Opening lecture

Edvard Moser, Prof. at Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.

Title of the presentation: Neural computation of space and time Bio: Edvard Moser is a Professor of Neuroscience and a Scientific Director of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience (KISN) and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim. He is interested in neural network coding in the cortex, with particular emphasis on space, time and memory. His work, conducted with May-Britt Moser as a long-term collaborator, includes the discovery of grid cells, which provides clues to a mechanism for the metric of spatial mapping. His current aim is to unravel how neural microcircuits for space and time are organized as interactions between large numbers of diverse neurons with known functional identity, an endeavour that is significantly boosted by the development of Neuropixels probes and 2-photon miniscopes for freely-moving rodents. Edvard Moser received his initial training at the University of Oslo under the supervision of Per Andersen and worked as a post-doc with Richard Morris and John O’Keefe. In 1996 he accepted a faculty position in psychology at NTNU. He became a Founding Director of the Centre for the Biology of Memory in 2002 and of KISN in 2007. Together with May-Britt Moser, he has received numerous awards, including the 2014 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology.

In the opening lecture prof. Moser will review recent advances in our understanding of the brain´s mechanisms for tracking space and time, brain functions that are generated not merely by integration of sensory inputs but rather by internal dynamics of the cortex. In mammals, space is mapped by complex neural networks in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex. These brain areas contain specialized position-coding cell types, including grid cells, which we discovered in the medial entorhinal cortex in 2005. Grid cells are active when animals are at certain locations, locations that tile environments in a periodic hexagonal pattern. Moser will show how the dynamics of networks of hundreds of grid cells arises in the interactions of large populations of grid cells and how the activity of these ensembles operates on low-dimensional manifolds. He will also show how time and sequences are encoded across scales from seconds to hours within the overall population state of the entorhinal cortex and how specialized dynamics of lateral entorhinal cell populations provides the brain with a neural code that changes uniquely with the passage of experienced time.

Photo credit: Torgrim Melhuus/ Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience

Keynote speakers

Sallie Baxendale, PhD, Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London, England, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist. 

Title of the presentation: The Cognitive Contraindications, Complications and Costs of Epilepsy Surgery 

Bio: Professor Sallie Baxendale is Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology at the UCL, Queen Square, Institute of Neurology. She has over three decades of clinical experience working on the epilepsy surgery programs in London and Oxford and is the current Chair of the International League Against Epilepsy Diagnostic Methods Commission. Her research ranges from studies of the neural substrate of memory to explorations of the ways in which the stigma associated with epilepsy is perpetuated in the media. She serves on the Board of Governors for the International Neuropsychological Society and was awarded the Arthur Benton Prize for her clinical and research contributions to epilepsy in 2018. In the plenary speech professor Baxendale will present the differences between cognitive contraindications, complications and costs in epilepsy surgery and how to discuss these risks with prospective surgical candidates to ensure that they are able to give informed consent for this elective treatment. The concept of prehabilitation will be introduced where preoperative predictions of cognitive cost are used to plan and implement bespoke programs for epilepsy surgery candidates; using cognitive function before it is lost to put in the place the routines and strategies the individual will need to minimize the impact of postoperative cognitive decline on everyday function.

Charles H. Bombardier, PhD is a clinical psychologist and Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA. 

Title of the presentation: Depression in Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury 

Bio: Professor Bombardier and his colleagues have published extensively on the prevalence, course, correlates, measurement, and treatment of depression in people with traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury, and multiple sclerosis. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and has received numerous national awards including the Mitch Rosenthal Memorial Award (2013), the Roger C. Barker Award (2014), The Essie Morgan Lecture Award (2016), and the Beatrice Wright/Tamara Dembo Lecture Award (2021). His work has been featured in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In the plenary speech, professor Bombardier will present on the epidemiology of major depression in persons with TBI, predictors and correlates of depression including the relationship to impaired cognition, depression screening and assessment, and on what experts should know about treating TBI-related depression.

Joseph Firth, is a UKRI Research Fellow, University of Manchester, he is also Honorary Research Fellow at the Western Sydney University, and Honorary Research Fellow, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trus.

Titel of presentation: Digital Technologies and Youth Mental Health: improving physical, psychological & cognitive outcomes 

Bio: Dr. Joseph Firth is a UKRI Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, UK. His research currently focuses on finding novel ways for using digital technologies to improve physical and mental health outcomes in young people with mental health conditions. Dr. Firth is a recipient of the Clarviate’s Highly-Cited Researcher award for ranking among the top 0.1% of scientists in Psychiatry/Psychology, and has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles in his field (including in top-ranked medical journals such as The BMJ, The New England Journal of Medicine, etch). In this presentation, Dr. Firth will provide a brief overview of how the mass adoption of ubiquitous internet technologies (and particularly smartphones) may influence cognitive and mental health outcomes across the population. From this, he will then present the emerging theories on how to avoid these adverse effects, along with new evidence around how novel technologies can also be potentially used for improving physical and mental health outcomes, even for some of the most vulnerable young adults in modern society. He will conclude with a discussion around the further research now required to maximize the potential of digital tech for benefitting young people, especially in the context of mental health.

Albert “Skip” Rizzo, Ph.D.,Director of the Medical Virtual Reality, Institute for Creative Technologies Research Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry and School of Gerontology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. USA 

Title of the presentation: Clinical Virtual Reality: A Brief Review of the Future 

Bio: Over the last 30 years, Dr. Rizzo has conducted research on the design, development and evaluation of Virtual Reality systems targeting the areas of clinical assessment, treatment and rehabilitation across the domains of psychological, cognitive and motor functioning in both healthy and clinical populations. This work has focused on PTSD, TBI, Autism, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and other clinical conditions. He has received the APA 2010 Award for “Outstanding Contribution to the Practice of Trauma Psychology”, the 2015 Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics “Pioneer in Medicine Award”, and the 2020 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Innovation Award. Dr Rizzo´s plenary speech will provide a brief description of the various forms of VR technology and describe the trajectory of Clinical VR over the last 30 years addressing health and clinical treatment of anxiety disorders, PTSD, pain management, autism, and in the assessment/rehabilitation of stroke, brain injury, and other neurologically-based conditions. Virtual Human technology for clinical training, healthcare coaching, and clinical interviewing will also be covered. While there is still much research needed to advance the science in this area, the use of Clinical VR has evolved dramatically as the tech has improved and system costs have come down.

Dame Til Wykes, is a professor and Head of School at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London as well as a consultant clinical psychologist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. 

Title of the presentation: The Why and How of Cognitive Remediation Therapies for People with a diagnosis of Schizophrenia 

Bio: Professor Wykes has developed, tested, and implemented novel treatments for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia including cognitive remediation interventions. She influenced national and international research strategies through the European ROAMER (Wykes et al 2015), and UK Mental Health Research Goals projects (Wykes et al 2021). She champions Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) and founded the renowned Service User Research Enterprise which employs excellent researchers with experience of using mental health services. Her influence has been recognised by the British Psychological Society, a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDTM for the Largest Mental Health Lesson, a Damehood from the Queen (2016), the EPA for Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in Working to Improve Mental Health Care in Europe and the INS Lifetime Research Award.

Shari L. Wade, Ph.D., tenured professor at the University of Cincinnati, Departments of Pediatrics and Psychology, and Director of Research, Division of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 

Title of the presentation: Neuropsychologically-informed Interventions for Children and Families 

Bio: Dr. Shari Wade is a highly experienced rehabilitation psychologist. Her widely cited research on outcomes of traumatic brain injury and factors that influence outcomes has shaped how the field understands the role of social environmental factors on recovery and the effects of TBI on child and family functioning over time. She has pioneered the development and testing of technology-based interventions to reduce behavioral and family consequences of pediatric TBI and other brain conditions. She was principal investigator and director of the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Pediatric Brain Injury Interventions, and recipient of the first Jane Gillette Award from the International Pediatric Brain Injury Society. This presentation will describe the 1 Teen Online Problem-Solving program (TOPS), a family-centered, e-Health treatment to address neurobehavioral sequela through training in planning, problem-solving, self-monitoring/self-regulation, and effective communication. Identified as a practice standard in recent systematic guidelines, TOPS is currently being implemented at 15 sites in the United States and Canada. Discussion will consider the value of neuropsychologically-informed care and the merits and alternatives to having neuropsychologists and their trainees delivering these treatments.

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