Associate Professor Marta GarridoAssociate Professor, & Lead, Cognitive Neuroscience and Computational Psychiatry, University of Melbourne
Keynote Presentation: How our brains learns and guess
One of the most influential theories in cognitive neuroscience posits that the brain is an active prediction engine. Rather than passively registering information from the environment, the brain learns by constantly guessing what will happen next, signalling any discrepancy between predictions and sensory observations that update a model of the world. Optimised to detect change, novelty, and irregularity, the brain sparks at surprising information. In this talk, I will show behavioural and brain imaging data that support this idea. I will also show how uncertainty and fear can modulate these learning and guessing processes in typical and neurodivergent individuals.
Associate Professor Marta Garrido
Associate Professor Marta Garrido leads the Cognitive Neuroscience and Computational Psychiatry Laboratory and is the Director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Hub at the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences. Marta is also a Research Program Lead at the Graeme Clark Institute for Biomedical Engineering, at The University of Melbourne.
Marta initially trained in Engineering Physics at the University of Lisbon, and then did a PhD in Neuroscience at University College London (UCL). Marta has held several research focused positions (University California Los Angeles, UCL, The University of Queensland) before landing at the University of Melbourne.
Marta’s team uses a combination of brain imaging techniques (fMRI, DWI, EEG, MEG) and computational modelling to understand how the brains of typical individuals and people with psychiatric conditions learn from experience and make decisions. Marta’s research has been continuously funded with prestigious fellowships and research grants, with close to A$23 million awarded to date. Marta has been a Chief Investigator on multiple interdisciplinary initiatives including the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Brain Function and an ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities grant.
With over 80 publications, Marta consistently publishes in the top generalist and specialist journals including Science, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Nature Neuroscience, PNAS, Current Biology and Neuroimaging. The quality of Marta’s work has been recognised with several prominent awards and prizes including the Paxinos-Watson, the Aubrey Lewis, and the Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Society Young Investigator Award.
Marta is the past Chair of the Organisation for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM), Australian Chapter – the major society for human brain imaging. Marta is an enthusiastic and supportive mentor and a great believer in the Open Science Framework. Through the OHBM platform, Marta founded a Mentoring program to support Australian early career researchers and an award for Open Science.