Annual Swartz Foundation Mind/Brain Lecture, April 8

Mind brain lectureSabine Kastner, a cognitive neuroscientist from Princeton University, will discuss, “Everyone knows what attention is …” — On its neural basis in the primate brain, on Monday, April 8, at 4 pm, at the Staller Center, Main Stage. The annual Swartz Foundation Mind/Brain Lecture will also be livestreamed at stonybrook.edu/live.

The selection of information from our cluttered sensory environments, often referred to as “attention,” is one of the most fundamental cognitive operations performed by the primate brain.

How can we measure attention behaviors? What are neural mechanisms to support them? And what happens when attention mechanisms fail?

Sabine Kastner
Sabine Kastner

Starting from classical behavioral studies, Kastner will provide an overview of the brain network and some of the mechanisms that support attention behaviors. She will conclude with recent studies suggesting that the temporal dynamics of the attention network provide a scaffold for the integration and coordination of memory and sensory processing networks. This framework provides a basis for furthering our understanding of the devastating consequences caused by attention deficit disorders.

This is a free presentation intended for a general audience.

Kastner is known for her pioneering work on the neural basis of visual attention, her comparative studies in the human and monkey brain, and her groundbreaking studies on the role of the thalamus in perception and cognition.

She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and a member of the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina). In recognition of her contributions, Kastner received the Young Investigator Award from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, the George A. Miller Prize in Cognitive Neuroscience, and the Society for Neuroscience’s Award on Education in Neuroscience.

The Mind/Brain Lecture Series is hosted by Stony Brook’s Department of Neurobiology and Behavior and is supported by the Swartz Foundation, which launched the lecture series at Stony Brook University in 1997 to acquaint the campus and the public with current thoughts on brain research. The lecture series promotes the philosophical and scientific perspective that properties of the mind — from sensory perception to learning to thinking to consciousness — are a direct product of the intrinsic physical properties of the brain.

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