Epilepsy, Rhythms and Behaviour Research

The Epilepsy, Rhythms and Behaviour Research group aims to improve knowledge of epilepsy, and ultimately patient care, through studying links between brain activity and behavioural expression during seizures. The group was formed following Professor Aileen McGonigal's appointment to Mater Research in 2022.

Epilepsy is a brain network disorder characterised by recurrent seizures, which are transient disturbances in brain electrical rhythms. As part of clinical evaluation, seizures are recorded using simultaneous video and electroencephalography (EEG), either surface EEG or, in some cases, intracerebral depth electrodes (stereoelectroencephalography, SEEG). This provides a means of studying in real time and in a multi-scale manner, the dynamic changes associated with seizures. Patients with epilepsy also commonly manifest brain and behavioural changes outside their seizures (the interictal period), for example affecting cognitive and/or emotional systems; these also reflect alterations of brain networks in relation to epilepsy. These lines of study have the dual potential to shed light on aspects of brain function (such as neural substrates of movement and emotion) and to allow better understanding of epilepsy in a perspective of improving therapeutic approaches.

Group Leaders