Eric Halgren, Ph.D.

Photo of Eric Halgren
Professor of Radiology

Eric Halgren, PhD, is a Professor of Radiology, Neurosciences, and Psychiatry. Dr. Halgren co-directs the Multimodal Imaging Laboratory with his longtime collaborator Dr. Anders Dale, helping to facilitate research integrating hemodynamic, electromagnetic, and structural imaging.

His own research projects combine functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and electroencephalography (EEG), within the context of structural MRI, for high-resolution spatiotemporal mapping of brain activity during cognition. He validates these measures using intracranial recordings from microelectrode arrays in patients with epilepsy. Dr. Halgren received his PhD in Neurosciences from UCLA in 1976, studying memory using single-unit recordings and electrical stimulation in the human medial temporal lobe. Following postdoctoral and faculty positions at UCLA, University of Utah, Harvard, and INSERM (in France), he returned to UCSD in 2005..

In his research, Dr. Halgren attempts to identify, locate, and characterize the neurocognitive stages used to encode and interpret events. Of particular interest are middle latency focal processes that encode faces and words, and later distributed processes that organize attention, or integrate semantic stimuli with the ongoing cognitive context. Where are they generated, which cells are involved, how are they modulated, and what is the effect of that modulation on information processing? The overall goal is to understand fundamental integrative cognitive processes at the synaptic and system levels. He also has an active research program in the neural basis of sleep rhythms in humans, as well as the development of language processes, and their changes in Williams Syndrome, autism, epilepsy and specific language impairment. Finally, he actively investigates the interrelationships of fMRI, MEG and EEG, their generation by synaptic activity and unit firing, and the interaction of biophysics with anatomy and physiology in determining signal sensitivities and specificities. Mentoring opportunities with Dr. Halgren include MEG, EEG and intracranial potentials, their integration with fRMI and structural MRI, their interpretation, biphysics and modeling, and their application to development and disease.

Dr. Halgren is the PI of several active grants from NIH and NDF. He has an active teaching role in the Graduate Program in Neurosciences. He also provides instruction to postgraduate fellows and serves as a mentor to junior faculty. Dr. Halgren serves on the Editorial Board of the journal Human Brain Mapping and is the Chair of the International Advisory Board for Biomag. He is on the executive board of the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind, and is the Chair of the Committee on Planning and Budget at UCSD.