Seminar Clare Kelly


Speaker:  Clare Kelly, Ph. D.
Title: Progress and promise of fMRI functional connectomics for neuropsychiatric disorders
Where: CRIUGM Amphitheatre Le Groupe Maurice (
When: Wednesday August 14th,  13h00-14h00

*The seminar will be presented in English

Dr. Clare Kelly graduated from Trinity with her BA in 2002 and PhD in 2006 (Psychology). She spent the next nine years at New York University School of Medicine, where she made key contributions to the field of functional connectomics, a network-based technique that examines patterns of synchronised brain activity to provide a comprehensive, non-invasive map of brain circuitry. Her work includes seminal demonstrations of the clinical, developmental, and translational utility of functional connectomics for our understanding of healthy and disordered brain function. In January 2015, Clare returned to Trinity College to become an Ussher Assistant Professor of Functional Neuroimaging, working at Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN), the School of Psychology, and Department of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine. At TCD, Clare uses translational brain imaging techniques to examine the links between how children and adolescents behave, think, and react to their worlds and how their brains are organised. Her studies aim to better understand psychiatric conditions such as depression and Autism and to improve treatments by tracing the origins of these conditions in the developing brain. Clare’s Google Scholar Author Profile is available here:


Abstract: Task-independent or “resting state” functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) approaches (“functional connectomics”) have revolutionized our understanding of brain functional organisation and have driven significant advances toward the goal of identifying valid and reliable biomarkers of psychiatric illness. Yet, despite the rapid growth of the field, together with increasingly “big” datasets and sophisticated methods, functional connectomics has yet to yield any major, reproducible breakthroughs in biomarker identification for any psychiatric condition. This talk will provide an overview of fMRI-based functional connectomics and will talk about ongoing work in my lab aimed at improving the sensitivity of connectomics-based studies of psychiatric conditions such as depression and Autism. These efforts adopt a number of approaches, including the use of passive-viewing (movie) conditions in addition to traditional “rest,” as well as the identification and refinement of cognitive dimensions that will enable better separation of ability from disability and brain function from dysfunction. Finally, I will highlight one of the greatest opportunities afforded by the functional connectomics – the promise of a truly translational tool with the potential to provide mechanistic insights into how disturbances in typical brain development give rise to psychiatric and neurological disorders.

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