International Cognitive Sciences Summer School – Iasi 23.06-28.06.2015

Program: 23 iunie 2015 | 24 iunie 2015 | 25 iunie 2015 | 26 iunie 2015 | 27 iunie 2015 | 28 iunie 2015


Chritophe Jouffrais, Ph.D. - Chargé de Recherche (CR1) – CNRS, HDR, Director LACII(IRIT-IJA Laboratory on assitive technology for the Viusally Impaired) Toulouse, Franța.


Visual Impairment Aid Systems

The WHO (World Health Organization) estimated that there are 285 million people who are visually impaired worldwide. Among them 39 million are blind and 246 have low vision. It is important to note that 82% of people living with blindness are aged 50 and above. Because the world population is getting older, that number of visually impaired people will double in 25 years.

Visual impairment is diverse (central vision or peripheral vision only, blurred vision, etc.) and has different functional consequences in daily lives. A study made in Canada (Gold & Simson, 2005) reported that the most significant need areas are transportation and access to information. In addition, lack of services is associated with unemployment, dependency, isolation and limits on opportunities.

Assistive technologies are designed to assist visually impaired people in many different situations. In this presentation, we will give an overview of the different devices that have been designed in the last decades: artificial vision devices, sensory substitution devices, electronic travel aids, and electronic orientation aids. We will finally describe some projects that have been performed in the lab “Cherchons pour Voir”, Toulouse, FR.

Gold, D., & Simson, H. (2005). Identifying the needs of people in Canada who are blind or visually impaired: Preliminary results of a nation-wide study. International Congress Series, 1282, 139–142. doi:10.1016/j.ics.2005.05.055

Claire Rampon, HDR, Director of Research CNRS Centre de Recherches sur la Cognition Animale. Head of the Team: REMEMBER revealing memory mechanisms of the Brain, Universitatea de Toulouse, Franța.


Learning and memory: how does it work? What are the functional implications of adult hippocampal neurogenesis in these processes?

The What we know defines who we are. Therefore, a fundamental question one may ask is how are memories formed, how are they encoded and stored, sometimes for a lifetime, in the brain? Although the complexity of these processes has not yet fully been unraveled, we now have a good understanding of the cerebral regions and cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie memory processes. This summer course will provide a historical review of the discoveries that let to the identification of main forms of memories, and their neuronal substrates. Plasticity mechanisms that are required for learning and memory will be presented. Going further, we will also focus on an unprecedented discovery in recent Neurosciences : adult neurogenesis. Indeed, it is now clear that new neurons are generated throughout adult life in discrete regions of the mammalian brain, including the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. Some of these newborn neurons become integrated into pre-existing hippocampal circuits, raising the possibility that they may contribute to behaviorally relevant neuronal assemblies. Supporting this idea, an increasing number of reports using correlative and invasive approaches, indicates the existence of a functional link between hippocampal-dependent learning, memory and adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Using combinatory behavioral and anatomical experiments, we have established that adult-born neurons constitute a specific pool of cells destined to undergo activity-dependent plastic changes involved in the elaboration of neuronal networks underlying remote spatial memories in the healthy brain. Further discussion will investigatepathological situations, such as Alzheimer’s disease, where we will explore the idea that inability to acquire and store new information may be related to impaired adult hippocampal neurogenesis. The extent to which, manipulating adult neurogenesis might open new avenues for the treatment of neurodegenerative pathologies will be discussed.

Raphaël Jeanson, Chargé de recherches CNRS (CR1), HDR.  Research Group: Interindividual Variability and Emergent Plasticity - Research Centre on Animal Cognition - CNRS, Universitatea de Toulouse, Franța.


1 (Lecture) Self-organisation in insect societies.

Much of the impressive ecological success of social insects relies on a decentralized organisation. Through several examples borrowed from a variety of contexts (synchronization, aggregation, nest construction…), we will review and discuss the main ingredients and properties of self-organisation and their contribution to the organisation of insect societies.

2 (Practical course) Collective decision-making in ants.

In living in complex and fragmented environments, social insects have to achieve collective decisions to optimise the exploitation of the available resources. One major question is to determine how individuals that use simple behavioural rules based on local information collectively decide to exploit one resource among several options. To illustrate this aspect, we will perform simple experiments where ant colonies will face a choice between resources of different qualities in foraging or nest-moving contexts. We will identify and discuss which behavioural rules underlie the emergence of decision-making at the collective level.

3 (Lecture) From aggregation to division of labour: social transitions in arthropods

A central issue in the study of animal societies concerns the evolution of sociality. One question is to determine whether a new set of rules should be invoked at each social transition to account for the diversity of collective patterns described in animal societies or whether some generic mechanisms can contribute to a broad range of social organizations. We illustrate the central role of amplification processes on the emergence of new properties at the collective level and we will present empirical evidence indicating that division of labour, which is one property of advanced forms of sociality, can arise spontaneously in associations of solitary individuals.

John Francis Symons, Profesor of Philosophy, Chair of the Philosophy Departnent, University of Kansas, Lawrence, USA (video-conference).


1. An overview of the epistemology and metaphysics of mind

In this session I introduce some of the core themes in philosophy of mind since the 1960s. I will emphasize the role of conceivability in the central debates from the early 70s onwards.  We will consider the role of Kripke’s Naming and Necessity in the formation of the central problems that frame modern philosophy of mind.

In parallel, Jerry Fodor’s account of the systematicity of mind will also be discussed as an example of how philosophical methodology shapes philosophy of mind.

2.Biological thinking and the philosophy of mind

In this session we will explore the relationship between evidence drawn from biology and philosophical debates concerning the mind. What role if any does neuroscience play in the resolution of the core philosophical problems that we discussed in the first session.

We will begin by considering the science of vision and in particular the work of David Marr. His account of the visual system will serve as a test case for some of the broader considerations that we discussed in the first session.

What would a satisfactory naturalistic account of phenomenon like consciousness and intentionality look like? In this session we will examine the different ways that different constituencies demand explanations of mind and we will consider what kinds of explanations might satisfy a variety of philosophical dispositions. In some cases, philosophical demands are driven primarily by skepticism. Antinaturalistic skepticism can be safely dismissed for reasons we will discuss.

Alin Stelian Ciobică
Conf. Dr., Facultatea de Biologie, UAIC, Iași.


Although most of the neuropsychiatric disorders are specifically human pathologies, so it will not be possible to perfectly replicate on an animal the entire complex human symptomatology, the identification of the some altered molecular mechanisms and anatomical areas offers the possibility of developing valid animal models by using various methods of manipulation.

Also, another advantage of these models is represented by the fact that the usage of a living animal in the researches on human disorders will eventually lead to a better understanding of their mechanisms, without the risk of causing harm to a potential patient. Additionally, the selected animals (e.g. rat, mice) have a high taxonomic affinity with humans and therefore their reactions to a certain disease or treatment are physiologically similar to humans. In this way, the use of animals is based on a physiological and anatomical structural similarity between humans and animals. As suggested, the most widely used animal models of vertebrate species are mice and rats, as they are easy to obtain, maintain and handle.

As we will describe further, the assessment of these pathological conditions in animals can be done in several ways, including the manipulation or affecting the metabolism of the underlying central neurotransmitters, the usage of various behavioral tests, as well as by determining several biochemical parameters recognized as important markers for the above-mentioned disorders.

In this way, in the present report we will describe some animal models of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression and autism on rat that we are using in our lab, as well as the relevance of the oxidative stress status (the imbalance between reactive oxygen species and antioxidants) in this context, in both human patients and our specifically described animal models.

Dănuț Constantin Irimia
Dr. Ing. UTI Iași.

Conference GC09 – Annie Barthélémy

Prelegere GC09 - Annie Barthélémy Annie Barthélémy

Program:   05 June 2015

Philosophy Associate Professor
Doctor in Education Sciences
Honorary Associate Professor after teaching at Charles de Gaulle University of Lille and University of Savoie in Chambéry
Vice-President of the Association of Ateliers Ricoeur in Besançon

Self-acknowledgment: Self-confidence and fragility according to Paul Ricoeur

The conference aims to present to what extent the hermeneutics on which Paul Ricoeur engraves the phenomenological approach offers an original theory of the self as self-acknowledgment. It will show that this approach involves the distinction between two forms of identity (la mêmeté/sameness and l’ipséité/selfhood) and a dialectic between the self and the other. This conference will refer to the philosopher’s major work Soi-même comme un autre / Oneself as Another, published in 1990.

This collaboration will provide a basis for discussion with doctoral and postdoctoral students on their research.

Workshop formativ GC.06 – Reziliența psihologică – dimensiuni individuale și sociale

Workshop formativ GC.05 – Rezilienta psihologica – dimensiuni individuale si sociale

Program:   24-25 Aprilie 2015

Complexitatea și dinamica societății actuale confruntă indivizii și comunitățile  cu provocări ample și în cascadă. Volatilitatea contextelor socio-economice și politice, globalizarea crizelor, exacerbarea competiției pentru profit rapid în defavoarea dezvoltării  sustenabile  fac din  ambiguitate, incertitudine, risc și stres elemente definitorii ale existenței cotidiene.

Aceste circumstanțe explică de ce reziliența, definită în sens larg ca aptitudine și competență a indivizilor și sistemelor de a răspunde flexibil și adaptativ situațiilor de risc și adversitate, a devenit o temă prioritară de cercetare nu doar în domeniul psihologiei, ci și în multe alte discipline. Dar extinderea continuă a domeniului rezilienței și creșterea exponențială a studiilor și cercetărilor pe această temă devin ele însele o provocare.

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Workshop formativ GC.05 – Inovație și performanță în Societatea Cunoașterii

Workshop formativ GC.05 – Inovație și performanță în Societatea Cunoașterii

Program:   20-21 Aprilie 2015

Inovaţia și performanța reprezintă componente fundamentale ale societății bazate pe cunoaștere, fiind determinate de provocările economice, sociale şi ecologice la nivelul organizațiilor, administrațiilor locale și regionale în contextul dezvoltării durabile. Inovația nu presupune doar noi tehnologii, ci și noi forme de organizare, noi practici, noi metode de abordare a problematicii globale sau locale, implicând noi standarde de performanță.

Plasate în contextul economic şi social actual, inovaţia şi performanţa au rolul de a îmbunătăţi capacitatea de adaptare a sistemelor economice şi sociale la schimbările impuse de mediul intern şi extern.

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Workshop de evaluare 27-28 martie 2015

Workshop de evaluare  27-28 martie 2015


În perioada 27-28 martie 2015, va fi organizat cel de-al doilea workshop de evaluare din cadrul proiectului „Inovare şi dezvoltare în structurarea şi reprezentarea cunoaşterii prin burse doctorale şi postdoctorale (IDSRC – doc postdoc)”, POSDRU/159/1.5/S/133675. Deschiderea oficială va avea loc în Aula Academiei Române, Filiala Iași, începând cu ora 9,00. Workshop-ul se va desfășura în conformitate cu programul afișat (descarca PDF) .

Workshop formativ GC.13 – Perspective actuale privind dezvoltarea durabilă

Workshop formativ GC.13 – Perspective actuale privind dezvoltarea durabilă

Program:   20 Martie 2015

Sustenabilitatea este o paradigmă în care viitorul este gândit ca un echilibru între creşterea economică şi protecţia mediului şi, pe această bază, satisfacerea cerinţelor nu numai prezente, dar şi de perspectivă ale dezvoltării sociale au drept scop dezvoltarea şi îmbunătăţirea calităţii vieţii. Aceste provocări necesită o modificare a politicii industriale spre creşterea importanţei componentei sociale, de hrană şi de mediu. Progresul pozitiv înregistrat în tendinţele producţiei industriale din Uniunii Europene, precum şi scăderea unor emisii poluante dovedesc, o dată în plus, că, înalta competitivitate şi protecţie a mediului poate fi obţinută de industrie cu suportul unui mixaj adecvat de politici şi de tehnologii. Un jalon important al dezvoltării eco-bio-economiei îl reprezintă utilizarea pe scară largă a biotehnologiilor, intensificarea cercetărilor ştiinţifice în bioinginerie cu asigurarea securităţii globale a alimentului.

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Workshop formativ GC.11 – Meaning&Truth

Workshop formativ GC.11– Meaning&Truth

Program:   16 January 2015

The concepts of meaning and truth have a great philosophical importance, yet we still lack a precise understanding of them. The main aim of this workshop is to bring forward new analyses of these concepts with the help of logical and semantic instruments developed by the analytic philosophical thinking. The participants to this workshop will put forward and discuss ideas and arguments from various philosophical domains (as logic, philosophical logic, philosophy of mathematics, history and philosophy of science) which contribute to the present debate between the model-theoretical conception and the proof-theoretical conception of meaning and truth. There will be also discussed the explanatory powers of certain theories on meaning (truth-conditional and proof-conditional theories) and truth (correspondence, coherence, pragmatic and deflationary theories) in solving specific problems as: the understanding of language, the epistemic significance of deduction, the nature of modalities, the categoricity problem, the problem of logical constants, the significance of Frege’s puzzle, the knowability paradox et al.

Workshop formativ GC.10 – The Interplay between the Political and the Cultural in Globalization

Workshop formativ GC.10 - The Interplay between the Political and the Cultural in Globalization

Program:   12 December 2014

The workshop aims to bring forth some significant contributions that analyze how political and cultural elements, trends and forces are interfering in the contemporary phenomenon of globalization, which is considered to be decisive. We will start from the observation that globalization is not only the fundamental cause which determines the emergence of new realities in the two fundamental registers of human behavior, but also the effect of profound changes taking place in social, cultural and political spheres. This also means to enivisage in a dynamic perspective the economic phenomena that globalization is often reduced to, a perspective in which the economic factors are in a continuous interaction with the cultural and political ones. After all, at the end of such an analysis we might find that one of the distinguishing features of today’s globalization is precisely the impossibility to separate entirely theoretically these factors that contribute to determine a complex and continuously changing reality.

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International Conference “Humanities and Social Sciences Today. Classical and Contemporary Issues”

inscriere on-line

7-10 May 2015, Iasi, Romania
Organized by the Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch
”Gheorghe Zane” Institute for Economic and Social Research

Dialog and debate, both intra and interdisciplinary, are essential conditions for progress in science and research in general, and in humanities and social sciences in particular. The International Conference “Humanities and Social Sciences Today. Classical and Contemporary Issues” is meant to constitute an opportunity in this direction for scholars working in these disciplines. It is addressed to researchers in all fields of philosophical inquiry (from aesthetics, epistemology, ethics or philosophy of science to metaphysics, metaphilosophy, social and political philosophy, philosophy of law or philosophy of economics), other humanities (classical studies, cultural studies, history, linguistics, literature, religion) and the main social and political sciences (anthropology, communication and media studies, democratic theory, development studies, economics, education, gender studies, international relations, international political economy, law, political theory, psychology, social work, sociology and social policy).

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GC.03 Formative Workshop – Emerging Markets in Crisis Conditions

Workshop formativ GC.03 - Emerging Markets in Crisis Conditions

The current economic and geopolitical context is complex. The economic crisis, statistically complete, is about to emerge more powerfully than it did at the end of 2007. The solutions are not as expected, unidirectional. The current crisis is multi-faceted: financial, social, demographic, energetically, environmentally, of resources, spiritual. The metamorphosis and the area of manifestation of the crisis make that the well future to remain an egregore of idealists or profane. The world, as we know it, needs a major change on which the rhythm of development to be resumed. The solutions are as simple as it is difficult to be applied because globalization has economically dug deep gorges between the north and south. However, a country in the Central and Eastern Europe succeeded to look the crisis at a distance. Isolation does not exclude the manifestation of economic, social or otherwise problems. Poland, for it is spoken about, was posed in recent years, as an example of an emerging area because any system proves its effectiveness in times of crisis and not in those boosting times. Can emerging countries, especially Romania, follow a similar pattern of development? Will we see in the future the rise of the emerging countries and the real reductions in the development gap or, conversely, we will enter the third world war and we witness a struggle between ideologies, for supremacy, resources, knowledge and existence in an increasingly desecrated world?

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