This is an overview of my research projects pre grad school. In reverse chronological order.
Closed-loop neurofeedback training of attention with real-time EEG
Master's thesis conducted at the Section for Cognitive Systems (advisor: Professor Lars Kai Hansen and Professor Troels Wesenberg Kjaer), Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Technical University of Denmark (DTU).
Developed a Python-based framework for closed-loop, real-time neurofeedback in EEG. The toolbox contains integration of ultra-precise EEG data sampling with stimuli presentation, subject-specific artifact rejection, cognitive state classification and continuous feedback.
Implemented a robust real-time classification algorithm for data processing in temporal bins using machine learning techniques.
Investigated the effect of neurofeedback to modulate top-down attentional states during an attention training task.
Visualized where discriminative information of decoded attentional states resides in the EEG signature using sensitivity mapping. The aim was to shed light on the temporal dynamics of subjective attentional states.
First-authored paper: Tuckute, G., Hansen, S.T., Kjaer, Troels W., Hansen, L. K. (2021): Real-Time Decoding of Attentional States Using Closed-Loop EEG Neurofeedback, Neural Computation Vol. 33, Issue 4; doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/neco_a_01363.
Poster presented at FENS Brain Conference Dynamics of the brain: Temporal aspects of computation in Rungsted, Denmark, 9-12 June 2019: Tuckute, G., Hansen, S.T., Kjaer, T.W., Hansen, L.K.: Can we control attention with closed-loop EEG neurofeedback?
Poster can be found here.
Multiple projects within neural computations underlying language processing
Work conducted as a full-time research assistant in Ev Fedorenko's Language Lab, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in June 2018 - September 2018 (and ongoing):
Performed processing and first level analyses of fMRI data using Freesurfer, MATLAB, Linux shell scripting and high-performance computing. Wrote custom MATLAB scripts for second level analyses. Acquired fMRI data.
Investigated whether anatomical brain properties respect functional network boundaries by analyzing cortical thickness values and gray matter intensities across two separate brain networks: the fronto-temporal language system and the fronto-parietal multiple demand (MD) system.
Performed seed-based functional connectivity analysis on resting-state fMRI data for implementation of a convolutional neural network (CNN) for predicting functional language and MD network regions based on anatomical alignment and task-free data.
Examined mechanisms of how high-level language functions are established by intra-hemispheric connections between the temporal and frontal cortices (lesion case study).
Wrote a Python toolbox for natural language processing, including part-of-speech tagging, lemmatization, lexical feature mapping and sentence-level representations. The aim was to generate lexical and semantic word embedding spaces.
Exploited Representational Similarity Analysis (RSA) to investigate how activation patterns in language and MD functional regions of interest can be explained by lexical, syntactic and semantic features.
Poster presented at Society for the Neurobiology of Language (SNL) conference in Helsinki, Finland, 20-22 August 2019: Tuckute, G., Hansen, Mineroff, Z., Blank, I., Kean, H., Fedorenko, E: Temporal language areas appear necessary to wire up frontal cortex for language.
Poster can be found here.
As well as projects that ultimately ended up as first/co-authored papers, please see Publications.
Semantic decoding of visual stimuli using EEG
Work conducted at the Section for Cognitive Systems (advisor: Professor Lars Kai Hansen), at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), November 2017 - December 2018.
Designed an experiment for EEG-based semantic decoding of naturalistic, visual stimuli and acquired EEG data from healthy subjects in non-laboratory settings.
Processed EEG signals and applied various feature engineering approaches for model optimization: wavelet decomposition, temporal binning, power signals.
Implemented data dimensionality reduction methods: t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding (t-SNE), principal component analysis (PCA) and multidimensional scaling (MDS).
Created decoding classification models in EEG: Support Vector Machines (SVM), dense neural networks (NN), convolutional neural networks (CNN) in a leave-one-subject-out approach.
Extracted representational image feature vectors from experimental stimuli using an Inception-V3 net and created regression models to map high-dimensional EEG feature vectors to image feature vectors (ridge regression and dense NNs).
Performed Representational Similarity Analysis (RSA) of EEG across subjects and evaluated inter-subject correlation using bootstrapping and permutation testing.
Proposed a method for computing and evaluating sensitivity maps for EEG-based SVM classificiation models with Radial Basis Function (RBF) kernels, and implemented an NPAIRS cross-validation framework for estimation of effect size uncertainty.
First-authored paper: Tuckute, G., Hansen, S. T., Pedersen, N., Steenstrup, D., Hansen, L. K. (2019): Single Trial Decoding of Scalp EEG Under Natural Conditions, Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience, vol. 2019, Article ID 9210785, https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/9210785.
Implications of hormone dynamics and serotonin signaling in postpartum depression
Work conducted at the Neurobiology Research Unit (advisors: Professor Vibe G. Frokjaer, Dr. Agnete Overgaard), Copenhagen University Hospital, September 2017 - April 2018.
Was responsible for running a randomized rat study (Sprague-Dawley) to investigate the efficacy and adverse reaction period of serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in nulliparous rats.
Managed daily rat handling, drug injections, vaginal smears and blood sampling (tail vein puncture).
Performed and quantified behavioral testing to investigate anhedonia, anxiety and depressive-like behavior in the Open Field Test, Forced Swimming Test and Sucrose Preference Test.
Investigated changes in Corticosterone (CORT) levels before and after stress-inducing behavioral tests using radioactive immuno-assays.
Performed rat brain dissections and post-mortem internal organ inspection.
First-authored paper: Tuckute, G., Overgaard, A., Frokjaer, V. G. (2019): Chronic Paroxetine Blunts Stress Response and Normalizes Adverse Behavioral Effects Seen Acutely in Nulliparous Rats, bioRxiv 687509; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/687509.
Characterization of primary cilia in human embryonic hearts
Work conducted as part of my Molecular Biomedicine bachelor’s thesis in The Cilia Group (advisor: Professor Soeren T. Christensen),
Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen and Laboratory of Reproductive Biology (advisor: Professor Claus Yding),
Copenhagen University Hospital in January 2017 - June 2017 (additional data collection and manuscript preparation through spring 2018):
Thawed human embryonic, vitrified biological samples by the Open Pulled Straw Method.
Was responsible of cell culturing (human embryonic cells) including cell splitting, bright-field microscopy examination and isolation of contracting cell clusters.
Performed RNA purification and RT-qPCR to study the change in protein expression of neuronal, cytoskeletal and early cardiac genes in contracting and non-contracting cell clusters.
Performed tissue preparation and histology: Alginate-agar tissue embedding, histochemistry and tissue sectioning.
Conducted immunohistochemical DAB-peroxidase staining of cardiac proteins to investigate cellular organization in different anatomical sites in the developing human heart.
Evaluated primary antibody immunoreactivity, antigen-retrieval procedures and signal transduction protein components (primarily TGF-b/BMP and Wnt signaling pathways) underlying cardiac development and congenital heart disease.
Investigated the role of primary cilia using immunofluorescence in embryonic cardiomyocyte cells using ciliary shaft/base and centrosome primary antibodies.
Co-authored paper: Grubb, S. G., Vestergaard, M. L., Koefoed, K., Mamsen, L. S., Lauridsen, K. G., Tuckute, G., Andersen, A. S., Christensen, S. T., Moellgaard, K., Calloe, K., Andersen, C. Y. (2019): Comparison of Cultured Human Cardiomyocyte Clusters Obtained from Embryos/Fetuses or Derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells, Stem Cells and Development , http://doi.org/10.1089/scd.2018.0231.
Interaction between SNAP-25 and synaptotagmin-1 in neuronal vesicle exocytosis
Work conducted Neuronal Signaling Lab (advisor: Professor Jakob B. Sorensen), Department of Neuroscience, University of Copenhagen, April 2016 - June 2016:
Cloned mouse Synaptotagmin-1 cDNA into plasmids for incorporation of point mutations for investigation of he role of the SNARE protein SNAP-25 as a regulator of presynaptic vesicle exocytosis.
Live microscopy imaging of neurons with fluorescent GFP constructs to follow protein trafficking.
The role of PSD-95 in regulating synaptic plasticity by AMPA receptor insertion in the presynaptic membrane
Work conducted as an undergraduate researcher in the Kennedy Lab (advisors: Professor Mary B. Kennedy, Dr. Tara Mastro), Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology (CALTECH), September 2016 - December 2016.
Analyzed post-synaptic density proteins PSD-95 (focusing on PDZ domains), LRRTMs, TARPs, NLG-2 from brain homogenates by Western Blotting and quantified protein ratios to unravel intrinsic mechanisms of long-term potentiation/synaptic plasticity.
Prepared mice brain tissue homogenates from knock-out and wildtype mice.
Bose-Einstein condensates & Quantum optics
Work conducted in late high school and for two research competitions (advisors: Professor Klaus Moelmer, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University and Dr. Jacob Broe, Aalborg Cathedral School):
“The Junior Researcher's Project” by University of Copenhagen (finalist, December 2012).
“Young Researchers” competition by Danish Science Factory (finalist, April 2013).
One project primarily on quantum tunneling, Bose-Einstein condensates from Rubidium atoms and probability distributions of the nonrelativistic Schrödinger equation. Second project on quantum optics and sequential storage and readout of laser light in a diamond for quantum relays.
My work can be found here and here.