CNS 2022 Annual Meeting | Conference Videos
Opening Ceremonies & Keynote Address - Development of the Social Brain in Adolescence and Effects of Social Distancing,
Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, University of Cambridge, UK
Adolescence is a critical period of development characterised by an increased need for peer interaction, heightened sensitivity to social exclusion and development of the social brain. Lockdown and social distancing measures intended to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 have reduced the opportunity to engage in face-to-face social interaction with peers. The consequences of social distancing on human social brain and social cognitive development are unknown, but animal research has shown that social deprivation and isolation have unique effects on brain and behaviour in adolescence compared with other stages of life. In this talk, I will describe research on social brain and behavioural development in adolescence and consider whether social distancing might be having a disproportionate effect during this sensitive period of development.
28th Annual George A. Miller Prize in Cognitive Neuroscience Lecture, Cognitive Neuroscience in the Age of Discovery
BJ Casey, Yale University
Just as the brain changes over the life course to meet unique challenges and make new discoveries at each developmental phase, so too is the field of cognitive neuroscience changing. Over the years, we have seen significant advances in neuroimaging techniques and computational analytics as well as an enormous expansion of open-access data and tools that have broadened the reach of cognitive neuroscience to neighboring fields and broader society. This lecture will highlight how advances in cognitive neuroscience have informed our understanding of how the mind and brain develop, especially during adolescence, and examine how this knowledge informs the treatment of youth in medicine and in the U.S. legal system.
11th Annual Fred Kavli Distinguished Career Contributions in Cognitive Neuroscience Lecture, Resolving Distraction
John Jonides, University of Michigan
Cognitive control is the exercise of processes that avoid habitual, reflexive, automatic behaviors in the service of reaching goals. A critical implementation of cognitive control is the performance of goal-directed activities in the face of distraction, and considerable distraction comes from salient-but-irrelevant external stimulation. There are many examples of such distraction in daily life, and there are many laboratory tasks that have been used as models of distraction and its resolution. Examples are the Stroop, Simon, Flanker, Anti-Saccade, and the Additional-Singleton tasks in all of which the instructed goal of the tasks is opposed by a tendency to respond to some other feature of the presented stimuli. For example, in the Stroop task, there is a conflict between responding to the hue of a stimulus from the prepotent tendency to respond to the identity of the word itself. Cognitive studies have a very long and rich history of investigating such cases of failures of cognitive control. The vast majority of these studies have relied on measuring response time and accuracy, comparing a condition in which there is conflict between a prepotent response and a goal-directed response versus a condition in which there is not (e.g., RED versus BLUE in the Stroop task). However, there are problems in using these two dependent measures that are well-established (e.g., speed-accuracy trade-offs and reliability of difference scores). We present here a novel technique that treats response time not as a dependent variable, but as an independent variable. Applying this technique to various tasks that have shown effects of distraction has led us to a model of the underlying psychological processes that seem to be involved in many such tasks, thus providing a fruitful framework with which to investigate cognitive control in many situations.
Young Investigator Award Lecture 1 - Navigating our uncertain social worlds
Oriel FeldmanHall, Brown University
Interacting with others is one of the most inherently uncertain acts we embark on. There are a multitude of unknowns, including how to express ourselves, who to confide in, or whether to engage in risky behavior with our peers. All this uncertainty makes successfully navigating the social world a tremendous challenge. Combining behavioral and neuroscientific methods, we explore the social and emotional factors that shape and ultimately guide how humans learn to make adaptive decisions amongst this great uncertainty. In particular, we borrow models from the animal learning literature, and methods from computational neuroscience and machine learning, to examine how humans experience, process, and resolve this uncertainty to make more adaptive decisions.
Young Investigator Award Lecture 2 - Goal States Tailor the Content and Structure of Episodic Memory
Vishnu "Deepu" Murty, Temple University
Memories are not veridical representations of the environment; rather individuals’ goals and desires shape how and what they store in long-term memory. This type of memory selectivity is sub-served by engagement of different neuromodulatory systems—such as the VTA and LC, responding to salient cues in the environment—which initiate a sequela of events leading to different memory outcomes. My research program focuses on characterizing how different motivational states bias encoding towards discrete learning systems and further propagate memory transformation via systems-consolidation. In this talk, I will highlight recent work characterizing how different goal states—namely exploration and threat—influence long-term memory. Specifically, I will highlight behavioral, neuroimaging, and computational modelling approaches to detail how exploration leads to highly associative, causal representations of the environment, whereas threat leads to sensory-based representations capturing the most salient features of the environment in the absence of contextual details. I will further show how memory encoding under these different goal states may contribute to maladaptive behaviors related to risk for developing psychosis and PTSD, respectively. I will end this talk with effusive commentary about the support of the wonderful community of cognitive neuroscientist that have supported these efforts.