UPCOMING events&courses

The functional neuroanatomy of reading and dyslexia: evidence from meta-analyses and combined eye movement and fMRI studies
27 marca 2017 15:00:00

Fabio Richlan, Phd, Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria

Learning to read requires the development of a highly organized brain system capable of integrating orthographic, phonological, and lexico-semantic features of written words. In this talk, various aspects of the functional neuroanatomical foundations of reading will be examined: (1) differences between children and adults, (2) differences between typical and poor readers, and (3) differences between various alphabetic orthographies. Based on meta-analyses of existing fMRI and PET studies, the dominant models of reading and dyslexia in the brain could be specified and modified. Due to the fact that in the existing literature, to date, relatively artificial “reading tasks” and unnatural presentation modes are prevailing, the validity of these findings is limited. Therefore, a new technique - “fixation-related fMRI” - has been developed, which allows the investigation of natural reading processes. It is based on a combined analysis of eye movement and brain activation data. In this talk, the method, as well as applications in reading research will be presented.

PAST events&courses

Observational fear and safety learning in humans
13 stycznia 2017 12:00:00

Prof. Andreas Olsson - Emotion Lab at Karolinska Institutet

Learning the predictive value of cues through observing the responses of a conspecific (demonstrator) is common across species. This social, indirect, means of acquiring information might be especially advantageous in potentially dangerous environments. In contrast to learning through direct experiences, relatively little is known about the principles governing observational learning. I will present behavioral and physiological (fMRI) research examining human observational learning about events that are threatening (fear learning) and no longer threatening (safety learning). Our results show that observational fear and safety learning draw on processes partially shared with direct (Pavlovian) fear conditioning, and extinction learning, respectively. Importantly, the quality of observational learning depends on social information about demonstrator in ways consistent with research in both human and non-human animals.

Resting State Functional Brain Imaging – Past & Present
26 września 2016 15:00:00

Prof. Bharat Biswal - Department of Biomedical Engineering,NJIT and Department of Radiology, New Jersey Medical School

Although long a condition of interest spanning the gamut of neuroimaging modalities, study of the “null”, “fixation” or “resting” state has recently flourished. The fMRI community, in particular, has zealously embraced resting state approaches to mapping brain organization and function. Now, having demonstrated its utility for charting the large-scale functional architecture of the brain, and potential for the identification of biomarkers for clinical conditions, the field is returning to fundamental questions regarding the significance and validity of resting state (intrinsic brain) phenomena. Here, we discuss these challenges, and outline current developments.
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The neurobiology of language: Perspectives from sign language
20 maja 2016 12:00:00

Karen Emmorey, Professor - School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences Director, Laboratory for Language and Cognitive Neuroscience San Diego State University

The study of sign languages provides a powerful tool for investigating the neurobiology of human language. Signed languages differ dramatically from spoken languages with respect to linguistic articulators and perceptual systems required for comprehension. Are the same key brain areas involved in producing and comprehending spoken and signed languages? Does the brain distinguish between gesture and sign? Does the biology of linguistic expression affect the brain bases of spatial language? The “yes” answers to these questions show that the human brain is designed for linguistic functions, regardless of the sensory-motor properties of language.

New horizons in cardiovascular and pulmonary molecular and cellular imaging
21 kwietnia 2016 09:00:00

Prof. Ruiz-Cabello w IMDiK

Szanowni Państwo,
Gościem Zakładu Farmakologii Doświadczalnej i Laboratorium Rezonansu Magnetycznego Małych Zwierząt będzie Prof. Jesús Ruiz-Cabello z Spanish National Centre for Cardiovascular Research.
Prof. Ruiz-Cabello zajmuje się zastosowaniami jądrowego rezonansu magnetycznego i pozytronowej tomografii emisyjnej w badaniach dotyczących chorób układu naczyniowego i oddechowego, w szczególności  nowych markerów zawierających fluor, hiperpolaryzowanych gazów i spektroskopii NMR (13C, 1H, 31P). Jego ostatnie badania dotyczą obrazowania molekularnego z wykorzystaniem nowych nanocząstek w PET/MRI.
Mamy ogromną przyjemność zaprosić na wykład naszego gościa
pt. “New horizons in cardiovascular and pulmonary molecular and cellular imaging”
Wykład odbędzie się 21 kwietnia w trakcie trwania międzynarodowego sympozjumum pt. New Horizons in Medical Imaging and Cell Therapy, które odbędzie się w sali konferencyjnej IMDiK (szczegółowy program sympozjum w załączniku). 
Udział w sympozjum jest bezpłatny, ale ze względu na przygotowanie materiałów konferencyjnych, wszystkich chętnych prosimy o potwierdzenie swojego uczestnictwa mailem na adres: sekretariatznn@imdik.pan.pl do 13 kwietnia.

6 lipca 2015 16:00:00

Dr Nienke van Atteveld z Uniwersytetu w Amsterdamie (Department: Educational Neuroscience, Faculty of Psychology and Education)

Reading skills are indispensable in modern technological societies. As literacy is a relatively new, cultural invention, it has been suggested that reading acquisition is rooted in, and interacts with, naturally evolved brain mechanisms for visual and auditory processing. In a series of neuroimaging studies, we have investigated how the learning of letter symbols interacts with brain mechanisms for audiovisual and speech processing. I will discuss results that point to at least two important sources of variability in how script fine-tunes speech processing in superior temporal cortex (STC): 1) developmental differences in reading fluency and 2) the language in which someone learns to read. Recently, we have also started a project to "zoom in" to the fine-scale organization of letter and speech sound responses in STC, by systematically investigating unimodal and multimodal responses at different spatial resolutions using 3T (3mm3) and 7T (1.5 mm3 and 1.1 mm3) fMRI. I will present preliminary data showing that the increase of spatial resolution reveals a higher proportion of letter-selective voxels, which potentially indicates even stronger influence of script in the "auditory" STC.

Rational Emotional Embodiment: Faces, gestures, and concepts in context
7 listopada 2014 15:00:00

Prof. Piotr Winkielman (Department of Psychology, University of California, San Diego

How do emotions enter perception, cognition, and behavior? This talk offers some behavioral and physiological (EMG and fMRI) evidence suggesting a role for somatosensory and motor resources in processing of facial expressions, gestures, and emotional concepts. I will start by showing some basic emotional embodiment effects. Critically, I will then highlight the situated and even "rational" nature of emotional embodiment. That is, I will argue that recruitment of embodied resources can be highly selective and that, when relevant, top-down inferences flexibly transform the involvement of embodied resources. Overall, my talk will call for a more dynamic view of the links between emotion, cognition, and embodiment.

Dynamic reorganization of cognitive networks

Michał Bola, PhD candidate, Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg

Cognition emerges from interactions within spatially distributed but synchronized brain networks. Such networks are transient and dynamic, established on the timescale of milliseconds in order to perform specific cognitive operations. But it is not known whether topological features of transient cognitive networks contribute to cognitive processing. Cognition might merely change weights of intrinsic functional networks or, conversely, cognitive act might require qualitatively new topological arrangements. To address this question, we recorded EEG when subjects performed a visual discrimination task and characterized source-space weighted functional networks with graph measures. We revealed rapid, transient, and frequency-specific reorganization of network’s topology during cognition. Specifically, cognitive networks were characterized by strong clustering, low modularity, and strong interactions between hub-nodes (i.e. the rich-club nodes). Dense and clustered inter-modular connectivity between hubs might facilitate network-wide integration of information and be a substrate of the “global workspace” necessary for cognition and consciousness to occur.

Altered patterns of ReHo and ICA in children with auditory processing disorder: resting-state fMRI study

Agnieszka Pluta, Tomasz Wolak, Mateusz Rusiniak, Monika Lewandowska, The Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing, Warsaw, Poland

Auditory processing disorder (APD) describes listening problems manifested by poor sound localization, auditory discrimination, auditory pattern recognition; temporal aspects of audition; auditory performance in competing acoustic signals (ASHA, 2005; Chang, Keith, 2009; Dawes et al., 2008; Miller et al., 2011). Atypical activation of brain network implicated in acoustic attention may underlie behavioral problems (Bamiou et al., 2003). However, the neural correlate of central auditory dysfunction is poorly understood. Recently, there is a growing interest in the investigation of spontaneous brain activity as researchers claim that alterations in patterns of intrinsic activity of the brain might be implicated in various brain disorders (Paaki et al., 2010; Raichle, 2001; Yu-Feng et al., 2007). Resting-state fMRI is fast developing field and various methods are applied to analyze the data (Cole, Smith, & Beckmann, 2010). To date, the most popular method for identifying intrinsic interactions among multiple brain regions is independent component analysis (ICA). Another, novel approach is ReHo which investigates the congruency of the time series of a given voxel to adjacent ones (Liu, et al., 2005; Zang et al., 2004).However, according to the authors’ knowledge, there is no study which first, applies ReHo and ICA method in one study, and secondly, investigates spontaneous brain activity within children with APD. Therefore, the aim of the presented study was to investigate the baseline brain activity in children with CAPD in comparison to healthy controls with the use of two independent methods: ICA and ReHo.

Neuro-cognitive fingerprints of developmental dyslexia: State-of-the-Art.

Prof. Stefan Heim Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics, Medical School, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen Germany, Institute for Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1), Research Centre

Developmental dyslexia is a reading disorder occurring despite adequate visus, intelligence, and schooling. With a prevalence of up to 20%, it is a common problem for primary school children which may persist even in adulthood. Mechanisms underlying impaired reading in dyslexia can be found both at the cognitive and at the neurobiological level, which may interact. However, there is a long-standing debate about the exact nature of the deficits causing, or associated with, reading problems at these respective levels. Recent theories focus on phonological processing, auditory processing, visual processing, automaticity, or attention as potential cognitive factors for dyslexia. At the neurobiological level, effects range from a shift in the lateralisation of physiological processes in the brain over reduced or increased local cerebral blood flow in mostly left-hemispheric brain regions to structural abnormalities in the cerebellum, visual word form area, or perisylvian structures. This heterogeneity of positions has led to the idea of distinct subtypes of dyslexia which may suffer from different cognitive or neurobiological deficits, a notion which would explain why not all dyslexic children profit equally well from the same kind of remediation. Data from a series of experiments indicate that there are indeed dyslexic readers with distinct cognitive profiles, or “fingerprints”, with predominant difficulties in phonological awareness, visual attention, or a multitude of functions. Linking these profiles to brain activation during reading, phonological processing, auditory discrimination, or visual attention reveals a repercussion of the cognitive fingerprints in the neurophysiological patterns. These findings may explain both the differential lateralisation of brain functions and the heterogeneous patterns of hyper- or hypoactivation in different brain regions reported in the literature. A novel approach to simulate dyslexic symptoms in normal readers further contributes to the understanding of the different neurofunctional networks implicated in reading and dyslexia. Finally, the identification of cognitive fingerprints of dyslexia has motivated a new attitude for improved diagnostics and intervention for reading problems, which consider the individual deficit patterns in order to optimise the outcome of individually-targeted intensive trainings. The usefulness of this approach is being investigated in a randomised controlled trial yielding robust reading improvement after four weeks of selective and intensive training.

White and grey matter matter: adult age structure-function relationships

Dr Agnieszka Z. Burzynska, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin

In my talk I will present our recent studies on neural correlates of individual and age-related differences in cognitive performance in healthy adults in their 3rd and 7th decade of life. First, in a Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) study on a large sample of healthy younger and older adults, we identified patterns of age-related differences in diffusivityproperties, which suggest that age-related decreases in white matter integrity may have different, region-specific biological correlates (Burzynska et al., 2010). In the second study, we found that thicker cortex within task-relevant regions is related to better executive functioning, and that these associations are stronger in older than in younger adults. Within older adults, high and low performers differed in cortical thickness in task-relevant regions suggesting that "youth-like" grey matter structure is associated with "youth-like" executive performance (Burzynska et al., 2011a). These results underscore the need to consider the heterogeneity of brain aging in relation to cognitive functioning. Then, we combined fMRI and DTI to investigate the relationship between white matter microstructure and the increase of the BOLD signal as a function of increasing working memory load ("BOLD responsivity") in young adults. We foundthat higher fronto-parietal structural connectivity is related to higher BOLD responsivity and better working memory performance (Burzynska et al., 2011b). In the current study, we hypothesized that reduced BOLD responsivity, white matter integrity, and presence of white matter lesions may result in altered structure-function relationships in advanced age. Indeed, we found that in a sample of 28 healthy older adults, lower white matter intensity burden and higher integrity across the white matter (rather than in task-specific tracts) were related to higher BOLD responsivity and lower BOLD signal change at the minimal cognitive load.

Metoda Voxel Based Morphometry od kuchni - potencjał badań strukturalnych ludzkiego mózgu

Dr Artur Marchewka, Pracownia Obrazowania Mózgu, Instytut Biologii Doświadczalnej

W czasie wystąpienia przedstawię podstawy metodologiczne morfometrii opartej na wokselu (ang. Voxel Based Morphometry, VBM), czyli ilościowej zautomatyzowanej metody analizy strukturalnych obrazów mózgu człowieka. Uczestnicy wykładu dowiedzą się jak wygląda procedura rejestracji danych, przygotowanie do analizy (ang. preprocessing), wnioskowanie statystyczne oraz interpretacja wyników. Omówione zostaną także klasyczne badania kliniczne oparte na VBM (choroba Alzheimer’a) oraz najnowsze publikacje pokazujące potencjał metody w badaniach plastyczności mózgu oraz funkcji poznawczych (pamięć, język). Przedstawię także aktualne kierunki rozwoju strukturalnych badań wolumetrycznych, między innymi metody klasyfikacji danych oparte na metodzie wektorów nośnych (ang. Support Vector Machine, SVM).

Obrazowanie istoty białej - wprowadzenie do techniki DTI

Dr Katarzyna Jednoróg, Pracownia Psychofizjologii, Instytut Biologii Doświadczalnej

W czasie wystąpienia przedstawię metodę obrazowania połączeń istoty białej w ludzkim mózgu za pomocą obrazowania tensora dyfuzji (ang. Diffusion Tensor Imaging, DTI). Opiszę podstawy dyfuzji cząsteczek wody w tkankach mózgu i zilustruje w jaki sposób miary dyfuzji opisują mikrostrukturę istoty białej. Przedstawię także metodę Tract Based Spatial Statistics (TBSS) do automatycznej analizy parametrów dyfuzji dla pojedynczych wokseli w mózgu. Ponadto zaprezentuję w jaki sposób możemy obrazować całe włókna nerwowe za pomocą traktografii. Omówię prace z zastosowaniem DTI i traktografii badające zarówno grupy kliniczne jak i funkcjonowanie poznawcze u osób zdrowych.