The conference chairs and program committee are delighted to announce the opening keynote lecture will be given by professor Joy Hirsch.

Joy Hirsch PhD is the Elizabeth Mears and House Jameson Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Comparative Medicine at Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT USA; Sr. Investigator in the Haskins Laboratory, New Haven CT, USA; and Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering at University College London, UK.

She is currently the Director of the Brain Function Laboratory at Yale University (http://fmri.org) and the Principal Investigator of research that aims to understand the neural mechanisms that underlie dynamic two-person interactions. Prior to joining the faculty at Yale, she was the founder and head of the fMRI Research Center at Columbia University in NY where her research focused on neuroimaging studies aimed at understanding the neural mechanisms for cognitive and perceptual functions as well as mapping essential functions for patients scheduled for neurosurgical procedures. By retooling this background in fMRI and neuroscience, she and her lab members have pioneered hyperscanning techniques (neuroimaging of two people simultaneously) using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in order to understand the neural underpinnings of live social and communicative processes that occur in natural settings. Her foundational research serves as a cornerstone for the new “neuroscience of two” and the emerging theoretical frameworks that generate novel research directions and insights into the neurological bases for our social brain. Professor Hirsch is a popular teacher, an international lecturer on the brain and its functions; she and her students have published more than 150 research papers on the brain and she is an author on a recently published book titled, Body, Brain, Behavior: Three views and a Conversation that addresses the goal of creating connections between diverse academic disciplines in neuroscience.

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