|View from our hotel room. Rockstar.|
Poster of the day: "An fMRI Study of Two Brain Interaction Using a Novel Dual-Head MRI Coil System" That's right, you heard (/read) correctly- a dual head coil. The ability to scan two people's brains simultaneously opens up a new dimension of social neuroscience research. Assuming you have two verrrry small people that are comfortable hanging out in an enclosed space for the duration of the study and you're not particularly interested in the visual cortex- the possibilities are endless!
Poster of the Day: "Atypical Thalamocortical Connectivity in ADHD Youth" Theoretically, when we're not actively engaged in a particular task, our brain runs on a functionally connected network of brain regions, nominally, the default mode network. Looking at differences in activation between ADHD youth and control youth can help us understand what is going on when people's minds wander. Which, if the way I write is any indication, is something I'm INTENSELY interested in.
That is all.
narcissistic conversations with total strangers about the everyday minutiae of their lives: sometimes Twitter is actually useful. Case in point, if @BrainCatalog hadn't started following my account, the chances of me seeing their booth in the sea of vendors would have slim to none. And that would have been tragic. In a nutshell, they're creating a GoogleEarth-esque application that allows you to browse through mouse brain terrain. The exciting potential of this technology is tangible- can't wait to see where it takes us in the next few years. You can read more in the NYTimes or watch their intro video:
Poster of the day: Uhm, that one. "A Remarkable Increase of Visual and Mental imagery Following Ayahuasca Ingestion: An fMRI study" While I'm still very curious how they're explaining away the fact that an MRI machine overwhelms even the most sober of participants with booming, unsettling sounds and overloading the senses of someone on psychedelics is INFINITELY different than using the same environment with a control subject... this still wins the My Favorite Poster Ever Award (prestigious, I know). They interpreted their results to mean that more activation in areas typically associated with memory, vision and intention shows that using hallucinogenics affects our perception and separation of real life and our internal mental environment. A small step toward exploring reality perception and consciousness but a friggin' LEAP toward making psychedelic research a respected branch of neuroscience.
And it's about time.
(Randall Munroe, you're not helping. Even if we were all thinking it.)
(Almost) last but (certainly) not least:
Check out my lab buddies' sweet posters!
B. KING-CASAS et. al. The neurobiology of diffusion of responsibility in social dilemmas
S. BOUCHER et. al. Affective phenotypes exhibit distinct neural response magnitude and duration to emotional sounds
J. EISEMAN et. al. Neural substrates of interpersonal function in post-traumatic stress disorder
G. CHRISTOPOULOS et. al. Behavioral and neuronal mechanisms underlying reinforcement learning of social stimuli
L. LINDSEY et. al. Neural substrates of drug use, craving, and executive control in cocaine users
K. MCCURRY et. al. Neural correlates of aggression in cocaine dependent individuals
D. TANKERSLEY et. al. Reward and punishment learning associated with differential response to positive and negative prediction errors in stimulant-dependent subjects
** I actually need to go through and fix the links so they redirect to the SFN website, but for now this'll do**
Much love for the CKC Lab :)
Some parting thoughts: In the end, I'm very grateful for having the opportunity to attend this year's conference. It was a learning experience on many different levels and definitely makes me appreciate academia just that much more. Thanks to everyone who came to present their research and share their positive energy with the rest of us. Also, a special 'thank you' goes out to SFNPosterFace.com for access to the abstracts and entertaining us with their super creative Lady GABA- Posterface parody.
|"When it's cor-ti-cal / If it isn't rough it isn't fun" ...Truth.|
See everyone next year!