Monday, October 31, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Neurosciences Seminar Series
UCSD Neurosciences Graduate Program
Mark D’Esposito, UC Berkeley
An overview: When bottom-up meets top-down: neural mechanisms of cognitive control.
Mark D'Esposito M.D. is Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute and Dept. of Psychology at UC Berkeley. He is also the Director at Henry H. Wheeler, Jr. Brain Imaging Center and an attending neurologist at Northern California VA Medical Center. Dr. D'Esposito received his BA from Rochester in 1983 and his M.D. from SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse College of Medicine in 1987. He finished his residency in neurology from Boston University Medical Center. He is the chair of the Behavioral Neurology Section at American Academy of Neurology and Editor-In-Chief at Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. His lab studies the role of PFC in the top-down modulation of bottom-up visual signals.
CNCB (formerly CMG) Large Conference Room
Friday, October 28, 2011
Defining dynamic functional networks of the visual system with and without visual input
Abstract. Accurate estimates of normal cortical function are essential for the study of whole brain cognitive phenomena and early diagnosis and intervention of neurodegeneration and disease. My research aims to define functional networks of the brain as they are connected and relevant to the visual system. I present three experiments, two of which use simultaneous TMS-EEG to study functional connectivity of occipital and parietal sites to the rest of the brain. I propose this is analogous to injecting a visual stimulus into the brain while bypassing the eye. To test the robustness of these findings, we explore the state-dependent responses of TMS to occipital and parietal cortex and find intrinsic connectivity networks that support and are impermeable to the TMS pulse. The third experiment measures simultaneous fMRI-EEG in an SSVEP framework, exploiting the activity-recovery cycle to define networks with these two techniques: two techniques which yield measurements of neural activity from overlapping and non-overlapping neural sources. A method of combining the two techniques is proposed. These methods provide ways to measure connectivity in the human brain and define dynamic networks with specific functional properties
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Dysfunctional prefrontal cortical network activity and interactions following cannabinoid receptor activation.
Kucewicz, et al.
there is also this article about the above paper from cbs news here (where the title is from).
despite the funny title, the article ais nice because it speaks the functional role of cortical oscillations.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Frederick deHoffman Auditorium
Dr. Paul Ekman is a world expert in understanding facial expression and emotions, and listed as one of the 100 most important scientists of our time. He is the author of many books including "Unmasking the Face," "Telling Lies: Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace, Politcis, and Marriage," "Emotions Revealed: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life," "The Nature of Emotion," "Body Language," and "Emotional Awareness."
Friday, October 21, 2011
Why is object recognition difficult in peripheral vision?
Abstract. Object recognition in peripheral vision is laborious. Patients who have lost their central vision (<1% of their total visual field) are severely impaired. In peripheral vision, object recognition is far worse than what can be expected from the consideration of spatial resolution alone. This is particularly true when an object is among clutter. We show that this phenomenon of “visual crowding” and other related form-vision deficits of peripheral vision can be caused by a consistent and systematic error in the acquired statistical priors about the visual world. This error is a result of the dual roles of visual attention: directing saccades and gating the acquisition of image statistics. Simulation results show that this theory provides the first quantitative explanation of the shape of the spatial extent of crowding, with essentially no free parameters. Experiments on the neural loci of crowding and the effects of central vision loss on peripheral vision provide further evidence for this theory.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Leendert van Maanen, Scott D. Brown, Tom Eichele, Eric-Jan Wagenmakers, Tiffany Ho, John Serences, Birte U. Forstmann (in press, J. Neuroscience) Neural correlates of trial-to-trial fluctuations in response caution.
This paper uses a cool new method developed by Leendert, Scott, EJ, and Birte to estimate parameters of a decision model (e.g. drift rate, response threshold, etc.) on a trial-by-trial basis, and then uses this approach to examine the neural mechanisms that mediate response caution.
Monday, October 17, 2011
SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY (position 10-323)
The Psychology Department (http://psy.ucsd.edu/) within the Division of Social Sciences at UC, San Diego is committed to academic excellence and diversity within the faculty, staff and student body. The department invites applications for a tenure track Assistant Professor position in Social Psychology. Candidates must have a Ph.D. and have a record of publishable research in any area of social psychology, including, but not limited to, social neuroscience.
Salary is commensurate with qualifications and based on University of California pay scales.
Review of applications will begin November 15, 2011 and continue until the position is filled.
To Apply: Candidates should submit letter, curriculum vita, research statement, reprints, names of three referees, and a personal statement that summarizes their past or potential contributions to diversity (see http://facultyequity.ucsd.edu/Faculty-Applicant-C2D-Info.asp for further information) electronically via UCSD’s Academic Personnel On-Line RECRUIT (https://apol-recruit.ucsd.edu/ ). Please apply to the following job positing: Psychology, Assistant Professor (10-323)
For inquiries, please contact Anne Matsushita, Human Resources Manager, at email@example.com.
UCSD is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer with a strong institutional commitment to excellence through diversity.
Minlebaev et al.
ABSTRACT. During development, formation of topographic maps in sensory cortex requires precise temporal binding in thalamocortical networks. However, the physiological substrate for such synchronization is unknown. We report that early gamma oscillations (EGOs) enable precise spatiotemporal thalamocortical synchronization in the neonatal rat whisker sensory system. Driven by a thalamic gamma oscillator and initially independent of cortical inhibition, EGOs synchronize neurons in a single thalamic barreloid and corresponding cortical barrel and support plasticity at developing thalamocortical synapses. We propose that the multiple replay of sensory input in thalamocortical circuits during EGOs allows thalamic and cortical neurons to be organized into vertical topographic functional units before the development of horizontal binding in adult brain.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
October 18th, Tuesday@Noon
Musical Timbre: Features and Dimensions
Abstract. Timbre includes all perceived qualities of a sound beyond pitch, duration, and sound level, but its dimensionality has never been analytically ascertained, and attempts to relate perceived dimensions to quantitative acoustical dimensions were tenuous. Based on a cross-validated multidimensional scaling (MDS) analysis of dissimilarity judgments, we propose an upper limit of 5 dimensions for the perceptual space of sustained tones produced by western orchestral instruments. To permit interpretation, subjects also rated the same tones using opposing pairs of musical descriptors. A discriminant function analysis of these semantic ratings reduced their dimensionality, accounting for subject variability. The dimensions of perceptual timbre space were interpreted in musical terms by rotational scaling and projection of the dissimilarity MDS solution into the discriminant functions of the semantic ratings. A comprehensive description of acoustic structure was obtained by estimating the joint spectrotemporal modulation power spectrum (MPS) of each sound. We then correlated the acoustical structure described by the MPS with the perceptual ratings to show that we could, to a large extend, predict timbre perception from particular spectro-temporal features.
Hearing the Song in Noise: Noise Invariant Neurons in the Avian Auditory system
Abstract. In this study, we examined how neurons in the secondary avian auditory cortical area NCM (CaudoMedial Nidopalium) responded to song signals embedded in background noise to test whether this region presents noise-invariant characteristics that could be involved in robust song recognition. We chose the avian model system because birds excel at recognizing individuals based on their communication calls often in very difficult situations. We focused our study on NCM because this secondary auditory area has been implicated in a series of neurophysiological and immediate early gene studies in the recognition of familiar songs. We found that a subset of neurons in NCM exhibit very robust responses to song in the sense that they responded with similar spike patterns to song stimuli presented in silence and over a background of masking noise. We then show that we can explain most of the observed invariance from the spectro-temporal modulation tuning of the neurons. Finally, to demonstrate that such computations could indeed explain noise invariance, we show how a biologically inspired modulation filter bank can be used to separate song or speech from noise.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
People who taste shapes, see numbers in colors, or feel sounds were told, until recently, that they were delusional. But, recent research has shown that roughly 3% of the population has this condition known as synesthesia. Synesthesia, which means 'joined sensation,' is a perceptual phenomenon in which individuals experience a mixing of the senses. For example, a synesthete might not only see a certain color but may actually smell it or taste it as well.
The conference will begin Friday 10/14 at 6pm with a reception held at the Mandeville Suite on the 11th floor of Tioga Hall in Muir College. Individuals can register at the reception until 8PM or on Saturday and Sunday mornings between 8:00 and 9:00AM at the conference held in Garren Auditorium in the School of Medicine's Biomedical Sciences Building. The cost for the conference is $165 for the general public, $150 for UCSD Faculty, and $50 for students. The current schedule and list of speakers and events is listed at http://synesthesia.info/upcoming.html
If you have any questions please contact David Brang at firstname.lastname@example.org
Automatic spread of attentional response modulation along Gestalt criteria in primary visual cortex.
by Wannig, Stanslor & Roelfsema
Monday, October 10, 2011
Neurosciences Seminar Series
UCSD Neurosciences Graduate Program
An overview: Network of mouse visual cortex
CNCB (formerly CMG) Large Conference Room
Host: Marina Garrett (email@example.com)
Friday, October 7, 2011
Alcohol and Choline: what they tell us about hippocampal cholinergic system development and signaling.
Abstract. Prenatal alcohol exposure causes learning and memory deficits, possibly by altering cell signaling and gene regulation in the hippocampal cholinergic system. The micronutrient choline has been found to mitigate some alcohol-related behavioral deficits. I will discuss my recent experimental investigations on the neural correlates of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and the underlying mechanisms by which choline attenuates these deficits.
Response suppression by automatic retrieval of stimulus-stop association: evidence from Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Abstract. Recent behavioral work has shown that subjects respond more slowly to stimuli to which they had to stop previously. This suggests that response inhibition can be triggered in a bottom-up fashion via the retrieval of a stimulus-stop association, i.e., ‘automatic inhibition’. In this study, we used Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to demonstrate automatic inhibition in a go/nogo task. Our results provide neurophysiological evidence for an inhibition mechanism that is automatically re-instantiated when a stimulus retrieves a learned stopping episode.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
A CARTA Public Symposium entitled “Uniquely Human Features of the Brain” will be held Friday, October 7, 2011 from 1:00-5:30 p.m. in the De Hoffmann Auditorium at the Salk Institute. Below is a list of the speakers and their talk titles. Please share the information and the attached poster with your students and colleagues.
Register online at http://carta.anthropogeny.org/events/uniquely-human-features-brain.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
@Noon - CNS seminar - Mandler 3545
David Poeppel - NYU
@2pm - CogSci Talk - Leichtag 107
James Knierim - Johns Hopkins
@4pm - Neuroscience Seminar - CNCB
Bill Kristan - UCSD