II CINET International Workshop

Synchrony in the brain: time, consciousness and life


The second edition of the CINET international workshop aims to promote the interdisciplinary dialogue on synchrony as an essential feature to understand the brain, its relationship with consciousness, and the development of mental life. As many topics laying in the intersection of disciplines, synchrony has a conceptual multilayered structure: superficially, it is easily understood as mere simultaneity or temporal correlation; however, more deeply, current physics views synchrony as a controversial topic between the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics, and philosophy exposes pure simultaneity as a mental abstraction outside the physical world. Besides, synchrony is a unique paradigmatic case to explore causation in the nervous system and its relationship with mental activity, moving beyond efficient causes and allowing a reinterpretation of material, formal and final causes. Current neurobiological and philosophical theories of consciousness rely on different understandings of synchrony to explain the possibility of brain-world interaction and the continuity of mental life. In turn, the disruption of brain synchrony at various scales may be crucial to understand certain mental and brain disorders from a holistic perspective. Moreover, the development of a human being, from its earliest stages to the consolidation of their personal identity, is a diachronic process where a plethora of processes are synchronically organized to act as a whole. In this context, the different organic levels of memory may be also reinterpreted under the scope of synchrony.

From May 26 to 28, 2023, in Ávila (Spain), CINET will gather world-leading interdisciplinary researchers in order to discuss these topics and explore future lines of collaboration. From 2023 to 2025, the CINET network of researchers will be carrying out the project “SYNCHRONY”, whose main objective is to shed new light on the understanding of brain and mental function, and on the process of life itself, throughout an interdisciplinary reflection on the concept of synchrony.