Dr Matias Ison


Matias J. Ison

Dr Matias Ison


New Blood Lecturer in Bioengineering

Bioengineering Research Group

MSc, PhD (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
T: +44(0)116 252 2823
F: +44(0)116 252 2619
E: mji3@le.ac.uk

Location: Room 1003, Engineering Tower

Brief Biography:

Matias J. Ison was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1977. He earned his master's degree and his doctorate in physics from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, working on the fields of statistical mechanics and computational physics. After further experience at the Laboratoire de Physique Corpusculaire in Caen (France), he joined the Neuroengineering Laboratory at the University of Leicester as a postdoctoral research associate. In 2007 he was appointed as a New Blood Lecturer in Bioengineering at the Engineering department. Dr Ison has been appointed to Visiting Professor positions at the Department of Physics and the Department Computer Sciences, University of Buenos Aires. He has longstanding collaborations with the Department of Neurosurgery, UCLA (USA).


Main Research Interests:

My main area of interest lies at the interface between Engineering and Neuroscience. I am particularly interested in developing and applying quantitative tools (from Engineering, Physics, and Computer Science) to help us understand how the brain works.
My research involves the study of neural activity at very different scales, from single neurons to the study of macroscopic brain dynamics, using a variety of techniques: single-cell recordings in humans, Eye tracking, EEG and modelling. Some of the main projects I am currently involved with include:

- Single cell recordings: In collaboration with UCLA Medical Center (USA), we are studying how new memories are formed by folllowing the simultaneous activity of small groups of neurons recorded from microelectrodes implanted in the brain of epileptic patients for possible curative surgery.

- Simultaneous EEG and eye movements recordings: We recently provided the proof of concept that it is feasible to achieve simultaneous EEG and eye-tracking recordings and, with funding from the EPSRC (project: "Bridging the gap between eye movements and event-related potentials"), we have started to study non-invasively what the brain does while subjects look for targets in a natural scene. This line of research has potential impact in human vision, on clinical work, and other fields (such as the detection of drivers' fatigue).

A subject performing a combined EEG/eye tracking experiment


Recent Publications:

Matias J. Ison, Rodrigo Quian Quiroga and Itzhak Fried

Rapid Encoding of New Memories by Individual Neurons in the Human Brain.

Neuron 87 (1), 220-230 (2015).

News Coverage: : New York Times, BBC News, NPR, Neurology Today


Nanthia A. Suthana, Neelroop Parikshak, Arne D Ekstrom, Matias J. Ison, Barbara J. Knowlton, Susan Y. Bookheimer, Itzhak Fried.

Specific Responses of Human Hippocampal Neurons are Associated with Better Memory

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 112 (33), 10503-10508 (2015).


Lisandro Kaunitz, Juan E Kamienkowski, Alexander Varatharajah, Mariano Sigman, Rodrigo Quian Quiroga & Matias J. Ison

Looking for a face in the crowd: fixation-related potentials in an eye-movement visual search task.

NeuroImage 89, 297-305 (2014).


Nadia Pilati, Matias J. Ison, Matthew Barker, Mike Mulheran, Charles H. Large,  Ian D. Forsythe, John Matthias, Martine Hamann

Mechanisms contributing to central excitability changes during hearing loss.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 109 (21), 8292-8297 (2012).


Juan E Kamienkowski*, Matias J Ison*, Rodrigo Quian Quiroga, Mariano Sigman

Fixation-related potentials in visual search: a combined EEG and eye tracking study.

Journal of Vision July 9, 12(7): 4 (2012). *Equal Contribution

Matias J. Ison, Florian Mormann, Moran Cerf, Christof Koch, Itzhak Fried, and Rodrigo Quian Quiroga

Selectivity of pyramidal cells and interneurons in the Human Medial Temporal Lobe.

Journal of Neurophysiology 106:1713-1721 (2011).


Florian Mormann, Julien Dubois, Simon Kornblith, Milica Milosavljevic, Moran Cerf, Matias Ison, Naotsugu Tsuciya, Alexander Kraskov,Rodrigo Quian Quiroga,Ralph Adolphs,Itzhak Fried,Christof Koch

A category-specific response to animals in the right human amygdala.

Nature Neuroscience 14, 1247–1249 (2011).


Juan Martinez, Carlos Pedreira, Matias J. Ison, and Rodrigo Quian Quiroga

Realistic simulation of extracellular recordings

Journal of Neuroscience Methods 184, 2, 285-293 (2009).


M.J.Ison and R.Quian Quiroga

Selectivity and invariance for visual object perception. (Review article)

Frontiers in Bioscience 13, 4889-4903 (2008).

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