Solveig Næss successfully defended her PhD
Solveig Næss successfully defended her PhD

Solveig Næss successfully defended her PhD


On November 5, Solveig Næss successfully defended her PhD thesis "Biophysical modeling of electric and magnetic brain signals".

Main research findings

When we think, nerve cells in the brain send electric messages to each other. In hospitals all around the world, clinicians listen to our electric thoughts by placing small electrodes on a patient’s head. This recording method is known as electroencephalography (EEG). Since EEG can be used for diagnosing brain diseases such as epilepsy and brain tumors without brain surgery, it is a very popular tool!

Biologists can accurately describe what brain cells look like. Physicists can make mathematical models describing how such detailed brain cells work. We even know how to make computer programs mimicking brain cell conversations. However, we know very little about what EEG recordings actually mean. What kind of brain cell conversations produce the different types of EEG signals?

In this thesis, Solveig Næss uses physics, mathematics and programming to link brain cell conversations with EEG signals. Specifically, Solveig and colleagues present a framework for computing EEG signals from detailed brain cell simulations. They show how the framework is a powerful tool for exploring the origin of EEG.

In the future, a better understanding of EEG will hopefully make it possible to diagnose more brain diseases without brain surgery.

Prior to the defence,Solveig Næss presented her trial lecture"'Models of neurovascular coupling".

The PhD defence and trial lecture were fully digital.

Adjudication committee:

  • Professor Risto Ilmoniemi, Dept of Neuroscience and Biomedical engineering, AaltoUniversity, Helsinki, Finland
  • Associate Professor Stephanie Jones, Department of Neuroscience, Brown University, USA
  • Professor Atle Bjørnerud, Department of Physics, University of Oslo, Norway


  • ProfessorGaute Einevoll,Norwegian University of Life Sciences / University of Oslo, Norway
  • Dr. Torbjørn V. Ness,Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway
  • ProfessorMarianne Fyhn,University of Oslo, Norway
  • ProfessorAnders M. Dale,University of California San Diego, USA

Chair of defence

  • Associate Professor Ragnhild Kobro Runde, University of Oslo