We have an excellent colloquium scheduled for next week. On Thursday, July 3
at 4:00 Michael Breakspear will be presenting a cognitive neuroscience talk
that should be of broad interest to psychologists. See title and abstract
"Factorial and nonlinear interactions in cortical responses"
Neuroimaging research has traditionally focused on functional specialization in local cortical regions, employing massive univariate linear analyses in the process. Cognitive function ostensibly also requires integration between networks, facilitated by mutual
dependences between distributed cortical responses. In this talk, we present analyses of functional neuroimaging data that allow for factorial interactions between cognitive and perceptual domains, using nonlinear and multivariate methodologies. When applied to data acquired during a working memory task, this approach reveals an unexpected increase in cortical load when two tasks are performed separately and not in
association - an effect also discernible in the corresponding behavioural data. Multivariate analyses further show two distinct distributed networks that covary with efficiency and behavioural variability respectively, and suggests that they operate in mutual competition. Finally, we review recent methodological advances that permit cortical responses in one region to effect a nonlinear influence on the interaction between two or more other cortical regions.
Division of Mental Health Research, Queensland Institute for Medical Research
School of Psychiatry, UNSW
The Black Dog Institute, Randwick