CDS Seminar Series : Professor Rhodri Cusack | Using Neuroimaging and Deep Learning to Understand Brain Development in Helpless Young Infants

Location
Gisbert Kapp Lecture Theatre, In person event, Room N225, Zoom - registration required
Dates
Thursday 25 April 2024 (13:00-17:00)
Professor Rhodri Cusack
Professor Rhodri Cusack

This seminar is free to attend and is open to all, both within and outside the University. If you wish to attend in person or via Zoom, please register your interest to attend via the Zoom portal using the link above. Zoom details will be shared prior to the event via email.

 

We are delighted to announce that the Centre for Developmental Science will welcome Professor Rhodri Cusack, Thomas Mitchell Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin, to present a hybrid CDS Seminar, taking place on Thursday 25th of April 2024, 13:00-14:00.

The seminar will then be followed by a workshop with the speaker, more details on this to follow.

You are welcome to attend either in person at Gisbert Kapp, Room N225, or online via Zoom. If you wish to attend, please register your interest to attend either in person or online via the Zoom portal using the link above. 

Prof Cusack's Twitter handle is @rhodricusack and he can be contacted on cusackrh@tcd.ie 

To arrange a 1:1 meeting with the speaker, please email Anne Darby,  a.darby@bham.ac.uk

CDS Event Hosts - Professor Ole Jensen, Dr Kyungmin An and Barbara Pomiechowska 

Using Neuroimaging and Deep Learning to Understand Brain Development in Helpless Young Infants

Abstract

Human infants have a protracted helpless period. Language, motor control, and other functions are rudimentary for around a year after birth but mature rapidly thereafter. What is the cause of this delay? It might be because the corresponding brain systems need time to mature before they are ready to function. Alternatively, these systems may function from birth, but need to gather experience of the environment before overt behaviour can develop. To distinguish these alternatives, we used neuroimaging with fMRI to probe the selectivity and connectivity in the infant brain, and deep neural networks to create computational models of learning. Across domains, we found converging evidence that cognitive systems are surprisingly mature, and that even high-level systems are functioning, supporting a neuroconstructivist perspective that the protracted helpless period is because infants are acquiring a foundation model, of effective brain representations to support future cognition.

Speaker Biography

Rhodri Cusack is the Thomas Mitchell Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Trinity College Dublin, and Director of the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience. His team studies how the brain and mind develop in infants using neuroimaging and online testing. The goals are to understand healthy development and to provide tools for earlier diagnosis in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Rhodri studied physics at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and then obtained a PhD in psychology from the University of Birmingham. He was then a postdoctoral fellow and subsequently group leader at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, and then an Associate Professor at the Brain and Mind Institute of the University of Western Ontario. He joined Trinity College in 2017.

His research has been funded by the ERC, SFI, IRC, MRC, Wellcome Trust, BBSRC, EPSRC, CIHR, and NSERC. He has 136 peer-reviewed publications.

Learn more about our team and its research at www.cusacklab.org

This seminar is free to attend and is open to all, both within and outside the University. If you wish to attend in person or via Zoom, please register your interest to attend via the Zoom portal using the link above. Zoom details will be shared prior to the event via email.