Corpus Curiosum Series II

We are more than excited to announce Series III Starting this June!

Is neuroscience too reductionist? Did you ever have problems trusting your own or others’ results? Are we aware of legal and philosophical implications?
Are we too hesitant to question the current landscape in neuroscience?


We are a group of three young neuroscientists who have just started their career in the field and are asking exactly these questions. We have created Corpus Curiosum with a clear goal: stimulate critical thinking in Neuroscience and build a network of early-career neuroscientists engaged in the topic.
Through weekly online-sessions, we provide a platform for short-format lectures on controversial topics, followed by an interactive debate. This is your chance to join the conversation, expand your perspective and build connections. Join us! 🧠

© 2021 Corpus Curiosum. All rights reserved.

SERIES III: JUNE 2021

Organizers:
Inés Abalo Rodríguez | Faissal Sharif | Alba Sánchez-Fernández

Sponsored by:
International Brain Research Organization (IBRO)
Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS)
Association of Spanish Scientists in Switzerland (ACECH)


June 1 | Broca and Wernicke are dead, or moving past the classic model of language neurobiology


Dr Pascale Tremblay | Université Laval

The claim that “Language is special,” and thus encapsulated in a specialized language network, has informed cognitive neuroscience research since pioneer work of researchers in the late 19 th century. This talk aims to provide a snapshot of the state of knowledge in language neurobiology with a focus on demonstrating the failure of this classical viewpoint to capture the essence of contemporary language neurobiology and demonstrate how this viewpoint, which remains dominant to this day, has contributed to maintaining a narrow empirical and theoretical research focus and to perpetuating a disconnect between common understanding of language neurobiology and the actual state of knowledge in the field.


June 8 | Unboxing the Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis


Yoko Wang | The University of Adelaide

Since we were born, we have shared our life with millions of tiny little buddies in our gut. These tiny little buddies, or the gut microbiota, play important roles in regulating the gut-brain axis. In recent years, research in this field has rapidly grown, increasing our understanding on how gut microbiota communicate to the brain and influence our health. In this talk, we will unbox the amazing world of the microbiota-gut-brain axis – learning about their history, the current progress and future directions.


June 15 I Does your brain actually think? The mereological fallacy in neuroscience


Dr Peter Hacker | Oxford University

Mereology is the logic of part/whole relations. One kind of mereological mistake is that of misguidedly attributing properties of wholes to their parts. Some holistic properties cannot licitly be ascribed to parts: aeroplanes fly, but their engines cannot be said to fly; antique clocks keep time but their fusées cannot be said to keep time. A widespread mistake in cognitive neuroscience is to attribute to the human brain properties that can be intelligibly attributed only to the living human being as a whole. The brain is commonly held to perceive, to think, to feel emotions, and to intend to do things. These are category mistakes that lead to widespread fallacies in the reasoning of neuroscientists. The rationale of the mereological fallacy in neuroscience will be explained and objections will be refuted.


June 22 | Unmasking plant intelligence through education


Dr Paco Calvo | University of Murcia

Bored of classroom-based education? Tired of getting lost and spacing out? Fed-up being stuffed with somebody else’s knowledge; the type of “knowledge” that you are simply expected to parrot the day of the exam, then wait for your grades which mean…. nothing really? Welcome to the Hippocampus-Fattening Farm, the educational system you have been raised in since Primary school, all the way into college, and beyond! My aim in this talk is to promote forms of learning based on trying o “know less” and think outside the box more. I shall illustrate how this can help propel creativity in the discussion of plant intelligence in the (neuro)cognitive sciences, robotics and AI.


June 29 | Corpus Curiosum Meet-and-Greet


© 2021 Corpus Curiosum. All rights reserved.

SERIES II: NOV/DEC 2020

Organizers:
Inés Abalo Rodríguez | Faissal Sharif | Alba Sánchez-Fernández

Sponsored by:
British Neuroscience Association (BNA)
Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS)


November 17 | Neurosexism and the Brain: How gender stereotypes can distort or even damage research


Dr Gina Rippon | Aston University

The ‘Hunt the Sex Difference’ agenda has informed brain research brain for decades, if not centuries. This talk aims to demonstrate how a fixed belief in differences between ‘male’ and ‘female’ brains can narrow and even distort the research process. This can include the questions that are asked, the methodology selected and the analytical pipeline. It can also powerfully inform the interpretation of results and the ‘spin’ used in the public communication of such research.


November 24 | New neurons in the adult brain: breaking the dogma


Dr Mariela Trinchero | Fundación Instituto Leloir

The adult brain is capable of undergoing neuronal plasticity at different levels ranging from molecular changes to circuit modifications. Until the early 90s, the general rule was that the mammals’ central nervous system lacked the ability to generate new neurons upon birth. It is now clear that the hippocampus, the structure in the brain involved in learning and memory, produces dentate granule cells throughout the lifespan. Adult neurogenesis can be shaped by physical exercise, experience, aging and disease. In this talk I will give a brief overview on this extraordinary form of neuronal plasticity.


December 1 I What makes a scientist?


Dr Bart Penders | Maastricht University

Science is a part of our culture, and yet in many ways it stands apart. Scientists make knowledge and strive for that knowledge to be more trustworthy, more credible and, as a consequence, more important than other knowledge. What about science and scientists enables them to do this and why is scientific knowledge dismissed from cultural, political and social debates nonetheless? In this talk, I will visit the origins of scientific credibility and its social history, and will trace it into its present form of discussions about rigour and research integrity.


December 8 | Neurolaw: A New Frontier


Mikayla Dilbeck | UC San Francisco

What would a future look like in which neuroscience
is incorporated into our legal system? As our knowledge of the human brain grows, so do the ways we can apply neuroscience to different facets of research and society. Neurolaw aims to use our understanding of the brain to create more equitable policies and to advance justice. Rapid technological and scientific achievements pave the way for this growing interdisciplinary field. This talk will introduce the ways neurolaw has started to influence policy, neuroethics, and possibilities for the future.

© 2021 Corpus Curiosum. All rights reserved.

SERIES I: JUNE 2020

Organizers:
Inés Abalo Rodríguez | Faissal Sharif | Marta Turégano Lopez | Alba Sánchez-Fernández


June 9 | Are mental disorders malfunctions of the brain?


Inés Abalo Rodríguez I Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM)

What are in fact mental disorders? The problems faced in psychiatry have led researchers to reflect on the conceptualisation of mental disorders. Thus, some authors have argued for a neurocentric conceptualisation, suggesting to understand them as, precisely, brian disorders. However, this view implies some problems difficult to solve and reconcile to current data. Alternatively, behaviour analysis offers a more plausible conceptualisation: mental disorders should be understood as a product of learning processes whose long term consequences happen to be disadaptive. Is it maybe time to embrace a new perspective when doing research in this field?


June 16 | Credibility in Neuroscience


Dr Verena Heise I Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg - Institute for Advanced Study

Are most published research findings false? Why should we care? And is there anything we can do about it? In this talk I will give an overview of some practical solutions such as open science and good research practices that can help make our research findings more robust. While there are a number of solutions that can be implemented by individual researchers, there are wider issues, for example around skills training and incentives, that require cultural change. To lobby for this change I am involved in a number of different initiatives and I will briefly outline current and planned activities.


June 23 | Why do we need philosophy in neuroscience?


Dr Mark Miller I University of Sussex

Despite a long historical relationship between science and philosophy, scientists today tend to see philosophy as very different from, and indeed even antagonistic to, the scientific endecour. In this talk I will highlight the many ways that philosophy positively impacts scientific research today, new modes of philosophy that are science driven, and suggest new potential synergies between the fields.


June 30 | Research on drugs - is it time to lift restrictions?


Dr David Erritzøe I Laura Kärtner I Imperial College London

What is psychedelic microdosing and why are people doing it? Where does all the hype about it come from and most importantly, does it actually work? So many questions that currently remain unanswered. In this talk, we will explore the discrepant results of previous research on microdosing and discuss the cultural, scientific and potentially clinical relevance around it. We will give a short overview on our attempts to study this phenomenon and discuss the problems we experienced during this process.

© 2021 Corpus Curiosum. All rights reserved.

© 2021 Corpus Curiosum. All rights reserved.

About us 👋

Inés Abalo Rodríguez
Faissal Sharif
Marta Turégano López
Alba Sánchez-Fernández

Inés Abalo Rodríguez

I studied Psychology at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM). After my bachelor, I did a master's in Neurobiology and Cognitive Neuroscience (at the UAM) and an MSc in Mind, Language and Embodied Cognition at the University of Edinburgh.
So far, I have collaborated with different research projects at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and Università di Padova (Italy).
I am currently doing my PhD on schizophrenia at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), thanks to the funding of la Caixa Bank Foundation.

Faissal Sharif

I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences at Maastricht University in the Netherlands with a semester abroad at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. While working for a neurotech startup with focus on mental health , I grew interest in Neuroscience and decided to work as a visiting scholar at the University of California, Irvine, where I investigated biomarkers in Alzheimer’s Disease.
I am currently enrolled as a postgraduate student of Neuroscience at Imperial College London and working at the Centre for Psychedelic Research.

Marta Turégano López

I did a biology degree at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. I continued my academic training with an MSc in Neuroscience. During that time, I discovered the application of electron microscopy applied to the study of the brain. Currently, I am finishing my PhD in Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (CTB-UPM) where I analyze the ultrastructure (synapses, organelles and a bit of everything) of the somatosensory cortex by 3D electron microscopy. Lately, in confinement, I've started learning programming which I am now totally excited about.

Alba Sánchez-Fernández

I obtained a BSc in Biology at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) before I moved to Barcelona to study for a MSc in Neuroscience at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). After that, I did my PhD in Neurobiology trying to define a new paradigm to treat multiple sclerosis, one of the main causes of physical disability.
Nowadays, I am an early postdoc focused on deciphering other mechanisms related to multiple sclerosis and interested in the gut-brain-axis.

Inés Abalo Rodríguez
Faissal Sharif
Marta Turégano López
Alba Sánchez-Fernández

About us 👋

Inés Abalo Rodríguez
Faissal Sharif
Alba Sánchez-Fernández

Inés Abalo Rodríguez

I studied Psychology at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM). After my bachelor, I did a master's in Neurobiology and Cognitive Neuroscience (at the UAM) and an MSc in Mind, Language and Embodied Cognition at the University of Edinburgh.
So far, I have collaborated with different research projects at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and Università di Padova (Italy).
I am currently doing my PhD on schizophrenia at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), thanks to the funding of la Caixa Bank Foundation.

Faissal Sharif

I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences at Maastricht University in the Netherlands with a semester abroad at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. While working for a neurotech startup with focus on mental health , I grew interest in Neuroscience and decided to work as a visiting scholar at the University of California, Irvine, where I investigated biomarkers in Alzheimer’s Disease.
I graduated from Imperial College London with an MSc in Translational Neuroscience and am currently affiliated with the Centre for Psychedelic Research. Further, I am a the co-head for Neuroethics at the Institute for Internet & the Just Society.

Alba Sánchez-Fernández

I obtained a BSc in Biology at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) before I moved to Barcelona to study for a MSc in Neuroscience at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). After that, I did my PhD in Neurobiology trying to define a new paradigm to treat multiple sclerosis, one of the main causes of physical disability.
Nowadays, I am an early postdoc at the University Hospital of Zürich digging into the mechanisms of immunotherapies and antigen mimicry by microbiota products to treat cancer or neuroimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis.

Inés Abalo Rodríguez
Faissal Sharif
Alba Sánchez-Fernández

© 2021 Corpus Curiosum. All rights reserved.

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Partners 🤝

Corpus Curiosum is kindly supported by the British Neuroscience Association (BNA), the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and the
La Caixa Foundation of CaixaBank.

British Neuroscience Association
Federation of European Neuroscience Societies
La Caixa Foundation

Acknowledgements:
Logo Design: Ana Clara Burin
Website Design: Faissal Sharif

© 2021 Corpus Curiosum. All rights reserved.

© 2021 Corpus Curiosum. All rights reserved.