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Cognitive Regime Shift II - When/why/how the Brain Breaks/RobertoCabeza

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Notes by user Roberto Cabeza (Duke University) for Cognitive Regime Shift II - When/why/how the Brain Breaks

Post-meeting Reflection

1+ paragraphs on any combination of the following:

  • Presentation highlights
  • Open questions that came up
  • How your perspective changed
  • Impact on your own work
  • e.g. the discussion on [A] that we are having reminds me of [B] conference/[C] initiative/[D] funding call-for-proposal/[E] research group

My brief presentation (I didn't give a talk) focused on the concept of “compensation” in cognitive neuroscience of aging and dementia, and the difficulties of interpreting patterns of changes of brain activity or connectivity as compensatory. I emphasized the need of linking these changes both to a deficit and to enhanced behavior, and the importance that the latter link is established at the intra-individual rather than the inter-individual level.

The meeting was extremely interesting, particularly because it allowed exchanges between researchers with very different perspectives, which doesn't typically interact in standard scientific meetings. I found particularly exciting the idea of generating a theory of how the brain brakes that is not limited to one particular level of neuroscience analysis (e.g., molecular, cellular, systems) or one particular disorder or pathology.

The meeting reminded me of a conference I helped organized in Montreal in 2017,in which the goal was to clarify terminology (such as the term "compensation") rather than just presenting new data. As in this meeting, we also worked with a small group of researchers, without an audience, focusing on thinking rather that on just presenting and seeing new data.

Reference material notes

Some examples:

  • Here is [A] database on [B] that I pull data from to do [C] analysis that might be of interest to this group (insert link).
  • Here is a free tool for calculating [ABC] (insert link)
  • This painting/sculpture/forms of artwork is emblematic to our discussion on [X]!
  • Schwartz et al. 2017 offers a review on [ABC] migration as relate to climatic factors (add the reference as well).

Cabeza et al. (2018) is a consensus opinion paper on of three popular terms in the cognitive neuroscience of aging and dementia, which are all related to the concept of robustness: reserve, maintenance, and compensation. "Reserve" is defined as the cumulative improvement, due to genetic and/ or environmental factors, of neural resources that mitigates the effects of neural decline caused by aging or age-related diseases. "Maintenance" refers to the preservation of neural resources, which entails ongoing repair and replenishment of the brain in response to damage incurred at cellular and molecular levels due to ‘wear and tear.’ Finally, "compensation" refers to the cognition-enhancing recruitment of neural resources in response to relatively high cognitive demand.

Cabeza, Stanley, and Moscovitch (2018) argue that, compared to large-scale networks, cognitive theories are easier to relate to mini-networks called process specific alliances (PSAs). A PSA is small team of brain regions that rapidly assemble to mediate a cognitive process in response to task demands but quickly disassemble when the process is no longer needed.

Reference Materials

Title Author name Source name Year Citation count From Scopus. Refreshed every 5 days. Page views Related file
Maintenance, reserve and compensation: the cognitive neuroscience of healthy ageing Roberto Cabeza, Marilyn Albert, Sylvie Belleville, Fergus I. M. Craik, Audrey Duarte, Cheryl L. Grady, Ulman Lindenberger, Lars Nyberg, Denise C. Park, Patricia A. Reuter-Lorenz, Michael D. Rugg, Jason Steffener, M. Natasha Rajah Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2018 0 47 Download (Encrypted)
Process-Specific Alliances (PSAs) in Cognitive Neuroscience Roberto Cabeza, Matthew L. Stanley, Morris Moscovitch Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2018 0 1 Download (Encrypted)