Sponsored by the UCLA Brain Mapping Center Faculty

The focus of these talks is on advancing the use of brain mapping methods in neuroscience with an emphasis on contemporary issues of neuroplasticity, neurodevelopment, and biomarker development in neuropsychiatric disease.

Hosted By: Marco Iacoboni, M.D., Ph.D., Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA

“A shared role for rostral prefrontal cortex in memory and reasoning”

Jesse Rissman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, Brain Research Institute, Integrative Center for Learning and Memory

Emerging evidence suggests a rostro-caudal hierarchy of cognitive control operations in the prefrontal cortex. Rostral areas are thought to represent and enact abstract goal states, whereas caudal areas support the selection and execution of goal-appropriate actions. However, the specific nature of rostral prefrontal cortex (rPFC) contributions to higher cognition remains the subject of debate. In this talk, Dr. Rissman will present data from an fMRI experiment designed to examine the degree to which common and/or dissociable rPFC regions are engaged during two different cognitive tasks known to involve the rPFC: analogical reasoning and episodic memory retrieval. Using a novel experimental paradigm that carefully balanced perceptual and response demands across tasks, his lab identified a set of lateral and medial rPFC regions that are commonly recruited during reasoning and memory, relative to a visuospatial control task. To better understand the roles of these regions, Dr. Rissman will discuss data from analyses of transient vs. sustained effects, functional connectivity, and multivariate pattern decoding. Taken together, this work will demonstrate how common rPFC regions can flexibly adapt their connectivity with distinct brain networks depending on the type of mental representations that must be monitored and integrated to accomplish each task.

March 6, 2014 11:00am - 12:00pm
Neuroscience Research Building (NRB 132)
For more information contact: Ludmila Budilo (310-825-2699,
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