Jessica McFadyen 

Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland

Title: “Shortcuts for fear, conscious perception, and surprise in hierarchical visual systems”

Abstract: As highly visual creatures, it is crucial to our survival that we can rapidly predict, detect, and respond to potential threats in our visual environment. Both the visual system and the amygdala are arguably the most thoroughly studied components of the brain and yet there is considerable controversy over how these two systems interact to produce rapid fear responses. I will discuss work from my PhD that aimed to resolve this controversy by investigating the structural (i.e. diffusion MRI) and effective (i.e. dynamic causal modelling of both MEG and fMRI data) neural connectivity underlying rapid responses to fearful faces, with a particular focus on a pathway from the superior colliculus to the amygdala via the pulvinar that bypasses the visual cortex. I will also present recent EEG work (incorporating machine learning) that aimed to extend our understanding of how neural shortcuts for fear might influence the overall, hierarchical structure of the human brain, particularly regarding its ability to predict and to produce our conscious visual experience of emotional facial expressions.



About Neuroscience Seminars

Neuroscience seminars at the QBI play a major role in the advancement of neuroscience in the Asia-Pacific region. The primary goal of these seminars is to promote excellence in neuroscience through the exchange of ideas, establishing new collaborations and augmenting partnerships already in place.

While seminars in the QBI Auditorium have been suspended due to COVID-19, we will still be holding seminars via Zoom. The days and times of these seminars will vary depending on the time zone of the speaker. Please see each seminar listed below for details. 


Neuroscience Seminars archive 2005-2018