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Scientific Lectures //

Overview of Network Connectivity Work in Healthy and Brain Injured Populations

Michael C. Stevens, Ph.D. - Director, Clinical Neuroscience and Development Laboratory Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center

Presented: July 19, 2012

ABSTRACT: In recent years, advances to the analysis tools used to identify functionally-integrated neural networks as measured during fMRI have prompted intense research into various cognitive and clinical neuroscience topics.  Numerous studies published over the past decade have led to a rapid accumulation of knowledge about brain "circuits" that show similar profiles of functional connectivity across different task contexts (including task-unstructured "resting state"), or that show disruption that could be characteristic to clinical disorders.  A particular focus of such research in our center has been distributed network development, particularly for circuits that appear to be engaged for cognitive abilities that serve "executive" functions (e.g., response inhibition, working memory, cognitive set shifting, etc.).  Other projects have begun to characterize and quantify the types of functional connectivity abnormalities observed in patients with mild traumatic brain injury.  This talk will describe select studies from these complementary programs of research, as well as provide an overview of current understanding of distributed network connectivity in both developing adolescents and in brain injured populations to set the stage for discussion of future research efforts that merge the two themes.

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