University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Neuroscience, Behavior and Health Spire Hosts 2012 Forum

MRI scan of a brain
(Photo by Mario Morgado)

The Vermont Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, in cooperation with the Neuroscience, Behavior and Health (NBH) Spire Steering Committee at the University of Vermont (UVM) presented the Second Annual Neuroscience, Behavior and Health Forum on February 6 and 7, 2012, in the Grand Maple Ballroom at the Davis Center on the UVM campus.   

Open to all members of the UVM community, the Forum covered the wide range of topics encompassed by the NBH Initiative. The meeting opened with an evening keynote presentation by Michael D. Rugg, Ph.D., distinguished chair in behavioral and brain sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas, on February 6, 2012. Rugg’s presentation, co-sponsored by the UVM Neuroscience Graduate Program, the Vermont Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience and the NBH Spire, was titled “The Cognitive Neuroscience of Human Memory: A Perspective from fMRI”.

Rugg’s research focuses on the cognitive and neural processes that support human memory, and how age-related changes in these processes underlie the changes in memory function that occur as we age, which he studies using the behavioral methods of experimental psychology, human electrophysiology (event-related potentials), and functional magnetic resonance imaging. A major focus of his research is episodic memory – memory for unique events. In addition, Rugg is involved in separate research programs to investigate episodic encoding, episodic retrieval, and age-related differences in neural correlates of both of these functions.

The Forum continued on February 7 with talks and posters presented by graduate students and faculty from UVM and Dartmouth College, and closed with an awards ceremony. To view the full Forum schedule, go to Schedule PDF.

The 2012 Neuroscience, Behavior and Health Forum organization and planning committee included: Anthony Morielli, Ph.D., president, Vermont Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience and UVM associate professor of pharmacology; Victor May, Ph.D., treasurer, Vermont Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience and UVM professor of anatomy and neurobiology; Jom Hammack, Ph.D., UVM assistant professor of psychology; John Green, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology; George Wellman, Ph.D., UVM associate professor of pharmacology.

About the Neuroscience, Behavior and Health Initiative
The Neuroscience, Behavior and Health (NBH) Initiative focuses on understanding the development and fundamental basis of human behaviors that are linked to health and disease — a research challenge that spans fields from molecular biology and genetics to behavior, rehabilitation, and education. Research in NBH is directed towards studying preventable diseases and disabilities, informing policies, and strategic investments that create healthier communities and decrease costs of treatment and mitigation. UVM NBH Steering Committee members include: chair: Rae Nishi, Ph.D., professor of anatomy and neurobiology; vice-chair: Stephen Higgins, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and psychology; vice-chair: Mark Bouton, Ph.D., professor of psychology; Timothy Stickle. Ph.D., associate professor of psychology; Brian Flynn, Ph.D., professor emeritus of family medicine and professor of psychiatry; Sharon Henry, Ph.D., professor of rehabilitation and movement science; tech transfer liaison: Kerry Swift, M.S., interim director of the Office of Technology Commercialization; central administration liaison: Cindy Forehand, Ph.D., associate dean, Graduate College, and professor of anatomy and neurobiology.