AnnouncementsBrain Disorders and InjuryCognitionConferenceDevelopmentEventsIntegrative Physiology and BehaviorLanguage and CommunicationMotivation and EmotionMotor SystemsNeural Excitability, Synapses, and GliaSensory Systems

ESI SyNC 2021: The Natural Brain | understanding neuronal computation in its natural habitat

August 30, 2021 – September 1, 2021

This year’s fully virtual conference will create a platform for pluralistic, interdisciplinary perspectives which aim to unify diverse ideas from different but profoundly interconnected disciplines. The goal is to promote research that attempts to study the brain as defined by neuroethological principles, taking into account ecological, rather than anthropomorphized definitions of behavior. The conference aims to explore the concept of a natural brain through different lenses: neuroscience, behavior, ecology, art.

The conference is organized by the Ernst Strüngmann Institute (ESI) for Neuroscience in Cooperation with Max Planck Society and will include several live talks, poster sessions, and an art screening.

Confirmed Speakers
Elizabeth Buffalo (University of Washington)
Catherine Carr (University of Maryland)
Uri Hasson (Princeton)
Benjamin Hayden (University of Minnesota)
David Leopold (NIMH)
Mackenzie Mathis (EPFL)
Orit Peleg (University of Colorado Boulder)
Nachum Ulanovsky (Weizmann Institute of Science)
Martin Wikelski (Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior)
And a special screening and talk by the artist Jenna Sutela who works with words, sounds, and other living media, including bacteria and the “many-headed” slime mold. Her audiovisual pieces, sculptures, and performances seek to identify and react to precarious social and material moments, often in relation to technology.

You can register here for the conference:
Registration deadline is August 15, 2021. There is no registration fee.

Abstract Submission for ESI DataBlitz
10 min. talk + 10 min. Q&A session = ESI DataBlitz
Abstracts are submitted upon registration for the conference or as PDF by email to Each participant is allowed to submit one abstract as first author. Once selected, the participant will be asked to prepare and submit a short 10-minute talk (a DataBlitz), with an additional 10 minute Q&A session. Selected abstracts and talk contributions will be published via the online platform of the virtual conference and will be accessible for all registered participants.

Submission deadline is July 15, 2021.

Abstract Format
Abstracts for the ESI DataBlitz should aim to be 300 words. This doesn’t include title, authors, and affiliations. Abstracts should contain an introduction, methods and results sections, and a conclusion, highlighting the significance, novelty, and relevance to the topic of The Natural Brain. All abstracts must be submitted in final form.

Abstract Review
The Abstract Review Committee reviews and rates all submitted abstracts. Reviewers are chosen according to their expertise matching the topic of the submitted abstract.

Key dates
• 15 July 2021: Poster submission deadline
• 15 August 2021: Conference registration deadline
• 30 August 2021: ESI SyNC starts!

Stay posted
Follow ESISyNC on Twitter @esisync2021
Check our website


Organizing Committee
Pascal Fries | Iuliia Glukhova | Verena Haas | Sophie Hamkens | Katharina Hempel | Jovana Maksic | David Poeppel | Wolf Singer | Robert Taylor | Julia Trommershäuser | Renata Vajda

For the previous ESI SyNC edition, we refer you to:

Event URL: ESI SyNC 2021