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Humanities & Neuroscience

The Default Mode Network


  • Randy Buckner (Harvard)
  • Felicity Callard (Durham U.)
  • Maurizio Corbetta (Washington U. School of Medicine)
  • Rex Jung (U. of New Mexico)
  • Bill Kelley (Dartmouth)
  • Daniel Margulies (Max Planck Institute
  • Leipzig)
  • Marcus Raichle (Washington U. School of Medicine)
  • Yvette Sheline (UPenn)
  • Nathan Spreng (Cornell)
  • and Edward A. Vessel (NYU).

Organizers: David Freedberg (Italian Academy), G. Gabrielle Starr (NYU), and Edward A. Vessel (NYU)

Co-sponsor: NYU's College of Arts and Science.

Covering a wide range of work on the Default Mode Network (DMN), leading neuroscientists from top research institutes will gather in New York for a two-day symposium to discuss what the brain is doing when in a wakeful resting state. The DMN – a network of brain regions typically found to be suppressed when individuals focus on their external environment – has been hypothesized to generate spontaneous thoughts during daydreaming and may be crucial for self-referential mental processing, social interactions and the understanding of many neurological disorders.

Topics of discussion include the discovery and metabolic characterization of the DMN, the relationship and functional dynamics between the DMN and other networks that are identifiable through resting-state functional connectivity, task-based studies that have helped to characterize the involvement of subnetworks of the DMN in a variety of functions, the relevance of DMN function for a variety of disease states, social neuroscience work that has investigated the role of the DMN in "self versus other" distinctions, and the potential involvement of the DMN in aesthetic experience and creativity.

The symposium appeals to scientists with expertise in neuroscience or psychology, as well as humanists and artists interested in neuroscientific research.

The event, hosted by the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University in cooperation with the College of Arts and Science at New York University.

Featuring talks by:

  • Randy Buckner
  • Felicity Callard
  • Maurizio Corbetta
  • Rex Jung
  • Bill Kelley
  • Daniel Margulies
  • Marcus Raichle
  • Nathan Spreng
  • Yvette Sheline
  • and Ed Vessel.

Event Date 
Thu, Feb 6, 2014, 8:00 am to Fri, Feb 7, 2014, 6:00 pm
Press Release

"In focusing on the DMN, an increasingly popular area of brain research, the symposium vaults Freedberg's Academy back to the forefront of the interdisciplinary dialogue around art and neuroscience"
From coverage in The Beautiful Brain of Feb 6-7, 2014, Art and Neuroscience symposium on the Default Mode Network
Read more: original web page