About the Aalto Brain Centre
ABC is a strategic initiave within the Aalto University School of Science (SCI). ABC relies on the strong expertise of SCI research teams in systems neuroscience, neurotechnology, signal analysis, machine learning, network analysis, brain imaging, psychology, cognitive science, clinical neuroscience, naturalistic neuroscience, physics, and engineering.
Aalto SCI is currently the home base of three academy professors and of three European Research Council (ERC) grantees working in the area of neuroscience and neurotechnology. Furthermore, three other professors in this research field have previously served as academy professors and two additional ERC grantees work in closely related areas.
The commercial spinoffs include Neuromag Oy (currently Elekta-Neuromag Oy), the world-leading supplier of instrumentation for magnetoencephalography, and Nexstim Oy, likewise world leader in navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation. Translational clinical research capitalizing on Aalto research discoveries is facilitated by the CliniMEG group, a joint effort of Aalto and Helsinki University Central Hospital (HUCH).
ABC research teams have participated in several projects of the national Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation (SHOK), established for the reinforcement of the long-term cooperation in fields most crucial for the future.
ABC supports networking, international cooperation, training and conferences, researcher mobility and scholarly visits. Extended multidisciplinary coalitions are preferred over single-group projects.
The ABC Project
During the ABC ramp-up phase several activities were accomplished. For example, two Aalto-SCI-funded “BRAHE” (Brain Research in Aalto and HElsinki area) postdocs for neuroscience collaboration between Aalto and University of Helsinki started in Oct 2012 (3-year funding), and a number of scientific meetings and trainings were organized.
The ABC project started full time in June, 2014, ABChas, taking up the baton from aivoAALTO, a multidisciplinary brain-imaging-centered project for years 2009 - 2014. aivoAALTO involved all Aalto Campuses, thus encompassing several Schools of Aalto (including SCI, ARTS and ECON).
ABC will run for 5 years, with a checkup point midway, aiming for long-term strengthening of the neuroscience and neurotechnology efforts of Aalto University.
In ABC, resources will be allocated to research creating added value. The criteria include scientific excellence, relevance to neuroscience and neurotechnology, and a credible and committed team. In addition, ABC will allocate the resources to existing and new research projects within Aalto, eliminating bottlenecks from research by, for example, providing bridge funding and augmenting existing funding to guarantee efficient use of imaging resources within Aalto.
ABC will also advance efficient use of the Aalto NeuroImaging infrastructures, participate in teaching, endorse communication between the research teams, as well as reach out to the wider Aalto community and the society.
Both short-term visits and longer fellowships as well as postdoctoral researchers are supported, preferably in collaboration with Aalto Science Institute (AScI).
An important activity within ABC is to participate in the organization of international meetings, workshops, and training courses. The presenters in the biweekly ABC seminar include researchers from different departments and schools within Aalto as well as visitors. The ABC seminar thus acts as a meeting point for scientists working in the fields of neuroscience and neurotechnology and thus facilitates fortunate strokes of serendipity.
Director and the Executive Board
ABC is lead by Prof. Lauri Parkkonen together with an executive board whose current members are:
- Professor Synnöve Carlson (attention and memory)
- Professor Risto Ilmoniemi (brain imaging and stimulation technologies)
- Professor Samuel Kaski (machine learning for neuroscience)
- Professor Riitta Salmelin (imaging neuroscience)
- Professor Mikko Sams (cognitive neuroscience)