National Project: Project of the Medical University - Plovdiv, for “Research Complex for Translational Neuroscience”, established with a grant from Operative Program “Competitiveness of Bulgarian Economy” 2007-2013 Title: Time and spatial changes in the brain cortical structure during intensive learning

Research Division:


20.05.2016 - 20.05.2018
Completed Project Applications are closed


Human brain connectome is a new and rapidly developing field in neuroscience. Because of methodological limitations, it is not possible to fully map the human connectome.

There is a different pattern of connectivity between neurons and the most important issue is to understand how the differences in connections may explain differences in behavior in health and disease.

The pattern of structural and functional connectivity in the brain is not fixed, but is continuously changing in response to experiences. Exploring these phenomena opens a powerful arsenal of analyzes and computational approaches that could provide important new insights into clinical and cognitive neuroscience.

The idea of this project is to help explaining the changes in brain structure in learning processes and to propose a model of structural brain plasticity.


1. Functional MRI investigation of morphological structures, their interconnections and time and spatial changes in brain cortex during intensive learning.

2. Supplementing the data on the mechanisms that regulate changes in the structural plasticity of the human brain.


Operative Program “Competitiveness of Bulgarian Economy” under the management of the Ministry of Economy


1. F. Popova, A. Kovacheva, P. Garov, S. Sivkov, S. Kandilarova, N. Sirakov, M. Stoeva, K. G. Velkova “Adult brain activation during visual learning and memory tasks. An experimental approach to translational neuroscience.”, J Eval Clin Pract., 24(4):864-868, 2018.

2. A. Beshkov, M. Topolov, F. Ahmed-Popova, S. Sivkov “A Review of Neuroimaging Studies on Working Memory Paradigms in Patients with Bipolar Disorder”, Curr Top Med Chem. 18(21):1883-1892, 2018.

3. Ahmed-Popova F, Sivkov S, Topolov M and Beshkov A (2020) An fMRI Study of Adult Brain Cortical Activation Following Intensive Learning. Front. Psychiatry 11:115.


1. Ferihan Popova, Antoaneta Kovacheva, Petar Garov, Stefan Sivkov. Structural plasticity in the adult brain during visual learning and memory tasks. ХXІІІ Национален Конгрес на Българското Анатомично Дружество с международно участие 5 - 7 Октомври, 2017, Варна, постер.

2. Ferihan Popova, Petar Garov, Antoaneta Kovacheva, Stefan Sivkov. Adult brain activation after intensive learning. An fMRI study. Vll-та Национална конференция “Морфологични дни” 8-10 юни 2018, София, научно съобщение.

3. Ferihan Ahmed-Popova, Stefan Sivkov, Mariyan Topolov, Asen Beshkov. An fMRI study of brain response to spontaneous memory tasks after intensive learning in males. ХXІV Национален Конгрес на Българското Анатомично Дружество с международно участие 31 май - 02 Юни, 2019, Стара Загора, постер.