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Alexandre Sayal completed the MSc in Biomedical Engineering in 2016 at the University of Coimbra, Portugal. Since then, he has been researching in the field of cognitive neuroscience with a particular interest in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) methods. Three years of research led him to enroll on the Biomedical Engineering PhD at the same university in 2019. The PhD project is entitled "Listen to your brain: exploring music as an interface for real-time fMRI neurofeedback interventions", and it is a combination of his passion for music with an engineer will to further understand the most complex biological structure - the human brain. He has now published 10 articles in journals, a cooperation with the multidisciplinary team of the Coimbra Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Translational Research (CIBIT), a research unit of the University of Coimbra. In his professional activities, he interacted with 36 collaborator(s) as co-authorship of scientific papers. In his curriculum Ciência Vitae, the most frequent terms in the context of scientific, technological and artistic-cultural outputs are bistable visual motion; biomedical engineering; fMRI; MRI; Health sciences; hMT+; adaptation; granger causality; brain connectivity; neurofeedback; empathy; inhibition; visual motion.
Identification

Personal identification

Full name
Alexandre Sayal Campos

Citation names

  • Sayal, Alexandre
  • Campos, Alexandre S.

Author identifiers

Ciência ID
0017-DA99-AAD5
ORCID iD
0000-0002-0476-9533
Google Scholar ID
vsHeg_QAAAAJ&hl
Scopus Author Id
57202818054

Email addresses

  • alexandre.campos@uc.pt (Professional)

Addresses

  • Instituto de Ciências Nucleares Aplicadas à Saúde (ICNAS), Azinhaga de Santa Comba, 3000-548, Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal (Professional)

Websites

  • https://twitter.com/AlexandreSayal (Social media)
  • https://github.com/alexsayal (Professional)
  • https://alexandresayal.me (Personal)

Knowledge fields

  • Engineering and Technology - Medical Engineering
  • Medical and Health Sciences - Clinical Medicine - Clinical Neurology
  • Medical and Health Sciences - Clinical Medicine - Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging

Languages

Language Speaking Reading Writing Listening Peer-review
English Advanced (C1) Advanced (C1) Advanced (C1) Advanced (C1)
Portuguese Proficiency (C2) Proficiency (C2) Proficiency (C2) Proficiency (C2)
Education
Degree Classification
2019/09 - 2023
Ongoing
PhD in Biomedical Engineering (Doutoramento)
Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal
"Listen to your brain: exploring music as an interface for real-time fMRI neurofeedback experiments" (THESIS/DISSERTATION)
2016
Concluded
MSc in Biomedical Engineering (Mestrado)
Universidade de Coimbra - Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologias, Gabon
"Brain Connectivity Analysis for real-time fMRI Neurofeedback Experiments" (THESIS/DISSERTATION)
16
2015/08 - 2015/12
Attended
Erasmus+ program (Outros)
Aalto-yliopisto Tietojenkäsittelytieteen laitos, Finland
2011
Concluded
Ciências e Tecnologias (Ensino secundário)
Escola Secundária José Falcão, Portugal
18
Affiliation

Science

Category
Host institution
Employer
2016/01 - Current Researcher (Research) Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal
Centro de Imagem Biomédica e Investigação Translacional (CIBIT), Puerto Rico
2016/12/20 - 2017/06/05 Research Assistant (Research) ICNAS Produção Lda., Portugal
2015/07/06 - 2015/08/07 Research Trainee (Research) Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Life Sciences (CNC.IBILI), Portugal
Projects

Grant

Designation Funders
2017 - 2019/09/01 BIGDATIMAGE - From computational modelling and clinical research to the development of neuroimaging big data platforms for discovery of novel biomarker.
Research Fellow
Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal

Universidade de Coimbra Instituto de Ciências Nucleares Aplicadas à Saúde, Portugal

Centro de Imagem Biomédica e Investigação Translacional (CIBIT), Portugal
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Ongoing
2017 - 2017/05/31 Multimodal Mapping of Visual Motion Perceptual Decision
PT/FB/BL-2016-207
Research Fellow
Universidade de Coimbra Instituto de Ciências Nucleares Aplicadas à Saúde, Portugal
Fundação Bial
Concluded

Contract

Designation Funders
2022 - Current BrainPlayback: Playback the music of the brain - decoding emotions elicited by music in the human brain
EXPL/PSI-GER/0948/2021
Researcher
Centro de Imagem Biomédica e Investigação Translacional (CIBIT), Portugal
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Ongoing
2021 - Current NeuroHyst: Neural mechanisms underlying positive and negative perceptual hysteresis
PTDC/PSI-GER/1326/2020
Researcher
Centro de Imagem Biomédica e Investigação Translacional (CIBIT), Portugal
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Ongoing
2019 - Current Listen to your brain: exploring music as an interface for real-time fMRI neurofeedback experiments
Principal investigator
Centro de Imagem Biomédica e Investigação Translacional (CIBIT), Portugal
Siemens Healthineers Portugal
Ongoing
2018 - Current BioMuScle: Novel multimodal imaging biomarkers of neuronal connectivity in Multiple Sclerosis
CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER-031973
Researcher
Universidade de Coimbra Instituto de Ciências Nucleares Aplicadas à Saúde, Portugal

Centro de Imagem Biomédica e Investigação Translacional (CIBIT), Portugal
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Ongoing
2017 - Current BRAINTRAIN - Methods for real-time fMRI neurofeedback (fMRI-NF) for clinical use
Technical development
Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Life Sciences (CNC.IBILI), Portugal
European Commission
Concluded
2017 - Current STIPED - Transcranial brain stimulation as innovative therapy for chronic pediatric neuropsychiatric disorder
Technical development
Universidade de Coimbra Instituto de Ciências Nucleares Aplicadas à Saúde, Portugal

Centro de Imagem Biomédica e Investigação Translacional (CIBIT), Portugal
European Commission
Ongoing
Outputs

Publications

Conference abstract
  1. Carolina Travassos; Sayal, Alexandre; Bruno Direito; João Castelhano; Miguel Castelo-Branco. "Triggering human pain empathy with real-time fMRI Neurofeedback". Paper presented in 15th Mediterranean Conference on Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing (MEDICON), Coimbra, 2019.
Conference paper
  1. Pereira, João; Direito, Bruno; Sayal, Alexandre; Ferreira, Carlos; Castelo-Branco, Miguel. "Optimization of a Motor Imagery Paradigm for Self-modulation of Bilateral Premotor Interhemispheric Functional Connectivity in fMRI Neurofeedback". Paper presented in XV Mediterranean Conference on Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing (MEDICON 2019), 2019.
    10.1007/978-3-030-31635-8_212
  2. Tiago Fernandes; João Pereira; Bruno Direito; Sayal, Alexandre; Miguel Castelo-Branco. "Statistical validation of State-Space Granger Causality with Time-Reverse Surrogate and its boundaries in fMRI data". Paper presented in 15th International Conference on Computational Intelligence methods for Bioinformatics and Biostatistics, Lisboa, 2018.
  3. Ferreira, Carlos; Direito, Bruno; Sayal, Alexandre; Simões, Marco; Cadório, Inês; Martins, Paula; Lousada, Marisa; et al. "Functional Mapping of Inner Speech Areas: A Preliminary Study with Portuguese Speakers". Paper presented in International Conference on Speech and Computer (SPECOM 2018), 2018.
    10.1007/978-3-319-99579-3_18
  4. Ferreira, Carlos; Sayal, Alexandre; Direito, Bruno; Simões, Marco; Martins, Paula; Oliveira, Catarina; Castelo-Branco, Miguel; Teixeira, António. "Inner Speech in Portuguese: Acquisition Methods, Database and First Results". Paper presented in International Conference on Computational Processing of the Portuguese Language (PROPOR 2018), 2018.
    10.1007/978-3-319-99722-3_44
  5. Campos, Alexandre Sayal; Direito, Bruno; Pereira, Daniela; Castelo-Branco, Miguel. "Brain connectivity analysis for real-time fMRI neurofeedback experiments". Paper presented in 2017 IEEE 5th Portuguese Meeting on Bioengineering (ENBENG), Coimbra, 2017.
    10.1109/enbeng.2017.7889474
Conference poster
  1. Sayal, Alexandre; Teresa Sousa; João V. Duarte; Gabriel N. Costa; Miguel Castelo-Branco. "(Des)inhibition: the side-effect of adaptation in bistable perception". Paper presented in OHBM, 2019.
  2. Manuel Ramos; Bruno Direito; Sayal, Alexandre; João Pereira; Teresa Sousa; Miguel Castelo-Branco. "Directly exploring the neural correlates of feedback-related reward saliency during fMRI-based Neurofeedback". Paper presented in Real-time functional imaging and neurofeedback conference (RT-FIN 2019), 2019.
  3. João Pereira; Bruno Direito; Sayal, Alexandre; Carlos Ferreira; Miguel Castelo-Branco. "Self-Modulation of Premotor Cortex Interhemispheric Connectivity in a Real-Time fMRI Neurofeedback Study Using an Adaptive Approach". Paper presented in Real-time functional imaging and neurofeedback conference (RT-FIN 2019), 2019.
  4. Teresa Sousa; Sayal, Alexandre; João V. Duarte; Gabriel N. Costa; Ricardo Martins; Miguel Castelo-Branco. "Studying the neuronal mechanisms underlying bistable perception: the role of adaptation, persistence, and inhibition on perceptual decision". Paper presented in SPN, 2019.
  5. Teresa Sousa; Alexandre Sayal; João V. Duarte; Gabriel N. Costa; Ricardo Martins; Miguel Castelo-Branco. "Distinct levels of visual adaptation due to coherent and incoherent motion perception". Paper presented in SAMBA, 2018.
  6. Teresa Sousa; Sayal, Alexandre; João V. Duarte; Gabriel N. Costa; Ricardo Martins; Miguel Castelo-Branco. "Evidence for asymmetric perceptual adaptation to coherent and incoherent moving plaids". Paper presented in OHBM, 2018.
  7. Sayal, Alexandre; Teresa Sousa; João V. Duarte; Gabriel N. Costa; Ricardo Martins; Miguel Castelo-Branco. "Unraveling the neural correlates of perceptual hysteresis: the effects of perceptual history on the visual perception of an ambiguous stimulus". Paper presented in FENS, 2018.
Journal article
  1. Direito, Bruno; Ramos, Manuel; Pereira, João; Sayal, Alexandre; Sousa, Teresa; Castelo-Branco, Miguel. "Directly Exploring the Neural Correlates of Feedback-Related Reward Saliency and Valence During Real-Time fMRI-Based Neurofeedback". Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 14 (2021): http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2020.578119.
    Published • 10.3389/fnhum.2020.578119
  2. Sayal, Alexandre. "Training the social brain - clinical and neural effects of an 8-week real-time functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging neurofeedback Phase IIa Clinical Trial in Autism". Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice (2021):
    Accepted
  3. Sayal, Alexandre; Sousa, Teresa; Duarte, João V.; Costa, Gabriel N.; Martins, Ricardo; Castelo-Branco, Miguel. "Identification of competing neural mechanisms underlying positive and negative perceptual hysteresis in the human visual system". NeuroImage 221 (2020): 117153. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117153.
    Published • 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117153
  4. Travassos, Carolina; Sayal, Alexandre; Direito, Bruno; Castelhano, João; Castelo-Branco, Miguel. "Volitional Modulation of the Left DLPFC Neural Activity Based on a Pain Empathy Paradigm—A Potential Novel Therapeutic Target for Pain". Frontiers in Neurology 11 (2020): http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2020.00714.
    Published • 10.3389/fneur.2020.00714
  5. Marco Simões; Rodolfo Abreu; Bruno Direito; Alexandre Sayal; João Castelhano; Paulo Carvalho; Miguel Castelo-Branco. "How much of the BOLD-fMRI signal can be approximated from simultaneous EEG data: relevance for the transfer and dissemination of neurofeedback interventions". Journal of Neural Engineering (2020): https://doi.org/10.1088/1741-2552/ab9a98.
    10.1088/1741-2552/ab9a98
  6. Tiago Timóteo Fernandes; Bruno Direito; Alexandre Sayal; João Pereira; Alexandre Andrade; Miguel Castelo-Branco. "The boundaries of state-space Granger causality analysis applied to BOLD simulated data: A comparative modelling and simulation approach". Journal of Neuroscience Methods 341 (2020): 108758-108758. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneumeth.2020.108758.
    10.1016/j.jneumeth.2020.108758
  7. Pereira, João; Direito, Bruno; Sayal, Alexandre; Ferreira, Carlos; Castelo-Branco, Miguel. "Self-Modulation of Premotor Cortex Interhemispheric Connectivity in a Real-Time Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Neurofeedback Study Using an Adaptive Approach". Brain Connectivity 9 9 (2019): 662-672. http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/brain.2019.0697.
    10.1089/brain.2019.0697
  8. Direito, Bruno; Lima, João; Simões, Marco; Sayal, Alexandre; Sousa, Teresa; Lührs, Michael; Ferreira, Carlos; Castelo-Branco, Miguel. "Targeting dynamic facial processing mechanisms in superior temporal sulcus using a novel fMRI neurofeedback target". Neuroscience 406 (2019): 97-108. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2019.02.024.
    Published • 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2019.02.024
  9. Sousa, Teresa; Sayal, Alexandre; Duarte, João; Costa, Gabriel; Martins, Ricardo; Castelo-Branco, Miguel. "Studying the neuronal mechanisms underlying bistable perception: the role of adaptation, persistence, and inhibition on perceptual decision". Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 13 (2019): http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/conf.fncel.2019.01.00045.
    Published • 10.3389/conf.fncel.2019.01.00045
  10. Campos, Alexandre. "Evidence for distinct levels of neural adaptation to both coherent and incoherently moving visual surfaces in visual area hMT+". NeuroImage 179 June (2018): 540-547. https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1053811918305822.
    10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.06.075
Thesis / Dissertation
  1. Castelo-Branco, Miguel; Direito, Bruno. "Brain Connectivity Analysis for real-time fMRI Neurofeedback Experiments". Master, Universidade de Coimbra - Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologias, 2016. http://hdl.handle.net/10316/32864.

Other

Technical standard
  1. Wiki page for CIBIT. Creation, design, and management of a Wiki page for the members of CIBIT, open to contribution by all members, and publicly readable.. 2022. https://cibit-uc.github.io/wiki/.
Activities

Oral presentation

Presentation title Event name
Host (Event location)
2021/04/05 PhD project 3-minute pitch. IV Feira de Emprego
Núcleo de Estudantes do Departamento de Física da Associação Académica de Coimbra (NEDF-AAC) (Coimbra, Portugal)
2021/03/04 PhD project 3-minute presentation. XVI ENEEB
(Coimbra, Portugal)
2020/01 Listen to your brain: exploring music as an interface for real-time fMRI Neurofeedback experiments
(Coimbra, Portugal)
2017/07/07 Study of motion adaptation and its role in deciding between competing surface representations 7th Iberian Congress on Perception
(Coimbra, Portugal)
2016/04/12 New technologies and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) jeKnowledge seminar
jeKnowledge (Coimbra, Portugal)

Supervision

Thesis Title
Role
Degree Subject (Type)
Institution / Organization
2021/09 - Current A data-driven approach to map functional brain connectivity in perceptual decision.
Co-supervisor
Biomedical Engineering (Master)
Centro de Imagem Biomédica e Investigação Translacional (CIBIT), Portugal
2021/03 - 2021/09 Assessing brain connectivity based on functional MRI data - seed-based approaches.
Co-supervisor
Biomedical Engineering (Degree)
Centro de Imagem Biomédica e Investigação Translacional (CIBIT), Portugal
2021/03 - 2021/09 Assessing brain connectivity based on functional MRI data - data-driven approaches.
Co-supervisor
Biomedical Engineering (Degree)
Centro de Imagem Biomédica e Investigação Translacional (CIBIT), Portugal

Event organisation

Event name
Type of event (Role)
Institution / Organization
2022/09/09 - Current Symposium Playback the music of the brain: From sound to emotion (2022/09/09)
Symposium (Member of the Organising Committee)
Centro de Imagem Biomédica e Investigação Translacional (CIBIT), Portugal
2022/07 - Current CIBIT Summer School 2022 (2022/07)
Workshop (Other)
Centro de Imagem Biomédica e Investigação Translacional (CIBIT), Portugal
2021/03/06 - Current Workshop "From neuroimaging to brain-computer interfaces" - included in the XVI ENEEB. (2021/03/06)
Workshop (Co-organisor)
Centro de Imagem Biomédica e Investigação Translacional (CIBIT), Portugal
2021/06/16 - 2021/06/17 ISMRM Iberian Chapter Annual Meeting (2021/06/16 - 2021/06/17)
Conference (Member of the Organising Committee)
International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, United States

Event participation

Activity description
Type of event
Event name
Institution / Organization
2022/12/16 - Current Poster presentation at the 1st Annual Meeting of CIBIT: "Measuring effective connectivity in the visual motion perception network at different temporal resolutions".
Conference
1st Annual Meeting of CIBIT
Centro de Imagem Biomédica e Investigação Translacional (CIBIT), Portugal
2022/07 - Current Workshop on the service syngo.share by Siemens.
Workshop
syngo.share
Siemens Healthineers Portugal, Portugal
2019/11/15 - Current g.tec's Brain-Computer Interface Workshop
Workshop
Universidade de Coimbra Instituto de Sistemas e Robótica, Portugal
2016/06/03 - Current Workshop - "Preprocessing and analysis of fMRI data"
Workshop
Brain Imaging: an introductory workshop on research and clinical applications
Mind-Brain College - University of Lisbon, Portugal
2016/06/03 - Current Workshop - "MRI diffusion-weighted imaging processing using the FSL and Trackvis tools"
Workshop
Brain Imaging: an introductory workshop on research and clinical applications
Mind-Brain College - University of Lisbon, Portugal
2016/04 - Current 8th Workshop on Biomedical Engineering
Workshop
Faculty of Sciences - University of Lisbon, Portugal
2022/02/23 - 2022/02/25 Music cognition in theory and practice: Prediction, creativity, and cultural evolution
Symposium
Music Cognition Symposium
2021/07/05 - 2021/07/23 Neuromatch Academy’s mission is to provide high-quality training in theoretical modelling and computational techniques related to neuroscience in a maximally accessible fashion to everyone in the world. We achieve this mission through curated, code-first online teaching with paid TA support while keeping participant costs at a minimum and making them waivable with no questions asked.
Workshop
Neuromatch Academy - Computational Neuroscience
2021/06/16 - 2021/06/17 ISMRM Iberian Chapter Annual Meeting
Conference
ISMRM Iberian Chapter Annual Meeting
International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, United States
2021/06/14 - 2021/06/17 Aarhus Summer School in Music Neuroscience - The course provides the students with a fundamental overview of the trends and methodologies concerning research in the field of music and the brain. Moreover, it prepares the students to take an interdisciplinary approach to research questions.
Workshop
Aarhus Summer School in Music Neuroscience
Aarhus Universitet, Denmark
2020/07/20 - 2020/07/23 Neuroprosthetics - Virtual Summer School 2020
Workshop
McGill University Department of Medicine, Canada
2020/04/20 - 2020/04/24 g.tec's BCI & Neurotechnology Spring School 2020
Workshop
g.tec medical engineering GmbH, Austria
2017/04/04 - 2017/04/07 Bial Foundation 12th Symposium "Behind and Beyond the Brain"
Conference
Fundação Bial, Portugal
2016/06/02 - 2016/06/03 Brain Imaging: an introductory workshop on research and clinical applications
Workshop
Mind-Brain College - University of Lisbon, Portugal

Association member

Society Organization name Role
2018 - Current Academic Orchestra of the University of Coimbra Member of the organizing committee

Interview (tv / radio show)

Program Topic
2021/12/19 - Current Caminhos UC Linking music to a research career in neuroimaging

Mentoring / Tutoring

Topic Student name
2022/01/20 - Current Current topics in Neurofeedback approaches Inês Inês
2021/09 - Current Current topics in Neurofeedback approaches Teresa Palmeiro Morais
Distinctions

Award

2019 Best poster award at the Real-time functional imaging and neurofeedback conference (RT-FIN) - category "Neural mechanisms in brain-computer interfacing"