Dartmouth Events

Psychological and Brain Sciences Colloquium

Rebecca Saxe, PhD, McGovern Institute at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Thursday, April 4, 2024
1:00pm – 2:00pm
Filene Auditorium, Moore Building
Intended Audience(s): Alumni, Faculty, Postdoc, Staff, Students-Graduate, Students-Undergraduate
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Please join us in Moore Filene Auditorium at 1:05 p.m. next week on Thursday, April 4, 2024, for a colloquium given by Rebecca Saxe, John W Jarve (1978) Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Associate Dean of Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Title:  Getting Started: Imaging the Minds and Brains of Human Infants

Abstract:  In this talk, I will describe my lab’s efforts to advance knowledge of the minds of infants, through neuroimaging of the activity in their brains. One part of the talk will review our evidence that responses to social stimuli (dynamic faces) arise in many parts of cortex simultaneously and early in infancy. Based on this evidence, I’ll argue that infants’ learning about, and representations of, other people are not just a downstream consequence of generic processes that promote learning in the nonsocial environment, nor are they built by gradual, bottom-up adjustment to the statistics of visual experience.  On the contrary, infants’ attention to people depends on specific inferences about their social relevance.  Another part of the talk will reflect on this whole approach.  Our fMRI results reveal that the functions of cortical regions are quite similar, between infants and adults. Indeed, as the methods in our field improve, some initial differences have disappeared, turning into similarities. But, these mounting similarities can’t be the whole story: brains are machines for learning, and infants have a lot to learn to acquire adult minds. So, I will consider where we might look next for signatures of developmental change in infants minds and brains.

Coffee, tea, and cider donuts will be available a few minutes before and after the talk in the foyer space outside of Moore Filene Auditorium.

For more information, contact:
Michelle Powers

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.