NVP Winter Conference Symposia

Overview

The usefulness of brain research in research into cognition and behaviour

This is a special symposium by the NVP scientific council

Abstract

The brain is hot. Since the emergence of techniques to measure brain activity, such as fMRI, there is great promise that these techniques will have major added value in understanding cognition and behaviour. However, there are tentative doubts about the usefulness of brain research from various quarters. In this symposium we want to discuss the usefulness of brain research in research into cognition and behaviour. Does brain research indeed have the added value promised by the cognitive neuroscience revolution to understand behavior and cognition?

The aim of the symposium is to collect arguments for and against the usefulness of brain research in research into cognition and behaviour, also to train our community to better promote our field to the outside world (e.g. NWO, media, general public). We have invited three speakers that have in recent years criticised brain research in media outlets (see references below). Peter Hagoort will provide an opening statement about his positive view on the usefulness of brain research. Next, all speakers will give a short kick-off after which we will have a debate with the audience guided by a number of stimulating and critical statements.

Chair

Stefan van der Stigchel

Speakers

  • Prof. Peter Hagoort - Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Prof. Sarah Durston - Utrecht University
  • Dr. Leon de Bruin - Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Prof. Jan Derksen - Radboud University Nijmegen

How do we learn and predict structure in the world?

Abstract

Learning and subsequently exploiting structure in the world is central to adaptive behaviour. This symposium brings together researchers across a broad section of psychology and neuroscience to provide a comprehensive examination of people's ability to extract statistical regularities from the environment in order to optimize perceptual processing, attentional orienting, language acquisition and cognitive development.

Chair

Dr. Ambra Ferrari

Talks

  • The neural signatures of incidental and intentional statistical learning — Dr. David Richter
  • Learning what to attend to and what to ignore — Prof. Heleen Slagter
  • How statistical learning supports early cognitive development — Prof. Sabine Hunnius
  • Is there such a thing as a "good statistical learner"? — Dr. Louisa Bogaerts

How to enhance your memory? Explicit and implicit learning in multimodal environments

Abstract

To deal with an everchanging world we rapidly adapt to changes in our environment. This adaptability can be utilized to improve learning and memory. Here, we present work using multimodal stimuli and virtual environments to facilitate declarative memory and procedural learning, including effects of spatial novelty on learning, sensory cues on perceptually embedded motor learning, and strategies of learning in immersive environments. Findings are linked in terms of overlapping neural mechanisms.

Chair

Dr. Judith Schomaker

Talks

  • Unexplored territory: The memory boosting effects of novelty across the lifespan — Dr. Judith Schomaker
  • Movement in context: Visuospatial facets of action representations — Dr. Marit Ruitenberg
  • Perceptually embedded motor learning with multimodal cues — Dr. Rebecca Schaefer
  • Learning in immersive environments: Individual differences in effectiveness — Dr. Ineke van der Ham

Improving the external validity of biological assessments of anxiety -- From lab to life

Abstract

It has been suggested recently that after the replication crisis, the next big crisis may be the measurement crisis. This crisis would revolve around the failure of many well-established psychology paradigms to predict real-life outcomes. In this symposium, we will hear 4 renowned speakers from the field of affective science about how they strive to improve the external validity of the lab paradigms they use to study biological origins of anxiety and its regulation.

Chair

Dr. Floris Klumpers

Talks

  • Is Experimentally Measured Inhibition of Fear Related to Fear of Corona and Avoidance of People? — Nadia Leen — Assessing Panic: CO~2~ Exposure as Translational Cross-species Experimental Model — Dr. Nicole Leibold
  • Detecting Ecologically Relevant Stress States from Ambulatory Physiology Measures — Rayyan Tutunji
  • Reducing the Noise of Reality: Gamified VR with Integrated Real-Time Biofeedback to Control Anxiety — Abele Michela

Integrating the "what" and the "how" of language: The role of prosody in speech recognition

Abstract

The comprehension of language requires understanding of what was said and how it was said. Neurocognitive models of speech recognition (e.g. Hickok & Poeppel 2007) often assume that segmental ("what") and prosodic ("how") information are analysed relatively separately. These two types of information, however, are not neatly separated in the acoustic content of the speech signal. This raises the question how prosodic and segmental analysis interact. That will be the topic of this symposium.

Chair

Prof. James McQueen

Talks

  • Lending prosody a hand: simple beat gestures shape what words you hear — Dr. Hans Rutger Bosker
  • The multiplexing of pitch variation in Mandarin Chinese — Prof. Yiya Chen
  • How and when does segmental detail influence sentence comprehension? — Dr. Holger Mitterer
  • Discussion

Neuromodulation of motivation and effort

Abstract

The dopaminergic and cholinergic systems have been shown to be important for decision-making and cognitive control. It is thought that these neuromodulators exert their effects by modulating the integration of costs and benefits, but precise mechanisms are unknown. In this session we take a computational and translational approach, discussing by which factors dopaminergic and cholinergic activity are modulated and how this might affect effort and value-based choice.

Chair

Dr. Lieke Hofmans

Talks

  • Effects of average reward rate on vigor as a function of individual variation in striatal dopamine — Dr. Lieke Hofmans
  • Striatal dopamine boosts cognitive effort by biasing sensitivity to benefits versus costs — Dr. Andrew Westbrook
  • Separable contributions of local and global environmental richness to mesolimbic dopamine signalling during foraging — Dr. Laura Grima
  • Cholinergic modulation of the cost of control — Dr. Sanjay Manohar

Rapid Invisible Frequency Tagging (RIFT): A novel window into cognition and neural dynamics

Abstract

Recent hardware advances have enabled Rapid Invisible Frequency Tagging (RIFT): rhythmic visual stimulation at multiple high frequencies simultaneously, undetectable by participants. This novel method allows researchers to probe, manipulate and track neural processes with unprecedented granularity and specificity. This symposium will draw together researchers from different fields to demonstrate the potential of RIFT as research tool.

Chairs

  • Dr. Linda Drijvers
  • Dr. Tom Marshall

Talks

  • Using Rapid Invisible Frequency Tagging to study audiovisual integration and attention during multimodal interactions — Dr. Noor Seijdel
  • Rapid Invisible Frequency Tagging reveals parietal information integration across multiple eye movements — Dr. Tom Marshall
  • Simultaneously reading out multiple RIFT channels using phase encoding — Dr. Eelke Spaak
  • Brain Pong! -- Rapid Frequency Tagging for brain-computer interfaces — Dr. Marion Brickwedde