Departmental Seminar. Neuronal circuits for communication and cognition: Insights from fMRI, EEG and neuronal recordings
Dr Christopher Petkov, Newcastle University
Thursday, 26 February 2015, 12pm to 1pm
Lecture Theatre C, Experimental Psychology
Hosted by Professor Matthew Rushworth
Dr Christopher Petkov, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, U.K.
Studies of the human brain regions and pathways involved in extracting speech and the structure of language have suggested that neuronal interactions occur within and between brain regions, such as ventral frontal and temporal cortical areas. However, the underlying neuronal mechanisms remain poorly understood. It is also unclear which processes are language specific and which are evolutionarily conserved processes (‘cognitive-domain general’) that can be studied in nonhuman animals. Our comparative work has developed neurobiological models for understanding two key aspects of communication: how the brain extracts voice-identity and the “grammar” of communicative sequences. The work is identifying evolutionarily conserved processes that underpin human communication and is helping to bridge gaps between studies in nonhuman animals, typical humans and language-impaired individuals. In this talk, I will overview our approach, techniques and the insights being obtained into frontotemporal networks and neuronal mechanisms supporting communication-related cognition.