PsychFest 2015

A Celebration of Student
Research and Scholarship

June 5, 2015

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PsychFest is an opportunity for you to present your research to your colleagues in the Psychology Department.

Posters and talks are accepted for presentation.

Keynote Address:

"Manipulation and Representation of
Symbolic Knowledge in the Human Brain"

Dr. Andrea Stocco
University of Washington

One of the most extraordinary features of human cognition is the ability to represent information into structures that can be manipulated internally (such as plans or rules) and communicated (such as instructions). This capacity is often called “symbolic cognition”, and implies that the human brain can use these representations as “programs”, and translate them into the more basic neural code when needed. Thus, like the architecture of a computer can be reverse engineered by observing how symbolic computations are carried out by its hardware, so understanding how the human brain creates and manipulates symbolic structures can provide a better understanding of the human brain’s architecture.

In this talk, I will present neuroimaging data and computer models outlining a framework for how symbolic operations are carried out, and recent neuroimaging data showing how symbolic structures are hierarchically represented across multiple cortical areas. Finally, I will discuss how this research could be employed to develop non-invasive computer-to-brain interfaces that could allow direct upload of information in the form of neural activity

Location of Keynote Address: AW 210
Time: 3:45 p.m., June 5, 2015


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