September 09-14, 2023
Erice, Sicily, ITALY

Workshop Organizers

Conference goals

F. Papaleo (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genoa, Italy)
S. Wagner (Haifa University, Haifa, Isarael)
V. Grinevich (Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany)
PF. Ferrari (Istitut de Sciences Cognitives Marc Jeannerod, Lyon, France)

Purpose of the Workshop

Conference goals

Animals (including humans) are social entities, living in social structures, organizing themselves and operating within the framework of cooperative interactive behaviors. Complex, heterogeneous and continuous social interactions are evolutionary conserved processes, shaping our life and survival. These are processes defining the entire society as well as each individual well-being. Indeed, they don't influence only “social behaviors” per se, but are critical in several other domains such as decision making, planning, language, spatial processing, stress, learning, etc. Moreover, most psychopathologies and neurodevelopmental disorders are associated with disregulation of social behaviors and therefore our comprehension of their neural bases is critical for many aspects.

But are all these interactions qualitatively the same? Does ‘social interaction’ have the same meaning for different subjects in different contexts? Which core aspects of complex social interactions are really conserved between different species? What are the mechanisms underlying all these distinct social behaviors?

In this workshop we bring together leading experts in this field who will apply an interdisciplinary approach to social behaviors to better understand their evolution, organization and regulatory mechanisms. The workshop will attempt to understand these aspects of social behaviors in different animal species (including humans) and will foster discussion between scholars, students and researchers from different fields of sciences: Neuroscience, Ethology, Psychology, and Psychiatry.

With these overreaching goals, since July 2021 (and since then every 3 weeks) we started a “virtual” initiative named as “The (European) Social Club” to share current/new data and tools between European laboratories focused on biological mechanisms underlying social behavioral processes. The format of these virtual data club meetings, “extended” to all participant laboratories, has been that in each meeting one postdoc or advanced PhD student from each lab presents their project, data, new tools, etc. PI of each laboratory introduces the speaker. A presentation of about 30 minutes followed by 30 min Q&A and discussion has been implemented.

Research Groups contributing to the workshop and their leaders

Claudia Bagni

Department of Fundamental Neurosciences, University of Lausanne, (Switzerland) & Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, (Italy)

Inbal Bartal

Tel Aviv University, School of Psychological science and Sagol School of Neuroscience (Israel)

Camilla Bellone

Department of Basic Neuroscience, University of Geneva (Switzerland)

Oliver Bosch

Maternal Group, Department of Behavioural and Molecular Neurobiology, University of Regensburg (Germany)

Charlotte Cornil

GIGA Neurosciences, University of Liège, Liège, (Belgium)

Alon Chen

Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel)

Arpad Dobolyi

Department of Physiology and Neurobiology, Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, (Hungary)

Elena Dreosti

University College London, UK

Oren Forkosh

Hebrew University (Israel)

Valery Grinevich

Heidelberg University (Germany)

Cornelius Gross

EMBL (Italy)

Hanna Hornberg

Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin (Germany)

Christian Keysers

Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, and University of Amsterdam, Psychology Department (The Netherland)

Valeria Gazzola

Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, and University of Amsterdam, Psychology Department (The Netherland)

Tali Kimchi

Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel)

Ewelina Knapska

Braincity, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology (Poland)

Claus Lamm

University of Vienna, Department of Cognition, Emotion, and Methods in Psychology & Cognitive Science Hub (Austria)

Felix Leroy

Institute of Neurosciences in Alicante, (Spain)

Siri Leknes

University of Oslo, (Norway)

Cristina Marquez Vega

CNC-Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology. Coimbra. (Portugal)

Sanja Mikulovic

Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, Magdeburg, (Germany)

Francoise Muscatelli

Institut de Biologie de la Méditerranée (France)

Inga Neumann

Dept Behavioural and Molecular Neurobiology, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, (Germany)

Rui Oliveira

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência & ISPA – Instituto Universitário (Portugal)

Francesco Papaleo

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italy)

Lucie Pellissier

Joint research Unit Physiology of Reproduction and behaviors, INRAE UMR85, CNRS UMR7247, Université de Tours, France

Diego Scheggia

Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Milan (Italy)

Simone Shamay-Tsoory

Haifa University (Israel)

Angela Sirigu

CNRS (France)

Shlomo Wagner

Haifa University (Israel)

Lars Westberg

Department of Pharmacology, University of Gothenburg (Sweden)

Ofer Yizhar

Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel)

Leonie Welberg

Nature Neuroscience (Nature Portfolio, Springer Nature)