Feindel Virtual Brain and Mind Lecture Series: Modulation of the circuits of mental illness


Dr. Mark Halko will present. 

Registration via Eventbrite.

Livestreaming via Vimeo

Speaker: Mark Halko, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, USA

Neuroscientist, McLean Hospital

Abstract: The human neuroscience explosion has led to large scale discoveries in the organization, function and dynamics of the brain, yet these discoveries have yet to directly impact patient well-being. Recent discoveries using resting-state imaging have revealed sufficiently reliable measures of the organization of the human brain into functional brain networks, and in so doing simplified the collection of data that can speak to the prediction of behavior associated with mental illness and how they relate to symptoms of mental illness. Typically, these predictions are performed across subjects, by examining how these circuits explain variance in behavior and symptoms. We have shown that these functional brain networks can be modified with specifically targeted non-invasive brain stimulation. These experiments serve as a unique basic human neuroscience test-bed for therapeutically minded questions, by specifically examining how change in these networks leads to change in behavior. With single sessions, network dynamics can be used to evaluate the effects of non-motor system targeted TMS, and can be used to predict responses. Because this approach is directly translatable to patient populations, we can show that once a symptom-circuit is discovered in schizophrenia, these same tools can be used over longer periods of time to induce long-term change in patient symptomology in schizophrenia, with validation of the target brain network change. Thus, our work shows that the gap between what we know about the brain and what we can offer to patients can be rapidly closed with today’s technology, and hopefully inspiring development of improved network-targeted therapeutic intervention to help patients today.

The Feindel Virtual Brain and Mind (VBM) Seminar Series will advance the vision of Dr. William Feindel (1918–2014), Former Director of the Neuro (1972–1984), to constantly bridge the clinical and research realms. The talks will highlight the latest advances and discoveries in neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, and neuroimaging.

Speakers will include scientists from across The Neuro, as well as colleagues and collaborators locally and from around the world. The series is intended to provide a virtual forum for scientists and trainees to continue to foster interdisciplinary exchanges on the mechanisms, diagnosis and treatment of brain and cognitive disorders.

Contact Information

Sasha Kelly
Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital
sasha.kelly [at] mcgill.ca
Office Phone: 
Mobile Phone: 
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