images Spring 2010 Neuroscience Seminars

Fall 2013 Seminar Series in Neuroscience

Location of Seminars: Muenzinger E214 (See map and directions)

Tuesday Feb. 4th, 4-5 pm Dr. Michael Milham, Research Psychiatrist and Founding Director, Center for the Developing Brain, Child Mind Institute

TITLE: “Emerging Models for Biomarker Identification in the Developing Brain

Abstract: Central to the development of clinical tools for developmental neuropsychiatry is the discovery and validation of biomarkers. Resting state fMRI (R-fMRI) is emerging as a mainstream approach for imaging-based biomarker identification, detecting variations in the human connections that can be attributed to developmental and clinical variables (e.g., diagnostic status). Despite growing enthusiasm, many challenges remain. I will discuss evidence of the readiness of R-fMRI based functional connectomics to lead to clinically meaningful biomarker identification in developing populations through the lens of the criteria used to evaluate clinical tests (i.e., validity, reliabliity, sensitivity, specificity, and applicability). Gaps and needs for R-fMRI-based biomarker identification will be identified, and the potential of emerging conceptual, analytical, and cultural innovations (e.g., the Research Domain Criteria Project RDoC), open science initiatives, and Big Data) to address them will be highlighted. The need to expand future efforts beyond identification of biomarkers for disease status will be discussed, with a particular emphasis on the importance of identifying clinical related to risk, expected treatment response and prognosis.
Tuesday Feb. 18th, 4-5 pm Dr. Pilyoung Kim, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Denver

TITLE: "Childhood Poverty, Brain, and Emotion Regulation"

Abstract: One fifth of America's children grow up in poverty. Childhood poverty has been consistently linked to suboptimal physiological and emotional health outcomes in children and adults. Individuals living in poverty are far more likely to be exposed to severe and chronic stress, and the exposure to chronic has shown to disrupt normal brain development. In this talk, I will present a fMRI study investigating the long-term effects of childhood poverty on the neural correlates of emotion regulation.
Tuesday Mar. 4th, 4-5 pm

Dr. Amanda Law, Professor and Nancy Gary Chair in Children's Mental Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver

TITLE: “Neuregulin/ErbB Signaling in Brain Development and Function. Relationship to Schizophrenia

Abstract: Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) and ErbB4 are critical neurodevelopmental genes implicated in risk for a wide range of neurological disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorders and intellectual disability. The neurobiological mechanisms of risk for disease are unknown, but likely involve aberrant neurons migration, cortical wiring and function of cortical GABAergic interneurons. In this talk, I will present data from my laboratory, which incorporates translational neuroscience approaches to study mechanisms of genetic risk. Studies using human brain and animal models demonstrate that aberrant NRG1/ErbB4 signaling is apparent in schizophrenia and that transgenic modulation of the mouse brain with the human impairments of learning, memory, cognition and social development, deficits that have neurophysiological underpinnings related to maldevelopment of prefrontal cortical glutamatergic and GABAergic signaling. These studies suggest that NRG1/ErbB4 signaling is critical for normal brain development and function and highlight the growth factor pathway as a therapeutic for next generation treatments for cognitive and psychiatric disordars.

Tuesday, Mar. 18th, 4-5 pm

Dr. Jim Grau, Professor, Department of Psychology, Texas A&M University

TITLE: "Learning and Memory Without a Brain "

Abstract: Most assume that learning and memory is the province of the brain. From this perspective, the spinal cord is viewed as a relatively hard-wired system that functions to relay impulses to and from the brain. Our research suggests an alternative view - that neurons within the spinal cord are sensitive to environmental relations and that experience can bring about a lasting change in how it functions. Cellular mechanisms implicated in brain-mediated learning and memory are found within the spinal cord and can influence how pain and motor pathways operate. Unpredictable/uncontrollable stimulation inhibits this learning, enhances responsiveness to mildly noxious stimuli, and disrupts recovery after spinal injury. Conversely, predictable/controllable stimulation fosters learning and counters the sensitization of pain circuits. the beneficial effects of training have been linked to the release of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). The adverse effect of unpredictable/uncontrollable stimulation depends upon a cytokine, tumor necrosis (TNF).

Tuesday, Apr. 8th, 4-5 pm Dr. David Borsook, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Director, Division of Substance Dependence, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver

TITLE: “Brain Sub-Hubs and Connections: Using Imaging to Define Biological Circuits In Pain and Analgesia

Abstract: The talk will evaluate regions (e.g. basal ganglia, cerebellum, habenula, PAG) involved in a variety of processes in pain processing. It will also try to address an exciting avenue of the ability of brain imaging to functionally and structurally dissect pathways in the human condition.
Tuesday Dec. 3rd, 4-5 pm Dr. Thomas Crowley, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Director, Division of Substance Dependence, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver

TITLE: “Adolescent Behavior Disinhibition and Substance Use Disorders

Abstract: "Behavioral disinhibition is a highly heritable general propensity to not constrain behavior in socially acceptable ways, to break social norms and rules, and to take dangerous risks, pursuing rewards excessively despite dangers of adverse consequences." This trait, often identifiable in prepubertal children, predicts significant antisocial and substance problems in adolescence and adulthood. Its heritability and behavioral expression suggest the possibliity of underlying abnormal brain function. To assess that we did functional magnetic resonance imaging in 81 adolescents, 14-18 years old, as they played a game requiring repeated choices between doing a risky or a cautious behavior. Participants included male and female patients in treatment for severe conduct and substance problems, and male and female community comparison youths. We considered 3 contrasts: male vs. female community youths, male community vs. patient youths, and female community vs. patient youths. Before both risky and cautious behaviors community females showed much less brain activity than community males, but females better adjusted their behavior to changing reward contingencies. Meanwihle, in both sexes patients showed much less brain activity than community youths. When making risky-vs.-cautious choices, patients' brain were not "working right".