CoNDA Center Seminar: Dr. Aron Barbey, UNL

Advancing the Science and Engineering of Intelligence: From Network Neuroscience to Interventions for Precision Health

Presented by Dr. Aron K. Barbey, Director of the Center for Brain, Biology & Behavior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

ABSTRACT: Research in the psychological and brain sciences has long sought to understand the nature of human intelligence, examining the stunning breadth and diversity of intellectual abilities and the remarkable neural mechanisms from which they arise. Rather than originate from a fixed set of cortical regions or a primary brain network, recent discoveries in Network Neuroscience suggest that intelligence emerges from a rich constellation of networks whose functions are orchestrated in a flexible, goal-directed manner. Although our understanding of neural dynamics and plasticity is guided by insights from the early twentieth century, we are only now beginning to establish methods to target and enhance network function and to accelerate the science and engineering of intelligence through Network Neuroscience. In this presentation, I illustrate how research in this emerging field is uncovering the network architecture of general intelligence and driving innovation in the design of neuroscience-guided interventions to enhance executive functions, with a focus on the network mechanisms of cognitive control. I explain how research in Network Neuroscience: (1) examines the nature and origins of intelligence through a multifaceted lens, calling for a synthesis of research across the cognitive, computational, and brain sciences; (2) establishes multimodal interventions to target multiple pathways for cognitive enhancement, engaging executive, social, and emotional brain networks (through skill-based cognitive training, non-invasive brain stimulation, mindfulness meditation, physical fitness training, and nutritional intervention); (3) applies statistical machine learning methods to engineer personalized training protocols based on multivariate performance phenotypes (derived from cognitive, genomic, and brain imaging data); and, finally, I show how Network Neuroscience: (4) inspires new perspectives about the dynamic and adaptive nature of intelligence, motivating novel insights about how intelligence is cultivated through learning and experience, is enabled by lifestyle choices that promote health and wellness, and is altered by psychiatric illness and traumatic brain injury.

For additional information, contact Kendall Panas ( To learn more about the Cognitive Neuroscience of Development and Aging (CoNDA) Center, click here.

Dial-In Information

Meeting ID: 963 2394 0934
Passcode: CONDA

Friday, May 17 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm


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