Nencki School of Ideas in Neuroscience

Warsaw, July 3-8th

            It is often being said that neuroscience desperately needs ideas.

            We are flooded by data and it is harder and harder to make sense of it. But, at the same time, most courses and workshops in neuroscience teach us experimental techniques, giving us more tools to gather even more data. But we are not taught how to develop ideas.

            We believe that theoretical thinking and idea development is a skill – a skill that can be trained and developed. Our school will aim at teaching how to develop theoretical thinking, how to create ideas, and put their research in a broader context. We want you to learn how to make sense of data.

            Our school will be divided into three parts – frameworks, metatheory and thinking tools workshops.

            In the first section, selected theoretical frameworks will serve us as examples – together with their authors, we will discuss how different theoretical frameworks can be applied to your research – but we will also trace how they were developed. In the metatheory section, together with philosophers and historians of science, we will look at how ideas were and are developed, and what factors foster their development. In the thinking tools section, we will teach you how to think theoretically by building models, transgressing borders of your discipline, think creatively and critically – and how to find time to think.

Confirmed speakers :


  • Eve Marder (Brandeis University)
  • Gregory Kohn (University of North Florida)
  • Luiz Pessoa (University of Maryland)
  • Yukie Nagai (University of Tokyo)
  • Paul Cisek (University of Montreal)
  • Romain Brette (l’Institut de la Vision)
  • Jacqueline Gottlieb (Columbia University)
  • Adrien Doerig (Donders Institute)
  • Joel Z Leibo (DeepMind)


  • Nicole Nelson (University of Wisconsin–Madison)
  • Jackie Sullivan (Western University)
  • Marcin Miłkowski (University of Warsaw)


  • Liad Mudrik (Tel Aviv University)
  • Mel Andrews (University of Cincinnati)
  • Wiktor Młynarski (IST Austria)

More detailed programme can be find here.

The school will take place July 3-8 2022 in Warsaw, in the beautiful surroundings of Jazdów estate, in Finnish wooden houses run by NGOs that host workshops, seminars, and conferences ( The deadline for application is May 7th. Please find the application form HERE. The fee is EUR 450 (but we offer fee waivers!).