Day 2 - 26 Aug, Thu



Day 2 - 26 Aug, Thu 

(updated August 24, 2021)
Please remember: social events have separate registration.
You may still register for these events (please see details below).



08:40 - 8:55



Special announcement

Video Announcement for the winner of the ALBA-FKNE Diversity Prize 2021

Join the ALBA Network and The FENS-Kavli Scholars in the celebration of the ALBA-FKNE Diversity Prize winner 2021. The Prize highlights a scientist or group that has made outstanding contributions to promoting equality and diversity in brain sciences.

More information on this Prize:

09:00 - 09:45 Plenary lecture

Riitta Hari

(chair: Inga Griskova-Bulanova)
Riitta Hari
Aalto University, Espoo, Finland


Our brains are tuned to social interaction that shapes us throughout the lifetime. Social interaction is complex but feels simple. During natural interaction, such as conversation, people spontaneously align and adapt their actions. Social touch and laughter modulate the release of endogenous opioids, likely supporting bonding between individuals. Since social interaction is the property of autonomous dyads rather than of single individuals, one cannot study social interaction without the presence of both partners. We thus need experimental settings for two-person neuroscience where the brains of two participants are scanned simultaneous. The most intriguing question concerns the primacy of social interaction: Is it the default that enables social cognition and mutual understanding rather than a property emerging from lower-level brain functions?

09:45 - 10:30 FENS Presidential lecture

Wolfram Schultz

(chair: Jean-Antoine Girault)
Wolfram Schultz
Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, UK

Rewards are involved in learning, approach behaviour, economic choice and positive emotions. We use neurophysiological and behavioural methods in experimental designs based on animal learning theory and economic decision theory. We explore reward processing by dopamine neurones. Dopamine neurones carry a two-component reward prediction error signal that reflects the physical impact and the value of rewards,respectively. The reward signal codes formal economic utility and is influenced by risk. Slower components of the same neurones signal motor activation. The understanding is that the different reward centers in the brain need to cooperate for individuals to make optimal choices and maximise reward intake.

10:30 - 13:00 Networking Lounge


Presentation of the Lithuanian Research Council


10:30 - 11:30 Live discussion

ALBA panel discussion: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Central and Eastern Europe in the 21st century: challenges and solutions

This event is part of the ALBA webinar series on regional diversity issues. The session will start with an introduction of the ALBA Network and the ALBA Declaration on Equity and Inclusion by Zeljka Krsnik (ALBA Board of Directors; University of Zagreb, Croatia) and Dora Reglodi (ALBA Ambassador; University of Pecs, Hungary). The panel comprising ALBA Members from underrepresented groups working in Central and Eastern European Countries will then discuss challenges regarding diversity, equity and inclusion.
A discussion with the audience will follow the presentations. Panelists: Pranav Joshi (University Hospital Bonn, Germany), Rhea Klansek (Neuro-Bootcamp, Slovenia), Aiste Lengvenyt (CHU Montpellier, France -Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Lithuania), Lei Zhang (University of Vienna, Austria), Maria Banqueri (Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Poland), Michael Oluwatosin Gabriel (Centre of New Technologies, University of Warsaw, Poland), Stephanie Lissette Proskauer Pena (Charles University, Medical Faculty in Pilsen, Czech Republic).
12:00 - 13:00 Symposia Learning by reinforcement  (chairs: Balázs Hangya, Sara Matias) The neural architecture of visual awareness  (chairs: Michał Wierzchoń, Marek Binder)
(chairs: VIlmantė Borutaitė, Guy C. Brown)
Abhishek Banerjee
Cognitive switches and sensory learning using value backpropagation
Kristian Sandberg
The neural architecture of visual awareness
Grzegorz Czapski / Joanna Strosznajder
Microglia and their contribution to the pathomechanism of Alzheimer’s disease
Balázs Hangya
Reinforcement signals broadcast by neuromodulatory systems during associative learning
Nathan Faivre
Electrophysiological correlates of first and second-order consciousness
Guy C. Brown
Microglial phagocytosis of live neurons and synapses in neurodegeneration
Angela Langdon
The ubiquity of model-based reward prediction in the dopamine system
Chen Song
What constitutes an optimal brain architecture? The role of sensory processing versus sleep
Vilmante Borutaite
Extracellular tau-induced microglia-mediated neuronal death
Yang Yang
Heterogeneity of cholinergic activities during visual discrimination learning
Marek Binder
Modulation of auditory steady-state responses by the fluctuations in the state of consciousness
13:00 - 15:00 Poster session & lunch break




15:00 - 16:00 Special Interest Events

How a society journal handles your paper. The peer-review process and beyond (chair: Juan Lerma, John Foxe)

Juan Lerma -  Editor-in-Chief of Neuroscience, the flagship journal of IBRO, Instituto de Neurociencias, CSIC-UMH, Alicante, Spain
John Foxe
John Foxe -  Editor-in-Chief of European Journal of Neuroscience, the journal of FENS, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, NY, USA
The aim of this event is to inform researchers (with an emphasis on those in the early career stage) on various aspects of the scholarly research and communication process. To provide helpful information, the focus will be on the following topics: How Society journals such as the European Journal of Neuroscience (EJN) and Neuroscience handle submissions; the importance of peer review; and insight into how the publishing process works, taking as examples EJN and Neuroscience, the flagship journals of FENS and IBRO, respectively.

Special interest event by the CHET committee: Career pathways in neuroscience and training opportunities.

 Organised by the FENS Committee for Higher Education and Training (CHET), this Special Interest Event is dedicated to students and early career scientists interested in interacting with inspiring representatives from pharma, publishing, private and non-profit sectors. During this live online event the speakers will reveal in short talks how their neuroscience background successfully contributed to their career-paths and will respond to questions throughout the open Q&A session.                   
Kora Korzec (eLife, UK),
Raul Muresan (Transylvanian Institute of Neuroscience, RO),
Mirelle Ter Veer (Absiskey, FR), 
Mikołaj Matłoka (Celon Pharma, PL),
Moderator: Ana-Maria Zagrean member of the FENS-CHET (Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, RO)                                                             

Promoting continuity of international collaboration in animal neuroscience research

Moderated by Anna Mitchell (FENS Committee on Animals in Research, Oxford Neuroscience), this debate will aim to examine the benefits of international scientific collaboration and identify current challenges and opportunities including 3Rs strategies that are relevant for researchers working with animal models. The event will feature talks from Kirk Leech (European Animal Research Association) and Frances Wiseman (UK Dementia Research Institute) and will be followed by a live Q&A session.
16:00 - 16:45 Konorski Award Ceremony

Konorski 2019 and 2020 Award Lectures:

Tomasz Prószyński: Amot and Yap1 regulate neuronal dendritic tree complexity and locomotor coordination in mice (chair: Małgorzata Skup)

Magdalena Dziembowska: Mitochondrial protein biogenesis in the synapse is supported by local translation (chair: Małgorzata Skup)

16:45 - 17:30 Plenary lecture

Arturas Petronis

(chair: Osvaldas Rukšėnas)
Arturas Petronis  
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and University of Toronto, Toronto Ontario, Canada and Institute of Biotechnology, Life Sciences Center, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania


In addition to genetics and environment, disease phenotypes are shaped by epigenetic modifications. Progress in uncovering the epigenetic basis of disease, however, depends on how well we understand the fundamental principles of epigenomic regulation. Our group has recently discovered that epigenetically modified cytosines oscillate in a circadian (or diurnal) fashion. I will provide a series of reasons indicating that malfunction of circadian regulation, one of the oldest and nearly universal adaptive mechanism, can help understanding a number of clinical and molecular findings in psychiatric diseases. Since circadian and epigenetic parameters can be modified by diet, lifestyle, and medications, therapeutic interventions rectifying circadian aberrations may be used to reduce disease risk, or at least delay its age of onset.

17:30 - 18:30 Symposia Animal models of drug abuse - towards new neuronal mechanisms and high translational value  (chairs: Katarzyna Radwańska, Anna Beroun) Brain imaging in neuropsychiatric disorders: innovation and translation  (chair: João Valente Duarte) Cortical Interneurons: from birth to networks  (chairs: Domna Karagogeos, Myrto Denaxa)
David Reiner
Relapse after voluntary abstinence: Behavior and circuit mechanisms
Kym Young
fMRI amygdala neurofeedback for Major Depressive Disorder
Lynette Lim
Developmental trajectories of cortical inhibitory neurons
David Belin
Biobehavioural basis of the flexible inflexibility that characterises maladaptive drug-seeking at relapse
João Valente Duarte
Structural and functional imaging biomarkers of Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia
Myrto Denaxa

Mechanisms controlling the postnatal development of cortical interneurons

Anna Beroun
Amygdalar silent synapses in appetitive learning and addiction
Sandra Vieira
Neurofind: using deep learning to identify abnormal brain structural patterns in neuropsychiatric disorders
Theo Karayannis
The integration of upper layer cortical interneurons into the cortical circuits
Roberto Pagano
ARC in the amygdala prevents compulsive alcohol seeking
Pedro Morgado
Automated analysis of free speech as a marker of neuroimaging findings in individuals with OCD
Juan Burrone
The emergence and plasticity of axo-axonic synapses at the axon initial segment
18:45 - 19:30 Social Event

ALBA social: Navigating academia as an LGBTQIA+ neuroscientist


The ALBA Network is organizing a webinar on LGBTQIA+ inclusion and visibility. This special event will feature a panel of established scientists in brain research who identify as LGBTQIA+. Each speaker will discuss their goals, failures and successes while navigating academia as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. A Q&A session with the attendees will close this event. Panelists: Jordan Marrocco (The Rockefeller University, US - ALBA Ambassador) – Chair; Paul Matusz (University of Applied Sciences, CH); Joni Wallis (University of California, US); Bittu Kaveri Rajaraman (Ashoka University, IN); José Luis Peña (Einstein Institute, US), Mehmet Kurt (Stevens Institute of Technology, US); Ahmed El Hady (Princeton University, US); Sara Brownell (Arizona states University, US).
This webinar will be hosted on the ALBA webinar platform. Registration is free but mandatory.

Day 2 - Full programme in PDF