Evan Gordon, Waco, TX VA Hospital
The human brain is organized into large-scale networks. These networks interact to enable complex cognition and behavior, and individual differences in this networked brain function can predict differences in cognitive abilities across people. One of the most interesting types of behavior that may be dependent on brain network function is executive control, the ability to flexibly adapt one’s behavior in a goal-directed fashion. In this talk, I discuss my recent work showing not only how brain network function predicts executive control abilities, but also how that network function varies based on polymorphisms in genes that regulate the dopamine system. I further describe cutting-edge methods I am developing for precisely characterizing brain networks in individual humans. Finally, I discuss the potential these methodological advances may have for elucidating accurate neurotransmitter->brain network->cognition relationships at the level of the individual human.