Thursday, 19 January 2017

Research Seminar: Dr Jon Silas (Middlesex University)

*** Everyone Welcome! No need to book in advance ***

Date: Thursday 2nd February
Time: 16:00-17:00
Room: College Building C133

Dr Jon Silas (Middlesex University) 
'Methods in the Madness: Non-Invasive Stimulation and Imaging Techniques in Cognitive Neuroscience'

In this talk rather than focus on research related to a particular psychological phenomena or topic I will outline and consider different approaches to understanding cognition by probing the brain. Modern cognitive neuroscience is punctuated by advances in technology that allow for a better examination of brain structure and function. These new neuro-methods have allowed for the examination of psychological process and function that have hitherto remained unobservable. Using examples from my own research I will discuss several different, relatively recent, advances in brain imaging and stimulation technologies that allow for us to explore brain structure and function and elaborate on a mechanistic account of cognition. Much of my research has examined the human mirror neuron system and how such a system might contribute to social cognition. I will largely draw on this research, and some examples from my research into olfaction and memory, to explore different methods in cognitive neuroscience. I will mostly be discussing Electroencephalography (EEG) and Transcranial Electrical Stimulation (TES) with some consideration of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). 

Jon Silas joined the department of psychology at Middlesex last year in April. He completed his doctoral research at the University of Roehampton in 2010 where he used Electroencephalography and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to study the role of the so-called ‘mirror neuron system’ in social cognition and action understanding. He completed a post-doctoral research programme at the University of Pennsylvania in a position funded by the Department of Defence to explore olfactory dysfunction in early-onset Parkinson’s disease. Jon then returned to the University of Roehampton to take up a lecturing post where he continued his research into mirror neuron system functioning, olfaction and developed an interest in broader cognitive neuroscientific methods including functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Transcranial Electrical Stimulation. 

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