Exploration of the relationship between brain function and cortical development in the human preterm period with simultaneous EEG-fMRI

Lorenzo Fabrizi (primary)
Neuro, Physiology & Pharmacology
University College London
Tomoki Arichi (secondary)
School of Imaging Sciences & Biomedical Engineering
King’s College London


Spontaneous bursts of neural activity play a fundamental role in early brain development through guiding the formation of local circuitry and cortical architecture. Whilst this relationship is known in animal models, it has not been demonstrated in human infants due to previous limitations in imaging methods. In this project, the relationship between simultaneously acquired EEG and fMRI data and detailed MRI measures of cortical structure will be explored in preterm human infants. This will inform how function relates to structure in early brain development, with key implications for understanding the early life origin of neuropsychiatric and neurological illness.


1. Arichi et al. Localization of spontaneous bursting neuronal activity in the preterm human brain with simultaneous EEG-fMRI. eLife 2017; 6: e27814.
2. Eyre et al. The Developing Human Connectome Project: typical and disrupted perinatal functional connectivity. Brain 2021; https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awab118
3. Luhmann et al. Spontaneous Neuronal Activity in Developing Neocortical Networks: From Single Cells to Large-Scale Interactions. Frontiers in Neural Circuits 2016;10: 40.
4. Michel, Christoph M., and Denis Brunet. EEG source imaging: a practical review of the analysis steps. Frontiers in neurology 2019; 10: 325.
5. Collins‐Jones et al. Construction and validation of a database of head models for functional imaging of the neonatal brain. Human Brain Mapping 2021; 43[3]: 567-586.

Genes, development and STEM* approaches to biology
Area of Biology
Techniques & Approaches
BiophysicsEngineeringImage ProcessingMathematics / StatisticsMicroscopy / Electrophysiology