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Cognitive Lunch: Alejandro de la Vega
Start Date: 3/31/2014Start Time: 12:00 PM
End Date: 3/31/2014End Time: 1:00 PM
This event recurs on a custom schedule.   Click here to see the series dates.
Event Description:
Characterizing Functional Specialization In the Brain Using Large-Scale Classification of fMRI Data

Large scale data mining of neuroimaging data promises to further our understanding of functional specialization in the brain. Most meta-analysis to this end have focused on characterizing cognitive functions based on brain activity. An unexplored aspect is the reverse: which cognitive functions characterize different regions of the brain? We used machine-learning classification to tackle this problem as these algorithms excel in learning which features (i.e. cognitive functions) can be used to differentiate classes (i.e. brain regions). Using the Neurosynth database, we classified which regions fMRI studies activate based on their associated cognitive functions. We then characterized regions based on which functions were most useful in distinguishing them from one another. Across the brain, classifiers trained on terms performed substantially better than chance. Normalized feature importances revealed that certain topics were particularly important specific regions (e.g. visual topic was most useful for classifying visual cortex). Our analysis suggests that there is substantial differentiating information between regions in Neurosynth. Classification can be a useful tool for characterizing brain regions based on cognitive function in a data-drive manner. This method is consistent with existing neuroscientific knowledge but has the ability to reveal novel relationships between brain topography and cognition.
Location Information:
Main Campus - Muenzinger Psychology & Biopsychology  (View Map)
Boulder, CO
Room: E214
Contact Information:
Phone: 303.492.8662
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This event is open to
  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Graduate Students

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