Evie Malaia

junior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2015/2016
discipline Neurosciences
Assistant Professor, Southwest Center for Mind, Brain, and Education in the University of Texas at Arlington

Research project

Development of cross-frequency network analysis technique for EEG data

 

Current understanding of human brain function shows that neural activity is structured in time as finely as it is structured in space: oscillating cells communicate if synchronized in appropriate phase, creating temporary network connections. Component-based methods of EEG data analysis allow for multiple interpretations for similar components, making it increasingly difficult to interpret data framed by previous research findings. This is the largest impediment to the goal of human neuroscience - understanding how dynamic patterns of brain activity are transformed into cognition and action.

 

I propose to combine connectomics and miscrostate analysis approaches in developing a technique for EEG analysis in neurotypical and special populations, which could be used for development of fine-grained frequency-based models of cognition, and early diagnostics of neural disorders, such as autism and dyslexia. The knowledge gap this proposal seeks to address is that of the network-level interaction between local and global (distributed) neural processing as manifested by phase-amplitude coupling across frequency bands, and its relationship to behavioral performance in face recognition task, and resting state EEG in already available data from multiple research designs and systems.

 

Future application of spatiotemporal network analysis will allow us to investigate rich, high-dimensional dynamics in specific populations, and conduct vulnerability analysis in inter-network interactions for ASD, and other developmental brain disorders. The same methodology will be applicable to understanding learning strategies, including those in gifted children, leading to understanding of individual optimization of neural resource use, leading to vertical advancement in educational neuroscience. Use of resting-state EEG will allow to lower the age of participants to infancy, significantly advancing the toolkit of pediatric neuroscience.

 

 

Biography

 

Evie Malaia teaches Educational Neuroscience at the Southwest Center for Mind, Brain, and Education in the University of Texas at Arlington.  She holds a Ph.D in Linguistics from Purdue University, USA.

 

The goal of her work is to develop computational models of neural mechanisms underlying higher cognition and learning, with a focus on special populations (Deaf signers, children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD, and gifted students). 

 

Selected publications

'Neural bases of syntax-semantics interface processing', with S. Newman, Cognitive Neurodynamics, doi: 10.1007/s11571-015-9328-2, 2015.


'Neural bases of event knowledge and syntax integration in comprehension of complex sentences', with S. Newman, Neurocase, doi:10.1080/13554794.2014.989859, 2014.

'Seeing is Worse than Believing: Reading People’s Minds Better than Computer-Vision Methods Recognize Actions', with A. Barbu et al., in D. Fleet et al. (eds), European Conference on Computer Vision 2014, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer, Lausanne, 2014 pp. 612–627. .

'Deductive and heuristic reasoning processing markers in EEG', with J. Tommerdahl & F.W. Mckee, Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, doi: 10.1007/s10936-014-9297-3, 2014.

'Functional connectivity in task-negative network of the Deaf: effects of sign language experience', with T. Talavage & R.B. Wilbur, PeerJ, doi: 10.7717/peerj.446, 2014.

'It Still Isn't Over: Event Boundaries in Language and Perception', Language and Linguistics Compass, vol. 8, no. 3, 2014, pp. 89-98.

'Kinematic parameters of signed verbs at morpho-phonology interface', with R.B. Wilbur & M. Milković, Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, vol. 56, 2013, pp. 1-12.

 

'Event segmentation in a visual language:  Neural bases of processing American Sign Language predicates', with R. Ranaweera et al.,  Neuroimage, vol. 59, no. 4, 2012, pp. 4094-4101.

 

institut

junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2016/2017
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW)
discipline Social Anthropology
2016
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2018/2019
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW)
discipline Archaeology
2018
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2013/2014
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW)
discipline Linguistics and Discourse Analysis
2013
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2017/2018
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW)
discipline Cultural Studies
2017