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Virtual Seminar: Chemistry of the Adaptive Mind

Pioneers in Biomedical Research Seminar presented by the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC

Chemistry of the Adaptive Mind

Date: Apr. 9, 2021
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Virtual Access:
Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic faculty, staff, and students will be sent an email with Zoom login credentials. You can also watch the lecture live via our Live Webcast page. This presentation will be archived on this page after the lecture.

The human brain faces a variety of computational tradeoffs, such as the flexibility/stability tradeoff. In this lecture, Dr. Cools will argue that the major ascending neuromodulatory systems originating from the midbrain are well suited to dynamically regulate these computational tradeoffs depending on our constantly changing task demands. Her working hypothesis follows from a number of general principles of chemical neuromodulation, which she will illustrate by reviewing evidence from recent pharmacological PET/fMRI studies on (cost/benefit decision making about) cognitive control. These studies also begin to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the huge variability in catecholaminergic drug effects across different individuals and behaviours.

Additional Details 

This is a free event hosted by the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and co-sponsored by the institute's Center for Human Neuroscience Research. The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute Pioneers in Biomedical Research Program offers the expertise of a range of scientists who are exploring frontiers in biomedical research. These seminars are open to Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic faculty, students, and staff.


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Roshan Cools, Ph.D.

Roshan Cools, Ph.D.

Professor; Chair of Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Radboud University Nijmegan Medical Centre; Principal Investigator, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Radboud University