Virtual Talk: Lucina Uddin, University of Miami

Lucina Uddin, PhD

University of Miami

Brain dynamics and flexible behaviors

Tuesday, April 14th from 12-1:15pm EST via Zoom

**Register here for Zoom using your institution/university email address**

Bio: After receiving a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from the psychology department at UCLA in 2006, Dr. Uddin completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Child Study Center at NYU. For several years she worked as a faculty member in Psychiatry & Behavioral Science at the Stanford School of Medicine. She joined the psychology department at the University of Miami in 2014. Within a cognitive neuroscience framework, Dr. Uddin’s research combines functional connectivity analyses of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data and structural connectivity analyses of diffusion tensor imaging data to examine the organization of large-scale brain networks supporting executive functions. Her current projects focus on understanding dynamic network interactions underlying cognitive inflexibility in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. Dr. Uddin’s work has been published in the Journal of Neuroscience, Cerebral Cortex, JAMA Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, PNAS, and Nature Reviews Neuroscience. She was awarded the Young Investigator award by the Organization for Human Brain Mapping in 2017.

Abstract: Executive control processes and flexible behaviors rely on the integrity of, and dynamic interactions between, several core large-scale brain networks. The right insular cortex is a critical component of a salience network that is thought to mediate interactions between brain networks involved in externally oriented and internally oriented processes. I will describe studies examining how brain network dynamics support flexible behaviors in typical and atypical development, presenting evidence suggesting a unique role for the dorsal anterior insular from studies of meta- analytic connectivity modeling, dynamic functional connectivity, and structural connectivity. These findings from adults, typically developing children, and children with autism suggest that structural and functional maturation of insular pathways is a critical component of the process by which human brain networks mature to support complex, flexible cognitive processes throughout the lifespan.

Click here to see the full BIRC Speaker Series schedule and access recordings of past talks.

Slack and virtual office hours

BIRC is offering two new virtual services to support our users and promote a vibrant virtual neuroimaging community!

  • The BIRC Slack group is a new place for the BIRC community to ask questions, share resources, and keep in touch. Click to join the group with your UConn email address.
  • IBRAiN office hours will be held virtually via Webex. Spring 2020 hours are held virtually Mondays 1:30-4:30p, Tuesdays 12-3p, Wednesdays 9a-12p, Thursdays 2-5p, and Fridays 2-5p. Connect to meeting 646 198 704 on UConn Webex for answers to all your neuroimaging questions!

Virtual Talk: Daniel Ansari, University of Western Ontario

Daniel Ansari, PhD

University of Western Ontario

Wednesday, April 1st from 1:00-2:15 pm EST via Zoom

**Register here for Zoom using your university/institution email address**

Abstract:

Humans share with animals the ability to process numerical quantities in non-symbolic formats (e.g., collections of objects). Unlike other species, however, over cultural history, humans have developed symbolic representations (such as number words and digits) to represent numerical quantities exactly and abstractly. These symbols and their semantic referents form the foundations for higher-level numerical and mathematical skills. It is commonly assumed that symbols for number acquire their meaning by being mapped onto the pre-existing, phylogenetically ancient system for the approximate representation of non-symbolic number over the course of learning and development. In this talk I will challenge this hypothesis for how numerical symbols acquire their meanings (“the symbol grounding problem”). To do so, I will present a series of behavioral and neuroimaging studies with both children and adults that demonstrate that symbolic and non-symbolic processing of number is dissociated at both the behavioral and brain levels of analysis. I will discuss the implications of these data for theories of the origins of numerical symbol processing and its breakdown in children with mathematical learning disorders, such as Developmental Dyscalculia.

Bio: Daniel Ansari received his PhD from University College London in 2003. Presently, Daniel Ansari is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology and the Brain & Mind Institute at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, where he heads the Numerical Cognition Laboratory (www.numericalcognition.org). Ansari and his team explore the developmental trajectory underlying both the typical and atypical development of numerical and mathematical skills, using both behavioral and neuroimaging methods.

Click here to see the full BIRC Speaker Series schedule and access recordings of past talks.

BIRC’s response to the Coronavirus Outbreak Update #9 3-19-20

Here are some brief updates, which won’t impact any of you on the list serve (please note a virtual-only talk on 4/1 Wed).

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RESEARCH
In-person research continues to be suspended and now until 5/11 or until further notice.
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CLINICAL
In-person clinical is now suspended until 5/11 or until further notice.
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SERVICES CONTINUED
We will continue to provide virtual services.
BIRC will start hosting virtual-only talks if there seems to be interest. Dr. Daniel Ansari will kick us off on Wednesday, 4/1 at 1:00-2:15pm EST. He is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology and the Brain & Mind Institute at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. Dr. Ansari is an expert in educational neuroscience and MRI imaging of numerical processing. Please mark your calendars. Zoom in information and additional information TBA.
Staff will continue to check in on the facility and equipment twice a week. No disinfection will be done.
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If you have any questions, as always, please contact us.
Stay safe and please find humor in your daily lives in these challenging times.
Warmly,
BIRC Staff
PS: For your entertainment, with the lockdown (in SF), this is my life right now. Perhaps it’s yours, too. 🙂

BIRC’s response to the Coronavirus Outbreak Update #8 3-18-20

Here are new updates, which seems to be almost daily these days with the rapid change in the COVID-19 situation world-wide.

RESEARCH
In-person research is suspended until 5/11 or until further notice.

CLINICAL
In-person clinical is now suspended until 5/11 or until further notice.

VIRTUAL SERVICE
We will continue to provide virtual services.

Staff will continue to check in on the facility and equipment twice a week. No disinfection will be done.

If you have any questions, as always, please contact us.

Stay safe and please find humor in your daily lives in these challenging times.

Warmly,
BIRC Staff

BIRC’s response to the Coronavirus Outbreak Update #7 3-18-20

I hope you all saw VPR’s and President’s announcements today of immediate research ramp down (https://uconn.edu/public-notification/coronavirus/covid-19-research/). In-person research at BIRC remains suspended until 4/6 but is likely to be longer.

We will remain open virtually. So please do send us consultation requests or support with BIRC-related dissertations, manuscripts and grants.

We will find out more about our clinical operation tomorrow after the Town Hall and the CLAS staff meeting. The current plan is that we suspend until 4/6 except for 2 critical cases. UCHC has suspended elective surgery yesterday, and today decided to downsize some non-critical operations.

Staff will be on site twice a week to check in on the facilities.

As scientific talks become scarce with many being cancelled and as we all get used to our new lifestyle, we are considering offering some talks/workshops virtually. Please stay tuned.

As always, if you have questions, please let us know.

Looking back at our first update 10 days ago, it seems a world apart. During this difficult time, I hope we are able to appreciate what we have than what we are losing and find humor in our every day lives! The glass is always half full. If you need humor, I have plenty of material from home – contact me (Fumiko).

BIRC’s response to the Coronavirus Outbreak Update #6 3-16-20

With many states and counties advancing into lockdown (SF is stating lockdown of the whole city together with neighboring counties effective tonight – just announced! I believe it will come our way to CT sooner than we think/hope. I hope I am wrong), we have made some adjustments.

We technically remain open until the university announcement, but …

RESEARCH SCANS
We have cancelled all research scans until 4/6 and will continue to discourage scanning unless you can convince us 🙂

CLINICAL SCANS
While UCHC has decided to only cancel elective surgery at this point, and no outpatient services are cancelled, we have agreed to cancel/postpone all clinical scans as well. We will scan the remaining patients if there are critical needs but have suspended all clinical scans at least until 4/6 as well. We are currently not booking any new patients. Thanks for Leo Wolansky (UCHC Radiology Department Chair)’s understanding in the service of protecting our staff.
Hence no disinfection will be done as complete telecommuting has started.

If you have critical needs please contact me.

Stay safe and happy…
Fumiko

BIRC’s response to the Coronavirus Outbreak Update #5 3-16-20

A quick update to you all. 

RESEARCH SCANS
We are currently technically open. But we do not have any research scans until the weekend (and they are non-EEG) and will likely close as soon as we get guidance from VPR. They are in discussions and will propose recommendations to the President this afternoon. We are urging the university to stop all non-critical/essential research that does not impact human health ASAP. We should have updates before any further research scans are done.

CLINICAL SCANS
We are in discussions with UCHC Radiology to stop clinical MRI as well as they are non-priority scans.

OTHER ACTIVITIES
We remain open virtually for any consultations or training that can be done remotely. We will suspend in person MRI safety training until further notice. LMK if this impacts your research plans.

Please do not come in to use the conference rooms or data room unless necessary. While we have staff telecommute, we will not be disinfecting the areas as we had originally planned and was doing last week. If you do need to come in to BIRC, please contact me.

Thank you,
Fumiko

BIRC’s response to the Coronavirus Outbreak Update #4 3-13-20

At this time BIRC will continue to be fully operational. Any scheduled research will not be impacted, and investigators can schedule additional research times as needed.

Please note that we will be complying with the University’s request to have staff and faculty telecommute when possible and may not be in the facility during normal business hours; however, please feel free to email any questions to Fumiko Hoeft, Roeland Hancock, or Elisa Medeiros.