Edward Hood Taplin Professor of Computational Neuroscience and Health Sciences & Technology

Emery N. Brown

Edward Hood Taplin Professor of Computational Neuroscience and Health Sciences & Technology
The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Contact Info

Office: 46-6079A
Phone: 617-324-1880

Administrative Assistant

Sheri Leone
Office: 46-6079
Phone: 617-324-1879

Neural Signal Processing Algorithms 

Recent technological and experimental advances in the capabilities to record signals from neural systems have led to an unprecedented increase in the types and volume of data collected in neuroscience experiments and hence, in the need for appropriate techniques to analyze them. Therefore, using combinations of likelihood, Bayesian, state-space, time-series and point process approaches, a primary focus of the research in my laboratory is the development of statistical methods and signal-processing algorithms for neuroscience data analysis. We have used our methods to:

  • characterize how hippocampal neurons represent spatial information in their ensemble firing patterns
  • analyze formation of spatial receptive fields in the hippocampus during learning of novel environments
  • relate changes in hippocampal neural activity to changes in performance during procedural learning
  • improve signal extraction from fMR imaging time-series
  • characterize the spiking properties of neurons in primary motor cortex
  • localize dynamically sources of neural activity in the brain from EEG and MEG recordings made during cognitive, motor and somatosensory tasks
  • measure the period of the circadian pacemaker (human biological clock) and its sensitivity to light
  • characterize the dynamics of human heart beats in physiological and pathological states
  • de-noise two photon in vivo imaging data

Understanding General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is a neurophysiological state in which a patient is rendered unconscious, insensitive to pain, amnestic, and immobile, while being maintained physiologically stable. General anesthesia has been administered in the U.S. for more than 160 years and currently, more than 100,000 people receive anesthesia daily in this country for surgery alone. Still, the mechanism by which an anesthetic drug induces general anesthesia remains a medical mystery. My laboratory is using a systems neuroscience approach to study how the state of general anesthesia is induced and maintained. To do so, we are using fMRI, EEG, neurophysiological recordings, microdialysis methods and mathematical modeling in interdisciplinary collaborations with investigators in BCS, the MIT/Harvard Division of Health Science and Technology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston University. The long-term goal of this research is to establish a neurophysiological definition of anesthesia, safer, site-specific anesthetic drugs and to develop better neurophysiologically-based methods for measuring depth of anesthesia.

Dr. Brown served on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) BRAIN Initiative Working Group, and is currently a member of the NIH Council of Councils, the National Science Foundation Mathematics and Physical Sciences Advisory Committee, the Board of Directors of the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund, the Board of Trustees of the International Anesthesia Research Society and the Scientific Advisory Committee of CURE Epilepsy. Dr. Brown is the recipient of an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, an NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award and the 2011 Jerome Sacks Award for Outstanding Cross Disciplinary Research from the National Institute of Statistical Science. He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the American Statistical Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the IEEE and the American Academy of Arts Sciences. Dr. Brown is a member of the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.

Emery N. Brown is the Edward Hood Professor of Medical Engineering and Computational Neuroscience at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School; and a practicing anesthesiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Brown received his B.A. (magna cum laude) in Applied Mathematics from Harvard College, his M.A. and his Ph.D. in statistics from Harvard University and his M.D. (magna cum laude) from Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Brown is an anesthesiologist-statistician whose experimental research has made important contributions towards understanding the neuroscience of how anesthetics act in the brain to create the states of general anesthesia. In his statistics research he has developed signal processing algorithms to solve important data analysis challenges in neuroscience. His research has been featured on National Public Radio, in Scientific American, Technology Review, the New York Times and in TEDMED 2014.

Recalculating time: A novel algorithm enables statistical analysis of time series data

December 21, 2017
Research findings
MIT researchers have developed a novel approach to analyzing time series data sets using a new algorithm, termed state-space multitaper time-frequency analysis

At AAAS, Brown explains how statistics, neuroscience improve anesthesiology

February 16, 2018
At the lectern
Putting the brain at the center of practice

Making waves for health

March 1, 2018
News feature
Innovative insights, methods raise clnical potential of instilling brain waves

Focus on neuroscience, nociception to improve anesthesia, paper says

September 30, 2018
Research findings
Using fewer drugs can improve post-operative pain, side effects

Innovations giving neuroscientists exciting new ways to gain insights, symposium speakers say

October 25, 2018
Recent Events
Experts show advances in microscopy, tissue engineering, reporters of brain activity

Brown wins 2018 Dickson Prize in Science

December 5, 2018
Picower People
CMU award recognizes 'physician-scientist'

Administrative Assistant

 Projects and Administrative Coordinator

Sheri Leone, M.S.

The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, MIT Department of Anesthesia, MGH/HMS

 

 Faculty

Riccardo Barbieri, Ph.D.

Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Politecnico, Milan

Patrick L. Purdon, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Anaesthesia, MGH/HMS, Associate Bioengineer of Anaesthesia, MGH/HMS

Ken Solt, M.D.

Associate Professor of Anaesthesia, MGH/HMS

Christa J. Van Dort, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesia, MGH/HMS

Wasim Q. Malik, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesia, MGH/HMS. Affiliated with the Division of Engineering, Brown University

Michael Prerau, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesia, MGH/HMS.

Michael Brandon Westover, M.D., Ph.D.,

Assistant Professor of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital

Brian L. Edlow, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Director, Neurotechnology Trials Unit (NTTU), Director, Critical Care Research Neuroimaging

Jason Stockman, Ph.D.

Instructor in Radiology, Harvard Medical School

Research Staff, Massachusetts General Hospital

Lei Gao, M.D.

Instructor, DACCPM, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital

 

  Anesthesia Residents

Johanna Lee, M.D.

Resident in Anesthesia, Department of Anesthesia, MGH/HMS

Elisa Walsh, M.D.

Resident in Anesthesia, Department of Anesthesia, MGH/HMS

 

 Medical Resident

Sam Snider, M.D.

Neurology Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital

 

  Clinical Research Program Manager

Kara J. Pavone, R.N.

DACCPM, MGH

 

 Clinical Research Coordinators

Lauren Hobbs, M.S.

Department of Anesthesia, MGH/HMS

Nickolas Trzcinko

Department of Anesthesia, MGH/HMS

Christopher Gill

Department of Anesthesia, MGH/HMS

 

  Post-Doctoral Fellows

Patrick Stokes, Ph.D

Postdoctoral Fellow, DACCPM, MGH

Emily Stephen, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate, Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, MIT

Pegah Kahaliardabili, M.D.

Postdoctoral Associate, Dept of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT

Sourish Chakravarty, Ph.D.

 

Postdoctoral Associate, Dept of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT

Leon Chlon, Ph.D.

 

Postdoctoral Fellow, DACCPM, MGH

 

  Graduates (* Indicates a student for whom I am the primary dissertation or thesis advisor.)

Gladia Hotan*

Ph.D. Student, Dept of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT

Tuan Le Mau*

Ph.D. Student, Dept of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT

Jingzhi An*

M.D., Ph.D. Student, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology

Andrew Song*

Ph.D. Student, Dept of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT

Andrew Mullen

Masters Student, EECS MIT

 

David Theurel

Ph.D. Student, Dept of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT

 

  Visiting Students

Hugo Soulat

Double Masters Student, Department of Biophysics-Bioengineering, EPFL (Ecole Polytechinque Federale de Lausanne)

Taylor Baum

Penn State University, Class of 2019

Undergraduate Researcher: Neuroscience Statistics Research Lab, MIT

 

  Senior Clinical Engineer

Chris Colvin, M.S.

DACCPM, MGH

 

  Research Technicians

Morgan Seigman

Research Technician, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, MIT

Ksenia Vlasov

Research Technician, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, MIT

Ksenia Nikolaeva

Research Technician, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, MIT

Jenny (JunZhu) Pei

Research Technician, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, MIT

Devika Kishnan

Research Technician, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, MIT

 

  UROP

Isabella Dalla Betta

 

UROP, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
43 Vassar Street, Bldg. 46-1303
Cambridge, MA 02139
(+1) 617-324-0305
(+1) 617-452-2588