Neurolecture Seminar Series

Hearing Things Differently: Misophonia’s Relationship with Music, ASMR, and Frisson

Headshot of Solena Mednicoff

Solena Mednicoff, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

March 31, 2022
11 a.m.
Held virtually on Zoom

Music holds a unique ability to communicate many emotions as well as change one's emotional state. Interestingly in addition to music, there are auditory conditions and experiences that can also change one’s emotional state. Misophonia is a newly described auditory condition that can create atypical, negative reactions to everyday sounds, such as anger or disgust towards chewing, breathing, and drinking. Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) and frisson (musical chills) are also two auditory experiences that can change one’s emotional state. Considering ASMR and frisson can produce very similar physiological responses (goosebumps), and both ASMR and misophonia possess the same sounds that can be either pleasant or aversive to different listeners, my current work is investigating the relationship between these high-level affective experiences.

In this talk, I will first present a few of my studies showing that 30% of the population may hear music or sounds differently than the other 70%, regardless of musical training. Next, I will expand on my current lab’s work on misophonia by discussing the various experiences of those with misophonia with music, ASMR, and frisson. Lastly, I will describe ongoing studies in my lab that will aim to characterize misophonia, as well as its relationship with ASMR and frisson, through a set of behavioral and EEG experiments.

Bridge to AI for Scientific Computing: A New Computational Core at the Center for Integrative Neuroscience

Headshot of Alireza Tavakkoli

Alireza Tavakkoli, Ph.D.
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
University of Nevada, Reno

March 25, 2022
11 a.m.
Held virtually on Zoom

Twenty-first century science and engineering (S&E) is being transformed by the increasing availability and scales of research computing and data (RCD), as evidenced by the dramatic changes in the number and nature of applications that leverage data analytics and machine learning (ML) as part of the data driven computing continuum. Despite this increase in the demand for large-scale and artificial intelligence (AI)-centric computational resources and storage capacities, many institutions of higher education—including the University of Nevada, Reno—struggle to provide domain scientists with the necessary RCD tools and support needed to elevate their research to competitive levels.

Three challenges need to be addressed to provide sustainable, effective, and impactful access to campus-wide cyberinfrastructure (CI) for domain scientists. First, the CI design and deployment should take into consideration the diversity in specific computational needs of often vastly different scientific domains. Second, institutional RCD engineering should be streamlined to serve as a bridge that connects emerging scientific workflows with technical solutions. Third, effective educational regimes should be established and delivered so as to extract science domains from computing 'silos', and to enable RCD users to increase their development capability.

In this talk, I will discuss the mission of the newly proposed computational and modeling core, as a crossdisciplinary collaboration between the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at the College of Engineering (CoEN) and the Department of Psychology at the College of Science (COS), in providing access to state-of-the-art high-performance computing (HPC), cloud computing (CP), networking and advanced analytical software. Our goal is to provide services to aid investigators in neuroscience and biomedical research to develop more effective data analytics pipelines. I will discuss the major equipment (cloud and high-performance computing), training and technical assistance are available on a fee-for-service recharge basis to recover costs for major equipment upkeep and technical help.

Concussion and Repetitive Head Impacts in Collision Sports: Neurological Risks

Headshot of Buckley Thomas

Thomas A. Buckley, Ph.D.
Department of Kinesiology & Applied Physiology
University of Delaware

October 28, 2021
3 p.m.
Lombardi Building, Room 224A

There has been considerable attention in recent years to the lifelong effects of both concussions and repetitive head impacts on the long-term health of athletes, especially football and ice hockey players. Newspapers and TV news have highlighted tragic outcomes associated with longtime collision sport athletes like NFL stars Junior Seau and Dwight Clark. However, the scientific findings to date are more complex than a simple 'playing football causes brain damage' headline would suggest. This presentation will discuss the evidence of reduced neurological health and conflicting evidence of better life outcomes in former football players with a focus on the effects of youth sports participation.

Neuro-CMB seminar series

Seminars by distinguished investigators are an essential component of the graduate curriculum. The Neuroscience and Cellular & Molecular Graduate Program's Seminar Series meets during the academic year on Wednesdays at 4 p.m. The seminar series features invited speakers locally and from around the world with informal discussions after the seminar at the local pub. The seminar series is supported by the COBRE Center for Integrative Neuroscience, and the Integrative Neuroscience and CMB Graduate Programs.

The following CMB 790 seminars are typically held Wednesdays from 4-4:50 p.m.

List of featured speakers for the Neuro-CMB lecture series
Date Featured speaker Topic
Feb. 9, 2022 Albert Gonzalez
Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, University of Nevada, Reno 
Contractile pericytes act as gate keepers to capillary blood flow
Feb. 23, 2022 Andrew Nuss
Department of Agriculture, Veterinary, and Rangeland Sciences, University of Nevada, Reno
Insect Olfaction and neuropeptides: From bloodsuckers to sapsuckers
March 2, 2022 Davide Baldan
Department of Biology, University of Nevada, Reno
Resolving sexual conflict: Eco-evolutionary dynamics of parental cooperation
March 2, 2022 Zhiping Zhang
Department of Biology, University of Nevada, Reno
Cross-talk between alternative splicing and alternative polyadenylation in the Drosophila nervous system
March 9, 2022 Bahram Parvin
Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno
Tumor suppression by secreted factors from fibroblasts
March 23, 2022 Elizabeth Akin
Department of Cellular Molecular Pharmacology Physiology, University of Nevada, Reno
Turning down the gain on pain: dynamic regulation of Nav1.7 trafficking in sensory neurons
March 30, 2022 Sean Montgomery
Connected Future Labs
EmotiBit, open-source biometric sensing and democratizing the future of augmented cognition
April 6, 2022 Nikolaos Mellios
Circular Genomics; 
Department of Neuroscience, University of New Mexico School of Medicine
Elucidating the role of circular RNAs in brain function and disease
April 20, 2022 James Gagnon
School of Biological Sciences, University of Utah
A CRISPR Swiss army knife for interrogating stem cell dynamics
April 27, 2022 Laura Lackner
Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University
The expanding and unexpected functions of mitochondria contact sites