Duke Nukem

Lauri Nummenmaa
I lead the Human Emotion Systems laboratory at Turku PET Centre and Department of Psychology, University of Turku.  My main specialization is in human emotion science and medical imaging, but I am also interested in advanced statistical analysis of neuroimaging data. See my curriculum vitae and Google Scholar page for more details.

Post-doctoral scientists and senior staff

Tomi Karjalainen
My work focuses on the human neurotransmission systems underlying emotion functions and its individual differences. Using positron emission tomography we focus on the opioidergic, dopaminergic and serotonergic systems’ role in  human emotionality. I have recently moved to Polar Electronics, but keep on doing science part-time in the emotion lab.

Henry “Daddy-O” Karlsson
I study the structural and functional effects of obesity to the human brain. We use a multimodal neuroimaging approach with positron emission tomography (PET) and  magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).  By studying brain anatomy and function in both normal-weight individuals and obese patients undergoing weight loss surgery, we try to unravel the mechanisms that predispose to overeating.

Lihua Sun
I am a postdoctoral researcher studying the brain basis of psychopathy and violence. I use fMRI to investigate the functional brain circuitry behind violent and non-violent psychopathy. I also use PET to elucidate their neuromolecular basis, including the endogenous mu-opioid and serotonin pathways. More information on my Google Scholar page.

Vesa Putkinen
I joined the Turku PET centre in 2017 to investigate the role of different neurotransmitter systems in affective and cognitive processes using a large-scale neuroimaging database. My special interest is the neural and molecular basis of music-induced emotions. I obtained my PhD in psychology from the University of Helsinki and have expertise in different brain research methods including EEG, MEG and fMRI.

Janne Isojärvi
I joined the Human Emotion Systems Laboratory in 2017 as a project researcher. The project focused on building and maintaining database, holding complex neuroimaging data, to the neuroscience community.
I am also interested to develop statistical and mathematical methods for analyzing imaging data from the big data perspective.

PhD students

Lasse Lukkarinen
I study the brain basis of psychopathy and violence. Our studies will improve the understanding of the neural and psychological mechanisms of affective disorders, violence and impulsive behaviour. We use a multimodal neuroimaging approach with PET and fMRI.

Sanaz Nazani Farsani
I joined the Emotion lab to work as image processing specialist on the AIVO database. I focus on developing and implementing pattern analysis tehcniques to unravel imaging biomarkers for neurological conditions and classifying, and develop analytic techniques for quantifying brain-environment interactions in our large-scale imaging database.

Tuulia Malen
I am a clinical psychologist and am working in the lab as a research assistant. My main tasks include metadata preparation for PET and MRI mega-analysis projects, and general data administration issues.

Mikko Lähteenmäki
I am a doctoral student in the Social Brain project at Aalto university. The focus of my project concerns the neural mechanics of emotion transfer and the detection of emotional signals. We employ a multifaceted approach, combining behavioral measures, psychophysical experiments using fMRI and MEG, and naturalistic two-person fMRI to study these topics.

Sofia Volynets
I am working on brain basis of human facial expression recognition using multivariate techniques.

Kerttu Seppälä
My work pertains serotonergic and opioidergic circuits involved in positive and negative emotions. I am currently setting up behavioural, PET and fMRI paradigms for investigating the interplay of specific neurotransmitters in different emotional processes.

Tatu Kantonen
I have recently started working on a prospective study on the neural risk factors of developing obesity in the adolescence. We use positron emission tomography and focus on brain’s opioidergic and endocannabinoid systems in individuals with high versus low personal and familial risk for obesity.

Severi Santavirta
I am a medical student and work in the lab on data analysis procedures and computational tools for brain imaging database maintenance and development.

Research assistants and junior staff

Elina Lewandowski
I am a psychology student and work as a research assistant in the lab. I joined the Turku PET Centre in 2020. The project that I’m working with investigates individual differences in eye movements during cognitive and affective tasks. My work contains recruiting test subjects, collecting data and neuropsychological testing.

Birgitta Paranko 
I joined the lab in 2020 as a research assistant in the eye movement project. I did my MSc in neuroscience and have previously been doing MEG imaging and studying neural mechanisms underlying depression.

Kia Hietakangas
I am a psychology student and I am working as a research assistant in the lab. My main tasks are collecting and analyzing data.

I lead the reptile reserarch division at the Emotion Lab and live in the Mordor basement. Currently I am feeding on frozen mice and gaining weight. In the summer I should be big enough to start my job as a research assistant scaring subjects in ultra-naturalistic PET and fMRI experiments on unconditioned fear.

Lab alumni

Marco Bucci
After working as a post-doctoral fellow in PET data analytics and modelling, Marco moved to Karolinska Institutet for further developing his skills in PET imaging.

Lara Ejtehadian
Lara worked with us on pattern recognition analysis of fMRI data. She ultimately decided that she wanted to do a career in business, and decided to try her wings in LA and London as web developer.

Enrico Glerean
Enrico was our methods sorcerer and signal analysis prophet, playing a key role in many of our top fMRI and behavioural projects. We were unable to allure him to move permanently to Turku, and he decided to do a next post-doc at Aalto University.

Timo Heikkilä
Timo worked with us developing the Onni (“Bliss” in Finnish) stimulus rating tool, after which he returned to clinical training and is currently pursuing a PhD in cognitive psychology.

Matias Hilska
Matias worked as a research assistant for us for some time, but decided to focus on his studies for a while. Maybe we’ll see him in the lab again some day?

Matthew Hudson
Matt worked with us on unconditioned acute and sustained fear, and bravely figured out how subjects can be motivated to stay in the scanner for hours and hours. Training with us was worth the effort – he was offered a permanent Lecturer position at the Psychology at the National College of Ireland, Dublin.

Jaakko Kauramäki
Jaakko was our MEG and signal analysis specialist post-doc, who moved to University of Montréal for a second post-doc period.

Fanny Lachat
Fanny worked as a post-doc with us on two-person hyper classification of action and pain perception, after which she took a position at Karolinska Institutet at Stockholm.

Juha Lahnakoski
Being one of our data analysis wizards, Juha was headhunted to Max Planck Institute following his post-doc period with us.

Sandra Manninen
Sandra successfully defended her PhD thesis on molecular mechanisms of social bonding, after which she began pursuing her specialisation in child and adolescent psychiatry.

Nella Rantala
Nella was our long-standing research assistant and eye movement recording specialist. Ultimately she completed her diploma theses and began a career as a clinical psychologist.

Ville Renvall
After completing his post-doc term in the lab, Ville moved to the media industry and started working at Sanoma Media Group in Finland.

Jonatan Ropponen
Jonatan completed his non-military service in Emotion Lab / Turku PET Centre, after which he returned to complete his MD studies.

Juulia Suvilehto
Juulia did a great PhD thesis on touching and contributed to many improvements in embody tool. After defending, she was recruited to The Other University (a.k.a Oxford) to work as a postdoc.

Lauri “Tullijohtaja” Tuominen
Our opioid-PET specialist Lauri (a.k.a Chief Customs Officer) did a magnificent post-doc period in the lab, and went on for a second post-doc at Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging in Boston, U.S.

Sirkku Turunen
Sirkku did fantastic work as a research assistant for over a year, working on our AIVO neuroinformatics project. She is currently finishing her Master’s in Clinical Psychology at University of Turku.

Kevin Tsai
Kevin worked as a post-doc with us on ultrafast inverse imaging, after which he moved to Taiwan National University

Jetro Tuulari
Upon completing his PhD thesis, Jetro went to pursue research in the FinnBrain project at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Turku

Official Lab Philosphers

Guitar wizard Yngwie Malmsteen is the official honorary philosopher for our lab. Because Yngwie knows it – more is more!

We also greatly appreciate the Finnish rap artist Musta Barbaari who knows that if you want to be best, you need to be the first to come to and last to leave the lab (or gym) ! See below for cool Finnish motivational pictures for your own lab, click for larger images!