We share our lives with trillions of bacteria whose total genome exceeds our own by an order of magnitude. They influence our metabolism, immune and nervous systems and help us resist infections by pathogenic bacteria. It is also now apparent that common bacteria influence the behaviour of insects, fish and all vertebrates including mammals and that bacterial products form the basis of recognition of kin, expression of fear and aggression and choice of mate in rodents and fruit flies. What about us??
Dr. McKay’s lecture “The Brain on Drugs” will take the audience on a journey from brain chemicals to brain cells to brain circuits to the complexities of human behaviour when humans are “doing drugs” (both recreational and therapeutic). The lecture will address such questions as:
- “How do drugs affect the brain?” (here we will consider: What is a drug? How do chemicals often made by (or modified from) plants, fungi, etc., act as “drugs” in the human brain? How do drugs change the brain immediately during first-time use, and change the brain over the long-term after repeated use?
Is love a judgment, a body process, or a cultural interpretation? Emotion theorists dispute whether emotions are cognitive appraisals, responses to physiological changes, or social constructions. That emotions are all of these can be grasped by identifying brain mechanisms for emotions, including representation by groups of spiking neurons, binding of representations, and competition among representations. Emotions bind neural representations of situations, physiology, and appraisal into unified packages that can guide behavior if they outcompete other representations. Unlike traditional theories, this theory of emotion can also explain why people have conscious experiences such as happiness and sadness.
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As you look at this program guide you take it for granted that you can read it or that someone can read it to you and you understand them…and you aware of what is happening around you all the while. All of these things “just happen” – until until they don’t. In this talk I will describe research in cognitive neuroscience using brain imaging tools to understand how speech comprehension and reading occur in the brain across both time – measured in thousandths of a second – and space – measured in millimeters from one brain region to another. I
Age-related changes in the brain can compromise cognitive function. However, in some cases, the brain is able to functionally reorganize to compensate for some of this loss. This talk will review the benefits of exercise on cognition in older adults and discusses a potential mechanism through which exercise may change the way the brain processes information for better cognitive outcomes. Specifically, older adults who are more physically active demonstrate a shift toward local neural processing that is associated with better cognition. The talk will also highlight practical tips for increasing physical activity to enhance brain and body fitness across the
We will start with an overview of what encompasses the term expressive arts – understanding the basic differences between of music therapy, drama therapy and art therapy, including fields of education and what to constitutes a qualified professional within their field, as well as typical places one would find expressive art therapists at work. We will look at how the field has grown in recent year.
As Becky’s education is in the field of art therapy, we will focus our discussion on art and the brain – looking at different areas within the field of art therapy where the
The ability to encode, store, and retrieve information requires numerous cognitive processes. Identifying those critical for successful memory performance has long been a goal of psychologists and neuroscientists. In this presentation I will discuss the brain changes that accompany aging, and how these impact our ability to think, communicate and remember. I will review evidence from cognitive experiments, neuroimaging data, and studies of normal aging, that pinpoint critical processes, and brain regions, important for enabling contextually-rich high-quality memories and recollections of the past. I will also review the role of cardiovascular health and depressive symptoms on memory as our recent
The human brain is the source of our thoughts, perceptions, actions, and memories; it confers on us the abilities that make us truly human, while simultaneously making each of us unique. We are entering into a golden age of brain science in which neuroscientists from around the globe are making significant leaps in the understanding of the brain. Over the last decade, neuroscience has advanced to the level that we can envision a comprehensive understanding of the brain in action, spanning molecules, cells, circuits, systems, behaviour, and even thought. In this seminar, we will discuss our current state of knowledge