This center leverages the strengths of Carnegie Mellon in cognitive and computational neuroscience and those of the University of Pittsburgh in basic and clinical neuroscience to support a coordinated cross-university research and educational program of international stature.


CFP Early Career Workshop on Tools and Tech in Neuroscience @ TBA
Jan 24 – Jan 25 all-day

The Center for Philosophy of Science at Pitt is hosting an Early Career Workshop on Tools and Technology in Neuroscience in January 24-25th, 2020. We are now accepting paper presentation and poster presentation abstracts for theoretical and philosophical topics. The deadline is August 15th.

See the Center’s website for details:

Technological innovation has always played a central role in neuroscientific experimentation and theorizing. Historically, Nissl and Golgi staining methods were crucial to allowing researchers to produce data bearing on the neuron doctrine. More recently, the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative, launched by former President Barack Obama and carried out with support from the NIH, NSF, DARPA, and IARPA, has directed resources into the development of new technologies in the hope that it will improve, or even revolutionize, our understanding of the brain. Additionally, new computational technologies potentially give insight into understanding how to link behaviour to neuroscience in ways that many hope will impact clinical practice.

The aim of this workshop is to explore how tools and technology have advanced neuroscience and cognitive science and consider their epistemological and broader philosophical implications. We are inviting abstract submissions linked to the workshop’s main questions:
1) How are new technologies in neuroscience assessed and revised?
2) How have new technologies in neuroscience advanced debates in (philosophy of) cognitive science?

We welcome any abstracts related to the overall theme of the workshop on tools and technology in neuroscience though preference may be given to those that directly address the main questions. In delimiting what counts as technology, we include both instruments and devices that can be portable to different experimental contexts, but also techniques, protocols and modelling tools. Examples could include (but are not limited to): CLARITY, Scale, SeeDB, fMRI, Deep Brain Stimulation, text/data mining methods, connectomics, MVPA, machine learning, Brain-computer interfaces, DREADDs, optogenetics and TMS. We hope this workshop encourages a substantive dialogue between researchers in neuroscience/cognitive science and philosophy. To facilitate this, each contributed talk will be paired with a commentator who is a senior faculty member in philosophy/neuroscience as appropriate.

We hope you will share this call with relevant early career researchers and consider submitting if you are an early career researcher.

Psychiatry: Frederick
Jan 28 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Blaise Frederick, PhD

Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Associate Biophysicist, McLean Hospital

Director, Technical & Instrumentation Core, McLean Imaging Center


Using Resting State fMRI to Study Everything but Neuronal Activity



Date & Time: Tuesday, January 28, 2020 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Location: Starzl Biomedical Science Tower, Room W1695


Dr. Frederick received a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Yale University and a PhD in biophysics from the University of California at Berkeley. His training is in MR physics and his PhD thesis is entitled “Three Dimensional Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging of Sodium Ions Using Stochastic Excitation and Oscillating Gradients.” Dr. Frederick is also the director of the McLean Imaging Center’s Opto-Magnetic Group, and his current research is focused on multimodal acquisition and processing for hemodynamic quantitation and physiological denoising of BOLD data and device development for clinical evaluation of peripheral vascular physiology.


fMRI is one of the most widely used techniques for studying human brain activity in vivo.  The noninvasive nature of the method, in combination with very high spatial (and somewhat high temporal) resolution, wide availability, and good sensitivity led to its popularity in locating and quantifying neuronal activity.  In recent years, resting state fMRI (rs-fMRI) has become increasingly common to examine networks of connectivity between brain regions in health and disease. But up to 50% of the signal variance in rs-fMRI is not due to neuronal activity.  Long dismissed as simply “systemic physiological noise” and seen as a nuisance, the non-neuronal component of the fMRI signal carries rich information about cerebrovascular function and health.  We have developed and tested methods to extract regional blood flow information from the low frequency components of the rs-fMRI data without special acquisitions or additional measurements, and have evaluated these methods in moyamoya disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease, and in healthy comparison subjects to map vascular territories.  More recently, we have developed a method to extract high quality cardiac waveforms from the same datasets, and to map the pulsatile flow of blood throughout the brain, again using only resting state data with no additional measurements.  This substantially increases the value of existing datasets, allowing detailed characterization of vascular function even if that was not considered in the design of the study, turning noise into signal. Finally, by parsing, modelling, and removing these signals, we can effectively delete the majority of the non-neuronal components from rs-fMRI data (and most task data, according to our initial tests), removing two major confounds from accurate quantification of neuronal activation and connectivity.


For More Information. Please contact Yiming Wang via email at


Click here to see a full list of all events organized through Pitt’s Department of Psychiatry.

Ear2Brain: Tzounopoulos @ Gates Hillman Center 8102
Feb 3 @ 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

We invite you Ear2Brain, a new talk series generously supported as a collaboration cluster by the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition.

Ear2Brain aspires to connect those with interests in auditory science in Pittsburgh.  

Open to all, we welcome the ‘auditory curious’ as well as those working to understand the perceptual, cognitive, computational, clinical and neurobiological bases of audition. Join us the first Monday of each month 3-5pm for a broadly accessible talk by a local researcher or an invited guest followed by interaction over beverages and snacks.

February 3, 2020, 3-5pm

Thanos Tzounopoulos (University of Pittsburgh)

CMU, Gates Hillman Center 8102
Directions to the Gates Hillman Center ]

March 2, 2020, 3-5pm 

Ed Lalor (University of Rochester)
CMU, Gates Hillman Center 8102
Directions to the Gates Hillman Center ]

April 6, 2020, 3-5pm

Virginia Best (Boston University)

CMU, Gates Hillman Center 8102
Directions to the Gates Hillman Center ]

May 4, 2020, 3-5pm

Ross Williamson (University of Pittsburgh)

CMU, Gates Hillman Center 4405 (note different room)
Directions to the Gates Hillman Center ]


Summer hiatus, but save the date for the inaugural
Symposium on Cognitive Auditory Neuroscience (SCAN) 2020
hosted in Pittsburgh July 30-31
, 2020CMU Tepper Quad

We hope to see you there! 

All are welcome. Please feel free to forward this announcement.

Lori Holt (CMU Faculty co-organizer)

Casey Roark (Pitt Post-Doc co-organizer)

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