CMNI Open Institute @ 348 Mellon Institute
Mar 21 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Otolaryngology: Rabbitt @ Scaife Lecture Room 1
Mar 26 @ 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Auditory-Vestibular T32 Training Program Special Seminar:

Unexpected neuronal excitability to the modern techno

Richard Rabbitt, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Bioengineering
University of Utah

Tuesday, March 26
4 PM
Scaife Lecture Room 1

(Sponsored by the Department of Otolaryngology)

The nervous system evolved for hundreds of millions of years in the protected environment of earth, shielded from high-power laser light, microwaves, ultrasound, and other forms of human generated energy. Yet, perhaps enabled by naiveté, neurons respond to these unnatural stimuli. Nowhere is this more clearly exemplified than in the inner ear, where brief pulses of focused infrared laser light and brief packets of focused ultrasound have both been shown to evoke action potentials in afferent neurons. These atypical stimuli have also been shown to evoke muscle contraction in cardiomyocytes, intracellular calcium transients in glial cells, and synaptic release at the neuromuscular junction. Focusing the energy in brief pulses on single cells or small regions of tissue can locally excite or inhibit neurons through endogenous mechanisms. This lecture will describe these “unexpected” responses to infrared light and ultrasound in several model systems, both in situ and in vivo, with attention to the mechanisms of action as well as the promise and the pitfalls of application.

Pain Research: Neugebauer @ Conference Room 1495 BST
Mar 27 @ 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Pittsburgh Center for Pain Research
Presents a Special Seminar:

“Amygdala pain mechanisms”

Volker Neugebauer, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience
Texas Tech University

March 27, 2019
4:00pm- 5:00pm
Conference Room 1495 BST

PCPR Seminars

Welslay C. Salmon Memorial Lecture: Railton @ University Club- Conference Room A
Mar 28 @ 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Wesley C. Salmon Memorial Lecture
Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 3:30pm
University Club – Conf. Room A
123 University Place

Explaining Actions
by Peter Railton
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Abstract: Wesley Salmon developed and defended a causal theory of explanation in the natural sciences, emphasizing the role of elucidating underlying processes. He was unsure, however, whether this theory could be extended to psychology. In this he was hardly alone and attempts to build a causal theory of action have encountered a host of difficulties. I will be arguing that one source of these difficulties has been an insufficiently rich understanding of the components of action, and especially of the nature of beliefs and desires. A philosophically and empirically more adequate account of belief and desire can, I will argue, revive the prospects for a theory of the explanation of action in terms of causal processes.

Wesley C. Salmon joined the Department of Philosophy as Professor and Chair in 1981. He held the rank of University Professor from 1983 until his retirement in 1999. He exerted a profound influence over philosophy of science as it was practiced in Pittsburgh and internationally. His investigations into scientific explanation, causality, probability and induction and the philosophy of space and time provide a model of insight and clarity, in both thought and word. He set an example personally through his unfailing integrity and kindness. He died in 2001. His memory survives through the scholars who study his work and the many who remember him personally, with respect and admiration.

The Wesley C. Salmon Memorial Lecture Fund has been established to support an annual lecture by a prominent scholar in philosophy of science in honor of Wesley Salmon.
Co-sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Department of History & Philosophy of Science, the Department of Philosophy, and the Center for Philosophy of Science

Seminar: Hamel @ Langley Hall A219B
Apr 1 @ 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM




MONDAY APRIL 1, 2019 AT 1:00PM


Neurovascular coupling, the basis of brain imaging techniques that use hemodynamic signals as proxy for changes in neuronal activity, requires interactions between neurons, astrocytes and the microcirculation in order to adapt the need in glucose and oxygen to changes in neuronal activity either at baseline or following a given task or stimulus. In the cerebral cortex, depending on the stimulus, the changes in local cerebral blood flow result from activity changes in different populations of interneurons and pyramidal cells that act either directly or indirectly through perivascular astrocytes to orchestrate the resulting changes in perfusion. When cortical activity is modulated, mimicking conditions of either alertness (enhanced cholinergic tone) or pathology like Alzheimer’s disease (reduced cholinergic tone), the reliability of neurovascular coupling as a surrogate for changes in neuronal activity is altered or lost. Such unreliability is also found in animal models of dementia or cerebrovascular disease reminiscent to that of patients with vascular cognitive impairment and dementia, where age-dependent reduced hemodynamic signals fail to reflect changes in neuronal activity. Overall, the results underscore the selective role of different neuronal populations in modulating local cerebral blood flow in response to specific stimuli. Further, they highlight that caution is warranted in the use and interpretation of clinical brain imaging data in patients with cerebrovascular diseases. Funded by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Alzheimer Society of Canada and the Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives (HBHL) program of McGill University.

Neurobiology: Donnelly @ 6014 Biomedical Science Tower 3
Apr 18 @ 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Department of Neurobiology
Presents a Special Seminar:

“Pathobiology of neurotoxic protein inclusions in ALS and dementia”.

Christopher Donnelly, PhD
Assistant Professor,
Department of Neurobiology
Live Like Lou Center for ALS Research, Brain Institute
University of Pittsburgh

Thursday, April 18, 2019
9:00 AM
6014 Biomedical Science Tower 3
Seminar supported in part by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health (T32 NS086749)

Epidemiology, Sutton-Tyrrell Lecture: Derby @ Pitt Public Health Commons (1st floor commons)
Apr 18 @ 10:45 AM – 12:30 PM

Hello, students, faculty, postdocs, and staff:

Please mark your calendars for the Department of Epidemiology’s annual Sutton-Tyrrell Lecture, which will conclude the spring 2019 Epidemiology Seminar series:

Sutton-Tyrrell Lecture date: April 18, 2019
Presentation title: ` `“Vascular Disease in Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Opportunities for Prevention”
Reception time & location: 10:45 am – 11:30 am Pitt Public Health Commons (1st floor) Refreshments will be served.
Lecture time & location: 11:30 am – 12:30 am G-23 Pitt Public Health Auditorium**

This year’s presenter is Carol A. Derby, PhD, Research Professor, Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology; Research Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

More Sutton-Tyrrell Lecture Series information will be forwarded in the near future. On behalf of Drs. Newman and Cauley, and Drs. Kriska and Glynn, Epidemiology Seminar course directors, I hope you will plan to attend.

Alumni Lecture – Krishnan Padmanabhan @ 328 Mellon Institute
Apr 18 @ 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Neuro-Robotics Panel
May 14 @ 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Panel Discussion: Neuro-Robotics
Experts in the field will discuss state of the art and where we stand on mind-controlled robotics including both noninvasive and invasive brain computer-interface approaches.


Gerry Balbier is the Executive Director of the Carnegie Mellon Neuroscience Institute (CMNI). CMNI is a cross-disciplinary neuroscience institute working to create innovative tools and technologies critical to advancing brain science and building on the success of the joint CMU/University of Pittsburgh Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition.


Jennifer Collinger, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh and a Research Biomedical Engineer at the Pittsburgh VA R&D Center of Excellence. Dr. Collinger’s research interests are related to the use of neuroprosthetics to restore function for individuals with upper limb paralysis or loss. She is developing intracortical brain-computer interface technology for individuals with tetraplegia. Her work also includes non-invasive imaging for measuring neuroplasticity after spinal cord injury or amputation.

Bin He is Department Head and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. He has made significant contributions to the field of neuroengineering and biomedical imaging. His lab demonstrated for the first time for humans to control the flight of a drone by “thoughts” and pioneered the noninvasive mind-controlled robotics. Dr. He’s work has been recognized by the IEEE Biomedical Engineering Award and the Academic Career Achievement Award from the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.

May 21 – May 23 all-day