Neuroscience Frontiers: Exploring Cognitive Dynamics and Brain Connectivity

James Shine Chair
University of Sydney
Sydney, NA 
Won Mok Shim Chair
Sungkyunkwan University
Biomedical Engineering
Suwon, Gyeonggi-do 
Korea, Republic of
Monday, Jun 24: 4:45 PM - 6:00 PM
Oral Sessions 
Room: Hall D 2 


Towards interoception as a transdiagnostic biomarker of health-harming disorders

Interoception, the process of sensing, monitoring, and regulating our internal, homeostatic rhythms, is experiencing a renaissance in neuroscience. Recent advancements in systems neuroscience and neurobiology are uncovering specific, and at times surprising, mechanisms of brain-body interaction. For instance, we've discovered that multi-organ interoceptive axes influence a broad range of brain processes, from global neural oscillations to domain-specific computations. However, our progress in integrating these insights has been hampered by methodological constraints in measuring interoception in humans. To address this, we've developed various computational and psychophysical tools to assess interoception across gastric, cardiac, and respiratory axes. In my talk, I'll share findings from our Visceral Mind Project, a comprehensive dataset of 530 participants, encompassing brain, body, mental health, and psychophysiological measures. 

View Abstract 902


Micah Allen, Professor, PhD, Aarhus University
Clinical Medicine
Lystrup, Denmark 

FMRI-based brain signature of divergent thinking

Divergent thinking constitutes a vital component of creativity – a complex cognitive process that necessitates the collaborative engagement of multiple brain regions involved in distinct functions (1, 2). Prior studies employed connectivity measures at rest and have implicated the involvement of default, salience and executive systems (3). However, the neural signature of divergent thinking during task performance remains elusive, requiring further characterization of this higher cognitive process. Here, we employed fMRI data from two large samples in conjunction with machine learning techniques to identify and delineate a neural marker capable of predicting divergent thinking ability both at the group and individual levels. We then further described this marker in the context of cortical connectivity gradients and meta-analytic decoding to unravel its architectural principals within the hierarchical organization of the human brain. 

View Abstract 955


Cheng Liu, Southwest University Chongqing, Shanghai 

Catecholamine-Driven Low-Dimensional Brain Dynamics and Cognitive Task Performance

Cognitive flexibility underlies our ability to adapt to new and unexpected conditions in our environment. Genetic variations, such as the COMT Val158Met polymorphism, are known to influence this executive function. This study investigates the effects of the COMT genotype and the administration of tolcapone, a COMT inhibitor, on cognitive flexibility, utilizing fMRI and novel large-scale dynamic system analysis to explore underlying neural mechanisms (shine et al,. 2016; Munn et all., 2021). 

View Abstract 936


Gabriel Wainstein, University of Sydney Sydney, NSW 

Cognitive map-like representations of semantic structure during movie watching

Neuroscience aims to unravel the link between cognition and neural activity, with a growing focus on how the brain represents naturalistic stimuli like movie-watching (Kringelbach, Perl et al. 2023). Studies shown that the brain segments continuous stimuli into discrete events and forms narrative graphs, impacting memory performance in behaviors (Lee and Chen 2022). However, the precise characterization and neural representations of such naturalistic information in the human brain remains unclear. This study investigates cognitive map-like brain representations during movie watching, based on the theory that the brain encodes and organizes experiences in a relational map (Tolman 1948, Behrens, Muller et al. 2018). In this study, we explored the cognitive map-like representations in the brain during movie watching and their convergence with the underlying semantic structure of movie lines. 

View Abstract 970


Siyang Li, Zhejiang Lab Hangzhou, Zhejiang 

Organizational principles of semantic control in the human brain

The human semantic system affords a multi-dimensional conceptual space through which we ascribe meaning to various words and objects around us. Notably, accessing concepts that are more remotely connected in this space is suggested to require higher levels of demand for semantic control [1]. However, the precise neural signature of semantic control, and its distributed organization within the cortical hierarchy remains unclear. By combining an fMRI-based semantic retrieval task [2], a natural language processing model [3] and multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA) [4], here we captured a neural signature associated with varying demands for semantic control and charted its distribution within the cortical connectivity gradients [5]. We demonstrate that semantic control requires the engagement of multiple brain networks, dispersed along two principal gradients relevant to different aspects of semantic processing. This offers new insights into how the brain's functional networks are architecturally specialized to support semantic cognition. 

View Abstract 1076


KAIXIANG ZHUANG, The Institute of Science and Technology for Brain-inspired Intelligence (ISTBI) Shanghai, Shanghai 

Longitudinal iron in caudate related to control network connectivity and planning in older adults

Cognitive functions attributed to the frontoparietal control network (FPCN) are central to goal-directed behaviors, and these abilities are vulnerable to decline with advancing age.[1] Age-related declines in executive function (EF) have been linked to dopaminergic striatal dysfunction[2]. Elevated striatal iron deposition has been associated with lower cognition [3], and differences in brain function, measured with fMRI[4]. Here, we examined the impact of longitudinal iron accumulation in the caudate, a core subcortical node of the FPCN, on resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) changes in the FPCN in a sample of older adults. We then examined caudate iron associations with brain function and impact on changes in EF. 

View Abstract 2410


jing zhou, McGill University Montreal, Quebec