Mapping human cerebral cortex: Structure, function, connectivity, development and evolution

  • Life Sciences
Speaker David Van Essen, Ph.D.
Washington University in St. Louis
Date & Time


Location

Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium
160 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10010 United States

Life Sciences

Life Sciences lectures bring together scientists and scholars to discuss diverse topics related to fundamental questions in biology. The lectures are open to the public and are held at the Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium at the Simons Foundation headquarters in New York City. Tea is served prior to each lecture.

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On April 3, 2019, David Van Essen provided an overview of basic principles of cortical organization and connectivity from studies of laboratory animals and analyses of individual variability in humans. He also highlighted a new map (‘parcellation’) of the human cerebral cortex based on data from the Human Connectome Project.

His talk was part of the Simons Foundation Life Sciences lecture series.

About the Lecture

The cerebral cortex is the dominant structure of the human brain and is chiefly responsible for what makes us unique as a species and as individuals. Recent advances in noninvasive imaging combined with invasive approaches in animal models are transforming our understanding of the human brain’s structure, function, connectivity, evolution, health and development.

In this lecture, David Van Essen discussed progress in understanding the human cerebral cortex in the context of health and disease. His presentation included an overview of basic principles of cortical organization and connectivity from studies of laboratory animals and analyses of individual variability in humans. He also highlighted a new map (‘parcellation’) of the human cerebral cortex based on data from the Human Connectome Project. Comparisons of cortical organization across species reveal valuable insights about what makes us uniquely human.

About the Speaker

David Van Essen is the alumni endowed professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Washington University in St. Louis. He trained at the California Institute of Technology and Harvard University, and his research career has focused on the cerebral cortex of humans and nonhuman primates.

He has served in many leadership positions, including chair of the Anatomy and Neurobiology Department at Washington University in St. Louis and president of the Society for Neuroscience. He has received many awards for excellence in teaching and research and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Past Lectures

Altered somatosensory processing in autism spectrum disorders: Mechanisms and emerging therapeutic opportunities

David Ginty, Ph.D.Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard University

On April 24, 2019, David Ginty presented his work on the neurobiological basis of touch over-reactivity in mouse models of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). He also discussed new pharmacological approaches aimed at reducing sensory over-reactivity and potentially improving cognitive and behavioral abnormalities associated with ASD.

Mapping human cerebral cortex: Structure, function, connectivity, development and evolution

David Van Essen, Ph.D.Alumni Endowed Professor, Washington University in St. Louis

On April 3, 2019, David Van Essen provided an overview of basic principles of cortical organization and connectivity from studies of laboratory animals and analyses of individual variability in humans. He also highlighted a new map (‘parcellation’) of the human cerebral cortex based on data from the Human Connectome Project.

The genetic influences on autism spectrum disorder risk

Elise Robinson, Sc.D.Assistant Professor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Associate Member, Broad Institute

On January 30, 2019, Elise Robinson provided an overview of the role that genetic factors play in autism spectrum disorders and discussed the next steps to further understand autism genetics.

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