What is Cognitive Science

Brain Reading in the Human Visual Pathways: Why there is no FACE area in the brain

Dr. Stephen Jose Hanson

Thursday, October 02, 2014, 12:00pm - 07:00pm

Rutgers University, Director of RUBIC and Professor of Psychology, Newark

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In this talk, I will present some basics of fMRI methods, and provide a tutorial context for the acquisition of the MR signal which will allow us to critically examine the evidence for a FACE area in the brain.  Using new methods for "brain reading" developed jointly with the Haxby Lab (MPVA/PD), we will see that the so called FFA is not sensitive to faces, per se, nor is it homogenous in its stimulus response properties (even at very high spatial resolution), nor is it independent in its function relative to other areas of the brain that comprise an identifiable network in the brain which appears to do something other than "FACE" identification.  In fact, we will show that the highly distributed nature of the computation in temporal lobe and throughout cortex is unlikely to support anything as a local module for a specific concept or category.  Nonetheless, once the distributed encoding is properly decoded, basic categorical distinctions in temporal cortex can be revealed, such as Animacy.

Dr. Stephen Jose Hanson

"What is Cognitive Science?"

This lunchtime talks series is designed to introduce the University community to issues in Cognitive Science. Cognitive Science is one the the few fields where modern developments in computer science and artificial intelligence promise to shed light on classical problems in psychology and the philosophy of the mind. Ancient questions of how we see the world, understand language, and reason, and questions such as 'how a material system can know about the outside world', are being explored with the powerful new conceptual prosthetics of computer modeling.

The talks in this lunchtime lecture series are every Thursday during the Fall semester from ** 12:00-1:00 ** in the Psychology Building, Room 101 on  Busch Campus.

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