MCCHE Precision Convergence Webinar Series with Dani Bassett

Friday, January 20, 2023 11:00to13:00
Dani Bassett

Quantifying Economy in Brain Networks

By Dani Bassett

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

With High-Level Panel of Leaders in Science, Technology, On-the-Ground Action, and Policy

The human brain is organized as a network of interconnected components in the form of neural units, ensembles, areas, and regions. Across a range of spatial scales, that network is neither perfectly ordered nor perfectly random. Its heterogeneous organization supports complex activity dynamics while simultaneously constraining such dynamics. How does this constraint affect the cost of activity flow? In this talk, I will discuss the notion of network economy: the idea that the brain's network organization partially determines the cost of reaching a brain state, maintaining a brain state, and transitioning between brain states. I will draw ideas and examples from the field of network control theory, which provides a framework for calculating energy costs associated with network systems reaching, maintaining, and transitioning among brain states. The discussion will focus on basic principles and intuitions, and will point listeners to code repositories, primers, and methodological studies they might find useful in implementing the approach. I will close by broadening out to discuss how principles of network economy can inform our study of cognitive effort and executive function, as well as cognitive changes associated with neurodevelopment.

About the speaker

Dani Bassett is the J. Peter Skirkanich Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Departments of Bioengineering, Electrical & Systems Engineering, Physics & Astronomy, Neurology, and Psychiatry, and external professor of the Santa Fe Institute. They received a B.S. in physics from Penn State University and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Cambridge as a Churchill Scholar and NIH Health-Sciences Scholar. Following a postdoc at UC Santa Barbara, Bassett was a Junior Research Fellow at the Sage Center for the Study of the Mind. They have received multiple prestigious awards, including American Psychological Association's ‘Rising Star’ (2012), Alfred Sloan Fellow (2014), MacArthur Fellow (2014), IEEE EMBS Early Academic Achievement Award (2015), Office of Naval Research Young Investigator (2015), National Science Foundation CAREER (2016), Popular Science Bril-liant 10 (2016), Lagrange Prize in Complex Systems Science (2017), ErdosRenyi Prize in Network Science (2018), OHBM Young Investigator Award (2020), AIMBE College of Fellows (2020), American Physical Society Fellow (2021), and Web of Science's most Highly Cited Researchers (2019-2021). Bassett is the author of more than 380 peer-reviewed publications (36,000 citations), and an academic trade book co-authored with philosopher and twin Perry Zurn titled “Curious Minds: The Power of Connection” (MIT Press; 2022).

About the series

The Precision Convergence series is launched to catalyze unique synergy between, on the one hand, novel partnerships across sciences, sectors and jurisdictions around targeted domains of real-world solutions, and on the other hand, a next generation convergence of AI with advanced research computing and other data and digital architectures such as PSC’s Bridges-2, and supporting data sharing frameworks such as HuBMAP, informing in a real time as possible the design, deployment and monitoring of solutions for adaptive real-world behaviour and context.

The Precision Convergence Webinar Series is co-hosted by The McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics (MCCHE) at McGill University and The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, a joint computational research centre between Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.


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