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Cognitive neuroscience: Seeking convergence between neuroimaging and neuropsychology

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Cognitive neuroscience is still a relatively young field, but has largely now moved on from the early days in which studies demonstrating “the neural correlates of x” would always generate great excitement. Such straightforward studies can still be published, and can sometimes be interesting. However, researchers are often now more interested in using cognitive neuroscience techniques such as neuroimaging and neuropsychology to inform the development of cognitive theories and to better understand cognitive disorders. In this lecture, I will describe examples from our work and from other laboratories in which theoretically-motivated neuroimaging and neuropsychological experiments have been designed in a manner that is constrained closely by cognitive theory. I will illustrate how data from these experiments, particularly where convergent evidence across techniques is obtained, can be used to guide the formulation of new neurocognitive theories. Finally, I will provide examples of how these theories can be applied to inform the understanding of cognitive dysfunction in neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Further Reading:

Simons, J.S., Davis, S.W., Gilbert, S.J., Frith, C.D., & Burgess, P.W. (2006). Discriminating imagined from perceived information engages brain areas implicated in schizophrenia. NeuroImage, 32, 696-703. [pdf] Further reading

Simons, J.S. (2009). Constraints on cognitive theory from neuroimaging studies of source memory. In F. Rösler, C. Ranganath, B. Röder, & R.H. Kluwe (Eds.) Neuroimaging of Human Memory: Linking Cognitive Processes to Neural Systems (pp. 405-426). Oxford University Press, Oxford. [pdf] Further reading

This talk is part of the Graduate Programme in Cognitive and Brain Sciences series.

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