Topic: Decoding spontaneous thoughts from brain imaging data

Speaker: Dr. Mingbo Cai (Department of Psychology, University of Miam)

Time: 2024/03/22 (Fri) 13:10-15:00

Location: 801 Meeting room, Research and Teaching Building, SH Campus, Taipei Medical University


Most neuroscience research focuses on task-based cognition, but humans spend almost half of their waking time thinking about something different from what they are currently doing. While such spontaneous off-task mental activity is a major aspect of human cognition with important links to mental health and function, its neuroscientific study is impeded by the lack of tools to interpret the neural signals during truly unconstrained spontaneous mental activity. To narrow this gap, we utilize functional alignment, experience sampling, and topic modeling to develop an approach to decode coarse semantic content of spontaneous thoughts using fMRI. The approach is promising for future investigation of the dynamics of rumination. I look forward to hearing inputs from and forming potential collaboration with colleagues who study consciousness.