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Need a textbook? Email Sheldon. Goals and Methods. What is the goal of Cognitive Neuroscience?. Goals and Methods. Broad goal is to understand how the brain accomplishes cognitive processes such as attention, memory, language and consciousness There are several smaller questions in this:

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goals and methods

Goals and Methods

What is the goal of Cognitive Neuroscience?

goals and methods1
Goals and Methods
  • Broad goal is to understand how the brain accomplishes cognitive processes such as attention, memory, language and consciousness
  • There are several smaller questions in this:
    • What structures do what jobs?
    • How is information represented in these structures?
    • How is information passed between these structures?
anatomy
Anatomy
  • What is the difference between Structural Anatomy and Functional Anatomy?
  • What roles do each play in our understanding of the brain?
structural anatomy
Structural Anatomy
  • Brain structures are identified in a hierarchical fashion (with substantial randomness)
  • Hemispheres -> Lobes -> Sulci & Gyri
  • Sulci and Gyri are all named
    • but somewhat variable across individuals
structural anatomy1
Structural Anatomy
  • Brodmann Areas defined by cytoarchitecture
    • map of variations in cellular morphology
    • It is probably not coincidence that Broadman areas are also generally functionally distinct
connectivity
Connectivity
  • Anatomists are also concerned with brain regions and how they are interconnected
  • Interconnectedness occurs at various levels:
    • interneurons
    • cortico-cortical connections
    • thalamo-cortical and cortico-thalamic
    • afferent = “to” (e.g. sensory) and efferent = “from” (e.g. motor)
connectivity1
Connectivity
  • How do anatomists study connectivity?
    • Retrograde Tracers (e.g. horseradish peroxidase) follow axons back to where they came from
    • Anterograde Tracers (e.g. dextran) follow axons to where they are going
connectivity2
Connectivity
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI)
    • MRI Technique that traces long white matter tracts
connectivity3
Connectivity
  • “Ascending” and “descending” projections in sensory systems
    • estimate: for every ascending projection there are ten descending projections
connectivity4
Connectivity
  • “Ascending” and “descending” projections in sensory systems
    • estimate: for every ascending projection there are ten descending projections

Why would we have descending projections?

connectivity5
Connectivity
  • It is the inter-connectivity of the brain that (probably) allows it to perform the vastly complex processes of cognition
structural and functional imaging
Structural and Functional Imaging
  • There are a number of well known techniques to create images of brain anatomy
    • CAT scan, MRI, X-Ray,
  • Note however that structural and functional images are not the same thing!
structural and functional imaging1
Structural and Functional Imaging
  • There are a number of well known techniques to create images of brain anatomy
    • CAT scan, MRI, X-Ray,
  • Note however that structural and functional images are not the same thing!
  • Which is more useful? If you could go back in time and give one of these techniques to the earliest neuroscientists, which would it be?
structural and functional imaging2
Structural and Functional Imaging
  • This is a Functional MRI Image !?
structural and functional imaging3
Structural and Functional Imaging
  • This is a structural MRI image (an “anatomical” image)
structural and functional imaging4
Structural and Functional Imaging
  • What you really want is both images co-registered
structural and functional imaging5
Structural and Functional Imaging
  • What you really want is both images co-registered
  • Why? What’s wrong with the functional image alone?
structural and functional imaging6
Structural and Functional Imaging
  • Functional images tend to be lower resolution and fail to convey spatial information

Pixels

structural and functional imaging7
Structural and Functional Imaging
  • Structural images have finer (smaller) pixels

Pixels