On June 7, Bob Knight will be giving a talk in honor of Helen Neville, who passed away last October. Both Neville and Knight were true pioneers in the field of electrical neuroimaging to advance cognitive neuroscience and it’s no surprise that they were close colleagues in the early days of the field. Knight's recent work using intracranial EEG recordings, characterizing high-frequency neural oscillations, and decoding speech from recordings from the surface of the brain is highly influential and his talks are always enjoyable.
Physiology of Human Cognition: Inspirations from Helen
Robert T. Knight, M.D., Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Department of Psychology and Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley
The last decade has witnessed an explosion of research employing recording of electrical activity directly from the human brain. Intracranial recording provides a powerful window into the neural basis of cognition and has been applied to a host of human behaviors. The first key finding was that the human brain generates robust neural activity up to 250 Hz (high frequency band; HFB) with exquisite spatial (millimeter) and temporal (millisecond) resolution. The second important observation was that HFB activity is modulated by slower cortical oscillations with different tasks eliciting unique sub-second distributed spatial-temporal activity patterns. I will first discuss how intracranial recording has provided novel insights into the neural basis of attention, language, memory and decision-making with the intracranial findings often challenging prior dogma in the field. I will then review our efforts using HFB activity to decode imagined speech in an effort to develop a brain computer interface for treatment of disabling language deficits.