INC2024, 25-26 January 2024, Pécs

Symposia at the International Neuroscience Conference, Pécs 2024

Symposium I. Neuroscience and Philosophy

Time: 10:00-12:00
Date: 25 January (Thursday) 2024
Chairs: János Boros (Professor, Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Education and Regional Development, University of Pécs, Pécs) & György Buzsáki (Professor, Neuroscience Institute, School of Medicine, New York University, New York)

Neuroscientists and philosophers will present their latest research. György Buzsáki (New York University) will talk about his experimental results presented in Scientific American, which show that the brain is not designed to represent the world, but to ensure the survival of the whole organism through continuous interaction with the environment. According to Patricia Churchland (University of California, San Diego), recent research in neuroendocrinology suggests that moral behaviour is significantly influenced by changes in the oxytocin-vasopressin system. Christof Koch (Allen Institute) argues that scientific theories of consciousness, in addition to explaining conscious experience and neural correlates, must also explain why we feel the way we do, the extent of space, the passage of time, the taste of food. Computational functionalism offers a way to explain. Joseph LeDoux (New York University) interprets the human being as a set of four domains of existence: biological, neurobiological, cognitive and conscious. The domains are interdependent and have a biological basis. Stratification helps us understand the differences between individuals, groups and cultures.  According to János Boros (University of Pécs), György Buzsáki's book The Brain from Inside Out (Oxford 2019) proposes a new philosophical perspective for contemporary brain research based on experiments. This challenges the a priori nature of philosophy. He celebrates the birth of philosophy by claiming that the brain is much more complex than its environment - so that the nature of interaction is fundamentally determined by itself, while going far beyond it. Brain research points to the neurological basis of human culture. In this framework, we can find the thinking of Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Dewey, Davidson and Rorty, among others.

Symposium II. Preclinical Examination Of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Time: 14:00-15:45
Date: 25 January (Thursday) 2024
Chairs: Kristóf László (Associate Professor, Institute of Physiology, Medical School and Centre for Neuroscience, University of Pécs, Pécs) & Attila Tóth (Senior Lecturer, Institute of Physiology, Medical School and Centre for Neuroscience, University of Pécs, Pécs)

The preclinical examination of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is pivotal for advancing our understanding and treatment strategies. By studying ASD in different animal models, we can uncover underlying biological mechanisms and identify potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets. The ASD research also facilitates the testing of novel interventions, contributing to the development of more effective treatments. Overall, preclinical studies bridge the gap between basic science discoveries and clinical applications, enhancing our ability to address the complexities of ASD.

Symposium III. Molecular Biology of Stress Disorders

Time: 16:15-17:45
Date: 25 January (Thursday) 2024
Chair: Zsuzsanna Tóth (Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Semmelweis University, Budapest)

Stress is a primary cause of many illnesses, such as anxiety, depression and PTSD. These increasingly common illnesses lead to poor quality of life and overburden the health system. Unfortunately, modern treatment methods are often not effective enough. A detailed understanding of the underlying molecular neural mechanisms is essential to develop new, more effective treatments. The aim of the symposium is to present the latest national and international research in the field and to provide a forum for scientific exchange and possible collaborations. The symposium will provide a multi-faceted view of the topic by bringing together speakers, who will give complementary insights into the different mechanisms involved in stress disorders.

Symposium IV. Functional Investigations In Human Brain Sample

Time: 09:45-11:15
Date: 26 January (Friday) 2024
Chairs: Viktor Szegedi (Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Neuroscience, University of Szeged, Szeged) & Gábor Molnár (Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Neuroscience, University of Szeged, Szeged)

The human brain is a network of unprecedented complexity consisting of billions of nerve cells and is particularly interesting to neuroscience. Recent years have witnessed a surge of studies that aim to characterize the human cortical microcircuits functionally. To directly study the electrical activity of human microcircuits, neurosurgical resections are used for in vitro experiments enabling functional readout of human microcircuits. The symposium will focus on electrophysiological recordings of human neurons performed at multiple levels: from dendritic and somatic recordings to multichannel recordings in healthy and diseased human brains. Featured topics will cover active dendritic conductances, how epilepsy alters neuronal performance, and the presentation of atypical spontaneous depolarizing events. Complex human behavior is based on the properties of the human cerebral cortex, which uses simple functional units to achieve yet unknown microcircuit processes.

Symposium V. Information Processing In The Early Visual System; Retina And Retinorecipient Brain Centers

Time: 11:45-13:15
Date: 26 January (Friday) 2024
Chairs: Béla Völgyi (Professor, Institute of Biology, Department of Neurobiology, University of Pécs, Pécs) & Ildikó Telkes (Institute of Physiology, Medical School and Centre for Neuroscience, University of Pécs, Pécs) & Tamás Kovács-Öller (Research Fellow, Institute of Biology, Department of Neurobiology, University of Pécs, Pécs)

Talks of this symposium will detail recent advances in visual science covering topics of both color and night vision of human, primate and non-primate mammalian species. The talks focus on the early visual system revealing details of the microcircuitry of the retina and retinorecipient visual brain centers including the lateral geniculate nucleus and the superior colliculus.

Symposium VI. Neuropeptides in Health and Disease

Time: 15:30-17:00
Date: 26 January (Friday) 2024
Chairs: Krisztina Csabafi (Adjunct Professor, Department of Pathophysiology, Albert Szent-Györgyi School of Medicine, University of Szeged, Szeged) & Zsolt Bagosi (Associate Professor, Department of Pathophysiology, Albert Szent-Györgyi School of Medicine, University of Szeged, Szeged)

Neuropeptides are short-chain proteinic substances synthesized mainly in the central nervous system (CNS) playing the role of a neurohormone or a neurotransmitter. Neuropeptides can modulate physiological processes, such as stress response, food and water intake, social and sexual behavior, but they can also be involved in the pathogenesis of diseases, such as anxiety, depression and pain. In this symposium entitled ”Neuropeptides in Health and Disease”, we would like to present recently discovered roles attributed to classical neuropeptides, including corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), urocortins, kisspeptins, arginine vasopressin (AVP), oxytocin, ghrelin and obestatin.