Neuroscience Seminar Series | Neuroscience Research Center | SIU

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Neuroscience Seminar Series

The Neuroscience Seminar Series was initiated to foster interdepartmental research by sponsoring lectures with an opportunity to share findings with colleagues on and off campus. Chat and refreshments are served in the First Floor Rotunda following the formal presentation providing an opportunity to discuss research interests.

Our inaugural series began Spring 2011.

Abstracts for the Spring 2011 series
Abstracts for the Fall 2011 series
Abstracts for the Spring 2012 series
Abstracts for the Fall 2012 series

Our Spring 2013 Neuroscience Seminar Series began March 4, 2013. All lectures began at 3:00pm in the Guyon Auditorium, Morris Library. Lectures were also videoconferenced to our Springfield School of Medicine campus with most to Dirksen Conference Room. After the lecture all were invited to visit with our speaker and each other in Morris Library's Rotunda. Light refreshment was served. An overview flyer can be found HERE (pdf).

March 4, 2013. 3:00pm. Morris Library Guyon Auditorium & Dirksen Conference Room (Spfld)
Neural Correlates of Emotion-Cognition Interaction: Evidence from Brain Imaging
Dr. Florin Dolcos, Dept of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Dolcos' main research interests concern the neural correlates of affective-cognitive interactions in healthy and clinical populations, as studied with brain imaging techniques (e.g., fMRI and ERP). His approach is two-fold: 1) basic research investigating the neural mechanisms underlying the impact of emotion on cognition in healthy participants and 2) translational research investigating the role of individual differences in mediating the emotion-cognition interactions. Further information can be found on his website at

This event was videoconferenced to the Dirksen Conference Room on our Springfield campus.

April 1, 2013. 3:00pm. Morris Library Guyon Auditorium & Dirksen Conference Room (Spfld)
Remyelination: A New Therapeutic Target to Treat Traumatic Brain Injury
Dr. Peter Bergold, Depts of Physiology & Pharmacology, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center

There are currently no effective drug treatments for traumatic brain injury (TBI). We have previously shown that the combination of FDA-approved drugs minocycline (MINO) and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) synergistically improved both cognition and memory in an active place avoidance task following either the mild or moderate controlled cortical impact (CCI), a model of TBI (Abdel Baki, et al., 2010). Exactly how these drugs act is unknown, but data suggest that behavioral deficits in the avoidance task may be due to demyelination of a single white matter tract. Two major cell types that modulate remyelination are microglia and oligodendrocytes. Activated microglia are present in demyelinating and remyelinating white matter. MINO plus NAC treatment act synergistically to modulate patterns of microglial activation. This modulation is believed to promote remyelination. Oligodendrocytes are damaged by CCI; protection of oligodendrocytes is another likely action of MINO plus NAC. Taken together, these data suggest that microglial modulation and remyelination induced by MINO plus NAC underlie improvements in cognition and memory following CCI.

This event was videoconferenced to the Dirksen Conference Room on our Springfield campus. For a flyer (pdf), see HERE.

April 15, 2013. 3:00pm. Morris Library Guyon Auditorium & Stevenson Conference Room (Spfld)
Stress Programming: How Experience Shapes Brain Function and Disease
Dr. Gerlinde Metz, Dept of Neuroscience, University of Lethbridge

Stress and stress hormones can significantly influence movement and motor recovery following brain injury. Our recent findings suggest that perinatal programming by maternal stress may influence the capacity to recover from brain injury in adulthood. Furthermore, the effects of stress can accumulate across the lifespan and exaggerate neurological disability in older subjects. More generally, new data suggest that the risk of neurological disease may be programmed by experience of previous generations. Thus, stressful experiences may induce potentially heritable changes that influence the risk of neurological and psychiatric disorders in future generations.

This event was videoconferenced to the Stevenson Conference Room on our Springfield campus. For a flier, please see HERE.

April 29, 2013. 3:00pm. Morris Library Guyon Auditorium & Dirksen Conference Room (Spfld)
The Aging Mind and Brain: Insights from Neuroimaging
Dr. Patricia Reuter-Lorenz, Dept of Psychology, University of Michigan

My presentation considers the frequent finding from neuroimaging studies that older adults display more activation (greater intensity and/or more widespread involvement) than younger adults during cognitive and motor tasks, especially in the context of working memory tasks where frontal-parietal regions show significant engagement. Relevant results from multivoxel patterns analyses will be considered. These general outcomes were discussed in the context of a theory referred to as CRUNCH, the Compensation-Related Utilization of Neural Circuits Hypothesis. CRUNCH proposes that older adults recruit more neural circuits at lower levels of task demand than younger adults. Several causes of over-activation were considered. This theory also emphasizes the importance of parametric designs for fMRI measurements, especially those indicating under- and over-activations in older adults compared to younger adults. An explaination of how the CRUNCH framework can be useful for identifying patterns of activation related to increased vulnerability and potentially for defining targets for neurocognitive interventions.

This event was to be videoconferenced to the Dirksen Conference Room on our Springfield campus. See HERE for a flier.