Current Research: Theoretical Neurobiology & Imaging Neuroscience
My research employs both theoretical and empirical neuroscientific approaches to understand the principles of functional integration in the brain and in particular how neuromodulators shape the dynamics of neuronal communication in health and disease. In relating the macroscopic measures from functional neuroimaging and electrophysiological investigations (including functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG) and local field potentials), to their chemical substrates through models of cortical circuits, my research aims to define and refine the mechanisms underlying human cognition.
This approach takes a particular form, namely, dynamic causal modelling (DCM), which uses variational bayesian techniques, with linear and nonlinear dynamical systems theory, to infer model based physiological processes from empirical data. I apply this approach to human and animal data, examining the interaction of dopamine, acetylcholine and serotonin with ongoing neural activity. Encompassing multiple levels of description, DCM provides a platform by which animal and human probes can be cross-interpreted and translated. One example of this, is in the study of neurodegenerative disease, where the characterisation of pathological circuits in Parkinsonian animal models has informed human circuit analysis in patient populations.
I work in the groups of Professor Karl Friston (Theroretical Neurobiology and Methods) and Professor Ray Dolan (Emotion and Decision Making) as a Senior Research Associate at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging. My research is supported by the Max Planck Society and the Wellcome Trust.
- Boly M, Moran RJ, Murphy M, Tononi G, Laureys S, Friston KJ. Breakdown of backward fronto-parietal connectivity during propofol-induced fading of consciousness. In Press, Journal of Neuroscience.
- Friston KJ, Shiner T, Fitzgerald T, Galea JM, Adams R, Brown H, Dolan RJ, Moran R, Stephan KE, Bestmann S. (2012) Dopamine, Affordance and Active Inference. PLoS Computational Biology 8(1): e1002327.
- Moran RJ, Symmonds M, Stephan KE, Friston KJ, Dolan RJ. (2011) An in vivo assay of synaptic function mediating human cognition. Current Biology 21(15)1320-1325.
- Moran RJ, Mallet N, Litvak V, Dolan RJ, Magill PJ, Friston KJ, Brown P. (2011) Alterations in brain connectivity underlying beta oscillations in Parkinsonism. PLoS Computational Biology 7(8): e1002124.
- Campo P, Garrido M, Moran R, Maestú F, García-Morales I, Gil-Nagel A, del Pozo F, Dolan R, Friston K. (2011) Remote effects of hippocampal sclerosis on effective connectivity during working memory encoding: a case of connectional diaschisis? Cerebral Cortex doi:10.1093/cercor/bhr201.
- Moran RJ, Campo P, Maestu F, Reilly RB, Dolan RJ, Strange BA. (2010) Peak frequency in the theta and alpha bands correlates with human working memory capacity. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 11;4:200.
- Moran RJ, Molholm S, Reilly RB, Foxe JJ. (2008) Changes in effective connectivity of human superior parietal lobule under multisensory and unisensory stimulation. European Journal of Neuroscience 27(9), 2303-2312.
- Moran RJ, Kiebel SJ, Stephan KE, Reilly RB, Daunizeau J, Friston KJ. (2007) A neural mass model of spectral responses in electrophysiology. NeuroImage 37(3), 706-720.
- Friston KJ, Bastos A, Litvak V, Stephan KE, Fries P, Moran RJ. (2012) DCM for complex data: cross-spectra, coherence and phase-delays. NeuroImage 59 439-455.
- Pinotsis DA, Moran RJ, Friston KJ. (2012) Dynamic causal modelling with neural field models. NeuroImage 59 1261-1274.
- Moran RJ, Jung F, Kumagai T, Endepols H, Graf R, Dolan RJ, Friston KJ, Stephan KE, Tittgemeyer M. (2011) Dynamic causal models and physiological inference: a validation study using isoflurane anaesthesia in rodents. PLoS One 6(8): e22790.
- Moran RJ, Stephan KE, Dolan RJ, Friston KJ. (2011) Consistent Spectral Predictors for Dynamic Causal Models of Steady State Responses. NeuroImage 55(4) 1694-1708].
- Stephan KE, Penny WD, Moran RJ, den Ouden HE, Daunizeau J, Friston KJ. (2010) Ten simple rules for dynamic causal modeling. NeuroImage 49(4), 3099-3109
- Moran RJ, Stephan KE, Seidenbecher T, Pape HC, Dolan RJ, Friston KJ. (2009) Dynamic causal models of steady-state responses. NeuroImage 44(3), 796-811.
- Kiebel SJ, Garrido MI, Moran R, Chen CC, Friston KJ. (2009) Dynamic causal modeling for EEG and MEG. Human Brain Mapping 30(6 Sp. Iss. SI), 1866-1876.
- Stephan KE, Tittgemeyer M, Knösche TR, Moran RJ, Friston KJ. (2009) Tractography-based priors for dynamic causal models. NeuroImage 47(4), 1628-1638.
- Stephan KE, Penny WD, Daunizeau J, Moran RJ, Friston KJ. (2009) Bayesian model selection for group studies. NeuroImage 46(4), 1004-1017.
- Moran RJ, Stephan KE, Kiebel SJ, Rombach N, O'Connor WT, Murphy KJ, Reilly RB, Friston KJ. (2008) Bayesian estimation of synaptic physiology from the spectral responses of neural masses. NeuroImage 2(1), 272-284.
- Kiebel SJ, Garrido MI, Moran RJ, Friston KJ. (2008) Dynamic causal modelling for EEG and MEG. Cognitive Neurodynamics 2(2), 121-136.
PDFs are available by clicking on the title
PhD Electronic Engineering, University College Dublin
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, Univeristy College London
Upcoming Talks & Courses
ION Short Course on Statistical Parametric Mapping,
fMRI SPM Course Zurich
MEG/EEG SPM Course Lyons
Brain Connectivity Workshop 2012, June 6-8, Chengdu, China
The Fields Institute
for Research in Mathematical Sciences
University of Toronto
Focus Program on "Towards Mathematical Modeling of Neurological Disease from Cellular Perspectives"
Parkinson's Disease Workshop, May 22-23, 2012