Session: H. Normal development/cognition I
Will talk about: Typical and atypical development of large-scale brain networks
Vinod Menon is the Rachel L. and Walter F. Nichols, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology and Neuroscience at Stanford University. Professor Menon has broad multidisciplinary expertise that spans several scientific disciplines and has published extensively on various aspects of human cognition and brain function. He is especially interested in the development, maturation and organization of functional networks in the human brain, and its impact on cognition and behavior. Prof. Menon is Director and Principal Investigator of Stanford Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience Laboratory which is dedicated to the study of human cognition using a systems neuroscience approach. The main goals of his research are to (1) discover fundamental principles underlying normal brain function and cognitive development, (2) develop brain-based evidence and interventions to improve cognitive skills in children with learning disabilities, and (3) investigate atypical development of cognitive, affective and social information processing systems in individuals with autism. Further details about Prof. Menon’s research can be found at: http://scsnl.stanford.edu.
Understanding how the brain produces cognition depends on knowledge of its large-scale organization and wiring. The human brain undergoes protracted structural and functional changes during which it constructs dedicated large-scale brain networks comprised of discrete, interconnected, brain regions. During the past two decades, structural brain imaging studies have provided remarkable insights into human brain development by revealing the trajectory of gray and white matter maturation from childhood to adolescence and adulthood. In parallel, functional brain imaging studies have demonstrated changes in brain activation patterns accompanying cognitive and affective development. Despite these advances, the study of how functional brain systems mature and how they influence typical and atypical cognitive and affective development continues to present unique scientific and methodological challenges. In this talk, I describe these challenges and discuss recent advances in disentangling the role of core brain networks in cognition and emotion. A unifying triple network model of salience and network switching is proposed and its role in attention and cognitive control will be examined. I then examine the development of core neurocognitive brain networks and discuss how the triple network model can help synthesize extant findings of aberrant brain connectivity into a unified framework for understanding key features of several major developmental psychopathologies including autism and ADHD. I will discuss the broader implications of recent findings on aberrant brain connectivity for advancing fundamental knowledge of neurodevelopmental disorders. Finally, I will discuss recent progress in characterizing brain network dynamics and transient dynamic functional networks using novel hidden Markov models, and their applications to both typical and atypical development.