Featuring Morgan Barense, PhD, Professor and Canada Research Chair, University of Toronto, Director, Toronto Neuroimaging Facility
How does perceiving an object relate to subsequent memory for that object? A central assumption in most modern theories of memory is that memory and perception are functionally and anatomically segregated. For example, amnesia resulting from medial temporal lobe (MTL) lesions is traditionally considered to be a selective deficit in long-term declarative memory with no effect on perceptual processes. This view is consistent with a popular paradigm in cognitive neuroscience, in which the brain is understood in terms of a modular organization of cognitive function. The work I will present offers a new perspective. Guided by computational modelling complemented with neuropsychology and neuroimaging, I will provide support for the notion that memory and perception are inextricably intertwined, relying on shared neural representations and computational mechanisms. I will then describe how this new framework can improve basic understanding of cognitive impairments observed in Alzheimer’s disease, as well as guide development of new diagnostic procedures for those at risk for dementia.
Dr. Barense received her BA from Harvard University and her PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK. She remained in Cambridge for her postdoctoral work to undertake a Peterhouse Research Fellowship. She joined the faculty at the University of Toronto in 2009, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014 and to Full Professor in 2019. She currently directs the Toronto Neuroimaging Facility. She has been trained in animal neuroscience, human neuropsychology, fMRI, and cognitive psychology and enjoys bringing these approaches together to study the neural underpinnings of memory.
She has been honoured with a number of domestic and international awards, including a Young Investigator Award from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, a Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, a James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar Award, an Early Researcher Award from the Province of Ontario, an Early Investigator Award and Lifetime Fellowship from the Society of Experimental Psychologists, an Early Career Award from the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Science, and a Connaught Innovation Award.
The Columbia Neuroscience Seminar series is a collaborative effort of Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute, the Department of Neuroscience, the Doctoral Program in Neurobiology and Behavior and the Columbia Translational Neuroscience Initiative, and with support from the Kavli Institute for Brain Science.
This seminar will be held in the Jerome L. Greene Science Center on Columbia’s Manhattanville campus (9th floor lecture hall). Columbia University’s Intercampus Shuttle Service is the best way to travel between campuses.