CORBI-FOM Fall Courses / Memory School

CORBI-FOM Fall Courses / Memory School

Course Description

CorBI-FOM Fall Courses bring together the most promising students and faculty at all stages of their careers for fruitful discussions on the most pressing questions in biomedical and social sciences. CorBI-FOM Fall Courses, Memory School put  the emphasis in the fact that memory makes us. Few things are more important in shaping who we are and how we interact with the world than memory and yet, it is one of the most elusive and misunderstood of human attributes. Memory is not simply our ability to acquire and store information over time. It does not depend on a sort of neural super-computer full of individual memory folders.

Organizers

Santiago Canals (Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante/CSIC- UMH) & Alex Gomez-Marín (Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante/CSIC-UMH).

Topic

Memory is not a single unitary process and it is not located in one particular place in the brain. Memory is rather a complex, distributed phenomenon; it relays on different brain mechanisms and the different types of memory, short-term and long-term for example, are encoded, stored and used in different ways and by different parts of the brain. For this reason we speak of memories in the plural. Memories are indispensable to consistently understand our reality and to shape our personality. Memory, in its broader sense, is thus a multifaceted capacity that pervades all aspects of human behavior, from sensory perception to story-telling and collective decision-making. From the color of a dress at different day-lights to our ability to ride a bike or the warm childhood emotions evoked by the smell of butter cookies. From our sense of belonging to a social group to even our political leaning. All our thoughts, skills and feelings ultimately depend on the integrity of our memory. Memory and personality are thus inseparable and, therefore, the loss of memory, such as in cases of Alzheimer’s disease, obliterates a patient’s personality.

Memory research is accordingly a vast and fascinating field of study, and understanding its neural correlates will be essential for identifying the conditions where memory can be misleading (false memories and court-room testimony), for understanding how the brain implements different cognitive strategies (e.g. learning), for developing tasks that can lead to early detection of cognitive disorders (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease), and for evaluating possible methods of improving quality of life (healthy aging). In consequence, research in these areas can shed a new light on important societal issues, such as the law, education, brain disorders and its social consequences, and drugs/mnemonics that might improve brain fitness.

In this course we will bring together some of the leaders in this field with very promising graduate students and postdocs, to discuss about the state of the art in a highly interactive format.

Speakers

  • José Carmena, University of California Berkeley
  • Ray Dolan, Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, UCL
  • Charles Gallistel, Rutgers University
  • Richard Morris, The University of Edinburgh
  • Rodrigo Quian Quiroga, University of Leicester
  • Giulio Tononi, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Academics

The school will cover state-of-the-art multidisciplinary approaches to the neurobiology of memory. The first day, Prof. Carmena will present his cutting-edge research on brain-machine interfaces and neural prosthetics, and Prof. Quiroga will lecture about his work with epileptic patients, which led to the discovery of “concept neurons” and their relation to memory. The whole afternoon will be devoted to a guided tour, where students and speakers will get to know the marvelous city of Toledo, while mingling in a more informal setting.

On the second day, led by three world-class experts, Prof. Dolan will cover neuroimaging studies in the context of computational psychatry and Prof. Gallistel will discuss the subtelties of the learning curve and, in the afternoon, followed by student presentations, Prof. Morris will present classical and modern bioassays to dissecting memory. This will be followed by student presentations and close discussions with the invited scientists.

On the third day and last Day, Prof. Tononi, a pioneer in Integrated Information Theory, will present one of the leading theoretical frameworks for understanding memory and consciousness. The course will end with a historical perspective by Prof. Sotelo (Institut de la Visión INSERM), followed by final discussions amongst the students and speakers to recapitulate what was learned throughout the days. Finally, Prof. Martinez (IN/CSIC-UMH Alicante) will give an outreach lecture to the general public, culminated by the final official farewell dinner.

Course Schedule

The courses will run over four days. Each day there will be two or three sessions, two in the morning and one in the afternoon. In the morning sessions, the speakers will discuss his subject and, later on, a debate will be opened with the participating students. The afternoon session has an eminently practical character, in master-class mode, will be very interactive among all participants.

It will be complemented by cultural leisure activities in the city of Toledo.

Monday October 8th

18:30 Course introduction: Canals and Gomez-Marin

20:00 Welcome and drinks

Tuesday October 9th

9:30-11:00 Scientific Lecture I: Carmena

11:30-13:00 Scientific Lecture II: Quiroga

16:00-20:00 Toledo Tour

Wednesday October 10th

9:30-11:00 Scientific Lecture III: Dolan

11:30-13:00 Students’ presentations and discussion with invited scientist

15:00-16:30 Scientific Lecture IV: Gallistel

17:00-18:30 Scientific Lecture V: Morris

Thursday October 11th

9:30-11:00 Scientific Lecture VI: Tononi

11:30-13:00 Final Group discussion

15:00-16:30 Historical Lecture: Sotelo

19:00 Outreach Lecture: Martinez

20:30 Farewell dinner

Accomodation

The celebration will be held at the Convento de San Juan de la Penitencia, a Mudejar restored 16th century convent a few steps from the Toledo Cathedral, and belonging to the Humanities and Health Sciences Institute Gregorio Marañon of the Ortega-Marañon Foundation (FOM for its acronym in spanish) and located in the aforementioned city of Toledo. All participants stay in the historic building. The course will begin on the morning of October 8th (students are expected to arrive on the afternoon or evening of October 7th) and end with departure on the morning of October 12th.
Humanities and Health Sciences Institute Gregorio Marañon of the Ortega-Marañon Foundation (FOM)

Apply for participacion

We are interested in those who will be able to follow the intense schedule, actively contribute to discussions, and work collaboratively with their peers. We especially encourage applications from female scientists and those who identify with groups underrepresented in science.
In order to maintain a small group atmosphere, allowing for extensive interactions and presentations by everyone, space at the workshop is limited. All participants are expected to stay for the duration.

Before applying, ensure you have ready:
1. Curriculum Vitae/resume
2. Personal Letter of Motivation.

Send us a mail including both and your personal contact on this mail: igmaranon@fogm.es

Fee

Inscription Fee will cover the participation in course and cost of accommodation & meals for accepted participants.
No fees are due until you have completed the full application process and are accepted into the course. Accepted students should plan to arrive by early evening on October 8 and depart on October 12.
CorBI-FOM Fall Courses bring together the most promising students and faculty at all stages of their careers for fruitful discussions on the most pressing questions in biomedical and social sciences. CorBI-FOM Fall Courses, Memory School put the emphasis in the fact that memory makes us. Few things are more important in shaping who we are and how we interact with the world than memory and yet, it is one of the most elusive and misunderstood of human attributes.
Memory is not simply our ability to acquire and store information over time. It does not depend on a sort of neural super-computer full of individual memory folders.

Full payment: 2600 euros.

Payment for reservation of 300 euros (this amount will not be refunded if, subsequently, the student decided not to take the course).

Possibility of paying in two installments
1st payment must be made before September 15, 2018
2nd payment must be made before October 7, 2018

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Instituto de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Salud Gregorio Marañón