Dotson portrait

Nicholas Dotson


Date: Friday, April 11, 2014
Time: 4:10 PM
Place: Byker Auditorium, Chemistry & Biochemistry Building

Title: Patterns of the Brain


Cognitive processes, such as working memory, require the cooperation of a vast network of neurons spanning multiple cortical and sub-cortical brain areas. However, the mechanisms used to coordinate these widely distributed networks remain largely unknown, eluding neuroscientists for decades. Synchronization of oscillatory neuronal activity within and between these widely distributed areas is a candidate mechanism. In this talk, Nick Dotson will discuss the spatiotemporal properties of several patterns of synchronous activity observed during visual working memory in non-human primates. The significance of this work is far-reaching, as individuals suffering from traumatic brain injuries, psychiatric disorders, and other neurological disorders often exhibit working memory deficits, and measurable deficits in certain patterns of synchronous activity.

About the speaker:

Nick Dotson studies how different areas of the brain interact during working memory. This is accomplished by recording neural activity from non-human primates that are performing a working memory task. Deficits in working memory are a hallmark of many cognitive disorders, such as schizophrenia, and this type of work is crucial for the development of better treatments and diagnostic tools. The results of his research, which shows that that the patterns of synchronization between the prefrontal and posterior parietal cortex retain information in working memory, were recently reported in the journal Science.

He is the recipient of a 2013 Kopriva Graduate Student Fellowship.