Dr. A. Nirkko Group (Neurology)

Group leader

Dr. Arto Nirkko,
Head of the Clinic of Sleep Medicine, KSM, Lucerne

Institution and Address

University Hospital, CH-3010 Bern
Phone: +41 31 632 3054
e-mail: arto.nirkko@insel.ch

Main goals

To investigate conscious and subconscious processing from wakefulness through states of reduced vigilance and somnolence up to locked in states and coma.

Group members and their position

A. Nirkko
H. Krestel
C. Rummel
J. Mathis

Previous and current research

Brain and muscle activity and metabolism in the motor system, in attention and working memory (fMRI and MR spectroscopy); epi/genetic epilepsy research, reaction assessment during epileptic EEG activity; web-based epidemiological sleep research.

Future projects

Brain perfusion and metabolism during sleep; with stroke models and in stroke patients (EEG, NIRS).

Techniques / methods

Investigations performed in settings including sleep lab, intermediate and intensive care unit (ICU). Methods ranging from fTCD, fMRI, NIRS, EEG / EP (also hdEEG), including realtime analysis for appropriate timing and feedback.


EEG, NIRS, electrical stimulatorsr

Selected publications

Different Ipsilateral Representations for Distal and Proximal Movements in the Sensorimotor Cortex: Activation and Deactivation Patterns. Nirkko et al, NeuroImage 2001

Muscle Metabolites: Functional MR Spectroscopy during Exercise Imposed by Tetanic Electrical Nerve Stimulation. Nirkko et al, Radiology 2006

On how high performers keep cool brains in situations of cognitive overload. Jaeggi et al, Cogn,Affect+Behav.Neurosci. 2007.

Spike-triggered reaction-time EEG as a possible assessment tool for driving ability. Krestel et al, Epilepsia 2011.

Differences between RNA and DNA due to RNA editing in temporal lobe epilepsy. Krestel et al, Neurobiol.Dis. 2013.

Selected lectures, seminars, colloquia

– Lectures in Neurology (Consciousness, Coma).
– Lectures in Neuropsychology (fMRI).