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Shaping brain structure and function

Dr Sofie Valk @sofievalk

25 March 2021, 4PM (UTC+1)


Join us live on Zoom  - Meeting ID: 895 8114 6322 / Passcode: CNS

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The organisation of the cerebral cortex has been proposed to be an important prerequisite for human cognition. I will talk about how the genetic and environmental factors shape large-scale brain organisation in healthy adults. In the first study we evaluated the genetic basis of large-scale cortical organisation of thickness covariance using twin-models (Human Connectome Project) as well as cross-species comparisons (PRIME-DE). We found two organisational axes reflecting functional and evolutionary patterning. In a second study we assess the functional organisation and plasticity of the social brain. Whereas attention was associated with external, focused, functional processes, we found that theory of mind related to internal, ongoing, cognitive processes. Conversely, affective skills related to both processing modes. Next we studied longitudinal changes following 3-months of training (i) mindfulness-based attention and interoception, (ii) socio-affective skills, and (iii) socio-cognitive skills respectively (ReSource study). Contrasting the effect of each training module, we found diverging patterns of functional network reorganisation. Together, these studies establish the genetic basis and functional plasticity of natural axes in the cerebral cortex and so provide important insights into the organisation of human cognition.



Human attentional networks and their development

Dr Alfredo Spagna @SpagnaPhD

29 April 2021, 4PM (UTC+1)


The neuroscience of hedonia and eudaimonia

Dr Morten L. Kringelbach

27 May 2021, 4PM (UTC+1)


Connectomics in neurological impairment and recovery

 Dr Amy Kuceyeski @AmyKuceyeski

 24 June 2021, 4pm (French time)


Anatomo-functional organisation of the grasping network in the primate brain

 Dr Elena BORRA @ElenaBorra1

 30 September 2021, 4pm (French time)


Cortical functions result from the conjoint activity of different, reciprocally connected areas working together as large-scale functionally specialized networks. In the macaque brain, neural tracers and functional data have provided evidence for functionally specialized large-scale cortical networks involving temporal, parietal, and frontal areas. One of these networks, the lateral grasping network, appears to play a primary role in controlling hand action organization and recognition. Available functional and tractograpy data suggest the existence of a human counterpart of this network.

COVID-19 & the Brain: Insights from the Clinic

What we know and what we don't know 

Dr Julie Helm 

Dr Harith Akram @HarithAkram

28 October 2021, 4PM (UTC+1)


This year, and the last, has been marked by a serious pandemic, COVID-19. From those who suffered from it, to those who didn't even know they had it, and to those who never caught it, the virus and its spread has impacted all of our lives. With the flurry of information floating around on the internet and on the television, let's take stock and review the available, and trustworthy, literature. 


Join us via Zoom or live on our YouTube channel, as we speak with experts to clarify what is known, and unknown, about Covid-19 and its effects on the brain.

© All materials and information have been released with the permission of the speaker.