Texas professor to speak on MRI, the brain and behavior

Published: Apr 19, 2010 7:00:00 AM
Media Contact: Sally Credille, src0007@auburn.edu, 334-844-3447

Russell A. Poldrack, director of the Imaging Research Center and professor of psychology and neurobiology at the University of Texas-Austin, will present "Putting on the Brakes: The Neural Basis of Response Inhibition" at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 29, in 1103 Shelby Center. His seminar is part of the Samuel Ginn MRI Distinguished Lecture Series presented by Auburn University's MRI Research Center.

Poldrack will discuss the use of functional MRI scanning to characterize the systems in the brain involved in stopping a simple motion. In his research, Poldrack uses brain imaging to understand the brain systems that underlie our ability to learn new skills, make good decisions and exert self-control. His team has found that the activity of these systems is correlated with the behavioral effectiveness of inhibition, suggesting a direct role in behavior.

Poldrack's research aims to understand how functions can go awry in people with neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, drug addiction, ADHD and Tourette Syndrome. His work has garnered awards from the American Psychological Association and the Organization for Human Brain Mapping. Poldrack received his doctorate from the University of Illinois in 1995. He later spent time as a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University and a faculty member at the Massachusetts General Hospital-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Center and Harvard Medical School before moving to the University of California-Los Angeles.

Founded in 2009, the Samuel Ginn MRI Distinguished Lecture Series brings leaders in the field of magnetic resonance imaging to Auburn's campus to interact with faculty and students.