february, 2021

23feb8:30 am5:00 pmMouseTRAP Seminar Series: Jaqueline Anne Sullivan

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Event Details

Touchscreens, Open Science, and the Epistemic Community

University of Western Ontario, Canada

There is widespread consensus that progress in understanding the neural mechanisms that underlie impairments in high-level cognitive functions that accompany many neurodegenerative, neuropsychiatric and other brain disorders is not achievable within the confines of a single laboratory; rather, it requires a paradigm shift in the way that neuroscience is done, with teams of researchers across the globe actively collaborating to propel discovery forward. During the past two decades, rodent behavioural researchers combining the touchscreen approach to assessing cognition in animal models with cutting-edge visualization and intervention techniques have led an unprecedented charge for standardized, collaborative, open, methodologically transparent, and reproducible neuroscience. Indeed, over the past decade, a global research community has emerged around the use of rodent touchscreen technology with “over 300 different research groups at over 200 research institutes in at least 26 countries” using the technology (Dumont, Salewski & Beraldo 2020). Knowledge mobilization and global community building efforts spearheaded by Western researchers have culminated in the development of a novel state-of-the-art technologically innovative and methodologically integrative service platform—the Mouse Translational Research Accelerator Platform (MouseTRAP)—which is centered on rodent touchscreen technology and directed at accelerating discovery in translational research by means of open, accessible, and reproducible science (Sullivan, Dumont, Memar et al. 2020). 

These developments offer a novel occasion to reflect on how to transform the global community of rodent touchscreen researchers into a properly “epistemic culture” – a distributed community of researchers working together to “create and warrant” translational “knowledge” (Knorr Cetina 1988) of the kind needed to facilitate cross-species translational research and propel forward mechanistic and therapeutic discoveryEngaging in such reflection from a philosophical perspective is the aim of this talk, with an eye towards initiating, in collaboration with researchers at Western, a global conversation about how best to realize this goal.


(Tuesday) 8:30 am - 5:00 pm


Western Interdisciplinary Research Building (WIRB), Western University

1151 Richmond Street, London, ON N6A 3K7

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