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David Van Essen

Washington University, St. Louis, USA

Title: A neuroinformatics perspective on cerebral cortical structure and function

Abstract: The structural and functional complexity of the cerebral cortex poses special challenges but also special opportunities from a neuroinformatics perspective.  This lecture will highlight recent progress in developing and applying surface-based visualization, analysis, and data mining approaches to the study of cerebral cortex in humans and nonhuman primates.  Collectively, these approaches facilitate progress and lead to deeper insights into our understanding of cortical structure, function, and development in health and disease. 

Bio sketch: David Van Essen is known for his research on the structure, function, and development of the cerebral cortex in general and the visual cortex in particular.  His physiological and anatomical studies of macaque visual cortex provide many insights regarding functional specialization and hierarchical organization. His studies of human cerebral cortex provide insights regarding normal variability, abnormalities in specific diseases, and patterns of cortical development.  He has been a pioneer in the emerging field of neuroinformatics through the development of a suite of brain-mapping software, surface-based atlases of primates and rodents, and the SumsDB database for online access and visualization of a growing body of neuroimaging data.  He is currently Edison Professor and Head of the Anatomy & Neurobiology Department at Washington University in St. Louis.  He has served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Neuroscience, founding chair of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping, and President of the Society for Neuroscience.  He is a fellow of the AAAS and has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the St. Louis Academy of Science.


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