Feindel Virtual Brain and Mind Lecture Series: Towards Closed-loop Control of Affective Processes in the Brain

Wednesday, March 16, 2022 16:00to17:00

The Feindel Virtual Brain and Mind Seminar presents: "Towards Closed-loop Control of Affective Processes in the Brain".

Registration available here.

Speaker: Vincent Taschereau-Dumouchel

Assistant Research Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Addictology, Universite de Montreal

Abstract: One of the greatest challenges of mental health research is to understand how the brain generates negative affective experiences. Many brain imaging studies have identified fine-grained patterns of brain activity associated with such experiences but these findings are generally correlational in nature. As a result, we still have a limited understanding of the precise patterns of brain activity directly responsible for generating negative subjective experiences. In this presentation, we will discuss a series of decoded neurofeedback studies aimed directly at studying this question in double-blind placebo controlled settings. In these studies, participants are trained to modulate specific patterns of brain activity using machine learning and closed-loop functional magnetic resonance imaging. We will discuss results indicating a dissociation between the subjective report of fear and measures of amygdala and skin conductance reactivity. These findings are in contradiction with popular views suggesting that amygdala and skin conductance reactivity are good proxies of the subjective experience of fear. We will discuss these results in light of the higher-order theory of emotional consciousness and present a path forward that could help us identify the brain processes directly involved in generating pathological affective experiences.

Bio: Vincent Taschereau-Dumouchel completed a PhD in clinical psychology at University Laval under the supervision of Philip Jackson before completing a postdoctoral training at University of California, Los Angeles with Hakwan Lau. During his training, he got to collaborate closely with ATR Computational Neuroscience laboratories in Kyoto and with Mathieu Roy here at McGill University. Since August 2021, he has been an assistant research professor at the Department of Psychiatry and addictology at the University of Montreal where he is now conducting his own independent research studying how the brain generates conscious affective experiences.

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.

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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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