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Brain geometry and dynamics

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dace Apšvalka.

A methods talk based on a recent Nature paper: Pang, James C., et al. “Geometric constraints on human brain function.” Nature (2023): 1-9.

Abstract: The anatomy of the brain necessarily constrains its function, but precisely how remains unclear. In this presentation, I will show that cortical and subcortical activity can be understood as resulting from excitations of fundamental, resonance modes of the brain’s geometry (that is, its shape) rather than from modes of complex interregional connectivity, as classically assumed. I will also show that brain activations evoked by a cognitive task are not confined to focal areas, as widely believed, but instead excite brain-wide modes with long wavelengths. Finally, I will show that the close link between geometry and function is explained by a dominant role of wave-like activity, and that wave dynamics can reproduce numerous canonical spatiotemporal properties of spontaneous and evoked recordings. These findings challenge prevailing views and identify a previously underappreciated role of geometry in shaping function, as predicted by a unifying and physically principled model of brain-wide dynamics.

Bio: Dr James Pang received his PhD in Physics from the University of Sydney and completed his postdoctoral training in the Brain Modelling Group at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. He is currently a Research Fellow at Monash University’s Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health and School of Psychological Sciences. His research employs a multidisciplinary approach that combines whole-brain imaging, biophysical modelling, and connectivity to better understand the mechanisms of brain function in health, disease, and across species.

Venue: MRC CBU Lecture Theatre and Zoom

This talk is part of the CBU Monday Methods Meeting series.

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