9-14 November 2024

Recentering neuroscience on behavior :

a brain-body-environment integrated approach

Erice, Sicily, Italy


Workshop Directors

Francesca Cirulli and Igor Branchi

 Directors of the School

Stefano Parmigiani and Paola Palanza


Notwithstanding the huge progress in the molecular and cellular neuroscience fields, our understanding of the brain is still limited. There is a need for a conceptual shift from a brain-centered to a brain-body-environment inclusive approach. In this perspective, the role of behavior is central as it represents the interface between the whole organism and the environment, thus being the ultimate functional outcome in healthy and pathological conditions. Such an approach has relevant theoretical implications for progressing the neuroscience field, in addition to holding the promise for novel potential therapeutic strategies for mental health.


Within the School's framework, we will exploit an interdisciplinary approach, spanning from ethology to applied neuroscience, psychiatry and philosophy, to provide innovative thinking tools to advance our understanding of brain and behavior in a complex and dynamic perspective. This will be accomplished by harnessing theoretical models that transcend the boundaries between fields and disciplines, beyond the mainstream.


Plenary talks by leaders in the field will be followed up by interactive sessions guided by both senior and junior discussants. Training in soft skills will complement more theoretical discussions to gain knowledge that can be implemented by each participant in its own research. 


The ultimate goal of this course is to provide the participants with innovative and critical tools to explore new avenues for our comprehension of the interplay between brain and behavior, in addition to addressing the current need for interdisciplinary research


Claudi Bockting

Amsterdam UMC, The Netherlands

Igor Branchi

Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy

Na Cai

Helmholtz Zentrum Munich, Germany

Francesca Cirulli

Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy

Iain Couzin

University of Konstanz, Germany

John Cryan

University College Cork, Ireland

Alejandro Fábregas Tejeda

KU Leuven, Belgium

Gerd Kempermann

DZNE, Dresden, Germany

Ewelina Knapska

Nencki Institute, Warsaw, Poland

Joan Marsh

Editor-in-chief, Lancet Psychiatry

Brenda Penninx

Amsterdam UMC, The Netherlands

Isabella Sarto-Jackson

Konrad Lorenz Institute, Vienna, Austria

Carmen Sandi

EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland


For information, contact the scientific committee: Aurelia Viglione, aurelia.viglione@iss.it, Chiara Musillo, chiara.musillo@iss.it