Sunday March 27th 2011 » 15:45 - 18:15
Chairperson : Pierre-Marie Lledo (Director of Research, Institut Pasteur)

Scientific sessions : Learning from Others
Talk 1 : Brain Science: a societal perspective. What is possible and what is desirable ?
» Philip Campbell (Editor in Chief, Nature)

Talk 2 : The social impact of stress
» Carmen Sandi (Professor and Director of Laboratory of Behavioral Genetics, EPFL / Brain Mind Institut)

Talk 3 : The social brain in adolescence
» Kathrin Cohen Kadosh (Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience University College London)

Round table : When Biology meets Psychology and Social Sciences
Moderator : Kerri Smith (Journalist, Nature)

Panelists :

Lisbeth Shepherd (Founder and Executive Director, Green City Force)
Rebecca Muller (Secretary General, Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks – GAMIAN)
Paul Seabright (Professor of Economics, Industrial Economics Institute and Toulouse School of Economics at the University of Toulouse)
Francois Mauguiere (Director, Fondation Neurodis, FRANCE)
Abstract
Our mental life is thought to result from a unique way of perceiving and integrating different types of sensory information into a single framework, to form an internal representation leading to a motor command. How the perceptual world is built and represented in primates, including human beings, depends on genetic programs and environmental factors.

This symposium will focus on the quest to understand how factors generated by living in complexly bonded social groups, affect various behavioral outcomes (learning, memory, mental illness, normal development or developmental psychopathology). Human beings are different from other animals in that much of our culturally cooperative behavior is learned, and not innate. Social interactions such as vertical transmission (i.e., parent-infant bonding), altruistic behaviors or emotional contagion, will be debated. Can we use recent biological knowledge to improve social abilities to cure mental disorders? Can it be used to enhance social ability even in otherwise healthy people? How do social cognitive abilities develop in relation to brain maturation? These are some of the questions that the symposium will tackle.

Needless to say that we urgently need to gather information across different fields, including Life Sciences, Human Sciences and Social Sciences to anticipate the future of social cognitive neuroscience, and beyond, the evolution of our sometime endangered human societies.

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