Towards a computational neuroscience of development
Growing up means becoming an autonomous human that is able to act and make
decisions rationally and independently. Although society generally agrees that such
a state is reached at age 18, we have relatively little knowledge how the
mechanisms underlying decision-making develop and when they mature. Many of
the decision-making processes rely on brain areas that are at the top of the cortical
hierarchy, such as the prefrontal cortex. These areas, however, continue their
maturation long into adulthood, rendering it likely that several aspects of decisionmaking show similar developmental trajectories reaching far into adulthood.
In this talk, Prof. Hauser will show how we can use computational modelling and
neuroimaging to understand how brain and cognitive functions develop. He will
show how, by using computational modelling, we can tease apart and understand
how decision-making mechanisms develop. Prof. Hauser will then show how, by
using advanced neuroimaging methods, we can understand the microstructural
development of brain functions. Lastly, he will discuss why understanding the
normative development of decision-making trajectories is critical to understand how
they go awry during adolescence.