University Relations
OneStop myU

Victoria Interrante, PhD
Computer Science & Engineering

Associate Director
Jeanette Gundel, PhD
Professor, Linguistics


spring 2017 Colloquia

Thursdays, 4:00 - 5:30 pm, Elliott N639

May 4

Link SwansonLink Swanson, Libraries

"Hallucination and Perception: A Delicate Balance of Top-down and Bottom-up in the Predictive Brain"

Recent work in computational systems neuroscience hypothesizes that hallucinatory experience and perceptual experience share many underlying neural mechanisms. In this talk I present an overview of my recent work on the scientific and philosophical implications of Bayesian predictive processing accounts of hallucination. I argue that such accounts offer powerful new tools to understand hallucinatory phenomena as they occur in psychopathology as well as in psychedelic drug states. I demonstrate how Bayesian neurocomputational models can illuminate the mechanisms by which neuromodulator molecules can lead to hallucinations and altered perception, cognition, and attention.



Keynote Speaker: Véronique Bohbot, McGill University, Quebec, Canada

"Early detection and intervention in healthy older adults at risk of Alzheimer's disease"

"A larger hippocampus has been associated with healthy cognition in normal aging and with a reduced risk of numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Schizophrenia, Post-Traumatic Stress disorder and Depression. The hippocampus is implicated in spatial memory strategies used when finding one's way in the environment, i.e. it is allocentric and involves remembering the relationship between landmarks. On the other hand, a compensatory strategy dependent on the caudate nucleus can also be used, i.e. the response strategy, which relies on making a series of stimulus-response associations (e.g. right and left turns from given positions). Measures of spontaneous navigation strategies from ages 8 to 80 yrs have shown a decrease in spatial memory strategies across the life span, along with a reduction in activity and grey matter in the hippocampus.

Interestingly, those using spatial memory in old age showed increased fMRI activity and grey matter in the hippocampus, suggesting a tight relationship between structure and function maintains in aging. Furthermore, super heathy individuals with the ApoE4 genotype, using response strategies, had atrophy in the entorhinal cortex, a region known to predict conversion rates to Alzheimer's disease. In order to reverse this process and stimulate the hippocampus, we spent 5 years to develop a 16-h spatial memory improvement program that promotes the use of spatial strategies in over 50 different virtual environments, varying in size and complexity. Results indicate that completion of our cognitive intervention was associated with spatial memory improvements, increases in activity and grey matter of the hippocampus. Our findings suggest that spatial memory, which involves learning the relationship between environmental landmarks, is critical to hippocampal function which in turn, may have an impact on the incidence of neurological and psychiatric disorders."


Spring Research Day (SRD) is our annual all–day, university–wide symposium that showcases the work of graduate students.

The Center for Cognitive Sciences encourages interdisciplinary involvement for all departments. This year, we invite all University of Minnesota graduate students to submit abstracts for posters or 10-to-15 minute oral presentations. Feel free to present developing research ideas or recycle previously presented posters. We are looking for diverse research projects from a wide range of departments and programs.

Lunch will be from 12:00 - 1:00pm

Spring Research Day 2017
Program & Posters



Updated April 26, 2017