The Default Mode Network in Aesthetics and Creativity
Covering a wide range of work on the Default Mode Network (DMN), leading neuroscientists from top research institutes will gather in New York for a two-day symposium to discuss what the brain is doing when in a wakeful resting state. The DMN – a network of brain regions typically found to be suppressed when individuals focus on their external environment – has been hypothesized to generate spontaneous thoughts during daydreaming and may be crucial for self-referential mental processing, social interactions and the understanding of many neurological disorders.
Topics of discussion include the discovery and metabolic characterization of the DMN, the relationship and functional dynamics between the DMN and other networks that are identifiable through resting-state functional connectivity, task-based studies that have helped to characterize the involvement of subnetworks of the DMN in a variety of functions, the relevance of DMN function for a variety of disease states, social neuroscience work that has investigated the role of the DMN in "self versus other" distinctions, and the potential involvement of the DMN in aesthetic experience and creativity.
The symposium appeals to scientists with expertise in neuroscience or psychology, as well as humanists and artists interested in neuroscientific research.
The event, hosted by the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University in cooperation with the College of Arts and Science at New York University, will feature talks by Randy Buckner, Felicity Callard, Maurizio Corbetta, Rex Jung, Bill Kelley, Daniel Margulies, Marcus Raichle, Nathan Spreng, Yvette Sheline, and Ed Vessel.
Thurs, Feb 6 · NYUKeynote speech at 5:30 pm
NYU · Silver Center for Arts and Science, Jurow Lecture Hall, 31 Washington Place
(between Greene St. and Washington Sq. East) · New York, NY 10003
Fri, Feb 7 · The Italian Academy, Columbia UniversityFull-day conference starting at 8:30 am
The Italian Academy, Columbia University · 1161 Amsterdam Ave
(just south of 118th St) · New York, NY 10027
Professor of Psychology, Harvard University
Randy Buckner is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the Center for Brain Science, Harvard University and Harvard Medical School. His research focuses on how brain systems support memory function in humans, employing molecular, structural, and functional imaging methods to characterize distinct age-dependent cascades that influence memory function. | MORE INFO
Senior Lecturer in Social Science for Medical Humanities, Durham University
Felicity Callard is Senior Lecturer in Social Science for Medical Humanities at Durham University (United Kingdom). Callard has broad research interests in the history of psychiatry, psychoanalysis and cognitive neuroscience. Her current projects include a critical exploration of the field of resting state functional neuroimaging research, and a historical and conceptual study of the nascent interdisciplinary domain of neuro-psychoanalysis.
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Norman J. Stupp Professor of Neurology; Chief of the Division of Neuro-Rehabilitation
I am interested in studying how the brain selects information, and how the brain recovers after injury. The first line of research is motivated by the desire to understand 'awareness' and its close partnership with attention. The second line of research is motivated by my own experience that patients with stroke improve over time, and that we do not have a clue on how the brain does it. Hopefully, these studies will provide a solid scientific foundation for novel neuro-rehabilitation strategies.
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Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, University of New Mexico
Rex E. Jung, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of New Mexico, Research Scientist at the Mind Research Network, and a practicing clinical neuropsychologist in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His research is designed to relate behavioral measures including intelligence, personality, and creativity to brain function and structure in healthy neurological and psychiatric patients.
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Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth University
Bill Kelley is Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth University. Kelley's research seeks to – through neuroimaging, neuropsychological and brain techniques – answer how the brain maintains memories; how cognitive and emotional experiences give rise to an individual's unique sense of self; how the brain represents different kinds of reward; and how one self-regulates against short-term rewards when they could lead to maladaptive habits. | MORE INFO
Daniel S. Margulies
Group Leader, Max Planck Research Group "Neuroanatomy and Connectivity"
Daniel S. Margulies is Max Planck Society W2 Professor, and Group Leader of the Max Planck Research Group: Neuroanatomy & Connectivity, at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive & Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany. His research concerns cortical organization as described by intrinsic functional connectivity, its relationship to self-generated thought, and the modulation of functional brain organization by changes in frameworks that constitute an individual's identity.
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Professor of Radiology, Neurology, Neurobiology and Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis
Marcus Raichle, a neurologist, is a Professor of Radiology, Neurology, Neurobiology and Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St Louis. He and his colleagues have made outstanding contributions to the study of human brain function through brain imaging techniques, such as the development and use of positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
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Professor of Psychiatry, Radiology and Neurology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Yvette Sheline is Professor of Psychiatry, Radiology and Neurology at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. With clinical interests in treatment-resistant depression and dementia, her research focuses on brain structural changes associated with depression, as well as structural and functional imaging studies in affective disorders.
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Assistant Professor, Rebecca Q. and James C. Morgan Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow, Cornell University
Nathan Spreng is Rebecca Q. and James C. Morgan Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow, Assistant Professor and Director of the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition in the Department of Human Development at Cornell University. Spreng's research examines large-scale brain network dynamics and their role in cognition, as well as the link between autobiography and imagination, and successful navigation of the social world. | MORE INFO
Edward A. Vessel
Director, NYU ArtLab, Asst. Research Scientist, CBI
Ed Vessel is Assistant Research Scientist at the Center for Brain Imaging at New York University. His research analyzes visual preferences and the behavioral and neural underpinnings of people's responses to artwork; neurobiology of the "infovore"; sensory development; and representations of sensation and knowledge.
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Director of the Italian Academy
G. Gabrielle Starr
Seryl Kushner Dean of the College of Arts and Science; Professor of English, New York University
Edward A. Vessel
Assistant Research Scientist, Center for Brain Imaging, New York University
The Italian Academy, founded in 1991 by Columbia University and the Republic of Italy, sponsors advanced research in the humanities and sciences. Its series of symposia on neuroscientific topics has garnered wide interest amongst both scientists and the public. They have ranged from "Art and the New Biology of Mind" to the latest research on "Attention and on Mirror Neurons," to name only the best attended. Details of past neuroscience events, videos, and press coverage can be found here.
The New York University College of Arts and Science is the oldest and largest academic unit of New York University, founded in 1832. In recent years the College has become recognized as a national leader for its efforts to reinvent a liberal arts education for the 21st century. With a challenging liberal arts Core at the center of its curriculum, the College emphasizes student inquiry and research; offers unique opportunities for international and preprofessional study; and makes use of the city as a site for learning and service. A liberal arts education thus reconceived is not only personally enriching but also eminently practical in developing the skills and perspectives essential to assume a leadership role in the 21st century. As the new millennium proceeds, the College continues to build on its founders' goal of providing "Useful Knowledge."