Professor Nancy Kanwisher
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, McGovern Institute for Brain Research,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Title: "Functional Imaging of the Human Brain: A Window into the Architecture of the Mind"

Abstract: The last 20 years of brain imaging research has revealed the functional organization of the human brain in glorious detail, including a set of cortical regions each of which is specifically engaged in a particular mental task, like recognizing faces, perceiving speech sounds, and understanding the meaning of a sentence. Each of these regions is present, in approximately the same location, in every normal person. This initial rough sketch of the functional organization of the brain counts as real progress, giving us a kind of diagram of the major components of the human mind. But at the same time it is just the barest beginning. Really what our new map of the human brain offers is a vast landscape of new questions. In this talk I will describe recent work into three such questions. First, do some patches of cortex really play a highly specific causal role in processing just one class of stimuli? Second, I will describe ongoing work into a newly discovered cortical specialization for music, including the role of musical training in this specialization, and intracranial data showing selectivity for vocal music in particular. Third, I will discuss the developmental origins of cortical specificity, including an ongoing study asking whether face selectivity can be found in the ventral visual pathway in congenitally blind people.


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.

Seminars in the QBI Auditorium are held on Wednesdays at 12-1pm, which are sometimes simulcast on Zoom (with approval from the speaker). We also occassionally hold seminars from international speakers 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