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Obedience and mysteries of the healthy brain

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21 May 2019




21:00 (more or less) 

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KFK hope

Rue des poissoniers 21 1000 Bruxelles

No wheelchair access






The brain works in mysterious ways but what exactly happens in there? How can we explain our actions? How can we influence the actions of someone else? What happens at the cellular level? Come and discover with us how scientists try to answer these questions.

The obedient brain

Emilie Caspar

Scientific Collaborator

Research Centre of Cognition and Neurosciences (CRNC), ULB

As Howard Zinn wrote: “Historically, the most terrible things -war, genocide, and slavery- have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience.” Of course, societies need hierarchical institutions and without a strict organisation in which citizens follow the rules mandated by the society, humans would not have achieved such degree of massive networking and organisation. But the dark side results in societies being able to orchestrate the annihilation of entire populations. How to explain that so many people accept to follow orders of an authority when these orders involve the loss of innumerable lives, the loss of entiere civilizations?

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Fruit flies look more like us than you think

Patrik Verstreken

Principal Investigator, ERC Grantee

VIB- KU Leuven

Our brain is a fascinating organ, capable or forming memories, producing thought, coordinating our behavior. This is an extremely complex process still not entirely understood. Many organisms have a brain, also fruit flies, and what is exciting is that many of the processes that occur in our brains are also at play in a fruit flies’ brain. Deciding to eat or sleep, finding the motivation to take complicated actions, learning to avoid hazardous situations, flight in three dimensions, mating rituals or defending a source of food, their brains do it all. I'll discuss how researchers use fruit flies to understand better humans brain functions.

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