Ararat in the clouds

  Looking Back at Mount Ararat:

  Diversity and cross-Fertilization among Approaches to Memory

  April 5-10, 2010
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Noah's ark
Since we descended from mount Ararat 4314 years ago (or was it 5546?) our memories have been sometimes painful, often imprecise*, occasionally outright false, but overall remarkably articulate.

Yet only recently our understanding of memory functions in humans – and in other species – has significantly advanced. Scientific research has been pursued along several approaches, including in vivo neurophysiological recording of neural activity, lesion and genetic manipulation studies, functional imaging, experimental psychology, comparative / evolutionary psychology and neural computation.

Although these approaches are discussed in great depth and sometimes contrasted with each other at several meetings, there are limited opportunities for students as well as for established researchers to confront their combined theoretical challenges, especially those implied by their mutually contradictory findings. Under the symbolic shadow of Mount Ararat, we have tackled such challenges, by bringing together
inquisitive students and advanced researchers for a two-component, one-week event.
* for example, most of us remember the Ark to be a huge elongated vessel; yet the instructions Atram-Hasis appears to have been given, according to a recent report, were to build a circular reed raft. It remains entirely possible that those instructions were incorrectly stored, or only partially retrieved, or even that Noah embellished the story when scooping Atram-Hasis for early publication.
convened by
Onur Güntürkün (Bochum)
Avetis Sadoyan (Yerevan)
Alessandro Treves (SISSA)

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SISSA logo first published September 27, 2009