NRI & CBE Presents a Gurley Distinguished Lecture, David C. Van Essen, Ph.D., Alumni Endowed Professor Department of Neuroscience Washington University in St. Louis, Host: Adele Doyle & Bridget Queenan

Tuesday, February 14, 2017, @ 11am, in Rothmann Auditorium, LSB #1001

NRI and CBE Presents a Gurley Distinguished Lecture

David C. Van Essen, Ph.D.
Alumni Endowed Professor

Department of Neuroscience
Washington University in St. Louis

Host: Adele Doyle & Bridget Queenan  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

11 AM - 12 PM

Rathmann Auditorium, LSB #1001

*Light refreshments will be provided* 

Human Cerebral Cortex: Structure, Function, Connectivity

Development, and Evolution

Abstract.  The cerebral cortex is the dominant structure of the mammalian brain, and it plays critical but diverse roles in cognition, perception, emotion, and motor control.  This lecture will review recent progress in elucidating the structure, function, connectivity, development, and evolution of cerebral cortex in humans and nonhuman primates.  Underlying methodological themes will include the power of surface-based analysis and visualization and the importance of user-friendly data sharing for accelerating progress in exploring these issues. Consideration of cortical development will include questions of why the cortex is a sheet whose convolutions vary across species and across individuals.  Advances in elucidating functional organization include a recent multimodal human cortical parcellation, based on data from the Human Connectome Project (HCP), that reveals 180 distinct areas in each hemisphere.  The ability to accurately parcellate the cortex in individual subjects will enable systematic analyses of individual variability in relation to many neurobiologically informative features as well as hundreds of behavioral measures that are part of the freely shared HCP data. Comparisons with nonhuman primates, including chimpanzees as well as macaque monkeys, provide intriguing evolutionary insights regarding the dramatic expansion of neocortical regions associated with higher cognition in the human lineage.