CCBS is delighted to present a series of Cognitive Neuroscience talks in May. Please join us if you are interested.

Register here

Language: English

Venue: N21 – G013

Talk 1 – 8 May (Mon), 11:00-11:45

Talk 2 – 12 May (Fri), 11:00-11:45

Talk 3 – 19 May (Fri), 10:00-10:45

Talk 1 Brain activity and its spatial structure as a window into human cognition and social behavior.
Date/Time/Venue 8 May 2023 (Mon), 11:00-11:45, N21-G013
Speaker Dr. Kuzma Strelnikov, Toulouse University Hospital Center
Abstract Understanding how brain activity relates to information processing is at the heart of cognitive neuroscience. There is ample evidence that the brain processes various types of cognitive inputs, including speech and language, in a predictive fashion. Brain activation caused by stimulation often represents only a tiny fraction of energy used for the resting-state predictive activity. Thus, brain activation can be understood as the reorganization of activity flows with respect to their organization at rest. These dynamic changes can be estimated by calculating the local differences of activity between the adjacent voxels, i.e., gradients of activity, which are shown to be stimulation specific. In addition, differences between the adjacent voxels form spatial patterns of activity, which are similar across brain areas involved in the specific functional networks. Thus, fMRI reflects spatial coding of the processed information, which can complement the information on temporal coding from electrophysiological measurements. Combining neuroimaging techniques and psychophysical approaches can foster our understanding of addiction, decision-making, and language.
Biography Kuzma Strelnikov, MD, PhD graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of Saint-Petersburg University, where he defended his PhD thesis in Physiology and Neuroscience on speech perception in norm and schizophrenia. Afterwards, he did several postdocs at the Brain and Cognition Center of Helsinki University, the Center of Cognitive Neuroimaging of Paris University, and the Brain and Cognition Center of Toulouse University. Then he worked for several years as a clinical research coordinator at the Toulouse University Hospital Center, and since 2015 he has been working as a chief of research projects at the Direction of clinical research of the Toulouse University Hospital Center.
Talk 2 Thinking of you: Neuroadaptive imagery as a paradigm for uncovering the contents and functions of consciousness
Date/Time/Venue 12 May 2023 (Fri), 11:00-11:45, N21-G013
Speaker Dr. Michiel Spape, University of Helsinki
Abstract What are thoughts like? This question is related to the so-called ‘the hard problem of consciousness’: How can we objectively study the very essence of subjectivity? I introduce a new paradigm called neuroadaptive imagery, which combines neuroimaging with AI to visualize representations of consciousness. Images from a generative adversarial network (GAN) model are shown to participants who have a relevance task. Brain activity evoked by these images is used as feedback for controlling the GAN to represent the task. Three EEG experiments demonstrate how this allows creating individually tailored visualizations of objective (e.g. is blond), quasi-objective (is young), and fully subjective (is beautiful) criteria. Current work aims first to determine how neuroadaptive images relate to contents of consciousness, and second to establish how they are altered by biased functions of consciousness. Regarding the former, I recently demonstrated that GAN-distance and brain-inferred similarity show a near-linear relationship. My future studies on the latter aim to determine how social bias and psychopathology affect brain-generated images. Together, these studies will develop an AI-interfaced neuroimaging as a paradigm for the study of consciousness.
Biography Michiel Spapé is Docent (adjunct professor) in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Helsinki (Finland). After obtaining his PhD in Psychology from Leiden University, Netherlands, he has been involved in several postdoctoral research projects in Finland (Aalto University) and the United Kingdom (University of Nottingham), and worked as a Lecturer (assistant professor) in Psychology in Liverpool (Liverpool Hope University), before returning to Helsinki. His research tends to concern the subjects of consciousness, perception/action, and emotion, and spans the vaguely defined area between the fields of Psychology and Computer Science, Neuroscience and AI. This allows him to combine a passion for philosophy with a love for technologies, for example in studies using EEG, VR, haptics, brain-computer interfacing, and GANs.
Talk 3 Modelling functional, behavioral, and structural data in humans
Date/Time/Venue 19 May 2023 (Fri), 10:00-10:45, N21-G013
Speaker Dr. Alessio Fracasso, University of Glasgow
Abstract Approximately 600 million years ago animals populating the ocean’s floor started moving. Self-motion brings clear advantages (e.g. find new sources of food) but it introduces ambiguity about the source of a sensory input – sensory ambiguity -. As it moves, an animal might not be able to discriminate whether a response from a sensory detector is caused by a movement of an external object or a passive movement caused by the animal self-motion. The species that successfully solved this problem did so by keeping track of their movement commands, informing the sensory system about upcoming sensory changes. Eye movements are a paradigmatic example of a sensory change induced by the motor system. When we move our eyes, we perceive the outside world as stable, despite the presence of sudden shifts accompanying each eye movement, occurring on average every 300ms or less. I will showcase the use of modern computational modelling approaches to the study of sensory ambiguity, from a functional and behavioral perspective. Moreover, I will describe recent developments in computational neuroanatomy applied to the oculomotor network in human neocortex, as well as to clinically relevant neurological manifestations.
Biography Dr. Fracasso achieved the highest honours in both my BSc and MSc (Cognitive and Psychobiological Sciences, Department of Psychology, Padua, Italy) and later completed a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Trento (Italy). After PhD, he gained extensive experience on functional, structural MRI and computational modelling (e.g. population receptive field model, pRF), at 3 Tesla and 7 Tesla in Utrecht, The Netherlands (Utrecht University, Utrecht Medical Hospital) and Amsterdam (Spinoza Centre). In 2018, he joined the School of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Glasgow. Continuing his work on sensory-motor research and have expanded interests towards the neuroanatomical bases of clinical conditions such as schizophrenia and chronic arthritis.