Call for Delegates (RMa) – Worlding the Brain: Patterns, Rhythms and Narratives in Neuroscience and the Humanities (Amsterdam, March 17-19)

Date: March 17-19, 2016

Location: University of Amsterdam 

OSL RMa students can obtain 2 EC by attending the international conference “Worlding the Brain: Patterns, Rhythms, Narrative in Neuroscience and the Humanities” in Amsterdam on March 17-19, 2016. This conference explores the ‘worldings’ of the brain in various discursive, cultural and technological environments and reflects upon the entanglements of neuronal processes with cultural practices. Confirmed keynote speakers are Prof. N. Katherine Hayles (Duke University), Prof. Jean Pierre Changeux (Collège de France, Institut Pasteur) and Prof. Andreas Roepstorff (Aarhus University). In order to obtain credits, students have to attend the conference, study the conference reader (ca. 170 pp.) and write a brief report. For more information and in order to register please send an e-mail to before March 7, 2016. (OSL RMa students are eligible for a fee waiver).


Interdisciplinary symposium at the University of Amsterdam

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

  • Prof. N. Katherine Hayles (Duke University)
  • Prof. Jean Pierre Changeux (Collège de France, Institut Pasteur)
  • Prof. Andreas Roepstorff (Aarhus University)


The human brain is ubiquitous in contemporary science and culture. Knowledge of the brain has made the journey from the labs of cognitive neuroscientists out into the world, where it has taken on a life of its own in various social fields and artistic and intellectual discourses, including the humanities. This interest in the brain and its influence on culture at large are likely to continue, with the recent multi-billion US Brain initiative and EU Human Brain Project now being in place. At the same time, in a parallel development to the cultural dissemination of brain research, cognitive neuroscientists are increasingly interested in how the brain’s functional and structural properties are partly determined by its material, social and cultural environments. New research has begun to address how the brain responds to specific social and discursive practices or cultural information and how it is influenced by art, technology and social exchanges. This interest in the interaction between brains and their environments has led to fruitful interdisciplinary collaborations between neuroscientists, social scientists and humanities scholars.

The ‘worlding’ of the brain occurs when we place the brain in worldly contexts, study its interaction with various environments and reflect upon its entanglements with cultural practices and processes. It is our aim to bring together scholars from different backgrounds in an interdisciplinary setting that stimulates a productive exchange of different views of the mutual influence of the extra-cerebral world on the brain and the brain on the world. In order to study these processes, we will focus on patterns, rhythms and narratives as central themes of the symposium. On the one hand, patterns, rhythms, and narratives are used to sort, integrate, abstract and contextualize information in the brain. On the other hand, they are found in historical, social and cultural processes that provide the brain with environmentally specific information. Combining these perspectives can yield wide-ranging insights. This symposium will therefore bring together neuroscientific, social scientific and humanities perspectives on the role of patterns, rhythms and narratives in worldings of the brain.

We invite papers that offer perspectives for an interdisciplinary dialogue on topics such as:

  • the co-evolution and co-constitution of patterns in brain processes and cultural patterns
  • correlations between patterns in the brain and phenomena of information; “chunking” in cultural contexts
  • narrative comprehension at the intersection of neuroscientific, cognitive and humanities approaches
  • patterns and narratives through which the brain takes shape in public discourse
  • the role of media and technology in worldings of the brain; brain maps in the world
  • the relation between [bodily] motion, dance and cognition
  • translation of brain patterns and rhythms into artistic forms
  • artistic practices as creative research into patterns
  • patterns, rhythms and narratives as cognitive, diagnostic and therapeutic tools
  • interdisciplinary perspectives on intercultural differences with regard to patterns and narratives
  • causes and consequences of pattern and narrative ‘overload’

We invite proposals for 15 minute presentations, allowing after each presentation a 15 minute discussion. We encourage interdisciplinary co-presentations or pre-constituted interdisciplinary panels. When submitting a proposal, please include a title; an abstract of ca. 250 words; a short bio and a short bibliography that includes three publications that are relevant for your topic.

The final deadline for submissions has been extended to January 24, 2016, 23.59 GMT. We will accept submissions on a rolling basis, with a final acceptance notice by January 29, 2016. The fee for participating in the symposium will be € 150,00.

Proposals and inquiries can be sent to: (subject: ‘Worlding the Brain 2016’).

Conference website:

This symposium is organized by the ASCA research group Neuroaesthetics and Neurocultures, and in collaboration with the following partners:

Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, the Amsterdam Centre for Globalization Studies, the Koninklijke Nederlandse Academie van Wetenschappen, Amsterdam Brain and Cognition, the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), and Art of Neuroscience