March 2023: Jan Kujala

“Researcher of the month” introduces the people of Jyväskylä Brain and Mind and their current research news.

Jan Kujala, Associate Professor

Hi Jan! Who are you and what do you do at JYU?

My name is Jan Kujala and I am an associate professor in brain development at the Department of Psychology, University of Jyväskylä. My research focuses on the use of advanced analysis methods on various kinds of neuroscientific data sets.

What is your current research interest?

My main research interest is to understand how different neural processes building on local activity and inter-areal connectivity support human cognitive behavior. To wit, my research combines two different arms. First, I develop various types of signal processing and analysis methods. Second, these approaches are then applied to many kinds of neuroimaging data collected from both from healthy subjects as well as from patient populations. Jointly, these two arms allow to determine the links between various kinds of neural processes (phase-locked, oscillatory, and aperiodic activity, cortico-peripheral and cortico-cortical connectivity) and human behavior across different domains.

What do you think would be interesting to research in the future?

I have had the opportunity to investigate specific neuroscientific datasets from many different methodological perspectives as well to apply specific methods to fundamentally different datatypes focusing on different behavioral domains. Overall, this research has proven the value of obtaining pieces of additional information via a more holistic methodological approach not restricted to the use of individual neural measures or components. However, it is still very much unclear how the different neural processes jointly support human behavior. I envision to tackle this problem more formally by combining measures of neural activity and connectivity within a computational framework to address how they jointly link to quantifiable aspects of behavior and different brain pathologies.

Some of Jan's recent published studies:

  1. Westner B, Kujala J, Gross J, Schoffelen JM. Towards a more robust non-invasive assessment of functional connectivity. bioRxiv. DOI: 10.1101/2023.02.06.527279.
  2. Kujala J, Alexandrou AM, Lapinkeroa HM, Stigsdotter-Neely A, Sipilä SA,Parviainen T. Beta-band MEG signal power changes in older adults after physical exercise program with and without additional cognitive training. Brain and Cognition. 2023. 165: 105929.
  3. Mäkelä S, Kujala J, Salmelin R. Removing ocular artifacts from magnetoencephalographic data on naturalistic reading of continuous texts. Frontiers in Neuroscience. 2022. 16. DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2022.974162.
  4. Kujala MV, Kauppi JP, Törnqvist H, Hell L, Vainio O, Kujala J, Parkkonen L. Time-resolved classification of dog brain signals reveals early processing of faces, species and emotion Scientific Reports. 2020. 10: 19846.