May 24, 2012
Russell Poldrack: Risk Taking: The good, the bad, and the brain
Risk taking is essential to success, but it can also lead to disastrous consequences. Dr. Poldrack will describe his research that has used brain imaging to understand the brain systems that are involved in risk taking, and why some individuals are more willing to take risks than others. This research has shown how the brain weighs rewards and punishments, and why the teenage years are a particularly vulnerable period for risky behavior.
About Russell Poldrack
Russell Poldrack, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology and Neurobiology and Director of the Imaging Research Center at the University of Texas in Austin. Previously he has held academic positions at UCLA and Harvard Medical School. His research uses brain imaging to understand the brain systems that underlie our ability to learn new skills, make good decisions, and exert self-control. He is also involved in research that aims to understand how these functions go awry in people with neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, drug addiction, ADHD, and Tourette Syndrome. His research has garnered awards from the American Psychological Association and the Organization for Human Brain Mapping, and is funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and Office of Naval Research.