On some great work. Niloy Nath, Shanty Kamal, Olesya Dmitrieva, Neha Sam and Logan Haynes presented at the ACHRI and HBI summer student research days this week. Congratulations to Logan on runner up for best poster presentation!!

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AuthorSigne Bray

Manu will be presenting part of her PhD project showing "Intact reinforcement learning with restricted interests in Autism Spectrum Disorder". Check out her poster on Tuesday, July 10, 09:30 - 13:00 at Poster Board F011.

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AuthorSigne Bray

Both Manu and Michael from the lab were teamed up with a local artist who translated their work into a custom piece, presented at 'Your Brain on Art' -- http://www.branchoutfoundation.com/your_brain_on_art

 

 

 While creating this piece I was thinking about what Manu and I had discussed in terms of how people on the autistic spectrum respond to the world: how they react positively to a variety of unanticipated stimulation, how they can become engrossed in a particular subject as well as the unique physical characteristics of each person's brain. From this I recognized similarities to artistic motivation; how certain visual sensations can be completely captivating: sunlight falling on a leaf, the shadow of fence across a sidewalk, the combination of colours on a canvas... From this, I allowed my own 'brain' to go wherever it pleased and this is what happened!     Kirsten Ringstrom, Artist (http://kirstenringstrom.org/)  Manu Schuetze, Neuroscientist  8x10 image in 13x17 frame  mixed media on raw canvas

While creating this piece I was thinking about what Manu and I had discussed in terms of how people on the autistic spectrum respond to the world: how they react positively to a variety of unanticipated stimulation, how they can become engrossed in a particular subject as well as the unique physical characteristics of each person's brain. From this I recognized similarities to artistic motivation; how certain visual sensations can be completely captivating: sunlight falling on a leaf, the shadow of fence across a sidewalk, the combination of colours on a canvas... From this, I allowed my own 'brain' to go wherever it pleased and this is what happened!

 

Kirsten Ringstrom, Artist (http://kirstenringstrom.org/)

Manu Schuetze, Neuroscientist

8x10 image in 13x17 frame

mixed media on raw canvas

 John F. Gerrard  18 Unknowns  Print  Finished Size: 17" x 23"   Research Project: Gaze Behaviour & Emotional Perception in Schizophrenia - Michael Spilka, University of Calgary   When people hear schizophrenia, it’s often the positive symptoms such as delusions that come to mind. This study is focused on the recognition of emotion in faces, which is one of the social abilities affected in schizophrenia.  Michael Spilka and his team are studying the areas of the brain that are responsible for these social skills. Using fMRI and eye-tracking technology, they are hoping to find how the functioning of these brain regions are affected by how people look at faces, so they can further develop ways to help people with these issues.   The social ability to recognize which emotions are being conveyed is an important part of interacting with people. Schizophrenia can be an isolating illness, and I’m happy this part of the disease is being looked at.   I wanted to simulate what it might be like to take in a face and misrepresent it. I worked with images of “happy” people with the goal to make them ambiguous and eerie. I think it’s fascinating how a healthy brain can take visual data and interpret that into an abstract quality such as “happy”, or how there can be an unknown presented to the subject when things aren’t working properly. I learned from Michael that there isn’t one place in the brain that does this, rather different parts that work together. I also learned about how this process may be influenced by which parts of the face are focused on by the viewer. I find it fascinating how the seemingly mechanical nature of the brain can give rise to a unified subjective experience, and am intrigued by the mystery of how this works. My goal with this piece was to fail at interpreting the emotion. To strip it of any obvious signifier, leaving it abstract and undefined.

John F. Gerrard

18 Unknowns

Print

Finished Size: 17" x 23"


Research Project: Gaze Behaviour & Emotional Perception in Schizophrenia - Michael Spilka, University of Calgary


When people hear schizophrenia, it’s often the positive symptoms such as delusions that come to mind. This study is focused on the recognition of emotion in faces, which is one of the social abilities affected in schizophrenia.  Michael Spilka and his team are studying the areas of the brain that are responsible for these social skills. Using fMRI and eye-tracking technology, they are hoping to find how the functioning of these brain regions are affected by how people look at faces, so they can further develop ways to help people with these issues.


The social ability to recognize which emotions are being conveyed is an important part of interacting with people. Schizophrenia can be an isolating illness, and I’m happy this part of the disease is being looked at.


I wanted to simulate what it might be like to take in a face and misrepresent it. I worked with images of “happy” people with the goal to make them ambiguous and eerie. I think it’s fascinating how a healthy brain can take visual data and interpret that into an abstract quality such as “happy”, or how there can be an unknown presented to the subject when things aren’t working properly. I learned from Michael that there isn’t one place in the brain that does this, rather different parts that work together. I also learned about how this process may be influenced by which parts of the face are focused on by the viewer. I find it fascinating how the seemingly mechanical nature of the brain can give rise to a unified subjective experience, and am intrigued by the mystery of how this works. My goal with this piece was to fail at interpreting the emotion. To strip it of any obvious signifier, leaving it abstract and undefined.

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AuthorSigne Bray

Some of our lab members presented their research at the CAIR 5th Anniversary Research Symposium at the Alberta Children's Hospital on March 27, 2018. Congrats to everyone on their fantastic posters, and to Aneesh Khetani for winning Best Poster!

 Aneesh Khetani - Evaluation of a visospatial n-back task in fMRI to examine working memory network activation in children following a mild traumatic brain injury -  Winner of Best Poster!

Aneesh Khetani - Evaluation of a visospatial n-back task in fMRI to examine working memory network activation in children following a mild traumatic brain injury - Winner of Best Poster!

 Manu Schuetze - Intact reward functioning towards restricted interests in Austism Spectrum Disorder during reinforcement learning

Manu Schuetze - Intact reward functioning towards restricted interests in Austism Spectrum Disorder during reinforcement learning

 Christiane Rohr - Age predicts changes in functional networks in early childhood: Integration of sensory and cognitive networks

Christiane Rohr - Age predicts changes in functional networks in early childhood: Integration of sensory and cognitive networks

 Logan Haynes - Exploring the effects of age-appropriate brain templates on voxel-based morphometry analysis

Logan Haynes - Exploring the effects of age-appropriate brain templates on voxel-based morphometry analysis

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AuthorSigne Bray

Circumscribed interests in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder can play an important role in forming new peer relationships based on shared interests. However, little is currently known about the circumscribed interests in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and how it compares with those of typically developing adolescents. In our recently published article, we investigated the circumscribed interests of adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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AuthorSigne Bray

Early interventions for children with Autism are supported by the best evidence available to date and yet they don't guarantee to help every child that receives a diagnosis. Why do some children benefit from these interventions and others don't? This is an important question as not only are interventions expensive, but they also require a lot of time and effort from children and parents. 

In our new article, we reviewed the evidence for differences in learning and explore how learning strategies could be tailored to the unique abilities of children on the spectrum. We suggest that differences in treatment response may be due to differences in how individuals with ASD respond to, and learn form, reinforcers in the environment.

 

 

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AuthorSigne Bray

We're excited to spend a few days in New Orleans at the Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society. Ivy will be presenting her work on Frontostriatal Structural Connectivity in Autism Spectrum Disorder tomorrow, Thursday, February 2, 9:30-10:45 am (Poster # 58). 

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AuthorSigne Bray

Dr. Signe Bray's work on brain development in children and adolescents is now online in Human Brain Mapping! Click here to read the abstract. 

Data sharing in neuroimaging allows groups from all over the world to make use of unique data sets. We have a new paper out today that used anatomical, arterial spin labeling and functional data from the 'Pediatric Template of Brain Perfusion' study (http://palgrave.nature.com/articles/sdata20153). We found that although there were similar declining age effects on gray matter volume and perfusion, the spatial patterns of these changes were largely independent. This means that multimodal imaging is necessary to get a clear and accurate picture of how the brain matures, and also that models linking changes in volume with changes in blood flow and function are more complex than one might expect.   

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AuthorSigne Bray

Congratulations to Manu on winning 3rd place for best presentation at Neuron Night! She gave an interactive talk about her new research project: "The Effect of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Reward Learning in Autism Spectrum Disorder."

Thank you to the Branch Out Neurological Foundation (http://www.branchoutfoundation.com/) for organizing a great event!

 

 

 

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AuthorSigne Bray

Manu will be giving a talk about her current research on: "Neural correlates of variable learning in adolescents with ASD." You can hear her talk on November 15th from 1:00-2:45PM in SDCC 2 (Session #: 578). 

Keelin will be presenting a poster on: "Typical emotional processing of special interest stimuli in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder." You can meet her on November 13th from 2:00-3:00PM. 

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AuthorSigne Bray

...for winning this year's NSERC CREATE i3T Studentship and Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Master’s Scholarship! 

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AuthorSigne Bray

Congratulations to Keelin for receiving the award for an outstanding poster presentation at this year's Brain Development conference organized by NeuroDevNet.

Her poster showed data from her master thesis on 'Typical emotional processing of special interest stimuli in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder.'

 

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AuthorSigne Bray

This summer, we went for a (steep? not so steep?) hike along the Ford Knoll Trail and had a delicious barbeque/picnic by Forgot Me Not Pond in beautiful K-Country.

The perfect farewell for our summer students and a well-deserved day off for all of us, especially for Keelin who successfully defended her M.Sc. thesis the day before! Congrats, again! 

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AuthorSigne Bray

We had fantastic summer students again this year who proudly presented their research at two research symposiums. Congrats to Prayash whose abstract was selected for an oral presentation!

Thanks to HBI and ACHRI for organizing these events for all summer students!

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AuthorSigne Bray

 

Christiane’s work on attention development in the brain is now online in Cerebral Cortex (click here or on the picture below to get your free copy).

We investigated age-related changes in attention skills in 4-7 year old children and how they are reflected in the changes in an important attention network in the brain. We found for one, that as expected, all the types of attention skills showed age-related improvements - the 7-year-olds were better at it than the 4-year-olds. Interestingly, we also found that being better in one specific attention skill went hand-in-hand with increased cross-talk within nodes of the brain network independent of the children’s age: selective attention. Selective attention is the type of attention that you need when you play "Where's Waldo?”. It is also important for reading or math skills, and the way it develops has implications for children who aren’t as good at it than others.

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AuthorSigne Bray

Christiane will be presenting a poster about her current research on: "Cerebellar functional connectivity predicts childhood ASD and ADHD traits".

Presentation time is Tuesday, June 28, from 12.45 to 14.45, though the poster will be up both Monday and Tuesday. Her poster # is 1107.

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AuthorSigne Bray

We're very happy that Manu's work on shape and volume differences in Autism Spectrum Disorder is now published in Neuropsychopharmacology. Feel free to check it out here or by clicking on the picture below. It's open access.

We collaborated with Dr. Mallar Chakravarty's group at McGill University who developed the MAGeT Brain algorithm for automated image segmentation. This allowed us to investigate volumetric and shape differences in a large pool of participants (N=757) taken from the Autism Brain Imaging Database Exchange. 

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AuthorSigne Bray