24th Annual Neuropsychology Day and Brenda Milner Lecture: Functional Specializations in the Cortex in Humans: Which, When, and Why?

Monday, May 1, 2023 13:30to18:30
Montreal Neurological Institute Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre, 3801 rue University, Montreal, QC, H3A 2B4, CA


The 24th Annual Neuropsychology Day and Brenda Milner Lecture honour the career and achievements of Professor Brenda Milner, an eminent cognitive neuroscientist and pioneer of the discipline of neuropsychology.

The day begins at 12:00 p.m. with a Lunch & Poster Session#1, followed by the Student Networking Session and Oral Presentations. The keynote lecture entitled, "Functional Specializations in the Cortex in Humans: Which, When, and Why?' starts at 4:00 p.m. The Cocktail and Poster Session#2 follows.

We are pleased to welcome Professor Nancy Kanwisher as the 24th Annual Brenda Milner Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience.

Keynote Speaker: Nancy Kanwisher, B.S., PhD
Investigator, McGovern Institute for Brain Research
Chief, Behavioral Neurology, Dept of Neurology
Walter A. Rosenblith Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience
Neuroscience,  Brain & Cognitive Sciences, McGovern Institute, Cambridge, USA

Register - here

Streaming LINK (no Q&A function)

Talk abstract  

The last 20 years of human brain imaging research has revealed a set of cortical regions specifically engaged in particular mental tasks from the perception of faces and speech sounds to understanding the meaning of a sentence or thinking about another person’s thoughts. Each of these regions is present, in approximately the same location, in virtually every normal person. I like to think of this initial rough sketch of the functional organization of the brain as a diagram of the major components of the human mind, a kind of picture of who we are as perceivers and thinkers. But at the same time this new map is just the barest beginning, revealing a vast landscape of unanswered questions. What other specialized regions exist in the cortex, and what are they specialized for? How do these regions arise in development, and how much of the organization of the brain is specified at birth? Perhaps most fundamentally, why, from a computational point of view, is the brain organized the way it is, with this combination of highly specialized brain regions, along with very general-purpose systems? These open questions are much harder to answer, but I will mention a few tantalizing glimmers that are beginning to emerge from labs around the world.

Call for Posters 

Sharing Science and Knowledge

Young scientists across Montreal have the opportunity to share their ideas and research during Neuropsychology Day. Trainees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral level are invited to present their work. The poster session will take place in-person and talks will be delivered in a hybrid format.

Abstract submissions will be entered into a competition with prizes of $250 for first place and $100 for three runners-up! 

The scientific presentations are intended to ignite discussion, collaboration, and connection among the Montreal cognitive neuroscience community. We encourage you to share your most current project in any stage of development, including literature reviews, research questions, and pilot projects.



The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital is at 3801 University Street, north of Pine Avenue West, on the McGill University campus opposite the former Royal Victoria Hospital.

Montreal is served by highway Routes 10, 15, 20 and 40, and by Greyhound Bus, ViaRail and the P-E-Trudeau airport. In the city, bus and metro service is provided by the Société de transport de Montréal (STM).

Wheelchair access

A wheelchair accessible entrance is on University Street north of the main entrance. Another wheelchair accessible entrance is in the loading area behind the building: to enter the loading area, turn into the driveway south of the main entrance. Please note, there is no parking in the loading area.


Parking near the MNI is sometimes difficult. There are parking meters on University Street and a parking lot north of the main entrance. To enter the lot, turn right into the driveway toward Molson Stadium.

Information about parking fees

Taxi Stand

There is a taxi stand on University Street across from the main entrance. You may call a cab from the free taxi phone in the main lobby near the Security Desk.

Access by Public Transportation (STM website)


There are four bus stops within walking distance:

  • Bus 144 stops at Pine Avenue and University Street
  • Bus 356 stops at Sherbrooke Street and University Street (Nightbus)
  • Bus 107 stops at Pine Avenue and Docteur Penfield
  • Bus 24 stops at Sherbrooke Street and University Street


Take the Metro Green Line to the McGill station. Walk north on University Street and cross Pine Avenue. The main entrance is on the right, past the flags.

Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre

  • Enter main lobby turn left and go down the hallway to the end.
  • Turn right and go down the second hallway until you see another hallway on the left.
  • This hallway leads to the Jeanne Timmins Foyer.
  • On your right are the Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre entrance doors.

Organizing Committee

Lesley Fellows

Xiaoqian Chai

Denise Klein

Michael Petrides

Debbie Rashcovsky


Scientific Committee

Xiaoqian Chai

Denise Klein

Colleen Hughes

Stephanie Deschamps

Miyoung Chung

Alan Yin



The Neuro logo McGill logoMcGill University Health Centre logoKillam Laureates


The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) is a bilingual academic healthcare institution. We are a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high-quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.



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