Transatlantic Behavioural Neuroscience Summer School
Sept 1-10th 2022, Wojciechy, Poland
The field of behavioural neuroscience is changing.
It’s changing on the conceptual level – “neuroscience needs behaviour”, a bold claim in 2017, has become a truism. Behavioural paradigms became much more complex, brain and behaviour are also no longer studied in isolation; we are trying to put them in broader contexts – context of the whole organism and its needs, of its natural environment, and of its evolutionary history.
This change is driven by the recent explosion of new tools. With stunning precision, we can record both the behavior and neural activity of an animal performing various complex tasks.
And the most important aspect of the tool-revolution is its open and worldwide character – the field of behavioural neuroscience is being democratised on an unprecedented scale. Since money is becoming less of a constraint, the exploration of new theories and ideas is not limited anymore to privileged institutions.
Our Transatlantic Behavioural Neuroscience Summer School is designed to embrace and foster these changes and will interweave three themes: concepts, tools and diversity.
The concept part of the school will be all about ideas in behavioural neuroscience. We want to invite behavioural neuroscientists who guide the conceptual revolution in behaviour. We will ask them to give not only talks about their research, but about ideas and theories they developed; we want to organise debates that will stimulate a new wave of innovation. The main topic of the conceptual part will be the brain in contexts.
Our confirmed guests (as of today) are:
- Anne von Philipsborn (Aarhus University)
- Ahmed el Hady (University of Konstanz)
- Daniel Tomsic (University of Buenos Aires)
- Karolina Socha (Uiversity College London)
- Basil el Jundi (University of Wuerzburg)
- Irene Jacobsen (Kavli Institute)
- Alicja Puścian (Nencki Institute)
- Ofer Yizhar (Weizmann Instiute)
- Ann Kennedy (Northwestern Institute) – online talk
- Dayu Lin (NYU) – online talk
- Antonia Marin-Burgin (IBioBA)
TA’s: Anna Chrzanowska, Bram Nuttin (NERF) Alejandro Cámera, Azul Silva, Veronica de la Fuente (University of Buenos Aires) Mateusz Kostecki, Urszula Włodkowska, Łukasz Bijoch, Justyna Wiśniewska, Konrad Danielewski (Nencki Institute)
We want to show you how those broader ideas can be turned into specific experimental work. Our school will be composed of intense, hands-on tutorials on behavioural experiment design and data analysis. The main project of the school will be the assembly and configuration of a setup for fruit flies. This project will show how to design a setup to be versatile and build it from scratch. We will run three different experiments making minor adjustments on the setup’s hardware and software to study phototaxis, neural control of behavior and the response to mechanical stimulation. With it, the students will be able to make experiments with mechanical and visual stimuli as well as optogenetic behavioral control. Online tracking will allow the students to use these tools in closed loop experiments. Building this will involve 3D printing the chassis and behavioral arena, setting up an Arduino board for controlling servo motors and LEDs. The experiments will be programmed using Bonsai for online tracking, visual stimuli presentation and closed loop control of the Arduino. These experiments will also provide data for more complex offline analysis using machine learning tools like DeepLabCut. We want to give the students the knowledge and tools to modify and improve their own setups and remove obstacles when designing future experiments.
Neuroscience needs ideas – it is often said – but there are no ideas without diversity. We believe that for too long our field was listening to a very limited number of voices. We want to encourage people from different regions and backgrounds to take part in our endeavour and to express their ideas freely. We want our school to result in a melting pot of ideas and views about behaviour, and to allow lesser-known frameworks to be discovered and discussed.
Where, when and how
The school will be organized on Sept 1-10th 2022 in Wojciechy, in a beautiful lake region of Masuria. The fee is EUR 750 (we are now also securing funds for fee waivers), and covers the cost of housing and food. The deadline for applications was April 12th 2022. We will let you know about the results of your applications. before May 15th. If you have any questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.