Sylvius Lectures

Sylvius Lectures

sylvius1The Sylvius Lectures refer to a prestigious lecture series organized and funded by the Leiden Institute for brain and Cognition (LIBC). Named after the German-Dutch physiologist and anatomist Franciscus Sylvius, discoverer of the brain’s Sylvian fissure, who died in Leiden in 1672, this annual lecture series presents a set of five or six internationally renowned speakers. Research areas of these invited speakers relate to one of the LIBC hot spots, i.e. Junior (brain development), Language, Stress or Pharmacology.
The lectures are open to all, no registration is required.

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Real-time fMRI Neurofeedback and Brain-Computer Interfaces: From Basic Research to Clinical Applications

Date & Time: November 1st, 4.30 pm
Location: Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen, Pieter de la Court gebouw, Wassenaarseweg 52, room 1A20

Recent progress in computer hard- and software allows the sophisticated analysis of fMRI data in real-time. Advanced online fMRI data analysis provides the basis for brain-computer Interface (BCI) applications such as neurofeedback and motor-independent communication. In neurofeedback studies, subjects observe and learn to modulate their own brain activity during an ongoing fMRI measurement. Because of its high spatial resolution, fMRI allows to provide content-specific feedback information from circumscribed cortical and subcortical regions. Many neurofeedback studies have demonstrated that with little practice, subjects are indeed able to learn to modulate brain activity in specific brain areas or networks using cognitive tasks, such as mental imagery of moving body parts, empathetic thoughts or recalling emotional memories. We have recently shown that fMRI neurofeedback training not only enhances voluntary control over brain regions but that it also has a significant therapeutic effect for patients suffering from Parkinson's disease and patients with mood disorders such as depression. Besides neurofeedback applications, real-time fMRI can also be used to differentiate activation patterns evoked by participants engaging in various mental tasks. We have exploited this to build a hemodynamic communication BCI that decodes 27 distinct states from single-trial spatio-temporal activity patterns. By decoding these states online as letters of the alphabet, the developed system provides the possibility for patients with severe motor impairments to ‘write’ words on the screen letter-by-letter with high accuracy. In a recent high-resolution 7 Tesla fMRI study we furthermore showed that subjects can “write" letters of the alphabet simply by imagining the shape of the letters.





Date: 29 November 2018
Time: 3.30 pm
FSW, Pieter de la Courtgebouw, Wassenaarseweg 52, Leiden. Room 1A20

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Date & Time: 15 March 2019, 4.30 pm
Location: Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen, Pieter de la Court gebouw, Wassenaarseweg 52, room SB-11 

Date & Time:  April 10, 2019, 4.30 pm
Location: Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen, Pieter de la Court gebouw, Wassenaarseweg 52, SA-41 


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