Third Virtual Layer-fMRI ‘Dinner’: Cognitive Models and Cortical Layers.

On April 20th 2021, the third virtual layer-fMRI event is scheduled.

This meeting is held as a succession of the first two virtual dinner in May 2020, and Sept 2020:

In this third event, it will be discussed how the layer-fMRI methodologies might be able to inform Cognitive models. The three speakers are researchers that are working to examine cognitive processes whose study is aided by understanding the structure and function of cortical layers. These cognitive processes could include memory, attention, learning, dreaming, language or cortical predictions (plus many, many more!)

Floris de Lange will give an overview of work done by his group to capture laminar fMRI activity changes in the visual cortex for prediction, attention and bottom-up input. André Bastos will present results of laminar LFP recordings and how feed-forward gamma-band and feedback alpha/beta band modulations help to understand cognitive effects including attention, working memory, and prediction processing. Michelle Moerel will talk about how computational models can be combined with laminar fMRI to understand human auditory processing. 

Below you find the important links of the virtual event. Embedded videos of the talks, discussions, and a summary of the hot topics are going to be added on the day after the event.

  • The meeting is organized and moderated by Luca Vizioli and Andrew Morgan. This event is supported by CMRR (Essa Yacoub and Kamil Ugurbil) as well as the Maastricht-York partnership grant (PIs: Aneurin Kennerley and Renzo Huber).
  • This link will forward the attendees to the zoom link:
  • The event will consist of three 20-30 min talks and a subsequent joint discussion.
  • The duration of the event will be approximately 90 minutes.
  • The event is open to everyone (there might be a limit of 200 simultaneous attendees).

Starting time of the virtual event: 

BrisbaneKoreaGermanyUK/UTCNew YorkMinnesotaSan Francisco
Apr 20thApr 20thApr 20thApr 20thApr 20thApr 20thApr 20th

We apologize for the inconvenient time in Australia and Asia. 


André Bastos, Vanderbilt University

Title: “Canonical cortical circuits and dynamics for cognition”

Synopsis: To understand the neural basis of cognition, we must understand how top-down control of bottom-up sensory inputs is achieved. We have marshaled evidence for a canonical cortical control circuit that involves rhythmic interactions between different cortical layers. By performing multiple-area, multi-laminar recordings, we’ve found that local field potential (LFP) power in the gamma band (40-100 Hz) is strongest in superficial layers (layers 2/3), and LFP power in the alpha/beta band (8-30 Hz) is strongest in deep layers (layers 5/6). The gamma-band is strongly linked to bottom-up sensory processing and neuronal spiking carrying stimulus information, while the alpha/beta-band is linked to top-down processing. Deep layer alpha/beta projects to superficial layers, and is negatively coupled to gamma. These oscillations give rise to separate channels for neuronal communication: feedforward for the gamma-band, and feedback for the alpha/beta band. Attention, working memory, and prediction processing all involve modulation of gamma and alpha/beta synchronization, both within and across areas of the frontal/parietal/visual network. These rhythmic interactions breakdown during anesthesia-induced unconsciousness. Based on these observations, we hypothesize that the interplay between alpha/beta and gamma synchronization is a canonical mechanism to enable cognition and consciousness. My plan for future work is to causally test this hypothesis by manipulating these rhythms.

Floris de Lange, Radboud University, Nijmegen

Floris de Lange

Title: “Distinct laminar activity profiles in visual cortex for prediction, attention and bottom-up input”

Michelle Moerel, Maastricht University

Title: “Combining computational modeling with laminar fMRI to understand auditory processing”


will be posted on April 21st 2021.

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