longitudinal study
      Prof James Edgar, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, USA
    • MEG can reveal aberrant oscillatory activity after mild traumatic brain injury
      Hanna Renvall, Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, Aalto University, Espoo and BioMag Laboratory, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
    • The Role of Magnetoencephalography and Dynamic Functional Connectivity For Building Biomarkers tailored to mild Traumatic Brain Injury
      Stavros Dimitriadis, Cubric Neuroimaging Centre, School of Psychology, Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, School of Medicine, School of Psychology, Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute, MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics,School of Medicine, and Neuroinformatics Group, Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Center (CUBRIC), School of Psychology, Cardiff, United Kingdom
    • Resting-State MEG source Imaging with deep-learning neural network for accurate classifications of combat-related mild TBI
      Mingxiong Huang, University of California San Diego, and VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, USA
    • Mild traumatic brain injury results in spontaneous and motor-circuit beta burst deficits in the subacute phase
      Dr. Benjamin Dunkley, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada
  • Oscillations and memory: From local to large-scale synchronization, from working memory to long-term memory, from correlation to causation

    Chair: Satu Palva, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom

    Several prior studies using MEG, EEG and iEEG have shown that local brain oscillations as well as large-scale connectivity in multiple frequency bands are modulated during tasks calling on working memory (WM) and long-term memory (LTM) in humans. Yet the specific functional roles of these oscillations in the representation of different kinds of sensory information in memory as well as their differential contributions to WM and LTM are poorly understood. This symposium will discuss recent results using source-reconstructed MEG / EEGdata on the macroscale, as well as invasive recordings in monkeys and humans on the microscale during WM and LTM tasks. We will first discuss the specific fingerprints of large-scale networks underlying the maintenance of feature-specific information and contents of visual WM as well as its executive control. We will show usingsource-reconstructed MEG datathat narrow-band large-scale synchronization predicts WM maintenance but only narrow-band alpha synchronization was correlated with feature-specific information. We next present studies using humans MEG and monkey LFP data showing role of beta oscillations in ensemble formation involved in maintenance of information in WM as well as subsequent decision in discrimination task. We then extendthe discussion to the relationship between LTM and WM. We will present data on how alpha/beta and theta/gamma oscillations are related to memory formation and retrieval, with an emphasis on the role of gamma oscillations in the hippocampal system. Finally, we discuss the causal relationship between fronto-parietal theta oscillations and working memory performance by presenting studies combining information-based neuromodulation (rhTMS/visual rhythmic stimulation/MEG/EEG) and longitudinal WM training. We will show how such optimized noninvasive brain stimulation procedure (targeting functional relevant oscillatory metrics) can enhance brain plasticity and improve behaviour. In summary, in our symposium we will speak about how different oscillations and their within-frequency and cross-frequency interactions coordinate memory formation.


    • A role for beta oscillations in flexible ensemble formation
      Saskia Haegens, Columbia University, New York, USA, and Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Nijmegen, Netherlands
    • Alpha-band network synchronization in maintenance of working memory contents
      Satu Palva, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom, and University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
    • The Brain Dynamics of Human Fluid Intelligence and Abstract Problem Solving Skills
      Nadja Tschentscher, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany, and MRC Cognition And Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, United Kingdom
    • Driving working memory with information-based neuromodulation
      Dr Philippe Albouy, Laval University – Psychology department, CERVO brain research centre, and BRAMS-CRBLM, Montréal, Canada
    • How synchronization and de-synchronization processes in the human brain form and retrieve episodic memories
      Dr. Simon Hanslmayr, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • Applications of MEG in Psychiatry: The Past, Present and the Future

    Co-chair: Peter Uhlhaas, Charite Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany, and Krish Singh, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom

    The application of neuroimaging to provide mechanistic insights into circuit dysfunctions in major psychiatric conditions and the development of biomarkers are core challenges in psychiatric research. This symposium will provide a state-of-the-art overview on current and future applications of MEG in psychiatry. Tal Kenet (MGH/HMS Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging) will present an overview on applications of MEG in Autism Spectrum Disorders with a focus on changes in local and long-range connectivity in resting-state recordings and during sensory- and face-processing paradigms. Current perspectives of MEG-research for affective disorders will be discussed by Jessica Gilbert (NIH). She will summarise recent studies that examined the possibility to develop MEG-biomarkers for responses to ketamine in major depression and suicidal ideation. James Rowe (University of Cambridge) discusses MEG-applications for understanding dementias. He will present studies that integrated computational modelling, pharmacology and MEG to identify circuit dysfunctions in frontotemporal dementia. Peter Uhlhaas (Charite/University of Glasgow) will provide a synthesis and perspective on the application of MEG towards identifying circuit dysfunctions and biomarkers in schizophrenia and emerging psychosis, with a particular focus on at-risk populations. In the final presentation, Alex Shaw (Cardiff) discusses the combination of pharmacological modelling, computational modelling and advanced MEG-approaches towards the identification of neurobiological mechanisms in psychiatry.


    • Pharmacological modelling, computational modelling and advanced M/EEG -approaches towards the identification of neurobiological mechanisms in psychiatry
      Dr Alexander Shaw, Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre, Cardiff, United Kingdom
    • Using Magnetoencephalography to identify circuit dysfunctions and biomarkers in schizophrenia
      Peter Uhlhaas, Charite, Berlin, Germany, and University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom
    • From MEG to biophysical models of dementia and its treatment
      Professor James Rowe, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
    • Developing MEG Biomarkers of Ketamine Response in Major Depression
      Dr Jessica Gilbert, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, USA
    • The Pattern of Functional connectivity Abnormalities in ASD: It depends
      Assistant Professor Tal Kenet, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA
  • Rhythms in Auditory, Visual, and Audiovisual Speech Processing: Multisensory representations in unisensory cortices and beyond

    Chair: Hyojin Park, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom

    Our perceptual experiences in everyday life are mostly multi-modal and we perceive the environment more efficiently when combining multi-sense inputs. This is particularly true when we are surrounded by multi-talkers (cocktail party effect). We have seen a large number of studies that had tried to uncover how our brain integrates information from multi-modal speech inputs, however, how multimodal speech signals are represented in unisensory cortices and higher-order structures and how they interact along the hierarchical streams of feedforward/feedback information processing still remains to be answered. These questions are important not only to understand neural bases of multisensory integration and its attentional modulation but also crucial to understand underlying neural mechanisms of patients with sensory deprivation (e.g. hearing loss) as well as their adaptive brain reorganization (cross-modal plasticity).

    This symposium gathers five outstanding speakers who will address this issue by exploiting M/EEG data which provides excellent temporal resolution and spectral features from healthy volunteers as well as clinical population (deafness). We hope to present not only the best research in this topic but also inspire BIOMAG attendees to consider the meaning of physiological and anatomical observations of interactions between our senses in the multisensory world of our daily lives.

    We also have strived for a fair balance of diversity in terms of career stage (1 Senior PI, 2 Early-career independent PIs, 1 Post-doctoral researcher, and 1 PhD student), gender (3 females, 2 males) and geographical location (England, Scotland, Spain, Austria) of speakers.


    • The temporal relationship between auditory and visual speech signals in naturalistic speech and their interactive spatial representations in the brain
      Dr Hyojin Park, School of Psychology, Centre for Human Brain Health (CHBH), University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
    • Synthesizing auditory features of silent speech
      Nicola Molinaro, BCBL, San Sebastian, Spain
    • Visuo-phonological transformation of information from lip movements in visual cortex and its implications for speech processing
      Nina Suess, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
    • Visual perception of lip movement entrains auditory brain oscillations and drives auditory perception
      Emmanuel Biau, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
    • Neural mechanisms of unisensory and multisensory speech perception
      Dr Anne Keitel, University of Dundee, Dundee, United Kingdom
  • Predicting clinical endpoints from M/EEG: Challenges and opportunities of large-scale data analysis

    Co-chair: Denis Engemann, Inria / Neurospin, Paris, France, and Riitta Salmelin, Aalto University, Aalto, Finland

    MEG/EEG offer a unique window on brain functions in both health and disease through its coverage of brain dynamics across vast temporal scales. Combined with novel computational analysis, M/EEG provides great potential to improve clinical diagnostics and prognostic modeling in pathologies such as autism spectrum disorders, multiple sclerosis, disorders of consciousness and in sleep medicine. However, M/EEG-based development of clinical biomarkers incurs multiple methodological issues.

    Progressing from group-level commonalities to proper sensitivity in detecting individual differences is difficult, and SNR issues are aggravated in the clinical settings due to the patient-related limitations, increasing the importance of data denoising and preprocessing techniques. Ideally, the data processing pipelines should be automatised to minimize human processing time and the level of needed expertise, both extra costly in the clinic. Source localization may not be always available in practice, hence, alternative procedures are necessary to account for volume conduction. Multimodal analysis, including behavioral, clinical, and other neuroimaging measures, pose additional challenges. Finally, the assumption of stationarity made by source localization and spatial filter methods may occlude important information, which calls for a careful assessment of methodological limits and possible alternative approaches.

    In this symposium, we bring together research combining MEG/G with predictive modeling in neurology and clinical neuroscience. Special emphasis is put on how recent results from machine learning and statistical modeling can enhance processing challenging clinical data at scale. The symposium will both demonstrate the recent advances in the field and, hopefully, generate the synergies needed to further advance the practical utility of MEG/EEG in clinical settings by increasing the cross-talk between researchers in M/EEG, clinical neuroscience and data science.


    • Brain spatiospectral fingerprints: Exploring heritable and individual characteristics in MEG data
      Hanna Renvall, Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland, and BioMag Laboratory, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
    • Predictive modeling in neurodevelopmental disorders
      Sheraz Khan, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
    • Getting the most out of single-subject data by combining machine learning with expert knowledge
      Marijn van Vliet, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland
    • Challenges in M/EEG-based biomarker development: Multimodal models with missing data, predicting from source power without MRI, cross-site/protocol generalization
      Dr Denis Engemann, Inria, and Neurospin, Paris, France
    • Probabilistic models to bridge brain data and clinical phenotypes
      Diego Vidaurre, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark, and University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Magnetocardiography

    Co-chair: Matti Stenroos, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland, and Jens Haueisen, Ilmenau University of Technology, Ilmenau, Germany

    Magnetocardiography (MCG) assesses the cardiac electrical activity via the magnetic field measured outside the chest. MCG studies have typically been done using SQUID-based sensors in a magnetically shielded room. In such studies, MCG has shown promise, for example, in assessing post-infarction arrhythmia risk and exercise-induced ischemia. Thanks to the introduction of optically-pumped magnetometers (OPM), there is now increasing new interest in MCG: the OPMs and other new sensors that do not need cryogenic cooling enable measurement closer to the chest, potentially increasing the sensitivity and resolution of the measurement while also decreasing the cost of the MCG system. Another focus of interest has been in techniques that facilitate measuring outside a magnetically-shielded room. Together, these developments open new opportunities for the application of MCG especially in clinics but also in basic research.

    In this symposium, we have collected recent work of five innovative research groups, including three groups that have not previously been present in Biomag MCG sessions. Our selection focuses on application of new sensor techniques and artefact removal, ranging from sensor design and small-animal measurements to fetal MCG and a movable clinical MCG system that operates outside the shielded room. These talks are complemented by a clinically-motivated SQUID-MCG work that extends from conventional signal-averaged analysis to beat-to-beat analysis of atrial dynamics.


    • Magnetocardiography on an isolated animal heart with a room-temperature optically pumped magnetometer
      Dr Kasper Jensen, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
    • First MagnetoCardioGraphic (MCG) recordings at room temperature with Helium 4 Optically Pumped Magnetometers (4He OPM)
      Dr Etienne Labyt, CEA LETI, Grenoble, France
    • Fetal Long QT Syndrome and Stillbirth
      Ronald Wakai, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA
    • Magnetocardiography in assessing cryptogenic stroke
      Ville Mäntynen, BioMag Laboratory, HUS Medical Imaging Center, Helsinki University and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
    • Unshielded magnetocardiography using signal correlation noise removal
      Dr Ben Varcoe, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leeds, United Kingdom