Nencki School of Ideas in Neuroscience 2022

Warsaw, July 3-8th 2022

            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. The first edition of our school aimed 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 was be divided into three parts – frameworks, metatheory and thinking tools workshops.

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

Our speakers were:


  • Eve Marder (Brandeis University)
  • 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 found here.

The school rook place July 3-8 2022 in Warsaw, in the beautiful surroundings of the Jazdów estate, in Finnish wooden houses run by NGOs that host workshops, seminars, and conferences (