Keynote Address

The Keynote Address is an invited lecture delivered by a prominent colleague whose contributions to neuroscience are widely acknowledged. NCM provides the opportunity for members to suggest colleagues who would be suitable candidates to deliver a Keynote Address at the Annual Meeting. Individuals and topics outside the normal NCM community are encouraged.

Keynote Address

The Keynote Address is an invited lecture delivered by a prominent colleague whose contributions to neuroscience are widely acknowledged. NCM provides the opportunity for members to suggest colleagues who would be suitable candidates to deliver a Keynote Address at the Annual Meeting. Individuals and topics outside the normal NCM community are encouraged.

2018 Keynote Speaker

Ann Graybiel

Ann Graybiel

McGovern Institute for Brain Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 

 

Abstract

“Shining Light in the Dark Basement: The Basal Ganglia in Action”

The basal ganglia have long been known by clinicians to be important in the genesis of extrapyramidal motor disorders, but these deep-lying structures of the forebrain were relatively neglected by basic scientists, due to their physical inaccessibility. A revolution in our understanding of these structures now is on-going. Dopamine-containing neurons, discovered by Schultz and Romo to signal unexpected rewards and reward-related cues (reward prediction errors), now are being found to become active just before movements, as either drivers or motivation-related modulators of movement initiation. The direct and indirect basal ganglia pathways, proposed as go/no-go systems for movement control, are seen as co-active regulators of movement, likely aligning with the pioneering hypothesis put forward by Mink and Thach. Frequency-specific oscillatory activities in basal ganglia networks are now seen as hallmarks of dysfunction (and increasingly, of function) of basal ganglia circuits. Yet the question of why we move or do not move has remained a mystery. We work on this mystery in our laboratory. We have identified major circuits leading from prefrontal cortical regions related in human to mood and affect to specialized zones in the striatum called striosomes (striatal bodies) and then to the dopamine-containing neurons of the substantia nigra and to the lateral habenula, which itself can modulate the dopamine and serotonin systems. We are finding that these circuits are differentially activated in relation to cost-benefit decisions about whether to act or not—whether to approach or to avoid offers—when the offers combine rewarding and aversive options. These experiments capitalize on modified versions of approach-avoidance tasks initially designed to study anxiety and depression in humans. By manipulating these striosome-related circuits, we can strikingly modify the amounts of approach and avoidance behavior. We have found that these circuits are also related to repetitive, stereotyped movements, hallmarks of some neuropsychiatric disorders and of the results of exposure to chronic stress. The functions of these circuits could have powerful effects on the control of action in health and disease.

 

Nomination and Selection

Board members nominate candidates for consideration. Members are invited to suggest candidates to the Board (any member) or directly to both the President and Program Chair. The deadline for nominations each year is in September. When submitting your Keynote Address suggestion, please include the proposed candidate’s name, title, major scientific contributions and their email address and phone number.

Past Keynotes

19th Annual Meeting (2009)
G. Melvill Jones
How do we steer ourselves where we want to go? Insights gleaned from 6 decades of messing around in labs on Earth and beyond.

22nd Annual Meeting (2012)
Emilio Bizzi

23rd Annual Meeting (2013)
Tom Jessell
Sifting Circuits for Motor Control

24th Annual Meeting (2014)
David S. Zee
Effects of MRI machine magnetic fields on the brain: Studies in normal humans, vestibular patients, mice and zebra fish

25th Annual Meeting (2015)
Peter Strick
Old and New M1: A tale of two motor areas

26th Annual Meeting (2016)
Eckart Altenmüller
Functional and dysfunctional plasticity in motor systems of music

27th Annual Meeting (2017)
Roger Lemon
Primate Specific Features of Corticospinal Control