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Upcoming events

    • 24 Jun 2024
    • 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, Seminar Room 1.014/16, Campus- Vienna Biocenter 1, 1030 Vienna

    FENS Forum 2024

    Date: 24 June 2024, 9.00 am – 1.00 pm
    Venue: Seminar Room 1.014/16, Research Institute of Molecular Pathology
    Campus - Vienna Biocenter 1, 1030 Vienna

    Due to space limitation, please register for this event!
    Registration opens on 15 April 2024


    Home cage behavior monitoring allows for undisrupted observation of experimental animals in their familiar surroundings. The non-performance based, unbiased method of continuous monitoring of the animals´ spontaneous behavior allows unprecedented insights into behavioral displays as direct output of brain function. This satellite event on "Home Cage Behavior Monitoring at the Interface of Animal Welfare and Neuroscience" is conceived as platform for interdisciplinary discourse, focused on the convergence of animal welfare and neuroscience. Our initiative is motivated by a paradigm shift in animal research, highlighting the importance of ethical considerations and the refinement of experimental methodologies for in-vivo studies and increasing knowledge on their importance for experimental variability and data reproducibility. The event addresses these critical concerns by showcasing state-of-the-art technologies and methodologies for non-invasive, continuous monitoring of animals in their home cages that promote both scientific rigor and ethical animal treatment. We will host scientific talks, posters and a round-table discussion including leading industry representatives.

    Preliminary Program

    9:00:                  Welcome and introduction


    9:10 – 10:30:   Scientific talks

                  Fabrizio Scorrano, Novartis

                  Katharina Tillmann, Medical University of Vienna

                  Sabine Hoelter-Koch, Helmholtz Center Munich

                 Vincenzo Micale, University of Catania

    10:30 – 11:15: Coffee break and poster viewing


    11:15 – 12:00: Round-table discussion

                     Lucas Noldus, Noldus Information Technology

    Holger Russig, TSE Systems

    Stefano Gaburro, Tecniplast

    Daniela D. Pollak, Research Institute of Molecular Pathology and Medical University of Vienna

    Vootele Voikar, University of Helsiniki, Coordianator COST Action Teatime

    Sylvia Badurek, Vienna Biocenter Core Facilities

     12:00:                Closing remarks and lunch on-site


    • 24 Jun 2024
    • 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    • Sky Lounge, University of Vienna

    FENS Forum 2024

    Date: 24 June 2024, 3.00–7.00 pm
    Venue: Sky Lounge, University of Vienna
    Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1, 1090 Vienna

    Due to space limitation, please register for this event!

    The Satellite Symposium takes place ahead of the FENS Forum 2024 and ventures into the intersection between neuroscience and philosophy. The aim of this integrative endeavor is to foster interdisciplinary exchange between neuroscientists and philosophers to discuss conceptual approaches, methods and their assumptions, and the interpretive horizon of domains of neuroscience specifically addressing the complexity of the brain. This shall broaden the knowledge of neuroscientists and raise awareness for characteristic problems when dealing with this complexity.
    In this symposium, we aim at discussing the current knowledge on whole-brain activity (in healthy and disease states) and its foundation in experimental and computational neuroscience. Confronting these models with philosophical concepts of causality and inquiries on the explanatory power of different forms of prediction, will allow a better understanding of the strength and potential limitations of today´s concepts of the brain. Moreover, organisms need to integrate their internal state and information by environmental stimuli by means of their nervous system thus neuroscientist exploring brain activity need to consider this complex interaction with due sensitivity. However, a better understanding of the environmental contribution requires a proper consideration how to conceptualize “environment” to operationalize its influence on the brain. Thus, a second discussion will confront neuroscientific approaches to integrate internal states and external stimuli (in health and disease) with reflections on the relevance of different concepts of environment and its relevance for the evolution of brain processes.
    Overall, conceptualizing the brain as a complex system, not only calls for cutting-edge empirical investigations and theoretical considerations based on neuroscientific subdisciplines, but also prompts us to exploit insights from philosophy. We, thus, wish to encourage multidisciplinary as well as multi-level research agendas, but also want to emphasize the relevance of direct interaction in interdisciplinary exchange events. Exposing neuroscientists to novel theoretical concepts will help them to address their own research questions from a different perspective.


    15:00-15.50 – Session 1

    Chairs: Igor Branchi, Isabella Sarto-Jackson, Markus Kunze, Thomas Bugnyar

     Philosophy & Neuroscience

     Markus Kunze
    (Medical University of

     Plenary Talk:
     Whole Brain Dynamics, Modelling,
     and the Thermodynamics of the
     Gustavo Deco
    (Pompeu Fabra Univerisity,

     Q & A


    – Session 2

    Chairs: Isabella Sarto-Jackson, Thomas Bugnyar

     Introductory Remarks               
     Isabella Sarto-Jackson (Konrad Lorenz
     Institute for Evolution and Cognition
     Research, Klosterneuburg)
     Neuroscience Talk 1:
     The Role of Context in Uncovering
     the Determinants of Brain
     Functioning, Behavior and
     their Interplay

     Igor Branchi (Center for Behavioral
     Sciences and Mental Health, I
     Superiore di Sanità
    , Rome)
     Philosophy Talk 1:
     Conceptualizing Environments in
     the Study of Cognition
     Alejandro Fabregas-Tejeda
     Universiteit Leuven)

     General Discussion


    17:10-17.30 – Coffee Break

    17:30-18.50 – Session 3

    Chairs: Jan-Pieter Konsman, Fátima Sofia Ávila-Cascajares

     Introductory Remarks  

     Jan-Pieter Konsman
    (University of

     Neuroscience Talk 2:
     The Dynamcs of Brain Circuits
     as an Emergent Dynamics of
     Demian Battaglia
     Philosophy Talk 2:
     The Tricky Question of
     Mazviita Chirimuuta
    (University of

     General Discussion

    18:50-19.00 – Wrap Up

     Concluding Remarks                            

     Markus Kunze
    (Medical University of


    Gustavo Deco
    Born in Argentina, Gustavo Deco is today Professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain where he is Director of the Center of Brain and Cognition and Head of the Computational Neuroscience Research Group. His scientific interests are the flexible integration of information, which is represented and computed in a distributed manner. He tries to integrate different levels of investigations in cognitive neuroscience, and to understand deviations observed in various disease states. 
    He has 523 papers, more than 30000 citations and an h-factor of 85.

    Igor Branchi
    Igor Branchi is Senior Researcher and Group leader at the
    Center for Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità; Rome, Italy and visiting Professor of Behavioral biology at the University of Rome Sapienza. His main research interest is on the application of a brain-body-environment inclusive approach to explore the central nervous system and its interplay with behavior. Special attention is paid to the investigation of psychiatric disorders and the development of innovative therapeutic strategies. He is interested in complexity science and philosophical considerations on the effectiveness of scientific approaches aimed at understanding the brain. Current efforts are directed towards the study of the interplay between neural and behavioral plasticity and contextual factors, such as stress and the quality of living conditions, in the treatment and prevention of mental illness.
    He has more than 9000 citations and an h-factor of 48.

    Alejandro Fabregas-Tejeda
    Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science, KU Leuven (Belgium). He undertook a PhD in Philosophy at Ruhr University Bochum as part of the DFG-Emmy Noether Research Group “The Return of the Organism in the Biosciences: Theoretical, Historical and Social Dimensions” (ROTO) and was a Writing-Up Fellow at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research. He has published on diverse topics such as the history of the holobiont concept, organism-environment reciprocal causation, and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis debate. Alongside Gregory Radick, Jan Baedke, and Guido I. Prieto, he is the co-editor of the volume The Riddle of Organismal Agency: New Historical and Philosophical Reflections (forthcoming in 2024 with Routledge). 

    Demian Battaglia
    Demian Battalia is a computational neuroscience working at the interdisciplinary center FunSy (Functional Systems Dynamics) of Institute for Advanced Studies (USIAS) of the University of Strasbourg. His work is part of an explicitly interdisciplinary research center, which acts at the crossroad between Neuroscience, Physics of Complex Systems and Computation and Information Sciences. His interest it the study of network dynamics at different scales from local micro-circuits up to the whole brain using modelling and sophisticated data analysis. He is particularly interested in the role that oscillatory and network dynamics play in neuronal information processing.
    He authored 53 papers and has an h-factor of 20.

    Mazviita Chirimuuta
    Mazviita Chirimuuta studied physiology, psychology and philosophy and is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences of the University of Edinburgh with a special focus on the Mind-Brain Sciences. Among her special interests it the philosophy of computational neuroscience and she authored various papers with this focus.

    Organization Committee:

    • Markus Kunze: Center for Brain Research, Medical University of Vienna, Austria (
    Igor Branchi:
    Center for Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità; Rome, Italy (
    • Thomas Bugnyar: Department of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna, Austria (
    • Isabella Sarto-Jackson: Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, Klosterneuburg, Austria (

    This event dovetails with another interdisciplinary initiative of the organizers: Igor Branchi, Markus Kunze, Isabella Sarto-Jackson, and Ann-Sophie Barwich are guest editors of a Special Issue in the European Journal of Neuroscience (EJN) entitled “The relevance of a philosophical toolkit to advance neuroscience.
    More about the special issue can be found here:

    This event was generously sponsored by


    • 24 Jun 2024
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Aula der Wissenschaften


    So früh wie möglich?
    Frühkindliche Förderung aus wissenschaftlicher Sicht

    Podiumsdiskussion mit anschließender Plenardiskussion
    in deutscher Sprache!

    Aula der Wissenschaften
    Wollzeile 27a, 1010 Wien
    In-person Event sowie Live-Streaming

    Zugang zum Online-Raum:
    Um verbindliche Anmeldung wird gebeten: Link zur Anmeldung

    Yvonne Anders (Universität Bamberg)
    Psychologin & Soziologin – Schwerpunkt Sozialforschung & Evaluation pädagogischer Fachkräfte

    Fabienne Becker-Stoll (Staatsinstitut für Frühpädagogik und Medienkompetenz)
    Entwicklungspsychologin – Schwerpunkt Bindungsentwicklung in der frühen Kindheit

    Natascha Taslimi (Pädagogische Hochschule Wien)
    Pädagogin – Schwerpunkt Ausbildung und Professionalisierung im Bereich Elementarbildung 

    Isabella Sarto-Jackson (Konrad Lorenz Institut für Evolutions- und Kognitionsforschung & Austrian Neuroscience Association)
    Kognitionswissenschafterin – Schwerpunkt soziale Einflüsse auf Gehirnentwicklung und Kognition

    Mag.a Doris Helmberger-Fleckl (Chefredakteurin "Die Furche")

    Eine wesentliche Grundannahme für die Podiumsdiskussion ist die wissenschaftliche Erkenntnis, dass die Plastizität des Gehirns, die Lern- und Gedächtnisprozessen zugrunde liegt, in den ersten Lebensjahren eines Kindes besonders umfassend ist. Weiters erfordern die meisten Lernprozesse soziale Interaktionen und zwischenmenschliche Beziehungen. Mangelnde Bindung und mangelnder Beziehungsaufbau zwischen Kinder- und Kindergartenpädagogen – oft aufgrund eines schlechten Betreuungsschlüssels – können bei Kindern erhebliche physiologische und psychologische Stressreaktionen hervorrufen, die sie in weiterer Folge daran hindern, ihr volles Lernpotenzial auszuschöpfen. Die Bildungsforschung plädiert daher für die Schaffung von Kindergärten als echte, erste Bildungseinrichtungen und die damit weit über einfache Betreuungseinrichtungen hinausgehen. Denn mit der Ausbildung qualifizierter Pädagog:innen, mit der Sicherstellung eines guten Betreuungsschlüssels, mit dem Fokus auf zwischenmenschliche Beziehungen sowie mit der Förderung und kognitiven Stimulation der Kinder legen wir den Grundstein für erfolgreiche Lernbiografien im späteren Leben.

    Topic description:

    The discussion will revolve around the empirical findings that brain plasticity underlying learning and memory is particularly profound in the first years of a child´s life. In addition, most learning processes require social interactions and inter-personal relationships. Lack of attachment and relationship building between child and nursery pedagogues—often due to a low child to carer ratio—can cause significant physiological and psychological stress responses in infants and children and may prevent them from achieving their full learning potential. Education research therefore advocates for creating enabling kindergarten environments that go far beyond simple care centers towards first educational institutions. By engaging well-trained pedagogues, ensuring a well above-average child to carer ratio, fostering high-quality interpersonal connections, and providing nurture and cognitive stimulation, we lay the foundations for successful learning biographies later in life.

    Natascha Taslimi (Netzwerk elementare Pädagogik Österreich/NeBÖ)
    Isabella Sarto-Jackson (Konrad Lorenz Institut für Evolutions- und Kognitionsforschung & Austrian Neuroscience Association)
    Sigismund Huck (Austrian Neuroscience Association & Medicial University of Vienna)

    • 25 Jun 2024
    • 29 Jun 2024

    The Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), the Austrian Neuroscience Association (ANA) and the Hungarian Neuroscience Society are delighted to welcome you to the FENS Forum 2024, taking place in Vienna, Austria, from 25-29 June 2024.

    The FENS Forum is Europe’s largest neuroscience congress, covering all areas of neuroscience from basic to translational research. FENS Forum 2024 will feature an exciting programme of plenary and special lectures, scientific symposia, technical workshops, special interest events, career development and networking opportunities and so much more!

    • 8 Sep 2025
    • 10 Sep 2025
    • ISTA Austria

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