Day 1 - 25 Aug, Wed



Day 1 - 25 Aug, Wed 

(updated August 19, 2021)
09:00 - 09:45 IBRO PERC lecture

Jürgen Knoblich

(chair: Ewelina Knapska)

Jürgen Knoblich 

IMBA - Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Science Vienna, Austria


The human brain is unique in size and complexity, but also the source of some of the most devastating human diseases. While many of these disorders have been successfully studied in model organisms, recent experiments have emphasized unique features that can not easily be modeled in animals. We use cerebral organoids to recapitulate those features in vitro and to test their role in human disease. Cerebral organoids derived from patients suffering from neuro-developmental disease can recapitulate the developmental defects leading to those diseases and allow us to disentangle the mechanistic complexity of disorders like Epilepsy and Autism. Our new data demonstrate that by studying those defects, we can gain unique insights into the development of the human cortex that cannot be made in rodent model organisms.

09:45 - 10:30 Plenary lecture

Naomi Anne Fineberg

(chair: Julius Burkauskas)

Naomi Anne Fineberg

University of Hertfordshire and Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, Rosanne House, Welwyn Garden City, UK


The Internet is now all-pervasive. While its many positive uses have been demonstrated to the full during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, a proportion of the public develop Problematic Use of the Internet (PUI), an umbrella term incorporating a range of repetitive impairing behaviours including excessive and compulsive video gaming, gambling, compulsive sexual behaviour, buying,streaming, cyberchondria or social networks use. There is growing public and national health authority concern about the health and societal costs of PUI across the lifespan. Gaming Disorder isnow included as a mental disorder in the newly released ICD-11. However, more research is needed into disorder definitions, validation of clinical tools, prevalence, clinical parameters, brain-basedbiology, socio-health-economic impact, and empirically validated intervention and policy approaches. Potential cultural differences in the magnitudes and natures of types and patterns of PUI need to bebetter understood, to inform optimal health policy and service development. In this lecture, I will review the landscape from the perspective of key research priorities.

10:30 - 13:00 Networking lounge

Presentation of the EBRAINS Research Infrastructure

10:30 - 11:30 Live discussion


Naomi A. Fineberg and Zsolt Demetrovics

Internet addiction: learning to deal with problematic usage of the Internet


12:00 - 13:00 Symposia Gut, microbiota and the brain (chair: Aurelijus Burokas) The synaptic bases of mental diseases (chair: Camilla Bellone) Perspectives of brain stimulation for memory (chair: Jovana Bjekić)
Harriet Schellekens
Novel insights into
signalling in reward and obesity
Stephan Eliez
Neurodevelopmental markers of early transition to psychosis in 22q11 Deletion Syndrome
Daria Antonenko
Individual differences in electric fields induced by transcranial electrical stimulation
Filipe De Vadder
Shaping a second brain in
the bowel: a microbial perspective in the context of malnutrition
Alan Carleton
Analysis of microcircuit dysfunctions in animal models of psychiatric disorders
Justin Riddle
Causal role of cross-frequency coupling in cognitive control
Elena Martín-García
MicroRNAs and gut microbiota signatures for vulnerability to food addiction
Marie Scher
Measuring neurodevelopmental trajectories of preschoolers with autism
Jovana Bjekić
Personalized frequency-modulated oscillatory tDCS for memory enhancement
Aurelijus Burokas
Targeting the microbiota-gut-brain axis in Alzheimer’s disease
Camilla Bellone
Neuronal mechanisms underlying social deficits in animal models of Autims Spectrum Disorders
Marco Sandrini
Modulation of episodic memory in aging
13:00 - 15:00 Poster session & lunch break




15:00 - 16:00 Special Interest Events EJN Best Publication Award 2021 Lecture (chairs: Antoine Adamantidis, Paola Bovolenta) How to maximize benefit from good research practice? (chairs: Anton Bespalov, Malgorzata Pietraszek)
Pitch your science communication project!
Debra J. Skene
Metabolomics of sleep deprivation: sex differences
Ulrich Schüller
TCF4 in development and tumorigenesis of the central nervous system
Thomas Steckler
Negatives are positives: how to publish negative data
Chantelle Ferland-Beckham
Raising the bar: the role of funder in rewarding high-quality research
Valentina Vengeliene
Research quality from the perspective of academia
Małgorzata Pietraszek
High quality standards as a vehicle to attract collaboration
Six competitors selected from the satellite workshop (for details see: Tue, Aug 24, 2-4 PM CEST) will pitch their science communication project to a jury of experts. The best three projects in the following categories: online science communication, science communication for younger audiences and animal research for non-scientific audiences, will be rewarded with a grant to fund their project. All FRM registrants are welcome to watch the competition and vote for their favourite project!
16:00 - 16:45 Special Interest Event

CAJAL Advanced Neuroscience Training Programme Special Interest Event

The CAJAL Advanced Neuroscience Training Programme aims to teach basic and fundamental neuroscience concepts as well as state-of-the-art techniques, data analysis and computer skills to train the next generation of top-notch neuroscientists. During this session, Dr Elena Dreosti (Cajal Executive Director) will present the training course programme that CAJAL offers and provide an overview of how students can benefit from attending CAJAL courses online and in person. This will be followed by a Q&A session. Speakers: Prof Eero Castrén (University of Helsinki, Finland - Cajal President), Dr Elena Dreosti (UCL, UK - Cajal Executive Director), Prof Christophe Mulle (University of Bordeaux, France - Director of the Cajal Venue in Bordeaux), Prof Michael Hausser (UCL, UK - Director of the Interacting with Neural Circuits course), Dr Alexandra Leighton (Open Ephys Production Site, Portugal - Director of the Extracellular Electrophysiology Acquisition NeuroKit course), Ayse Malci (Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology Magdeburg, Germany - Participant of Cajal Advanced Techniques for Synapse Biology course 2019), Veronica de la Fuente (IFIBYNE - UBS - CONICET, Argentina - Participant of Cajal Visual Reactive Programming - Bonsai  course 2019). More information:
16:45 - 17:30 Plenary lecture

Amita Sehgal

(chair: Elżbieta Pyza)
Amita Sehgal
HHMI, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA


The function of sleep remains a mystery.  There is universal agreement that lack of sleep impairs performance, especially cognitive ability, during waking hours and considerable evidence supports adverse effects of sleep loss on other physiological parameters as well.  Thus, sleep may be regarded as important for waking function.  However, what happens during sleep to facilitate wake performance and promote health?  Some studies posit that replay of wake experiences is specific brain regions during sleep helps in memory consolidation, but it is likely that sleep affects fundamental physiology on a brain-wide and perhaps even body-wide level. Ongoing research seeks to address this question by investigating cellular and molecular processes impacted by sleep.

17:30 - 18:30 Symposia Circadian clocks: more beyond neurons (chairs: Gabriella Mazzotta, Milena Damulewicz) Impact of early life experience on prefrontocortical circuits (chairs: Marzena Maćkowiak, Juan Nacher) Female brain as a target of sex hormones (chair: Ramunė Grikšienė)
Davide Tonelli
Exploring mechanisms of microRNA rhythms in the mouse cerebral cortex 


Juan Nacher

Impact of early aversive experiences on the structure, connectivity and plasticity of prefrontocortical neurons 

Rachel G. Zsido
No more stigma, it’s science: Joint dynamics of menstrual cycle and brain structure
Erik Herzog
Circadian astrocytes: Networked in cortex and cancer
Laurence Coutellier
Adolescent stress and disruption of prefrontal inhibitory maturation
Esmeralda Hidalgo-Lopez

Dynamic causal modelling of the menstrual cycle: predicting ovulation from brain connectivity

Cristiano Bertolucci
How fish “sense” the light? Fish as model to study the deep brain photoreception
Naguib Mechawar
Child abuse associates with increased recruitment of perineuronal nets in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex
Erika Comasco
Progesterone antagonism beneficial for premenstrual dysphoric disorder
Gabriella Mazzotta
Cryptochrome: the dark side of a circadian photoreceptor comes to light
Marzena Maćkowiak
Epigenetic regulation in the prefrontal cortex: relevance to schizophrenia
Ann-Christin Kimmig
Investigating effects of oral contraceptives on women’s intra and intersexual social behaviours

Day 1 - Full programme in PDF