Bo Li, Ph.D.
The amygdala is essential for learning andexpression of behavioral responses driven by either rewarding or aversivestimuli. How exactly distinct amygdala circuits contribute to the generation ofsuch divergent behavioral responses remains unclear. Our recent studies in miceindicate that aversive stimulus-driven learning and stress induces distinct plasticchanges in distributed amygdala circuits, including those in the extendedamygdala. These changes may underlie specific learning processes or behavioralresponses. Here I will report our recent findings regarding the cellular andcircuit mechanisms underlying some of the behavioral roles of the amygdala.
1:00pm – 1:30pm Refreshments and Networking
1:30pm – 2:30pm Presentations
Solutions Consulting Services Overview – Matt Blazevich, Matt Miller
Campus Cloud Plus – Roman Mitz, Craig Miron, Bob Rittiger
ISO Update – Information Security Team
Splunk – Walter Wong
2:30pm – 3:00pm Individual Presenter Q&A Opportunity
My program of research uses a systems neuroscience approach to study the neurobiological computations, maturational constraints, and plasticity underlying speech and language acquisition. In this presentation, I discuss insights gained from a series of experiments using multimodal, behavioral, and computational modeling methods to examine speech acquisition in adulthood. I will elucidate the crucial role of cortical-subcortical networks in the extraction, encoding, categorization, learning, and experience-dependent modulation of speech signals. In particular, I will demonstrate that: (1) neural representations of novel speech categories can arise in the superior temporal gyrus (STG) within a few hundred training trials of sound-to-category training (2) signal reconstruction in the subcortical auditory system is also subject to plastic changes, albeit at a slower time-scale; such sensory plasticity is behaviorally-relevant and is retained, (3) successful speech categorization relates to individual differences in the robustness of functional and structural connectivity between the STG and the dorsal striatum. I will conclude the presentation with practical examples of how a better understanding of the neurobiology of cortical-subcortical networks can be leveraged to design optimal behavioral and neuro-modulation interventions to enhance learning.
Bio: Dr. Chandrasekaran is currently an Associate Professor in the Departments of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Psychology, and Linguistics at The University of Texas at Austin. He earned his Ph.D. in Integrative Neuroscience from Purdue University in 2008 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University before joining the UT faculty in 2010. He is the recipient of Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award in 2014, Psychonomics Early Career award in 2016. Dr. Chandrasekaran is currently serving as an Editor of the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. He is primarily interested in understanding the mechanisms underlying brain plasticity. His current research examines the neurobiological computations that underlie speech perception and learning, using an interdisciplinary, computational, and lifespan approach, and is supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. He is the Director of the SoundBrain Lab (https://csd.utexas.edu/research/sound-brain-lab) and co-founder of the Multimodal Neuroimaging Initiative (http://sites.utexas.edu/multimodal/) at The University of Texas at Austin.