Event archive

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]
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