Virtual IBACS Meet & Speak: October 10th, 2020

Virtual IBACS Meet & Speak: October 10th, 2020


The CT Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (IBACS) hosted its annual Meet and Speak” event virtually via Zoom on Saturday, October 10thThis event is an opportunity to learn more about the diverse research that IBACS affiliates are engaged in, and provides a forum for cross-disciplinary networking.  Faculty gave 10-minute presentations describing, in accessible language, the research they have carried out, or propose carrying out in relation to the Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Graduate students affiliated with the Institute provided short “datablitz” style presentations about their involvement in IBACS seed-funded or fellowship-supported research. Following the graduate student blitz, there was a panel discussion to commemorate our 5-year anniversary. The panel discussed questions such as the following: What does brain science/cognitive science mean to you? What are the challenges to progress that particularly excite you? What are the opportunities for progress? Where is brain science/cognitive science heading, or where should it head?   Following the panel discussion, Dr. John Gabrieli, MIT presented a keynote talk. Some links to individual talks (including the keynote) and the panel discussion can be found below:


Faculty Talks 

Eric Levine, Neuroscience 

Cellular effects of a common BDNF gene variant associated with altered cognition in humans

Sharon Casavant, Nursing

Predicting neurodevelopmental outcomes of preterm infants using absolute telomere length

Sabato Santaniello, Biomedical Engineering

Cerebellar stimulation and network-wide oscillations in essential tremor

Linnaea Ostroff, Physiology and Neurobiology

Synaptic pathways of fear and safety

James Magnuson, Psychological Sciences

Computational modeling of human speech recognition

John Salamone, Psychological Sciences

Inflammation and effort-related motivational dysfunction in rat models: Implications for psychopathology

Umay Suanda, Psychological Sciences

How toddlers learn the meanings of words: A Statistical Learning approach

Noelle Wig, Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

A Dynamic Duo: Interaction between referential context and bilingualism in sentence processing

Gerry Altmann, Psychological Sciences

Representing events in deep neural networks

Sandra Villata, Linguistics & Psychological Sciences

An empirical investigation of ungrammatical sentence processing


Graduate Student Blitz

Lana Delasanta, Psychological Sciences

Analyzing group drumming using a Nonlinear Dynamics approach

Yi Wei, Psychological Sciences

Neural resonance to syncopated rhythms: Model predictions and experimental tests

Hannah Morrow, Psychological Sciences

Waves of Binding: EEG oscillations during integration of visual, auditory, and lexical stimuli

Briana Oshiro, Mathematics

A brief introduction to Dynamic Causal Modeling

Emily Yearling, Psychological Sciences

Using the past to understand the present: Insights into the episodic nature of tokenization

Aliyar Ozercan, Philosophy

Mental states and language development


Panel Discussion

Featuring Whit Tabor, Holly Fitch, Sabato Santaniello, and John Gabrieli with Gerry Altmann as moderator

Current directions, challenges, and opportunities in the brain and cognitive sciences 


Keynote Talk

John Gabrieli, Director of the Martinos Imaging Center at the McGovern Institute, MIT

Title: Environmental Influences on Human Brain Development

Abstract: Neuroimaging provides new views on how environmental factors influence human brain development.  I will review findings about associations (1) among family socioeconomic status (SES), brain anatomy, and academic performance; (2) between early language experience and brain function and structure; and (3) between stress and brain function and how those can be altered by mindfulness training.