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(CANCELLED) Neuroscience Seminar: Francisco Gonzalez-Lima, University of Texas at Austin

Speaker: Francisco Gonzalez-Lima, Ph.D., George I. Sanchez Centennial Professor, Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Texas at Austin

Title: Augmentation of Human Cognitive Brain Functions with Transcranial Laser

Introduction: Neurocognitive abilities such as learning, memory and attention are among the most important determinants of functional ability and quality of life, especially in the elderly. Aging, neurocognitive disorders, cardiovascular diseases and mental disorders produce progressive declines in neurocognitive function. This talk will describe a brain photobiomodulation approach for augmentation of neurocognitive performance.

Methods: This new approach is noninvasive, safe and easy to implement. Stimulation consisted of 8-min low power (250 mW/cm2) and high fluence (60 J/cm2) laser (top hat, 4-cm diameter aperture) at 1064 nm wavelength with estimated penetration of 3-4 cm into the cerebral cortex. Effects were measured with standardized cognitive tests and near infrared spectroscopy.

Results and Discussion: Infrared photons penetrated transcranially and produced photo-oxidation of the respiratory enzyme cytochrome-c-oxidase, the major photon acceptor inside cells. Evidence from placebo-controlled studies in humans showed that transcranial infrared laser stimulation of the prefrontal cortex increases cortical oxygenation and hemodynamic responses, leading to augmentation of neurocognitive functions such as rule-based category learning, working memory, and sustained attention. In contrast, we found no significant benefits of prefrontal stimulation on information-integration and inhibitory control linked to striatal function. This research will guide efforts to prevent and treat neurocognitive impairment in mental disorders and ensure successful aging for our growing population of elderly.

Conclusions: Transcranial infrared laser stimulation is a noninvasive and efficacious approach to enhance neurocognitive functions by its facilitation of prefrontal cytochrome oxidase photo-oxidation and oxygen metabolism in healthy young and old humans and those in need of neuropsychological rehabilitation.

Supported by National Institutes of Health and Oskar Fischer Project Fund.

Join this Seminar on Zoom by clicking here.

For more information contact Kevin Wang at kwang@gc.cuny.edu

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Event Information

March 18, 2020
10:00 am - 11:00 am
ASRC Auditorium
85 St. Nicholas Terrace
New York, NY 10031 United States
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