2011 Neuroschool

The University of Bergen in Norway is hosting the 2011 ENSN Neuroschool. The European Neurosciences and Society Network is offering fully funded fellowships to the workshop held March 14-17 through Bergen’s Deptartment of Biological and Medical Psychiatry.

This year’s theme is: Beyond ‘blobology': An introduction to the analysis of neuronal networks, functional connectivity & implications for understanding mental states.

2011 NeuroSchool Content: Much neuroimaging focuses on the specific brain regions activated under certain conditions, and draws conclusions from that, for instance if the same areas are activated in a certain game playing task and in situations of pain, a link is made between that task and pain. However the problem with this classic functional neuroimaging approach is that the same areas and regions are activated in a large variety of cognitive tasks and paradigms. This leads to a great variety in interpretations and conclusions. That is to say, these classical approaches do not allow us to discriminate different cognitive processes and functions.

As many critiques from both the human and social sciences and the brain sciences have pointed out, this is not simply a technical problem, it is a theoretical problem about the way in which we conceptualize the cognitive processes we study and the anomalies that may be linked to psychiatric or other syndromes. Recent developments in neuroimaging try to resolve this problem by focussing on large-scale neuronal networks and their interaction (connectivity). Some suggest that this will help us understand the brain changes involved in conditions such as schizophrenia in terms of the dynamic interactions between such large scale cortical networks. Other approaches to the same question use novel mathematical approaches to recognise and analyse these complex large scale patterns. This neuroschool will consider these novel approaches, and their potential for understanding mental states.

We invite applications from graduate students and early to mid-career research fellows in the disciplines of biology, neuroscience, sociology, anthropology, psychology and history/philosophy of science for a half week in the laboratory to attend seminars, participate in laboratory ‘practicals’ and focus groups. We expect to offer a foundation introduction to both social scientific and neuroscientific methodologies.

The school aims to help participants delineate their shared, unresolved questions, think creatively about their work, start fruitful collaborations, and explore the many known and yet unknown interfaces between neuroscience and society. Students are selected on the basis of their outstanding academic achievements, their research interests and their aspirations to break through disciplinary barriers.

Applications are due JANUARY 15th, 20111. So not a lot of time!

Link to application for 2011 Neuroschool

More information on the Neuroschool initiative

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