Andreas Daffertshofer

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Van der Boechorststraat 9, 1081 BT Amsterdam
room D626
+31 20 59 88468

General Interests

I study complex dynamics of motor-related neural systems and its formal and conceptual assessment in terms of nonlinear dynamics and non-equilibrium statistics. Research activities cover spatio-temporal aspects of neural synchronization for information transfer during perceptual-motor tasks.

Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Coordination Dynamics | IBBA, Research Institute MOVE

Achievements

Over the years, I appropriated various methods for the analysis of multivariate signals for kinematic, electromyographic and encephalographic data. For example, I developed methods for the extraction of principal or independent components in the vicinity of qualitative changes in motor performance yielding a significant reduction of dimension and thus allowing for the analysis of motor (in-)stabilities, in general, and for classifying (switches between) gait patterns, in particular, including the patterns of accompanying cortical activity. Furthermore, I added to several research fields in theoretical physics, ranging from quantum information to diffusive systems and generalized thermostatistics.

Current Research

I am currently working on the link between sensorimotor performance and neural synchronization using neuro-physiologically motivated stochastic neural models, bifurcation theory, and graph theory. This includes several PhD and Research Master projects involving both experimental approaches and theoretical ideas, also to investigate the interplay of dynamical and stochastic aspects of complex neural networks.

Résumé

I received my PhD at the Institute for Theoretical Physics and Synergetics, University Stuttgart, in 1996. My thesis supervisor was Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. H. Haken.

  • Title: Nichtgleichgewichtsphasenübergänge in der menschlichen Motorik und Erweiterungen des synergetischen Computers.
  • Topics: Non-equilibrium phase transitions in poly-rhythmic bimanual finger coordination, effects of random fluctuations, and competition dynamics of multiple order parameters (extensions of the synergetic computer).

Personal news…

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Corporate news…

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Research…

  • 4D-EEG

    Assessing Arm Function Recovery Post-Stroke. Goal of this EU-funded 4D-EEG project is to develop innovative methods for accurate localization of brain activity patterns and quantification of the interactions between multiple brain areas.
  • Age effects in bimanual coordination

    We study the relationship between altered inter- and intra-hemispheric structural and functional connectivities in the motor the network. Our focus is on the correlation between connectivies and declined motor performance in the elderly.
  • Bimanual Coordination

    We study how different control processes contribute to stabilizing the coordination between limbs, and how they change as a function of, e.g., movement frequency and amplitude, learning, development and pathology.
  • COSMOS

    Complex Oscillatory Systems: Modeling and Analysis. In this EU-funded Marie Skłodowska Curie ITN, 15 ESRs are being trained in nonlinear dynamics, numerical methods, statistical mechanics and, where needed, basics of neuroscience, physiology, and system biology.
  • Cueing in Parkinson's disease

    We address effects of augmented visual feedback on postural control to investigate the direct effects of this feedback on postural control and its potential benefits for balance control in patients with Parkinson's disease.
  • Development, Aging & Learning

    We develop a large arsenal of sophisticated motor behaviors from the moment we are born. In the elderly, however, motor skills are jeapordized, calling for an in-depth research for age-related changes in motor control.
  • FirSteps – The Emergence of Walking in Children

    The first independent step of a child may be small, but it represents a giant leap for its development. This project addresses the emergence of coordination patterns and motor primitives or muscle synergies in typically developing children and in children with cerebral palsy.
  • Learn2Walk – Brain meets spine

    We analyze brain and muscular activity in typically developing children and in children with cerebral palsy. We seek to unravel the reorganization of cortical and cortico-muscular activity accompanying the development of walking with the ultimate aim to design novel rehabilitation techniques for cerebral palsy.
  • Mathematical Modeling

    We relate the dynamical and stochastic properties of (networks of) neurons to understand the functional role of oscillatory activity in motor control. Focus is on the relation between frequency bands, be it switches between frequencies or interactions between coexisting oscillations.
  • Move-Age

    Understanding Ageing and Mobility. Funded by the EU as part of the Erasmus Mundus program, this international training network involves 40-odd PhD students studying age-related changes in human movement.
  • Network-Network Interactions

    We analyze cross-frequency synchronizability of complex, functional networks accompanying different oscillatory regimes with focus on effects of mutual transfer of network structures, e.g., via the type of clustering or the correlations of random components.
  • Neural Underpinnings

    Studying motor-related changes of synchronized neural activity and its network-like distribution elucidates how the brain can operate as functional unit despite numerous anatomical connections between simultaneously active neurons.
  • Relative Phase Dynamics

    The stability of coordination can often be addressed via the relative phase between the individual limb movements. We are studying in detail the effect of different interactions between limbs, effects of noise and non-autonomous forcing.
  • Stability

    For rhythmic movements the corresponding state variables are modeled as self-sustaining oscillators. We particularly focus on the stability of coordination patterns, i.e. on the interactions between oscillators.

 

Network…

  • 4D-EEG

    Assessing Arm Function Recovery Post-Stroke. Goal of this EU-funded 4D-EEG project is to develop innovative methods for accurate localization of brain activity patterns and quantification of the interactions between multiple brain areas.
  • COSMOS

    Complex Oscillatory Systems: Modeling and Analysis. In this EU-funded Marie Skłodowska Curie ITN, 15 ESRs are being trained in nonlinear dynamics, numerical methods, statistical mechanics and, where needed, basics of neuroscience, physiology, and system biology.
  • Move-Age

    Understanding Ageing and Mobility. Funded by the EU as part of the Erasmus Mundus program, this international training network involves 40-odd PhD students studying age-related changes in human movement.

Excerpts of scientific work

For the complete lineup, refer to VU Research Portal

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