Center for Neurophilosophy and Ethics of Neurosciences

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Seminars and lectures in winter term 2017/18


This seminar is based on the book Neuroethics (Cambridge, 2010) by Martha Farah. We will intensively discuss diverse topics such as "Brain Enhancement", "Brains and Persons", "Authenticity", "Neuroscience and Justice" and "Brainreading". For this we will also take into account recent development in the neurosciences.
Participants are expected to read texts written in English. Otherwise the seminar is also suited for beginners.

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Stephan Sellmaier
Dates: Every other/second Tuesday: 17. Oct, 31. Oct; 14. Nov, 28. Nov; 12. Dec; 9. Jan, 23. Jan; 6. Feb
Time: 9-13 ct.
Place: Biocenter Martinsried (Großhaderner Str. 2), GSN Room


Memory - An Interdisciplinary Study

The aim of this seminar is to look at the biology, psychology and philosophy of memory in general, and try to connect the three domains in a fruitful way. A general question that will play an important role is that of what memory actually is and how to study it. Here are some suggestions for possible topics (which should by no way be limited to only these topics):

  • Neurobiology:
    neural basis (LTP/LTD/STDP, (re)consolidation), neural circuits and larger brain areas involved in memory, behavioral studies (conditioning in neuroscience, neuroimaging, can we study forgetting)
  • Psychology:
    types/classifications and evidence for them (declarative/non-declarative, explicit/implicit), memory and other cognitive aspects (how are emotions ‘remembered’, memory and metamemory), views on memory (behaviorism, constructivism, cognitivism), errors/dysfunctions (false memory, PTSD, types of amnesia)
  • Philosophy:
    metaphysics (traces, causal/simulational, truth, intentional objects), personal identity (classical vs. modern accounts), social aspects (extended/external memory, collective memory, social identity), epistemology (skepticism, preservation/ generation), ethics (obligations to remember/forget, memory manipulation and the law)

Which topics will actually be discussed depends on the individual interests and suggestions of the participants. Students from biology, psychology, philosophy and of course other related areas (such as sociology, medicine, law) are welcome to this course. Ideally, we will have students from each of these domains who represent their own field. However, it is expected that students present their ideas in a way that others can understand it, i.e. thinking outside the box of their own field will be essential.

If all participants speak German and want to, the course can be conducted in German; otherwise it will be in English.

Lecturers: Prof. Dr. Stephan Sellmaier, in cooperation with Urim Retkoceri
Time: Thursdays, 14-16 ct.
Place: LMU Main Building in MKE (Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1), Room M 210