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Turtles all the way up: sensory-topographic organization throughout the human brain

Du 24/04/2023 au 24/04/2023

Tomas KNAPEN (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience) has given ​a talk on Monday 24, April. 

Short abstract:

A fundamental mode of brain organization is that of topographic maps: the homologous representation of a sensor array, such as the retina, on the surface of the cerebral cortex. This topographic organization was traditionally thought to be limited to low-level sensory processing. In the first half of my presentation I will recount recent work from my lab demonstrating that sensory-topographic hierarchies extend all the way into the highest levels of the brain’s processing. Specifically, using ultra-high field fMRI we have discovered sensory retinotopic maps in the cerebellum, default mode network, and hippocampus: regions traditionally implicated in coordination of action, memory, and high-level cognition. These discoveries make sense when we realize that these topographic maps are our sole connections to the world we inhabit, but they leave open the question: What role do these maps and their interactions play in our rich experience of the world? In the second half of my presentation, I will introduce a set of computational modeling and functional connectivity findings that elucidate how sensory topographies interact to give rise to our rich experiences of naturalistic visual movies.​

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