May 5

BICNIC Retreat

Brain Imaging Center Frankfurt and NeuroImaging Center Mainz joint retreat.

4:00 pm16:00

Colloquium Talk by The Neuroskeptic. "Neuroskepticism: how to think about the brain" @ SH 5.104

We are in the middle of a neuroscience boom. There are more neuroscientists working today than ever before. More papers have been published about the brain in the past 15 years, than in all previous years put together. Yet this explosion of interest in the brain has been accompanied by the growth of neuro-myths. Misunderstandings and simplistic accounts of the brain abound in popular culture and, sometimes, in neuroscience itself. Given this, there has never been more need for a skeptical attitude towards brain claims. Neuroskepticism doesn't mean ignoring or rejecting neuroscience but rather, it means taking it seriously and critically, in context. In this talk I'll explain my perspective on neuroskepticism and how it can help neuroscience.

Neuroskeptic is a British neuroscientist who has been blogging about the brain for eight years. His pseudonymous blog ( is hosted by Discover Magazine; he also writes for PLoS Blogs.

2:00 pm14:00

LabMeeting - Guest Talk by Matthias Scharinger (MPI Aesthetics) "Predictions and omissions during sentence processing: Neurobiological evidence for interacting effects"

Sentences provide contexts that allow for top-down predictions. These predictions may modulate earlier processing steps, but may also counter-act possible signal degradations. In a series of two experiment, I show how speech sound omissions within sentence-contexts interact with the predictiveness of these contexts. The results of these studies shed new light on the way humans understand and perceive incomplete speech, originating from either signal distortion (omissions and reductions during conversational speech) or intentional, aesthetic modulations (ellipses).