Public Release: 

Symposium provides global perspectives on brain health, computational psychiatry

Center for BrainHealth

On April 14, 2016 the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas and its partners at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at The University California, Berkeley, will host the tenth annual Reprogramming the Brain to Health Symposium focusing on computational psychiatry and neurology.

The 2016 Symposium will bring together distinguished cognitive scientists, neuroscientists, physicians, psychologists, rehabilitation specialists, educators and students to explore computational psychiatry, a new interdisciplinary field which highlights the need for computational methods that can bridge the explanatory gap between biological processes and mental illness.

Keynote speaker, Professor Karl Friston, FRS, FMedSci, Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow and Scientific Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, Professor at the Institute of Neurology at University College London, and an Honorary Consultant to the United Kingdom's National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, will receive the Dr. Charles L. Branch BrainHealth Award for his contributions to brain mapping and network based analysis.

"Understanding the complexity of the brain and exploring how brain health research can lead to individualized treatment plans is the future of the field," said Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman, founder and chief director of the Center for BrainHealth. "Dr. Friston is a pioneering, futuristic thinker who has contributed immeasurably to furthering brain health discoveries."

Since 2010, the Dr. Charles L. Branch BrainHealth Award has honored neuroscientists who have made noteworthy breakthroughs in brain discoveries. The Award, acknowledging a cognitive neuroscientist of true renown, is named after Charles Branch, M.D., a leading research scholar, neurosurgeon, humanitarian, and brain mapping pioneer who trained with legendary neuro-icons Drs. Wilder Penfield and Theodore Rassmussen.

Previous Charles L. Branch BrainHealth Award recipients include Marcus E. Raichle, M.D. (2015), Floyd Bloom, M.D. (2014), Daniel R. Weinberger, M.D. (2013), Donald T. Stuss, Ph.D. (2012), Joaquin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D. (2011), and Michael Gazzaniga, Ph.D. (2010).

"This symposium celebrates computational psychiatry - an emerging field that holds great promise for mental health and basic neuroscience," says Professor Karl Friston, FRS, FMedSci. "Computational psychiatry provides a forum where we can address arguably the most challenging problem in science and healthcare -- understanding how the brain works and what goes wrong in psychopathology. I am looking forward to quite a visionary symposium full of riveting conversations about radically new perspectives and opportunities for understanding psychopathology."

This year's organizer, Xiaosi Gu, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Center for BrainHealth, curated the 2016 speaker line-up to include:

  • Read Montague, Ph.D., Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University;
  • Sonia Bishop, Ph.D., Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at The University of California, Berkeley;
  • Peter Dayan, Ph.D., Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit at University College London;
  • Xiaosi Gu, Ph.D., Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas;
  • John Krystal, M.D., Yale University School of Medicine;
  • Karl Friston, FRS, FMedSci, Institute of Neurology at University London College;
  • Peter Fox, M.D., The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; and
  • Mark D'Esposito, M.D., University of California, Berkeley.

Symposium attendees will learn about the most recent findings and methodologies in computational psychiatry while also participating in discussions with expert speakers to gain feedback about their own research.

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For additional Symposium registration information, visit http://www.centerforbrainhealth.org/symposium.

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