Neuroimaging of the Emergence of Cognition in Infants and its Clinical Applications

Members of the general public are welcome to attend our seminars. However space is limited so if you would like to attend, please ring Sandra Smith at least 24 hours prior to the seminar on 0115 823 2634 to reserve a place. If Sandra Smith is unavailable contact Jan Kelly on 0115 823 2617 or contact reception on 0115 823 2600.

24 May 2016

Presenter(s): Dr Rhodri Cusack
Time: 16.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1


Abstract: Assessing emerging cognition is challenging, as infants can’t communicate what they know, and different behavioural protocols have yielded inconsistent findings. In contrast, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can detect brain functions even when they do not manifest in behaviour, and has the potential for rich insight on infant brain development. With particular focus on the auditory-language and motor systems, we used diffusion tractography, functional connectivity, and functional MRI to study how cognitive systems develop in healthy infants. The results contradict widely held models, and disrupt current understanding of the emergence of these systems. Additionally, MRI of infant cognition holds great clinical potential. We studied how brain function was altered in infants from the neonatal intensive care unit that were at risk of neurodevelopmental disorders. We found that functional MRI at 40 weeks post-menstrual age provides a biomarker that can predict motor skill later in the first year. In summary, MRI has opened a valuable window onto emerging cognition, and how it is disrupted by brain injury.


Please Note this Seminar is being held in A1 Psychology Building, University of Nottingham main campus