April 1, 1999
280 Park Hall
the Human Brain: A View from Inside"
methods of neuroimaging allow examination of the normal human brain
in the process of acquiring and executing such high level skills
as reading calculating and retrieving facts. By combining use of
high density electrical recording and changes in cerebral blood
flow we can examine the anatomy of these skills in real time. Some
skills are acquired very slowly. The area of the brain that synthesizes
visual letters into a unified word develops very slows over years
of acquiring the skill of reading. Once developed it is resistant
to change. On the other hand, semantic information about words is
acquired rapidly and is easily automated. Surprisingly, access to
the number line in mental calculation appears similar in five year
olds and adults. Acquisition of new information can influence performance
either implicitly, without awareness of the subject, or explicitly
through deliberate reference to past experience. In our studies
we observe the tie course of the operation of these conscious and
unconscious learning mechanisms.
Neuroscience and Brain Plasticity"
neuroscience has uncovered a vast array of brain mechanisms related
to such psychological phenomenon as strategies, priming, item learning,
concept learning and development. Research will undoubtedly refine
and enlarge our current views We can discuss possible research strategies
we are taking in our Institute. We can consider how these findings
might influence cognitive science and the strategies to to use these
new finding for teaching, rehabilitation, and therapy.
Friday, April 2, 1999
225 Natural Sciences Building
of Attentional Networks for Regulating Thought, Feeling and Behavior"
A major goal of
cognitive neuroscience is to link behavior to neural systems. M uch
of our behavior depends upon the direction of attention. In laboratory
task s when we choose among conflicting stimuli, monitor and correct
errors or respond to novel events there is activity in the frontal
midline (anterior cingulate) that appears to serve the function of
regulating information flow. This same general area responds both
to the subjective experience of pain and to individual differences
in emotional awareness. In early infancy a major behavior problem
is the control of distress which we believe involves the anterior
cingulate. Three to five year olds, learning to regulate information
flow in cognitive tasks, may activate areas of the cingulate because
parts of this brain area are already involved in self regulation.
Congruent with this view tasks involving the control of conflict are
correlated with the ability to inhibit responses and with parental
reports of attentional control and self regulation.
the Co-sponsorship of the
Department of Linguistics
Department of Philosophy
Department of Psychology
English Language Institute
School of Information and Library Sciences
is Founding Director of the Sacker Institute of Human Brain Development
at the Cornell Medical College in New York.