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Scientific Lectures //

Title: Theta Band Activities Reveal Mechanisms of Frontal Cortical Functions

Dr. James F. Cavanagh, Ph.D.

Presented: August 27, 2013

ABSTRACT: How do we learn and make decisions?  This question has been pondered for centuries, but in this age of cognitive neuroscience we should aim to re-phrase this question as "how does the brain does allow us to learn and make decisions?". In this talk I will discuss the virtues of a combined empirical-algorithmic approach to understand frontal cortical systems that facilitate learning, memory, and decision making.  Examples will center on the use of human EEG, particularly in the theta band, to monitor neuronal population oscillations during learning and cognitive control. The versatility of EEG facilitates its use as a methodological and theoretical hub, which may be augmented with any variety of additional methods available in the cognitive neurosciences.  I will discuss the advantages of this neuro-computational perspective for interpreting the functions of fronto-striatal systems, including promising implications for understanding the dysfunctions that contribute to neurological and psychiatric disorders.

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