REDEFINING EMOTIONAL EXPRESSIONS: CURRENT PERSPECTIVES


October 09-14, 2024
Erice, Sicily, ITALY


Workshop Organizers

Conference goals

Pier Francesco Ferrari (Institute of Cognitive Sciences Marc Jeannerod, CNRS, Lyon, France)
Fausto Caruana (Institute of Neuroscience, National Research Council of Italy, CNR, Parma, Italy)
Paola Sessa (Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialisation, Padova Neuroscience Center, University of Padova, Padova, Italy)

Purpose of the Workshop

Conference goals

The Workshop aims to bring attention to fresh perspectives regarding the behavioral and neural foundations of emotions and their manifestation in both humans and other animals. Despite more than 150 years passing since Darwin’s groundbreaking work, a comprehensive understanding of why we express emotions and the primary functions they may serve remains elusive for scientists. The influential theoretical landscape has evolved, moving away from clear definitions of emotional displays solely as expressions of internal states - whose manipulation can influence emotions - to acknowledging communicative gestures specifically adapted for negotiating and cooperating within social interactions. The ongoing debate surrounding the mechanisms involved in perceiving these expressions has persisted, with new perspectives highlighting context-dependent interpretations of signals and their pivotal roles in emotional contagion and social synchronization.

We will explore core issues in animal and human expressions covering important theoretical accounts on how different species express and process others’ emotions, which are the neurobiological mechanisms and how do they affect other cognitive processes, such as reasoning, empathy, planning and moral judgements. We will also try to understand emotional expressions from a developmental perspective. In fact, psychological and psychopathological models have contributed to our understanding of the importance of how early social experiences contribute to the organization of brain mechanisms critical for emotional regulation. Engineers will contribute to the workshop by elucidating how emotional displays are central in artificial intelligence. Understanding emotions has important implications on how humans develop modern technologies that either have some sort of emotional organization or communicate emotionally with us. This workshop will bring together leading figures in science who apply an evolutionary method and an interdisciplinary approach to the basic mechanisms of emotions in order to understand how they organize behavior. The workshop will foster discussion between scholars, students and researchers from different fields of sciences: Ethology, Psychology, Psychiatry, Neuroscience, Robotics, Artificial intelligence, Anthropology.

The workshop is highly integrative and interdisciplinary. Presentations will be addressed to a broad audience represented by different disciplines and within disciplines, by different levels of seniority (e.g., graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, junior and senior faculty).

Speakers & Topics

Fausto Caruana

Institute of Neuroscience, CNR (Italy)

Beatrice de Gelder

Maastricht University (The Netherlands)

José Miguel Fernández Dols

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain)

Pier Francesco Ferrari

Institut des Sciences Cognitives, CNRS, Lyon (France)

Maria Ida Gobbini

Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Bologna (Italy)

Katalin Gothard

College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson (USA)

Sebastian Korb

University of Essex (United Kingdom)

Mariska Kret

Leiden University, Leiden (The Netherlands)

Eva Krumhuber

Psychology and Language Sciences, UCL (United Kingdom)

Mike Mendl

University of Bristol (United Kingdom)

Elisabetta Palagi

University of Pisa (Italy)

Holly Rayson

Institut des Sciences Cognitives, CNRS, Lyon (France)

Sophie Scott

Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL (United Kingdom)

Paola Sessa

University of Padua (Italy)

Marco Tamietto

University of Turin (Italy)

Gilles Vannuscorps

University of Lauven (Belgium)

Registration and Abstract Submission