Title: Distributed cortical network for information generation and manipulation in working memory

Speaker:Dr. Qing Yu,Principal Investigator,Institute of Neuroscience,Chinese Academy of Sciences

Time: Dec. 15th, 13:30-15:30

Venue: RM 1113, Wang Ke Zhen Bldg

Host: Lusha Zhu


Working memory, the ability to temporarily maintain and manipulate information to serve flexible behavioral goals, is central to human intelligence and remains a fundamental research question in the field of cognitive neuroscience. Recent work has pointed to the involvement of a distributed cortical network, including sensory, parietal, and frontal cortex, in maintaining information during working memory. However, how this distributed network contributes to the internal generation and manipulation of memorized information has remained poorly understood. In this talk, I will present our recent work on characterizing the functional differences between sensory, parietal, and frontal cortex in working memory. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG), I will first demonstrate a domain-general contribution of parietal cortex to information generation (i.e., mental imagery) and manipulation in working memory. Next, I will demonstrate how lateral frontal cortex functions fundamentally differently from medial temporal lobe and medial frontal cortex during memory maintenance and manipulation. Lastly, if time permits, I will demonstrate our simulation of the manipulation process using Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) and discuss the potential neuronal mechanisms.

Short Bio

Dr. Qing Yu received her B.S. in Psychology and Mathematics from Peking University in 2011, and her Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from Dartmouth College in 2016. She was a postdoctoral research associate from 2016 to 2019, and a research scientist from 2019 to 2020, at University of Wisconsin-Madison. In September 2020, she joined the faculty at Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences as a Principal Investigator. Her research combines a variety of methods (fMRI, EEG, MEG, iEEG, psychophysics, computational modeling) to understand the neural mechanisms underlying memory and imagery. Her research has been published in journals including Current Biology (2019), PLOS Biology (2020a,2020b), Cell Reports (2023), The Journal of Neuroscience (2018,2023), Cerebral Cortex (2019), and NeuroImage (2017). She currently serves as the consulting editor of Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.