Annual Neuropsychology Day and Brenda Milner Lecture: Learning and Memory in the Human Brain (Virtual)

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 13:30to17:00
3801 University Street, QC, CA

The 22 Annual Neuropsychology Day and Brenda Milner Lecture honours the career and achievements of Dr. Milner, an eminent cognitive neuroscientist and pioneer of the discipline of neuropsychology. We are pleased to welcome Dr. John D.E. Gabrieli as the 22 Annual Brenda Milner Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience.  On Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 4pm, Dr. Gabrieli will present "Learning and Memory in the Human Brain". Neuropsychology day will take place in 2021 exceptionally as a virtual event. 

To register: Event Platform


Brenda Milner’s seminal research has been foundational in our understanding of the organization of learning and memory in the human brain. I will summarize how subsequent research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has built upon that foundation. I will also review how fMRI has extended knowledge about how different structures within the medial temporal lobe contribute selectively to different aspects of memory, and about the variable developmental trajectories of different kinds of memory from childhood through adulthood.

Sharing Science and Knowledge

The scientific portion of the day will provide young scientists following in the footsteps of Brenda Milner an opportunity to share and shine a light on their work in cognitive neuroscience. Undergraduate students, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows are invited to present their work as posters, flash talks or to be viewed in our Gallery space.

SCIENTIFIC PRESENTATIONS: Do you want to expand your research network? We want to hear from you about your current projects at any stage: literature reviews, research questions, preliminary data, projects ‘in the making’! In this “pandemic edition” of the Brenda Milner Neuropsychology Day, our focus is to promote and enjoy interactions, to share information and to connect with the cognitive neuroscience community across Montreal and around the world. If you would like to present your research, please submit your abstract here. The deadline for submissions is March 24, 2021. Several prizes will be awarded.

The prizes include:

  • Top Abstracts - $250 for first place, $100 for up to 3 runners-up 
  • …plus more prizes for best talks and posters, judged at the event!
  • Prize-winners will also have the opportunity to participate in a virtual round-table discussion with invited speaker Dr. John Gabrieli and will be listed on the Brenda Milner Neuropsychology Day ‘Honour Roll'

Social Event

Join us for a virtual celebration of the 22nd Annual Neuropsychology Day! While we are unable to gather in-person this year, we want to bring together members of our community for a night of fun, networking, and entertainment. The social will consist of a variety of events for all to enjoy, from trivia rooms and virtual lounges, to talent shows and cocktail competitions. Check out the event descriptions below for details on what’s being offered and how you can sign up to join the fun!

  • CogNeuro’s Got Talent! (sign-up to participate!) -Calling all performers to the virtual stage! Join us as we showcase some of the amazing talents hidden within our CogNeuro community. All talents and entertainers are welcome and encouraged to compete for a chance to win a $75 gift card. To view competition rules and register click here. Participants will be asked to perform their talent live for attendee voting. Deadline to signup: April 25th, 2021
  • Specialty Beverage Recipe Competition (sign-up to participate!) - Submit a cognitive neuroscience inspired beverage recipe for a chance to win a $75 gift card! Whether you fancy yourself a bit of an expert mixologist or if you need more inspiration to zhoosh up your drinks at home, this event is sure to be fun and entertaining! To view competition rules and register click here. Participants will be asked to make their beverage live for attendee voting. Deadline for submission: May 1, 2021
  • Trivia Room - Come and test your knowledge of all things pop-culture, Science, Montreal, etc. for the chance to win a $50 prize!
  • Game Room - Join us to play jackbox games!
  • Virtual Lounge Rooms - Looking for a relaxing atmosphere to chat among friends? This space is for attendees who want to continue to interact with colleagues and members of the wider cognitive neuroscience community in Montreal in a more informal setting. This virtual social event will be held via Zoom and attendees are welcome to rotate in and out of rooms at their own leisure. We look forward to “seeing” you there!

Contest – Learning and Memory in the Human Brain Event

Join The Neuro in the 22nd Annual Neuropsychology Day and Brenda Milner Lecture by participating in a contest for high school and cégep students where students are invited to express in an artistic form what “Learning and memory in the human brain” means to them.

Competition: Help us in the understanding of learning and memory in the human brain.

Submission form

As part of the 22nd Annual Neuropsychology Day and Brenda Milner Lecture, we are reaching out to you on behalf of The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital). We invite high school and cégep students to enter our contest by submitting an artistic interpretation of what “Learning and memory in the human brain” means. The submitted pieces will be judged by graduate students in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience at McGill University.

All submitted pieces will be showcased on the dedicated website for the 22nd Annual Neuropsychology day and on The Neuro social media accounts. This is an excellent opportunity for aspiring young scientists to reflect on what learning and memory is and be exposed to cutting-edge research. We hope that this opportunity will inspire students to pursue studies, and perhaps even a career, in cognitive neuroscience.

Description of the competition - Applicants are asked take a photo of their visual artwork or submit a short-written piece (~150 words max) in English or French. Examples of projects are a drawing, a painting or a poem.

Prize - Five winners each from the high school and cégep entries will be selected. The winners will:

  • Receive a certificate
  • Be invited to attend the 22nd Annual Neuropsychology Day and Brenda Milner Lecture on May 25, 2021 which this year will be held remotely.
  • Have the chance to learn from leading neuroscientists during the lectures offered at the Neuropsychology Day and Brenda Milner Lecture.
  • Participate in an informal virtual chat with current graduate students from The Neuro, to discuss and ask questions about science and pursuing advanced studies.
  • Be featured on this website, at the pre-symposium event, and on The Neuro social media

How to submit - Review the rules and guidelines and submit your project using the submission form.

Deadline - The deadline for the competition is April 23, 2021 at midnight. Applicants will be notified of selection results at the beginning of May. For any questions about the competition, you may contact gloria.castaneda [at] mail.mcgill.ca.

John D.E. Gabrieli

John D.E. GabrieliJohn Gabrieli is the Director of the Athinoula A. Martinos Imaging Center at the McGovern Institute. He is an investigator at the McGovern Institute, with faculty appointments in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Institute for Medical Engineering & Science, where he holds the Grover Hermann Professorship. He also has appointments in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and is the director of the MIT Integrated Learning Initiative. Prior to joining MIT in 2005, he spent 14 years at Stanford University in the Department of Psychology and Neurosciences Program. He received a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience in MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and a BA in English from Yale University.

Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Fellow, Association for Psychological Science


John Gabrieli’s goal is to understand the organization of memory, thought, and emotion in the human brain, and to use that understanding to help people live happier, more productive lives. By combining brain imaging with behavioral tests, he studies the neural basis of these abilities in human subjects. One important research theme is to understand the neural basis of learning in children and to identify ways that neuroscience could help to improve learning in the classroom. In collaboration with clinical colleagues, Gabrieli also seeks to use brain imaging to better understand, diagnose, and select treatments for neurological and psychiatric diseases.

One important research theme in the Gabrieli lab is the neural basis of learning in children. Gabrieli and colleagues have found structural differences in the brains of young children who are at risk for reading difficulties. Their findings suggest that it may be possible to target at-risk children for early intervention rather than waiting until they are already struggling to read. They also showed that adults and children with dyslexia show altered patterns of activity in many brain regions, an effect that may provide new insights into the fundamental cause of this condition. Gabrieli is interested in the development of cognitive skills in school-age children, and in identifying ways that neuroscience might be used to help improve educational outcomes.

Neuroimaging can also provide new insights into psychiatric disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. Gabrieli and colleagues collaborate with clinical researchers at McLean Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital to examine the brains of psychiatric patients, with the ultimate goal of using neuroimaging to better diagnose and treat mental illness. As one example, they have shown that it may be possible to identify children at risk for depression before symptoms appear. In another study, they have shown that brain scans of people with social anxiety disorders can help predict which individuals are most likely to benefit from a particular therapeutic intervention.

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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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