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Activities and Seminars

Antoni Valero-Cabre. Playing Cognitive Cosmetics: Improvements of Visual Performance by Non-Invasive Stimulation of Fronto-Parietal Networks in the healthy Human Brain
 
Date: Jun 13, 2013

What: Playing Cognitive Cosmetics: Improvements of Visual Performance by Non-Invasive Stimulation of Fronto-Parietal Networks in the healthy Human Brain

Where: BCBL auditorium

Who: Antoni Valero-Cabre, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Group of Cerebral Dynamics Plasticity and Rehabilitation, UMR 7225 CRICM, Hopital Pitié-Salpetriere, Paris France

When: 12 noon


Our individual abilities to detect what we see, what we hear or we feel emerge from the activity of meshes of neurons interconnected in local and large-scale brain networks. The sensibility range of such complex systems seems to be well fixed in each one of us, defining our individual perceptual skills. Nonetheless, our perceptual abilities are not carved in stone. They can be flexibly modulated, transferred to new tasks or also adapted to novel demands. And yet, it is such plastic flexibility that allows us to use practice to learn, improve and optimally adapt to a changing environment. In the current talk I will discuss several experiments performed in our research group in which we show how specific cortical nodes of fronto-parietal systems can be non invasively manipulated in humans by Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to drive causal improvements in low level correlates of visual performance by interfering local and interregional coding patterns (Chanes et al. 2012, PlosOne) and by likely entraining or desynchronizing (Chanes et al. 2013, J Neurosci) brain oscillatory activity at specific frequency bands. I will also present some preliminary evidence on the association of this “cognitive cosmetic” potential to specific sets of white matter tracts linking the stimulated brain region with other network locations allowing interregional coupling processes (Quentin et al. 2013, NeuroImage). We will finally discuss some potential clinical applications of such findings on the rehabilitation of visual and attentional impairments.