In order to acquire and shape knowledge we need to receive and create information, and for these processes we have a machine – which we call cognitive – which is made up of various receptor systems and a central device: the brain. Science has enabled us to unravel many of the elements that take part in this process – from the nature of the signals we receive from the outside and the mechanisms of transduction, transmission and neural processing of these signals, to the way in which the brain builds images, sounds, feelings, emotions and knowledge.
These are the key concepts we will be covering on this summer course of the University of the Basque Country. We will explore these processes over several different sessions, focusing especially on the way in which we perceive and process smells, music, art and language, which are essential parts of human emotions and knowledge. And we will finish by analysing the limits imposed on human knowledge as a result of the studied phenomena.
The course, which is promoted by the Chair of Scientific Culture of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and Ikerbasque Foundation, will take place at Miramar Palace in San Sebastián, from 10 to 12 July, with the following programme:
Fernando Cossío (Faculty of Chemistry, UPV/EHU; San Sebastián): Introduction: A Journey Through Matter
Joaquín Sevilla (Public University of Navarre, Pamplona): The Nature of Light and Sound
Xabier López (DIPC and Faculty of Chemistry, UPV/EHU; San Sebastián): The Light in your Eyes: The Receptor Molecule
Miren Bego Urrutia (Faculty of Science and Technology, UPV/EHU; Leioa): From the Senses to the Brain: Transducers
Antonio Martínez Ron (Next, Vozpópuli; Madrid): The Journey of Light
José Ramón Alonso (Faculty of Biology, University of Salamanca; Salamanca): From Floating Molecules to Uncontrolled Emotions
Almudena Martín Castro (Faculty of Sciences, UNED; StyleSage; Madrid): Music, Physics and Meaning
Clara Martin (BCBL, Ikerbasque; San Sebastián): The Electric Brain Perceives Language
Itziar Laka (Faculty of Arts, UPV/EHU; Vitoria): Condemned to Sense
Deborah García Bello (Dimetilsulfuro; A Coruña): The Significance of Materials in Contemporary Art
Luís Martínez (Institute of Neuroscience of Alicante, CSIC-Miguel Hernández University; Alicante): The Recreative Mind
Juan Ignacio Pérez (Faculty of Science and Technology, UPV/EHU): The Limits of Knowledge