Dr. Joachim Lange | The rhythms of temporal perception

MindBrainBody Lecture

Thomas J. Baumgarten, Ph.D | Effects of intrinsic and extrinsic neural activity changes on stimulus processing and perception

MindBrainBody Lecture

Dr Bastian Pietras | Cortical variability and pattern formation in exact neural field models

Guest Lecture

Professor Samuel J. Gershman | Using video games to reverse engineer human intelligence

Mind Meeting

Professor Svenja Caspers | Interindividual variability of brain phenotypes – towards population neuroimaging

Guest Lecture

Prof. Eleanor A. Maguire | Building mental representations: from scenes to events

Mind Meeting

Prof. Jens Meiler | Innovative Computational Methods for Protein Structure Prediction, Drug Discovery, and Therapeutic Design

Guest Lecture

PhD Louise P. Kirsch | What’s so special about touch? A multidimensional approach to study social touch

Guest Lecture

Prof. Russell Poldrack | What's wrong with neuroimaging research, and how can we make it right?

Guest Lecture

Dr Marlene Bönstrup | Low-frequency brain oscillations as a target for an on-demand brain stimulation in human motor rehabilitation

Cognitive Neurology Lecture

| Software Solutions for Modeling and Analyzing Brain Dynamics at Different Scales

Workshop

PhD Katherine Storrs | Learning About the World By Learning About Images

Guest Lecture
Computational visual neuroscience has come a long way in the past 10 years. For the first time, we have fully explicit, image-computable models that can recognise objects with near-human accuracy, and predict brain activity in high-level visual regions. I will present evidence that diverse deep neural network architectures all predict brain representations well, and that task-training and subsequent reweighting of model features is critical to this high performance. However, vision is not yet explained. The most successful models are deep neural networks that have been supervised using ground-truth labels for millions of images. Brains have no such access to the ground truth, and must instead learn directly from sensory data. Unsupervised deep learning, in which networks learn statistical regularities in their data by compressing, extrapolating or predicting images and videos, is an ecologically feasible alternative. I will show that an unsupervised deep network trained on an environment of 3D rendered surfaces with varying shape, material and illumination, spontaneously comes to encode those factors in its internal representations. Most strikingly, the network makes patterns of errors in its perception of material which follow, on an image-by-image basis, the patterns of errors made by human observers. Unsupervised deep learning may provide a coherent framework for how our perceptual dimensions arise. [more]

| Max Planck Sustainability Network "Climate Change of Mind"

Workshop
  • Start: May 26, 2020 13:30
  • End: May 27, 2020 19:30
  • Host: CBS GreenTeam
The aims of the meeting are: - Networking of all MPIs on sustainability - Exchange on and mutual support for various projects (setting up and organizing a sustainability group, exchanging ideas on measures, implementing measures, events on sustainability) - Election of the steering committee of the sustainability network - Climate Change of Mind: How can science drive the change towards more sustainable behaviour? How to communicate effectively and convincingly about climate change and sustainability? - Establishing a climate-friendly way of organizing scientific conferences virtually and interactively * For whom? All affiliates of the Max Planck Society with an interest in sustainability are invited. We would also be pleased if at least one representative from the existing sustainability groups would attend the meeting to share expertise and current projects. When registering, please also indicate whether you would be willing to give a one-hour workshop on a topic you (and your sustainability group) have already dealt with in order to share knowledge and experience. * When and where? On 26.5.20 from 1.30 pm to about 7:30 pm and on 27.5.20 from 1:30 pm to about 7:30 pm. Access to the virtual conference rooms and other platforms will be announced in a separate mail as soon as possible. * Costs The participation in the virtual meeting is of course free of charge. * Registration Please register by April 30th 2020 under the following link: https://survey3.gwdg.de/index.php?r=survey/index&sid=579528&lang=de * Election of the steering committee Interested parties can stand for election until May 26, 5 pm. The presentation of the candidates takes place at about 7 p,. All representatives of the local sustainability groups are entitled to vote. If you are a representative of your local sustainability group, please be sure to take part in the online election (from 26 May, 7:30 pm to 27 May, 12 noon). * Music We would like to weave in some small music contributions after certain items on the agenda so that also some personal notes mix into the virtual conference . If you would like to add a contribution of about 3 minutes please send as an e-mail beforehand. *Please note: All times and dates refer to Central European Summer Time. * Questions? If you have further questions, please contact us, the Green Team of the MPI CBS and the local organization team, at: green-team@cbs.mpg.de [more]

Professor Jon Simons | Insights from continuous retrieval measures into the precision of episodic memory

Mind Meeting

IMPRS NeuroCom Lecture Series "Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging"

IMPRS Lecture Series

Nicolas Boulant | Towards parallel transmission in routine with universal pulses

Guest Lecture

IMPRS NeuroCom Lecture Series "Neuroplasticity"

IMPRS Lecture Series

Prof. Dirk Bernhardt-Walther | Cross-modal perception of real-world scenes

Guest Lecture

Dr Andreas Horn | Connectomic Brain Stimulation

Guest Lecture

Prof. Ulrike Krämer | Impact of the stress system on eating behavior

Guest Lecture

Dr Erhan Genc | Breaking new ground in neuroscientific intelligence research: General knowledge and genetic correlates

Guest Lecture

Prof. Alison R. Preston | Hippocampal-prefrontal hierarchical representations of experience guide generalization and inference

Mind Meeting
Talk will be postponed [more]

Dr H.G.E. (Hil) Meijer | On activation functions and spatio-temporal patterns in neural fields

Guest Lecture

Professor Dr Bradley C. Love | A common mechanism for spatial and concept learning

Mind Meeting

Prof. Margaret A. Sheridan | Deprivation and threat, testing conceptual model of adversity exposure and developmental outcomes

Guest Lecture
Exposure to childhood adversity is common and associated with a host of negative developmental outcomes as well as differences in neural structure and function. It is commonly posited that these social experiences “get under the skin” in early childhood, increasing long-term risk through disruptions to biology. In this talk I propose a novel approach to studying the link between adversity, brain development, and risk for psychopathology, the dimensional model of adversity and psychopathology (DMAP). In this model we propose that adversity exposure can be defined according to different dimensions which we expect to impact health and well-being through different neural substrates. Whereas we expect deprivation to primarily disrupt function and structure of lateral association cortex (e.g., dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and superior parietal cortex) and thus complex cognitive processing such as executive functioning. In contrast, we expect threat to alter structure and function of subcortical structures such as the hippocampus and amygdala and midline regions associated with emotion regulation such as the ventral medial prefrontal cortex and thus, associated emotion reactivity and automatic regulation processes. In a series of studies I test the basic tenants of the DMAP concluding that initial evidence, using both a priori hypothesis testing and data-driven approaches is consistent with the proposed model. I conclude by describing future work addressing multiple dimensions of adversity and potential adjustments to the model. [more]

Rasmus Bruckner | Adaptive learning under uncertainty: Computational mechanisms and lifespan differences

Guest Lecture
Learning often takes place in environments, in which it is impossible to exactly know current and future outcomes. To successfully behave in such uncertain environments, humans have to learn appropriate beliefs from past experiences that can be used to predict desirable and undesirable outcomes. Drawing on optimal inference models and behavioural learning tasks, I will illustrate how learning under uncertainty should be regulated from a normative perspective and how learning deficits may emerge from deviations from these computations. I will show how human participants learn in the face of perceptual uncertainty and to which extent the ability to adjust learning in dynamically changing environments differs between age groups across the lifespan. Moreover, I will explore the possibility that the intricate computations to optimally adjust learning may often be simplified by resorting to heuristic strategies that are guided by previous choices. Finally, I will discuss some future directions that follow from these results. [more]

Dr Monika Schönauer | Imaging memory consolidation in wakefulness and sleep

Mind Meeting

PhD Peter Johannes Uhlhaas | Using Magnetoencephalography to Identify Circuit Dysfunctions and Biomarkers in Schizophrenia

Guest Lecture
A considerable body of work over the last 10 years combining non-invasive electrophysiology (electroencephalography/magnetoencephalography) in patient populations with preclinical research has contributed to the conceptualization of schizophrenia as a disorder associated with aberrant neural dynamics and disturbances in excitation/inhibition (E/I) balance parameters. Specifically, I will propose that recent technological and analytic advances in MEG provide novel opportunities to address these fundamental questions as well as establish important links with translational research. We have carried out several studies which have tested the importance of neural oscillations in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia through a combination of MEG-measurements in ScZ-patients and pharmacological manipulations in healthy volunteers which target the NMDA-receptor. These results highlight a pronounced impairment in high-frequency activity in both chronic and unmedicated patients which could provide novel insights into basic circuit mechanisms underlying cognitive and perceptual dysfunctions. However, acute Ketamine only partly recreates abnormalities observed in both resting-state and task-related neural oscillations in ScZ, suggesting potentially shortcoming of this pharmacological model for capturing large-scale network dysfunctions. Our recent work has employed MEG to develop a biomarker for early detection and diagnosis of ScZ. We have obtained MEG- and MRS-data from 125 participants meeting clinical high-risk criteria (CHR), 90 controls and 30 FEP-patients. We found marked changes in the synchrony of gamma-band oscillations in visual and auditory cortices during sensory processing which predicted clinical outcomes. In addition, CHR-participants were characterized by elevated broad-band gamma-band activity at rest which correlated with increased glutamate levels. Together, these findings highlight the potential of MEG-based biomarkers for the early diagnosis of ScZ in at-risk populations. [more]

PhD Hadas Okon-Singer | Cognitive-Emotional Biases in Psychopathology: Searching for New Treatment Strategies

Guest Lecture
Various psychological disorders are characterized by pronounced cognitive biases, including biased orienting of attention to certain stimuli, distorted expectation of the likelihood to encounter specific objects, biased interpretation of ambiguous information and biased perception. Although these biases are common in psychopathology, most of the studies so far focused on one bias by employing traditional analysis methods. Therefore, little is known about the correlational and causal relations between different biases and about combined patterns that may characterize certain disorders. In this talk, I will discuss recent behavioral, fMRI and autonomic data showing links between biases, as well as modulation of biased emotional processing in different populations. Moreover, by employing machine-learning based analysis, we managed to specify specific behavioral patterns that characterize anxiety vs. depression, two disorders that share many characteristics and show high comorbidity. Finally, I will discuss recent evidence for abnormalities in the blood pressure reaction to aversive pictures among individuals with pre- hypertension, a population that is usually not studied in the context of psychological reactions. Taken together, these findings suggest new strategies to explore and treat maladaptive behaviors that have fundamental implications on the patients’ life. [more]

Prof. György Buzsáki | Mind the brain: What do we want to understand

Mind Meeting
Multisensory integration does not only recruit higher-level association cortex, but also primary sensory cortices like A1 (auditory), S1 (somatosensory), and V1 (visual). The underlying anatomical pathways, which might preferentially serve short-latency integration processes, include direct thalamocortical and corticocortical connections across the senses. We investigated how these multisensory connections develop over the individual’s lifespan and how early sensory deprivation alters them. Using tracer injections into A1, S1, and V1 of a rodent model (Mongolian gerbil) we could show that multisensory thalamocortical connections emerge before corticocortical connections but mostly disappear towards the end of the critical sensory period. Early auditory, somatosensory, or visual deprivation increases multisensory connections via axonal reorganization processes mediated by non-lemniscal thalamic nuclei and the primary areas themselves. Functional imaging reveals a mostly reduced stimulus-induced activity but a higher functional connectivity specifically between primary areas in deprived animals. In adult animals, primary sensory cortices receive substantial inputs from thalamic nuclei and cortical areas of non-matched sensory modalities. In very old animals, these multisensory connections strongly decrease in number or vanish entirely. This is likely due to a retraction of the projection neuron axonal branches and is accompanied by changes in anatomical correlates of inhibition and excitation in the sensory thalamus and cortex. Together, we show that during early development, intracortical multisensory connections are formed as a consequence of sensory driven multisensory thalamocortical activity and that during aging, multisensory processing is probably shifted from primary cortices towards other sensory brain areas. [more]

Prof. Costantino Iadecola | The Vascular Biology of Dementia

Guest Lecture

Dr Gabriel Ziegler | Brain changes during the transition from adolescence into adulthood

Guest Lecture

PhD Yasemin Vardar | Tactile perception of electrovibration displayed on touchscreens

Guest Lecture

Prof. Jan Born | About the memory function of sleep

Mind Meeting

Prof. Chet Sherwood | Great Apes as Models for Understanding Human Brain Evolution

Guest Lecture

Dr Yifei He | Exploring gesture-speech interaction using multimodal neuroscientific methods: a translational perspective

Guest Lecture
Today only seven percent of the subcortical structures listed by the Federative Community on Anatomical Terminology (FCAT, 1998) are depicted in available standard MRI-atlases (Forstmann et al., 2016). As a consequence, the remaining 423 subcortical structures cannot be studied using automated analysis protocols available for MRI and therefore require trained anatomists for the study of subcortical brain areas: The human subcortex is notoriously difficult to visualize and analyze with functional magnetic resonance imaging. In this talk, exciting technical advances are presented that allow charting terra incognita; the human subcortex. Closing the knowledge-gap of the human subcortex has already resulted in the re-evaluation of prominent models in the cognitive neurosciences such as the functional role of cortico-basal ganglia loops in decision-making. I will discuss the emerging possibilities of novel human neuroanatomical approaches and directions for the incorporation of these data within the field of model-based cognitive neuroscience. [more]

PhD Juergen Dukart | Improving reliability, replicability and interpretability of neuroimaging research – Bridging neuroimaging and underlying biology

Guest Lecture
Recent studies have questioned the reliability of many functional neuroimaging findings reported in the literature over the past decades. In my talk I will illustrate how novel analytic workflows (Dukart et al., 2018, Scientific Reports; Holiga et al. 2019, Science Translational Medicine) may overcome some of the critical limitations of functional neuroimaging analyses improving the reliability of the methods as well as providing an improved interpretation of potential signals with respect to underlying biology and for identification of biomarkers for neurological and psychiatric diseases. [more]

Dr Denis A. Engemann | Large-scale analysis of electrophysiology data in cognitive neurology

Guest Lecture

Dr Nikolai I. Avdievich | Improvement of Central SNR and Transmit Coverage of a Human Head Phased Array at Ultra-High Field Using Dipole Antennas

Guest Lecture
The first part of the presentation deals with an improvement of the central SNR of human head array at ultra-high magnetic fields (UHF, > 7T). Increasing the number of surface loops in a human head receive (Rx) array improves the peripheral signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), while SNR near the brain center doesn’t substantially change. Recent theoretical works demonstrated that an optimal central SNR at UHF requires contribution of two current patterns associated with a combination of surface loops and dipole antennas. Use of various dipole antennas as MRI RF detectors has been recently introduced and successfully implemented mostly for imaging human body sized objects. In this work, we evaluated and compared several Rx dipole-like elements for use within human head UHF Rx-array. We constructed and characterized novel single-row and double-row phased arrays, which consisted of transceiver (TxRx) surface loops and Rx-dipoles. We demonstrated that combining surface loops and dipole-like elements substantially (> 30%) improve SNR near the brain center as compare to arrays consisted of surface loops only. The second part of the presentation discusses an improvement of the transmit (Tx) coverage of the human head array coils. Due to a substantial shortening of the RF wave length (below 15 cm at 7 T), RF magnetic field at UHF has a specific Tx excitation pattern with strongly decreased (more than 2 times) values at the periphery of a human head. This effect is seen not only in the transversal slice but also in the coronal and sagittal slices, which considerably limits the longitudinal Tx-coverage (along the magnet’s axis) of conventional surface loop head arrays. In this work, we developed a novel human head UHF array consisted of 8 TxRx folded dipole antennas circumscribing a head. Due to an asymmetrical shape of dipole elements, the array couples to the intrinsic “dielectric resonance” mode of the head. Due to this interaction, firstly, the new array provides for a simple way of minimizing the maximum local SAR. Secondly, it provides for a longitudinal coverage better than that achieved by a similar array consisted of unfolded dipoles as well as by an 8-element single-row and 16-element double-row surface loop arrays. [more]

Dr Patricia Lockwood | Neurocomputational basis of social learning and decision-making

Guest Lecture

Dr Lei Zhang | Multiple facets of social influence in goal-directed learning

Guest Lecture

Prof. Nicholas Turk-Browne | Rethinking memory systems for statistical learning

Mind Meeting

Dr Els C.M. van Rooij | The mental health crisis in doctoral education

Guest Lecture

Prof. Soyoung Q Park | Motives and modulators of human decision making

Guest Lecture
What drives us to trust someone we just met? Did we eat spaghetti for lunch because we saw our colleague eat spaghetti? Can we become happier when we are nicer to our neighbors? How does the content of our breakfast have anything to do with our social interactions throughout the day? Research from different disciplines such as economics, psychology and neuroscience have attempted to investigate the motives and modulators of human decision making. Our decisions can be flexibly modulated by the different experiences we have in our daily lives. These modulations can occur through our social networks, through the impact of our own behavior on the social environment, but also simply by the food we have eaten. Here, I will present a series of recent studies from my lab in which we shed light on the psychological, neural and metabolic motives and modulators of human decision making. [more]

Prof. Karen Emmorey | Neural effects (and non-effects) of iconicity in sign language

Guest Lecture

Nace Mikus | Computational phenotyping of dopaminergic manipulations

Guest Lecture
The dopaminergic circuits lie at the core of learning and motivational processes through which we are able to form predictions about the future and take action accordingly. Studies in animals have shown that midbrain dopaminergic neurons projecting to the striatum signal events in the environment that deviate from what we expect. A prevalent model of the dopaminergic function suggests that these so-called prediction errors –propagated by the D1 dopamine receptors to cortical areas – modulate synaptic plasticity and thereby facilitate learning and initiation of action. While D2 dopamine receptors in the striatum as well as prefrontal striatal projection regulate and modulate this signal propagation. How this neurobiological model of dopaminergic activity relates to behaviour has been difficult to address. In my talk I will present several pharmacogenetic studies that map manipulations of the dopaminergic system on to various computational phenotypes. First of all, we are interested in the role of dopamine in updating beliefs in a social as well as a non-social context. And second, we explored dopamine’s involvement in model-based decision making. Specifically, how does blocking D2 transmission affect our ability to keep the regularities and knowledge about the world online as we make decisions and learn about the states of the world that are not directly observed? [more]

Prof. Kenneth Norman | Computational principles of event memory

Mind Meeting

Dr Alain Dagher | Models of neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s Disease: testing the prion hypothesis

Guest Lecture

PhD Johanna Vannesjo | Magnetic field matters in ultra-high field neuroimaging

Guest Lecture

Dr Eric Schulz | Using structure to explore efficiently

Guest Lecture

Dr Mariam Aly | How hippocampal memory shapes, and is shaped by, attention

Mind Meeting

Dr Carmen Vidaurre | Brain-computer interface and sensorimotor oscillations: novel perspectives and methods

Guest Lecture

Dr Christoph Korn | Modelling multistep reward-based decisions and social learning about other persons’ character traits

Guest Lecture

Dr Maria Wimber | Tracking the neural footprints of memories over time

Mind Meeting

Dr Marc Tittgemeyer | Food Intake in Control of Cognition or Cognition in Control of Food Intake? A bottom-up perspective on cognitive processes underlying food intake regulation

Guest Lecture

Prof. Dominik R. Bach | Action-selection under threat: Algorithms and neural circuits for survival

Guest Lecture

Prof. Dirk Ostwald | The neurocomputational mechanisms of human sequential decision making under uncertainty in a spatial search task

Guest Lecture

Prof. Markus Werkle-Bergner | Towards understanding the triage of sleep, memory, and brain development: Potentials and challenges

Guest Lecture

Dr Caswell Barry | Contribution of grid cells to spatial navigation

Mind Meeting

Prof. John T. Hale | Modeling neural time courses with linguistic structure

Guest Lecture
Organizers are Prof. Nikolaus Weiskopf, Prof. Harald Moeller, Dr Esther Kuehn, Dr Robert Trampel, and Daniel Haenelt. [more]

Dr Martin Hebart | Towards a comprehensive understanding of mental representations and categorical decisions about real-world objects

Guest Lecture

Prof. Aviv Mezer | Identifying white-matter pathways using quantitative MRI

Guest Lecture

Professor Carlos A. Aguilar-Salinas | "Peculiarities of diabetes in Mexico"

Guest Lecture

Dr Nicolas Schuck | The role of task states and offline sampling in decision making and learning

Mind Meeting

Prof. Markus Kiefer | Grounded cognition: Foundations of conceptual representations in the sensory and motor systems

Guest Lecture

| Zukunftstag "Auf ins Gehirn!"

Science goes public

Dr Zsolt Turi | Prospective electric field estimation method for dosing repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in humans

Guest Lecture

Dr Ian Charest | Tracking object representations in the brain

Guest Lecture

Dr Romina Mizrahi | Molecular imaging studies in psychosis and psychosis risk

Guest Lecture

G. Allan Johnson, Ph.D. | Connectomic Histology

Guest Lecture

Sliman Bensmaia, PhD | Biological and Bionic hands: Natural neural coding and artificial perception

Guest Lecture

Prof. Peter Gärdenfors | Conceptual spaces as a model of mental representations

Mind Meeting

Prof. Stefan Heim | If so few are "many" – how many are "few"? The neurocogntion of quantifier processing

Guest Lecture

Prof. Gustaf Gredebäck | Infant’s actions broaden their mind

Guest Lecture

PD Dr Gabriele Lohmann | Statistical inference and new approaches to eigenvector centrality mapping for fMRI at 3T and beyond

Guest Lecture

Dr Gunnar Waterstraat | Evoked somatosensory high-frequency oscillations as model potentials to study human cortical population spikes non-invasively

Guest Lecture

Prof. Thomas Suddendorf | Emerging foresight

Guest Lecture

Prof. Bernard Mazoyer | Brain hemispheric specialization: recent advances with the BIL&GIN database

Guest Lecture

Prof. David Copland | Testing neurobiological predictors and principles of aphasia recovery

Guest Lecture

Dr. Ruth Percik | A Novel Therapeutic Approach to Obesity: CNS Modification by N.I.R. H.E.G. Neurofeedback

Guest Lecture
Despite the thorough mapping of brain pathways involved in eating behavior, no treatment aimed at modulating eating dysregulation has been established yet. Aiming for a feasible brain-modulation tool, we evaluated N.I.R. H.E.G. (Near Infra-Red Hemoencephalography) neurofeedback training on appetite control, weight and food-related brain activity. Following the intervention, we observed trends of increased self-control related to food, weight reduction and increased activation of sOFC during a response-inhibition fMRI task. N.I.R. H.E.G. holds a promising potential as a feasible neurofeedback platform for modulation of cortical brain circuits involved in self-control and eating behavior. This is an invitation for further evaluation and development of N.I.R. H.E.G. as a brain modifying device for the treatment and prevention of obesity. Based on: A pilot study of a novel therapeutic approach to obesity: CNS modification by N.I.R. H.E.G. neurofeedback Clin Nutr. 2018 Feb 7. pii: S0261-5614(18)30043-8. Percik R, Cina J, Even B, Gitler A, Geva D, Seluk L, Livny A [more]

PhD Markus D. Schirmer | Spatial effects of white matter hyperintensity disease burden from clinical stroke populations

Guest Lecture
The identification of biomarkers. which can help predict disease outcome. remains one of the most promising research areas across a variety of diseases. Particularly. studying the spatial distribution of underlying disease burden may provide important insights into pathological patterns. Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. however. it remains largely understudied in the acute setting due to time restrictions during data acquisition and the resulting low resolution magnetic resonance images. This has made outcome prediction particularly difficult. as it leads to heterogeneity in the data and/or methodologies between studies. One of the key phenotypes of stroke research is a patient's white matter hyperintensity (WMH) burden. most commonly assessed using FLAIR images. which has been linked to stroke outcome. Studies often rely on measuring the total burden and summarize it as a single number: it’s volume. based on manual outlines on a patient’s scan. The lack of an automated segmentation methodology for clinical data has so far hindered large-scale. reproducible investigations. In the first part of this talk. we present an automated pipeline for monomodal automatic WMH segmentation. which can alleviate some of these challenges. Specifically. we demonstrate it's efficacy for volume estimation in a cohort of 2.533 patients. showing the association between higher WMH burden and poorer outcome after stroke (p<0.001). In the second half of this talk. we demonstrate the use of WMH segmentations for investigating spatial WMH disease burden and how other clinical variables can modify these patterns. In particular. we demonstrate effects for hypertension and smoking status. and show that these clinical variables lead to a shift of disease burden from posterior to anterior vascular regions (p<0.05 and p<0.01. respectively). This illustrates the potential of uncovering spatial variations of disease patterns by using large-scale cohorts. [more]

Dr Stefanie Peykarjou | Employing FPVS tasks to study cognitive development

Guest Lecture

Dr Radoslaw Martin Cichy | Dynamics of visual cognition: A spatio-temporally resolved and algorithmically explicit account

Guest Lecture

Prof. Andreas Nieder | The role of frontal lobe areas in controlling vocalizations in primates

Guest Lecture

Prof. Gerd Schulte-Körne | Neurobiological and genetic origins of developmental dyslexia.

Guest Lecture

Dr Giacomo Novembre | Saliency detection as a reactive process: unexpected sensory events evoke cortico-muscular coupling

Guest Lecture

Dr Wojciech Samek | Interpretable Deep Learning & its Applications in the Neurosciences

Guest Lecture

Dr Tim B. Dyrby | Multi-scale imaging of the brain network: From brain networks to microstructure

Guest Lecture
Diffusion MRI enables insights into brain structure at different anatomical length scales. Although of its relative coarse millimetre image resolution it can provide a direct insight into the brain network via tractography. However, the microstructural environment such as axons can only be observed indirectly from a combination of the MRI sequence and biophysical modelling. Validation allows us to questioning the MRI sequence-biophysical modelling framework and its results that are based on assumptions on what we believe to be the ground truth. In this lecture, I will first discuss if it is possible simply by changing key sequence parameters of dMRI (b-value, directions and image resolution) to improve structural connectivity (SC) compared with tracers? Then, I will discuss axon diameter estimation with diffusion MRI, and the validation challenges we have to understand its observed deviation between the ground truth of today being 2D validation methods. [more]

Prof. Michael T. Ullman | Language learning relies on brain circuits that predate humans: Evidence from typical and atypical language development

Guest Lecture

PhD Masaki Fukunaga | Brain microstructure and function using ultra high field MRI

Guest Lecture
The observation of the living body by the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) depends on the spatial resolution and signal noise ratio (SNR), as well as relaxation time and contrast which is a tissue parameter. The advent of 7 tesla (T) ultra high field MR technology provides unprecedented capabilities for non-invasive imaging of human and animal model brain. This technical ability encompasses a range of functional and structural domains, as well as new opportunities for quantifying neurochemicals using spectroscopic techniques. In addition, increasing the static magnetic field strength promotes signal phase dispersion and shift. Predicted benefits included a stronger Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) effect which is used for detecting brain activity, improved signal and contrast-to-noise (CNR) ratio. By using optimal measurement techniques, improved CNR provides the delineation of the brain microstructure including laminar structure in cortex in vivo. In this talk, I'd like to present our experiences of 7T human brain imaging, especially in high resolution susceptibility imaging and somatotopic fMRI studies. [more]

Prof. Felix Blankenburg | From Tactile Perception via Working Memory to Decision Making and Action

Guest Lecture

Dr Vanessa Scholz | Understanding motivational biases in decision making – Individual differences and the role of psychiatric symptoms

Guest Lecture

Dr Elena Kleban | Probing the myelin water and venous compartments using non-linear signal phase evolution

Guest Lecture

Dr Julian Keil | Neural correlates of audiovisual illusions: What’s next?

Guest Lecture
We constantly receive information from our environment that we need to evaluate and integrate, in order to form an individually coherent image in our mind. In the last few years, a number of empirical findings have indicated that the functional state of the brain influences this information processing. For example the power and phase of local cortical areas as well as the functional connectivity between cortical areas have been shown to be relevant for the processing of unisensory and multisensory stimuli. In this talk, I will summarize the recent literature on the neural mechanisms underlying multisensory processing, focusing on neural oscillations. I propose that different frequency band oscillations subserve complementary mechanisms of multisensory processing. I will then outline open questions in this research, with a focus on the role of concurrent cognitive processes, attention, expectations and emotions. [more]

Pia Schroeder | Neural basis of somatosensory target detection: From local interactions to frontoparietal networks

Guest Lecture
The scientific study of somatosensory awareness has yielded highly diverse findings with putative neural correlates ranging from local interactions within somatosensory cortices to activation of widely distributed frontoparietal networks. A potential source of these divergent results may reside in latent cognitive processes that often coincide with stimulus awareness in experimental settings. In fact, the most commonly employed experimental paradigm, the near-threshold somatosensory detection task, may conflate somatosensory awareness with processing of stimulus uncertainty, overt reports, and motor planning. To elucidate the contribution of these processes to neural activity commonly assumed to reflect somatosensory awareness, we employed a novel somatosensory detection task in combination with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants received electrical target stimuli at intensities spanning the full range of their psychometric functions to vary stimulus uncertainty while maintaining spontaneous fluctuations in stimulus awareness. Instead of directly reporting target detection, participants assessed the congruence of their somatosensory percepts with simultaneously presented visual reference cues and reported a match or mismatch by making saccadic eye movements, such that target detection was decorrelated from overt reports and motor planning. Using a Bayesian analysis approach, we track the transformation from physical to perceptual stimulus representations along the somatosensory hierarchy. We show that the emergence of stimulus awareness is largely restricted to somatosensory regions, whereas activity in frontal and parietal areas is best explained by stimulus uncertainty and overt reports. Our results emphasize the role of early sensory cortex for conscious perception and dissect the contribution of the frontoparietal network to classical detection tasks. [more]

Prof. Martin von Bergen | Multi-omics analysis of microbiome mediated health effects

Guest Lecture

Dr Stephanie Wong | A new framework for conceptualizing symptoms in frontotemporal dementia: From animal models to the clinic

Guest Lecture
The human brain fascinates scientists and humanists alike. Neuroscientific perspectives from such diverse disciplines foster our understanding of unique human capacities and traits. The workshop gives insights from neuroimaging, computational modeling, brain-computer interfacing, brain stimulation, and intracranial recording. We will meet with experts of in vitro and in vivo histology, and optogenetics. And we will learn from songbirds, and from the brains evolution. Crossing boundaries is a balance act, and a way to still the desire for scrutinizing the neural control of speech. [more]

Dr Natalie Uomini | Paleoneurology and functional brain imaging to study the evolution of tools and language

Guest Lecture

Dr Guido Seddone | On the Neurobiological Requisites of Language Codification

Guest Lecture
In this talk I will focus on the relation between the biological premises of the mind and the appropriate use of the languages. I will maintain that language acquisition and its correct deployment do not merely rely on the cerebral activities but that they are rather determined by a self-conscious process of codification of practices, uses and information about the outer world by which the rational subject masteries the brain processing itself. Consequently, the brain activities that can be empirically observed and described by natural laws are the outcome of a self-aware governance of the biological requisites by the codification of both the formal and the natural languages and by the constitution of the person as an individual whose linguistic competencies are acknowledged. The advantage of this approach consists in avoiding to represent the brain features as a bare natural phenomenon determined by external causes and to deliver a conception of the cognitive and linguistic faculties as the outcome of the autonomous, social and self-aware embodiment of cognitive skills ruling from within the biological cerebral activity. I will eventually challenge the idea that language understanding is computational and underlie the autonomous and self-aware character of the cognitive disposition. [more]

Prof. Ralf Deichmann | MR Imaging methods for measuring brain tissue parameters: Technical challenges and applications

Guest Lecture
There is an increasing number of research studies that are based on quantitative MR imaging (qMRI) techniques for the direct mapping of brain tissue properties. The parameters most frequently mapped are the water content or proton density (PD) and the relaxation times (T1, T2, T2*). An important application of qMRI is the construction of synthetic anatomical data sets with novel contrasts. In clinical studies, the careful evaluation of qMRI data allows for the detection of diffuse pathologies in normal appearing brain tissue. However, the design of reliable mapping methods is technically challenging as various secondary effects have to be compensated for to avoid a residual bias in the data. In the presentation, some of the most prominent qMRI techniques will be shortly described. There will be a special focus on the application of qMRI in clinical research, in particular for Tumour Imaging, in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and in Epilepsy. [more]

Dr Uku Vainik | Unifying the many neurocognitive traits associated with obesity: Uncontrolled Eating

Guest Lecture
Many eating-related psychological constructs have been proposed to explain obesity and over-eating. However, these constructs, including food addiction, disinhibition, hedonic hunger, emotional eating, binge eating, and the like all have similar definitions, emphasising loss of control over intake. As questionnaires measuring the constructs correlate strongly (r>0.5) with each other, we propose that these constructs should be reconsidered to be part of a single broad phenotype: Uncontrolled Eating (UE). Such an approach enables reviewing and meta-analysing evidence obtained with each individual questionnaire. Here, we describe robust associations between UE, body mass index (BMI), food intake, psychological traits, and brain systems. Reviewing cross-sectional and longitudinal data, we show that UE is phenotypically and genetically intertwined with BMI and food intake. We also review evidence on how three independent psychological constructs may contribute to UE: heightened food reward sensitivity, lower self-control, and higher negative affect. UE mediates all three constructs’ associations with BMI and food intake. Finally, we review and meta-analyse brain systems subserving UE: namely, (i) the dopamine mesolimbic circuit associated with reward sensitivity, (ii) frontal cognitive networks sustaining dietary self-control, and (iii) the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, amygdala and hippocampus supporting stress reactivity. While there are limits to the explanatory and predictive power of the UE phenotype, we conclude that treating different eating-related constructs as a single concept, UE, enables drawing robust conclusions on the relationship between food intake and BMI, psychological variables, and brain structure and function. [more]

Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften

Science goes public
On 22nd July 2018 many research institutes in Leipzig will open their doors. Our institute also invites visitors to find out more about our how our memory works, our perception of pain, and how we acquire language. [more]

PhD Guido Nolte | Understanding Phase Amplitude Coupling from Bi-spectral Analysis

Guest Lecture

Prof. Christoph S. Herrmann | Transcranial alternating current stimulation: Models, EEG/MEG, and cognition

Guest Lecture

Prof. Cornelius Borck | From neuroimaging to in-vivo histology: does a new realism in visualization threaten critical neuroscience?

Guest Lecture
Over the last couple of years, the public fascination about colorful brain images seems to have a little waned and also expectations that social neuroscience will soon replace psychology. In this situation, the availability of in-vivo histology – in itself certainly a highly valuable method to validate imaging data and to search for objective pathological criteria – may have a problematic sociopolitical effect: Offering in-vivo anatomical information of new quality may foster unjustified trust in more problematic applications of neuroimaging. The talk will discuss this issue in light of shifting trends over the last decades: The availability of new technologies for visualizing brain activity generated some 25 years ago expectations to identify the centers responsible for all psychic states and to “reduce” mental processes to neuronal states – a project spurring harsh critiques from philosophy and cultural studies. With the visualization of more sophisticated phenomena, social and cultural neuroscience emerged, replacing overstated reductionist claims by integrating sociocultural aspects into neuroimaging but kindling “critical neuroscience” to question implicit essentialist assumptions. The new realism of in-vivo histology poses the question whether it will undermine concerns about the societal applications of neuroimaging. [more]

Prof. Gareth Barnes | A new generation of MEG scanners

Guest Lecture
I will talk about collaborative work between University College London and the University of Nottingham to use optically pumped magnetometers (OPMs) for human brain imaging. These sensors have comparable sensitivity to current cryogenic devices but do not require cooling. This means that the sensor array can be worn (rather than climbed into) and the smaller separation between sensor and brain means optimal (and improved) signal to noise ratio in all subject cohorts. I will talk about our initial modelling and experimental work with these new sensors. One of the exciting advances has been to keep these arrays operational during head-movement through a static magnetic field. This has opened up many new clinical and neuroscientific possibilities and I will talk about some of our experiences with these new paradigms. [more]

Prof. Andrea Moro | Inner Speech, Generalized Merge and the Architecture of the Language Faculty.

Guest Lecture
When is sound paired with meaning during language production? The exploration of inner speech offers a unique opportunity to approach this fundamental question, allowing a general reflection on the architecture of human language structure and its evolution. Recent experiments based on awake surgery techniques show that during language production the code exploited by neurons contains acoustic information even in non-acoustic areas such as Broca’s area and even during inner speech (Magrassi et al. 2014), that is without externalization (Chomsky 2013, Friederici et al. 2018). After illustrating these results and their implications I will highlight the surprising convergence with an independent proposal predicting these findings from the point of view of a purely formal theory aiming at explaining some apparently idiosyncratic morphological properties of the English verb system (Kayne 2016). Further speculation on Merge and clause structure will be addressed according to the results described here (Moro 2004). [more]

Dr Robert Nadon | Incentives, transparency, and personal responsibility in biomedical research

Guest Lecture

Dr Guido Seddone | Mind as an Embodied Faculty: on the Biological Interdependence of Mind and Brain

Guest Lecture

Dr Steffen R. Hage | Neural and behavioral correlates for cognitive control of vocal output in non-human primates

Guest Lecture

Girls' Day 2018 Auf ins Gehirn!

Science goes public
  • Date: Apr 26, 2018
  • Time: 08:45 - 15:00
Auf ins Gehirn! Was passiert in unserem Gehirn, während wir denken? Warum wird es für das Gehirn immer anstrengender, sich an etwas zu erinnern, wenn wir älter werden? Und wie ist es überhaupt möglich, in unser Gehirn zu schauen? Wenn Euch solche und andere Fragen rund um unser Denkorgan schon lange unter den Nägeln brennen, dann schaut bei uns am Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften vorbei. Ob Neurologen, Psychologen, Physiker oder IT-Experten - wir alle arbeiten für die Forschung rund um unser Gehirn und wollen Euch dieses äußerst spannende, vielfältige Arbeitsfeld vorstellen und Euch zeigen, wie unsere Alltage aussehen. Wir laden Euch herzlich ein, zwei unserer Stationen auszuwählen und Euch bei Frau Ketscher dafür anzumelden: www.girls-day.de [more]

Prof. Charles Yang | The Learning of Linguistic Rules

Guest Lecture

Professor Gil Gregor Westmeyer | Towards molecular reporters for MR neuroimaging in preclinical models

Guest Lecture

Dr Stefan Elmer | The multifaceted influence of music training on speech processing and word learning

Guest Lecture

Sanne Rutten | Contextual effects on the neural encoding of speech in the auditory cortex

Guest Lecture
The way speech is processed is under influence of acoustic attention; however how attention modulates the processing of specific acoustic information embedded in speech sounds remains largely unknown. During this talk I will present the results of a 7 Tesla fMRI study in which we examined how top-down effects change the neural representations of task-relevant acoustic information during the processing of speech. Additionally, I will show how we currently apply the same approach to examine functional alterations in the processing of speech in dyslexic individuals. [more]

Maximilian Friehs | Neuromodulation via tDCS - Modification of cognitive control processes

Guest Lecture

Prof. Soyoung Park | The motives and modulators of decision making

Guest Lecture

Dr Michael Tangermann | Oscillatory and evoked components of the EEG and how to put them to use in stroke rehabilitation

Guest Lecture
Interacting with an individual brain in closed loop can open the door for detailed introspection into sensorimotor and cognitive processes. However, closed-loop paradigms require data analysis methods capable of decoding neural components of interest in single-trial, despite of low signal-to-noise ratio and non-stationarity. In my talk, I will report on two novel algorithmic developments of my lab. The methods allow for the robust supervised regression of informative oscillatory components of the EEG and the unsupervised classification of evoked potentials. Then I will show, how the derived components can be exploited in two brain state informed stroke therapy paradigms, which are designed to train up (1) hand motor performance and (2) the language network of chronic aphasic patients after stroke. [more]

Dr Christian Kell | Time after time - endogenous neural clocks serving information coding and perception

Guest Lecture

Prof. William F. Colmers | ​​NPY, Stress and Resilience

Guest Lecture
Responding to stress is adaptive for most complex organisms, aiding survival by temporarily mobilizing resources to let the organism better flee or defend itself in response to a perceived threat. Once the threat is ended, the response normally subsides, allowing the organism to pursue other key survival activities. But if the stress response never reverses, or is triggered inappropriately, as with extreme stressors such as trauma, it may lead to psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and PTSD. Some individuals, like Special Forces soldiers, are inherently resilient to most stressors. Such resilient individuals have higher levels of Neuropeptide Y (NPY) in their blood and CSF. Experimental injections of NPY into brain ventricles or into the amygdala of rodents can induce an acute resilience to stress and a prolonged (weeks to months) period of resilience with just a few repeated treatments. Conversely, the stress hormone, Corticotrophin Releasing Factor (CRF), respectively causes acute and prolonged vulnerability to stress when injected acutely or repeatedly into the same brain structures. Activity of projection neurons (PNs) in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) mediates fear and anxiety responses, and reducing PN activity reduces both. Earlier work from the Colmers and Urban laboratories demonstrated opposing actions of NPY and CRF on BLA PN excitability: NPY acutely hyperpolarized these cells, while CRF acutely depolarized them. The mechanism was unusual, in that NPY reduced a membrane ion current, the H-current (Ih), while CRF activated it. Because Ih is hyperpolarization-activated, it is active at the resting potential, so by closing Ih, NPY hyperpolarizes PNs, while CRF opening it depolarizes them. Repeated (5 x daily) injection of NPY causes stress resilience in rats (seen as increased social interaction) persisting longer than 4 weeks. BLA PNs from NPY-treated animals were hyperpolarized at 4W, exhibiting a relative marked loss of Ih and correlating with reductions in mRNA and protein levels for HCN1, the Ih channel subunit in these cells. shRNA knockdown of HCN1 in BLA caused long-term behavioral stress resilience, indicating HCN1’s role in behavior. Using a novel organotypic slice culture system of the BLA, we studied mechanisms underlying long-term changes, mimicking the repeated application of NPY and receptor-selective agonists. Briefly, NPY did reduce Ih in these cells,but more prominently reduced the extent of BLA PN dcendrites, while CRF increased them (as is known to happen in vivo both with CRF and stress). Studies in BLA from NPY-treated rats confirmed the reduction in dendritic trees in vivo. The NPY Y5 receptor mediates the long-term changes, and requires calcineurin and the autophagic pathway to do so, while the CRFR1 receptor is involved in the increase, and requires CaMKII. Because the work wasa all done in male rats, ongoing work is determining if the same actions of NPY and CRF occur in female BLA. [more]

Dr Nicola Molinaro | Delta vs. theta speech entrainment: MEG evidence from typical and atypical language users

Guest Lecture

Linda Drijvers | The neural mechanisms of how iconic gestures boost degraded speech comprehension in native and non-native listeners

Guest Lecture

Dr Naomi Havron | Syntactic adaptation as a mechanism that drives and supports language acquisition

Guest Lecture

Dr Bernadette Van Wijk | Normal and abnormal oscillations in the cortico-basal ganglia network revealed by deep brain stimulation recordings

Guest Lecture
Deep brain stimulation treatment allows for the recording of local field potentials in the subthalamic nucleus of patients with Parkinson’s disease. This has revealed that beta band oscillations (13-30Hz) are a hallmark of the disease. In this presentation, I will first show how beta band oscillations relate to Parkinsonian symptoms. Their coupling with high-frequency oscillations (HFO, 150-400Hz) might be an important clue in order to understand how they lead to movement impairment. However, little is known about the neuronal origin of these HFO. We investigated whether they are likely to arise from the same cell populations as beta oscillations using intra-operative recordings. This involved localization of electrode contacts on post-operative MRI scans and warping to MNI space for group-level results. Finally, in the last part of the talk I will present our efforts to study the effect of dopaminergic medication on synaptic coupling strengths within the cortico-basal ganglia circuit using dynamic causal modelling. [more]

Dr Yukie Nagai | Predictive Learning: A computational theory that accounts for social cognitive development

Guest Lecture

Dr Marie-Luise Brandi | Simulating social gaze: A paradigm to study gaze-based social interaction

Guest Lecture

Prof. Ursula van Rienen | Computational studies on the volume of activated tissue in deep brain stimulation

Guest Lecture

Dr Andreas Spiegler | Stimulation in large-scale brain network models

Guest Lecture

PhD Jongho Lee | Imaging myelin and iron in the brain

Guest Lecture

Prof. Gregory Kobele | Relating linguistics and the brain

Guest Lecture
This follow-up event will provide the opportunity for collaborative interaction between participants to address the themes of the prior workshop through hands-on software development and data analysis. [more]
Building on recent advances in mapping the distinct areas and interconnected systems of the cerebral cortex, this workshop aims to explore the significance of their spatial arrangement. What principles underlie cortical organization on a broad scale, and how do these patterns provide insight into the mechanisms of cortical development and function? To explore these questions, we invite perspectives from neuroimaging, computational modeling, comparative neuroanatomy, genetics, machine learning and cognitive neuroscience to a shared discussion. [more]

Lorijn Zaadnoordijk, MSc | Discovering structure in the confusion: The emerging sense of agency

Guest Lecture

Dr Romi Zäske | Neural correlates of voice learning and recognition

Guest Lecture
Listeners can recognize familiar speakers from their voices alone with remarkable accuracy and across a wide range of utterances. However, itis relatively unknown how, when, and under which conditions voices become familiar. Here, I will give an overview of recent EEG and fMRI studies from our lab using recognition memory paradigms to unravel the neural mechanisms of voice learning and subsequent recognition under conditions pertaining to the speech material, speaker and listener age as well as attentional factors. In two studies we showed that following learning of unfamiliar voices by means of brief sentences, voices can be recognized among novel voices, even from previously unheard sentences. This suggests the successful acquisition of speech-invariant voice representations. In the EEG, learned compared to novel voices elicited a suppression in beta-band oscillations from ~300 ms following voice onset independent of speech content, indicating the detection of newly-learned speaker identities at test. In fMRI, explicit voice recognition independent of speech content recruited both voice-sensitive cortex areas of the right superior temporal gyrus and extra-temporal areas including the right inferior frontal cortex. Furthermore, our research on the role of speaker and listener age shows that both young and old adult listeners are better at learning old compared to young voices – an effect possibly related to the distinctiveness of old voices. Finally, I will present data suggesting that successful voice recognition is enhanced by intentional learning and is partly dissociable from non-intentional learning in ERP patterns during learning (from ~250 sm) and recognition (from ~500 ms). Overall, these studies mutually show that newly-learned voices can be recognized following only a few voice repetitions by means of brief sentence stimuli, and that voice learning is modulated by characteristics of the stimulus material and top-down mechanisms as reflected both in behavioral and neurophysiological measures. [more]

PhD Andrea Martin | Linking linguistic and cortical computation via hierarchy and time

Guest Lecture

Prof. Josiane Broussard | "Pathways linking insufficient sleep to obesity and diabetes risk"

Guest Lecture

Prof. Matt Lambon Ralph | Semantic representation and its disorders

Guest Lecture

Prof. Trevor W. Robbins | Attention to Action: Fronto-striatal Substrates of Impulsivity and Compulsivity

Guest Lecture

Jason Samaha | Oscillatory dynamics supporting visual attention and awareness

Guest Lecture

Dr Dimo Ivanov | Developments and applications for (ultra) high field neuroimaging

Guest Lecture

Prof. Sascha Fruehholz | Neural system for perceiving and producing affective vocalizations

Guest Lecture

Dr Christian Gaser | Computational Anatomy

Guest Lecture

PD Dr Valerij G. Kiselev | Diffusion MRI -- Quo vadis?

Guest Lecture

Dr Maxim Zaitsev | New Frontiers in MR Imaging

Guest Lecture

Prof. Cristiano Chesi | A competence-based (Top-Down) model for parsing (complex) non-local dependencies

Guest Lecture

Prof. Roberto Cabeza | Memory networks and representations

Guest Lecture

Prof. Kevin Ochsner | Emotion and emotion regulation: From the self to social contexts

Guest Lecture

Prof. Dr Lila Davachi | The life of a memory: post-encoding reactivation and reorganization of episodic memory

Guest Lecture

Itamar Ronen, PhD | Diffusion of intracellular metabolites: A cell preferential probe for microstructure and physiology

Guest Lecture

Dr Elmar Laistler | The Vienna RF Lab - coil & simulation technology off the beaten track

Guest Lecture
Elmar Laistler graduated in Physics at Vienna University of Technology, Austria, in 2005 and pursued his PhD at University of Paris South and the Medical University of Vienna, receiving his PhD degree from Vienna University of Technology in 2011. During the last year of his thesis, he founded the Radio Frequency Lab at the Medical University, has worked as a guest researcher at Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt Berlin, and has since gathered a team of 8 people. His research focus lies on ultra-high field MR instrumentation, especially non-standard RF coil & simulation concepts, as well as RF safety for parallel transmission. [more]

Prof. Stefan Th. Gries | On the interface of corpus linguistics and psycholinguistics

Guest Lecture
For many years, corpus linguistics (the study of language based on ideally large databases of naturally-occurring language) on the one hand and theoretical and/or psycholinguistics on the other have existed side by side, with relatively little contact and mutual influence. Over the last 15-20 or so years, this has changed considerable: theoretical analyses as well as psycholinguistic, or more generally cognitively-inspired, studies now regularly use corpus data; particularly corpus frequencies are often used to, for instance, explain (aspects of) phenomena such language acquisition, processing, and change, or to merely control experimental stimuli with regard to their frequencies in psycholinguistic experimentation. In the first part of this talk, I will first discuss a few aspects in which I believe corpus data have more to offer to researchers who wish to establish a connection between corpus data and psycholinguistic or cognitive mechanisms; in the second part, I will discuss a case study from learner corpus research on _that_-complementation that showcases (i) recently-developed quantitative approaches in corpus linguistics in general as well as (ii) the application of one of several information-theoretic predictors in corpus-based studies of linguistic alternations. [more]

Dr Falk Eippert | Deconstructing pain processing in the human spinal cord

Guest Lecture
The spinal cord is not only the first part of the central nervous system where somatosensory information is processed, but also plays a substantial role in both acute and chronic forms of pain. Imaging this structure with fMRI faces several unique challenges, but has recently become feasible. Here, I will present several studies that investigate the spinal cord’s resting-state organization, its evoked responses to noxious stimulation and a modulation thereof due to cognitive manipulations. Having laid this ground-work, I will present current and planned studies that are based on the theory of predictive coding and aim to deconstruct the spinal cord pain response into prediction and prediction error signals. My hope is that this will allow for a more mechanistically informed understanding of pain in both its healthy and pathological form. [more]

Bharath Chandrasekaran, PhD | Neural systems in auditory and speech categorization

Guest Lecture
Auditory neuroscience has provided strong evidence that neural oscillations synchronize to the rhythms of speech. Higher up in the hierarchy, cycles of cortical excitation and inhibition would also reflect syntactic parsing and the processing of sentence-level semantics. This international symposium will join leading researchers from the speech and language fields with eminent systems neuroscientists from the field of neural oscillations. Through intense discussions and presentations of exciting new work, we will lay out the basis for a unified perspective on the role of neural oscillations in speech processing and language comprehension—from phonemes to grammar. [more]

Prof. Yaniv Assaf | The CONNECTOME: structure, function and evolution

Guest Lecture
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