Arnaud DELORME, Ph.D.
Current Position and interestsI am a principal investigator at the CNRS CERCO laboratory in Toulouse, France since 2005. I am presently interested in studying neural correlates of neurofeedback learning as well as meditation experience using spectral analysis and indepedent component analysis of the electro-encephalography (EEG) signal. I also spend half of the year in San Diego California collaborating with Scott Makeig at the institute of Neural Computation at UCSD for the continued developpement of the EEGLAB software for EEG analysis.
Ongoing research projects and fundingA human electrophysiology, associated anatomic data and integrated tool resource (HeadIT) (co-investigator with Scott Makeig on NIH R01 grant 2009-2014). This project aims at providing a customizable data pre-processing facility for EEG data using existing BIRN database nodes and available high-performance computing facilities. An international database for EEG data will be created and tools to preprocess the data automatically using EEGLAB tools will be developped.
New Analysis Methods for Human Electro-Encephalography Data (co-investigator with Scott Makeig on NIH R01 grant 2008-2016). The EEGLAB software environment (http://sccn.ucsd.edu/eeglab), a now widely used open source software resource for analysis and visualization of brain dynamics from electrophysiological data. EEGLAB is designed to facilitate a major evolutionary step now taking place in the field of human electrophysiology. Using EEGLAB, human electroencephalographic (EEG), magnetoencephalographic (MEG), and invasive electrophysiological studies are increasingly making use of modern signal processing advances including time/frequency analysis, source localization onto magnetic resonance images of the head, three-dimensional and animated visualization methods, and spatial filtering including independent component analysis (ICA), applied not only to trial averages but directly to the high-dimensional single-trial data.
Neural correlates of meditation practice (PI of a grant from the BIAL fundation; collaboration with Rael Cahn, MD, PhD - 2008-2016). One of the exciting developments in the cross-cultural study of human consciousness consists of studying non-classical conscious states such as self-induced states and traits due to intensive meditation practice. However, despite decades of interest in this field and renewed interest over the past 10 years, a major current challenge in meditation research continues to be the delineation of the distinct neural correlates to meditative experience across the varied meditative practice types, as well as the correlation between brain activity changes and physiologic parameters such as autonomic tone, breathing, and heart rate activity. A prime goal of the current research proposal is to use the same equipment to assess high-density EEG with concurrent galvanic skin response, breath rate, and heart rate variability measures due to meditation as well as to assess how attentionally-demanding and emotional stimuli are processed in a range of practices spanning the continuum between two of the major poles of meditative engagement of attention - open monitoring vs. attentional focusing. This project is conducted at the Meditation Research Institute in Rishikesh, India.
Neural correlates of meta-consciousness events during mind-wandering (PI of a small grant from the Mind and Life fundation 2005-; a PhD fellowship was awarded by the CNRS to pursue this project in 2008, ANR grant awarded in 2013). Reading a book, most people have had experience of finding that their attention has been drifting towards self-centered matters. After some time (seconds to minutes), the reader realizes he is mind wandering, and brings back his attention to the reading matter. These self-aware realization events are usually termed meta-consciousness events (Schooler, 2002). One may think that avoiding these attention shifts is only a matter of concentration and willingness to carry out a mental task. Yet, after weeks, months, or years of any meditation practice, meditators learn that these events seem to just happen, however hard they may try to avoid them. This project aim at studying these events.
Neural correlates of neurofeedback learning (FRM fundation grant; a PhD fellowship was awarded by the French Ministry of Research to pursue this project in 2008, ANR grant awarded in 2013). Neurofeedback may provide a promising alternative procedure to drug treatment in a variety of mental disorders. Neurofeedback involves training patients to direct their brain rhythms away from their pathological EEG signature by decreasing power at specific frequencies and scalp electrodes. I will use advanced analysis to identify brain sources modulated in neurofeedback training using independent component analysis. I anticipate that this research will open new perspectives in neuron-imaging by allowing us to show that controlling activity of specific brain areas can specifically alter the behavior of subjects.
Feel free to contact me if you have any question. I am also available for consulting work a limited number of hours.