All events, 2017

Serotonin's roles in learning and decision-making

Lecture
Date:
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Hour: 10:30
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Dr. Eran Lottem
|
Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Lisbon

Neural activity imaging reveals computational principles in the neuromodulatory system

Lecture
Date:
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Hour: 09:00
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Dr. Takashi Kawashima
|
HHMI Janelia Research Campus, Ashburn, VA

Hippocampal sensitivity to event boundaries in the encoding of narrative episodes

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
Hour: 13:00
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Dr. Aya Ben-Yakov
|
MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge

An extensive body of research has established that the hippocampus plays a pivotal role in the encoding of new associations. Yet it remains unclear how entire episodes that unfold over time are bound together in memory. Real-life episodes can be viewed as a sequence of interrelated episodic elements, and their encoding may be incremental, such that each element that is encountered is registered to memory. Conversely, the episode may be stored in a temporary buffer and registered to long-term memory as a cohesive unit when it has come to closure. Using short film clips as memoranda, we find that hippocampal encoding-related activity is time-locked to the offset of the event, potentially reflecting the encoding of a bound representation to long-term memory. Notably, when distinct clips were presented in immediate succession, the hippocampus responded at the offset of each event, suggesting hippocampal activity is triggered the occurrence of event boundaries (transition between events). However, while brief film clips mimic several aspects of real-life, they are still discrete events. To determine whether event boundaries drive hippocampal activity in an ongoing experience, we analysed brain activity of over 200 participants who viewed a naturalistic film and found that the hippocampus responded both reliably and specifically to shifts between scenes. Taken together, these results suggest that during encoding of a continuous experience, event boundaries drive hippocampal processing, potentially supporting the transformation of the continuous stream of information into distinct episodic representations.

From perception to action: imaging human brain function

Conference
Date:
Sunday, December 24, 2017
Hour: 08:30 - 13:30
Location:
David Lopatie Conference Centre

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Challenging the sensory division of labor in the brain. Lessons from the deafs’ sense of rhythm and tactile braille reading in the sighted.

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Hour: 12:30
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Dr. Marcin Szwed
|
Dept of Psychology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland

It is established that the brain is capable of large-scale reorganization following sensory deprivation or injury. What is less clear is what are the rules that guide it. In the blind, many visual regions preserve their task specificity despite being recruited for different sensory input; ventral visual areas, for example, become engaged in auditory and tactile object-recognition. However, we are interested in two questions. First, is sensory deprivation necessary for such task-specific reorganization, or can it happen in non-deprived individuals? In this series of experiments, during 9 months we taught Braille, a tactile alphabet, to sighted individuals and observed the resulting changes with structural and functional MRI. (Siuda, Krzywicka, Bola et al, eLife, 2016). Second, we wondered whether task-specific reorganization is unique to the visual cortex, or alternatively, is it a general principle applying to other cortical areas. Here, we enrolled deaf and hearing adults into an fMRI experiment, during which they discriminated between rhythms. In hearing individuals, rhythm processing is performed mostly in the auditory domain. Our prediction was that if task-specific reorganization applies to the human auditory cortex, performing this function visually should recruit the auditory cortex in the deaf (Bola, Zimmerman et al., PNAS, 2017).

Revealing the neural correlates of behavior without behavioral measurements

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Hour: 12:30
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Dr. Alon Rubin
|
Senior Intern, Yaniv Ziv Lab Department of Neurobiology, WIS

Using whiskers to gain insights into animal behaviour and motor control

Lecture
Date:
Monday, October 16, 2017
Hour: 14:30
Location:
Nella and Leon Benoziyo Building for Brain Research
Dr. Robyn A. Grant
|
Conservation, Evolution and Behaviour Research Group Division of Biology and Conservation Ecology Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Mammalian whiskers and avian rictal bristles come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Indeed, one of the most striking facial features in all mammals (excluding higher primates and humans) is the presence of whiskers. They are deployed in a wide range of tasks and environments. For example, rodents may use their whiskers to guide arboreal locomotion, whilst seals use theirs to track hydrodynamic trails of vortices shed by the fish upon which they prey (Gläser et al, 2010). Certainly, the evolution of the sense of touch is a recognised cornerstone in mammalian evolution, driving brain complexity and behavioural flexibility. While the whisker system is an established model for sensory information processing, advances in measuring whisker behaviours suggests that whisker movements are also useful for measuring aspects of motor control. Many "whisker specialists" including rodents and pinnipeds employ their whiskers by moving them actively, and all mammals (and even some birds) share a similar muscle architecture that drives the movement of the whiskers. Certainly, changes in whisker movements can indicate a loss of motor control and coordination. In this talk I will consider the anatomy and morphology of whiskers, and consider their function in a range of different species. I will suggest how whisker movements may have evolved, and how they are very important for whisker specialists.

Applying epigenetics to the study of trauma in the first and second generation

Lecture
Date:
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Hour: 10:30
Location:
Nella and Leon Benoziyo Building for Brain Research
Prof. Rachel Yehuda
|
Director, Traumatic Stress Studies Division Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NYC

A phylogenetic approach to decision making

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Hour: 12:30
Location:
Nella and Leon Benoziyo Building for Brain Research
Prof. Thomas Boraud, MD PhD
|
Directeur de Recherche CNRS, University of Bordeaux

Speech processing in auditory cortex with and without oscillations

Lecture
Date:
Monday, September 4, 2017
Hour: 12:30
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Prof. Anne-Lise Giraud
|
Department of Neuroscience University of Geneva Switzerland

Perception of connected speech relies on accurate syllabic segmentation and phonemic encoding. These processes are essential because they determine the building blocks that we can manipulate mentally to understand and produce speech. Segmentation and encoding might be underpinned by specific interactions between the acoustic rhythms of speech and coupled neural oscillations in the theta and low-gamma band. To address how neural oscillations interact with speech, we used a neurocomputational model of speech processing generating biophysically plausible coupled theta and gamma oscillations. We show that speech could be well decoded from this purely bottom-up artificial network’s low-gamma activity, when the phase of theta activity was taken into account. Because speech is not only a bottom-up process, we set out to develop another type of neurocomputational model that takes into account the influence of linguistic predictions on acoustic processing. I will present preliminary results obtained with such a model and discuss the advantage of incorporating neural oscillations in models of speech processing.

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All events, 2017

Serotonin's roles in learning and decision-making

Lecture
Date:
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Hour: 10:30
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Dr. Eran Lottem
|
Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Lisbon

Neural activity imaging reveals computational principles in the neuromodulatory system

Lecture
Date:
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Hour: 09:00
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Dr. Takashi Kawashima
|
HHMI Janelia Research Campus, Ashburn, VA

Hippocampal sensitivity to event boundaries in the encoding of narrative episodes

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
Hour: 13:00
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Dr. Aya Ben-Yakov
|
MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge

An extensive body of research has established that the hippocampus plays a pivotal role in the encoding of new associations. Yet it remains unclear how entire episodes that unfold over time are bound together in memory. Real-life episodes can be viewed as a sequence of interrelated episodic elements, and their encoding may be incremental, such that each element that is encountered is registered to memory. Conversely, the episode may be stored in a temporary buffer and registered to long-term memory as a cohesive unit when it has come to closure. Using short film clips as memoranda, we find that hippocampal encoding-related activity is time-locked to the offset of the event, potentially reflecting the encoding of a bound representation to long-term memory. Notably, when distinct clips were presented in immediate succession, the hippocampus responded at the offset of each event, suggesting hippocampal activity is triggered the occurrence of event boundaries (transition between events). However, while brief film clips mimic several aspects of real-life, they are still discrete events. To determine whether event boundaries drive hippocampal activity in an ongoing experience, we analysed brain activity of over 200 participants who viewed a naturalistic film and found that the hippocampus responded both reliably and specifically to shifts between scenes. Taken together, these results suggest that during encoding of a continuous experience, event boundaries drive hippocampal processing, potentially supporting the transformation of the continuous stream of information into distinct episodic representations.

Challenging the sensory division of labor in the brain. Lessons from the deafs’ sense of rhythm and tactile braille reading in the sighted.

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Hour: 12:30
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Dr. Marcin Szwed
|
Dept of Psychology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland

It is established that the brain is capable of large-scale reorganization following sensory deprivation or injury. What is less clear is what are the rules that guide it. In the blind, many visual regions preserve their task specificity despite being recruited for different sensory input; ventral visual areas, for example, become engaged in auditory and tactile object-recognition. However, we are interested in two questions. First, is sensory deprivation necessary for such task-specific reorganization, or can it happen in non-deprived individuals? In this series of experiments, during 9 months we taught Braille, a tactile alphabet, to sighted individuals and observed the resulting changes with structural and functional MRI. (Siuda, Krzywicka, Bola et al, eLife, 2016). Second, we wondered whether task-specific reorganization is unique to the visual cortex, or alternatively, is it a general principle applying to other cortical areas. Here, we enrolled deaf and hearing adults into an fMRI experiment, during which they discriminated between rhythms. In hearing individuals, rhythm processing is performed mostly in the auditory domain. Our prediction was that if task-specific reorganization applies to the human auditory cortex, performing this function visually should recruit the auditory cortex in the deaf (Bola, Zimmerman et al., PNAS, 2017).

Revealing the neural correlates of behavior without behavioral measurements

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Hour: 12:30
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Dr. Alon Rubin
|
Senior Intern, Yaniv Ziv Lab Department of Neurobiology, WIS

Using whiskers to gain insights into animal behaviour and motor control

Lecture
Date:
Monday, October 16, 2017
Hour: 14:30
Location:
Nella and Leon Benoziyo Building for Brain Research
Dr. Robyn A. Grant
|
Conservation, Evolution and Behaviour Research Group Division of Biology and Conservation Ecology Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Mammalian whiskers and avian rictal bristles come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Indeed, one of the most striking facial features in all mammals (excluding higher primates and humans) is the presence of whiskers. They are deployed in a wide range of tasks and environments. For example, rodents may use their whiskers to guide arboreal locomotion, whilst seals use theirs to track hydrodynamic trails of vortices shed by the fish upon which they prey (Gläser et al, 2010). Certainly, the evolution of the sense of touch is a recognised cornerstone in mammalian evolution, driving brain complexity and behavioural flexibility. While the whisker system is an established model for sensory information processing, advances in measuring whisker behaviours suggests that whisker movements are also useful for measuring aspects of motor control. Many "whisker specialists" including rodents and pinnipeds employ their whiskers by moving them actively, and all mammals (and even some birds) share a similar muscle architecture that drives the movement of the whiskers. Certainly, changes in whisker movements can indicate a loss of motor control and coordination. In this talk I will consider the anatomy and morphology of whiskers, and consider their function in a range of different species. I will suggest how whisker movements may have evolved, and how they are very important for whisker specialists.

Applying epigenetics to the study of trauma in the first and second generation

Lecture
Date:
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Hour: 10:30
Location:
Nella and Leon Benoziyo Building for Brain Research
Prof. Rachel Yehuda
|
Director, Traumatic Stress Studies Division Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NYC

A phylogenetic approach to decision making

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Hour: 12:30
Location:
Nella and Leon Benoziyo Building for Brain Research
Prof. Thomas Boraud, MD PhD
|
Directeur de Recherche CNRS, University of Bordeaux

Speech processing in auditory cortex with and without oscillations

Lecture
Date:
Monday, September 4, 2017
Hour: 12:30
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Prof. Anne-Lise Giraud
|
Department of Neuroscience University of Geneva Switzerland

Perception of connected speech relies on accurate syllabic segmentation and phonemic encoding. These processes are essential because they determine the building blocks that we can manipulate mentally to understand and produce speech. Segmentation and encoding might be underpinned by specific interactions between the acoustic rhythms of speech and coupled neural oscillations in the theta and low-gamma band. To address how neural oscillations interact with speech, we used a neurocomputational model of speech processing generating biophysically plausible coupled theta and gamma oscillations. We show that speech could be well decoded from this purely bottom-up artificial network’s low-gamma activity, when the phase of theta activity was taken into account. Because speech is not only a bottom-up process, we set out to develop another type of neurocomputational model that takes into account the influence of linguistic predictions on acoustic processing. I will present preliminary results obtained with such a model and discuss the advantage of incorporating neural oscillations in models of speech processing.

Functional dissection of decision-related activity in the primate dorsal stream

Lecture
Date:
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Hour: 12:30
Location:
Nella and Leon Benoziyo Building for Brain Research
Dr. Leor Katz
|
University of Texas at Austin

The study of perceptual decision-making is key to understanding complex cognitive behavior. Two decades of recordings in primate parietal cortex suggest that neurons in the lateral intraparietal (LIP) cortex integrate sensory evidence from upstream neurons (presumably MT) in favor of making a decision. However, the causal role of LIP in decision-making had not been tested directly. In this talk, I will present recent experiments that tested whether area LIP—which exhibits strong decision-related activity—is causally related to perceptual decision-making. In contrast to the generally accepted model, we found that inactivation in area LIP had no measurable impact on decision-making behavior (despite having exerted effects in a control task). This finding suggests that strong decision-related activity does not guarantee a causal role in decision-making. To better understand the MT-LIP circuit we then applied a Generalized Linear Model (GLM) to simultaneously recorded MT and LIP neurons. We found that much of MT & LIP responses may be interpreted in simple sensorimotor terms, as opposed to appealing to nuanced cognitive phenomena. These results shift our understanding of decision-related activity in the primate brain and motivate new approaches to further dissecting the circuit.

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All events, 2017

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All events, 2017

From perception to action: imaging human brain function

Conference
Date:
Sunday, December 24, 2017
Hour: 08:30 - 13:30
Location:
David Lopatie Conference Centre

Homepage