Mind Over Matter: Neurosciences

Sunday | March 29th 2020

The path to understanding one of humanity’s greatest mysteries is long, and it’s far from over – what makes us human? The importance we attach to our emotions? Consciousness and rationality? Or the mere ability to read and understand a sentence just like this one? This is one of the many questions that science attempts to answer and that push our curiosity to its limit.

On the last day of the 11th edition of AIMS Meeting, we aim to understand what truly commands who we are and the way we act. If you still doubt that the most fascinating machine that exists lives within you, the Neurosciences module comes to show you how knowledge about brain functioning is one of the main engines for evolution, bringing the expression “Mind Over Matter” to life.

Sponsored by:

José Obeso, MD, PhD

Director of the A.C.HM CINAC. Integral Neurosciences Center; Principal Investigator in CIBERNED; Full Professor of Neurology in CEU-San Pablo University.


Prof. José Obeso is the director of the Neuroscience centre (CINAC) in Madrid, professor of Neurology in CEU-San Pablo University and Principal Investigator of a CIBERNED group. He is also Editor in Chief of the Movement Disorders Journal, the leading publication in the field of Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders. Moreover, Professor Obeso has been elected to occupy the Neurology chair of the National Academy of Medicine of Spain, and awarded “doctor of the year” by the ABC daily newspaper. Having written more than 300 research papers on the pathophysiology and treatment of levodopa induced dyskinesias and Parkison’s disease, Professor Obeso aims to unravel the morphological, biochemical and physiological changes that make neurons vulnerable to death and how to reverse this process, finding ways to not only control symptoms but also stop Parkinson’s disease progression. He has been a pioneer in the development of the ‘Continuous ­­­­­­Dopaminergic Stimulation’ concept for Parkinson’s and has played a significant role in the recent revitalising of surgical treatments for said illness.

Anil Seth, PhD

Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at Sussex University; Co-Director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science; Editor-in-Chief of the Neuroscience of Consciousness.


Anil Seth is a Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at Sussex University, where he is also Co-Director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, one of the leading research groups in this field. Professor Seth is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Neuroscience of Consciousness, a journal of Oxford Academic, and a regular contributor to the New Scientist, The Guardian and BBC. He has edited and co-authored the best selling book 30 second Brain (2014) and was consultant for Eye Benders (2013), which won the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize in 2014. In 2017, Professor Anil was president of the Psychology Section of the British Science Association. His research is guided by powerful multidisciplinary work across fields like mathematics, psychiatry, neurology and artificial intelligence, through which he aims to understand the complex brain networks underpinning consciousness into new clinical approaches and neurological disorders from psychosis to Tourette syndrome and, all in all, unraveling the mystery of where does our consciousness lie.

Rosalind Picard, SC.D, FIEEE

Founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group at MIT; Co-director of the Media Lab’s Advancing Wellbeing Initiative; Co-founder of Affectiva, Inc. and Empatica, Inc.


Professor Rosalind Picard is founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), co-founder of Affectiva, Inc., a company that provides emotion AI technology, and Empatica, Inc., that create sensors and algorithms to improve health. Empatica created the first AI-based smart watch cleared by FDA in Neurology, which uses advanced machine learning to detect generalized tonic-clonic seizures and immediately notify caregivers, in order to prevent SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy). Professor Picard has published over 300 scientific articles and is the recipient of inumerous prizes and honors, such as “Best paper of the decade 2000-2009” by IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems. In 2015 she was named by CNN one of seven “Tech SuperHeros to Watch in 2015”. She is also a recently elected member to the National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest professional distinctions for engineering. Her research work has contributed to show how computers can be more emotionally intelligent, especially responding to a person’s frustration in a way that reduces negative feelings, among other technologies that aim to restore a proper balance between emotion and cognition for addressing human needs.

Scientific Committee

Cristina Sampaio, MD, PhD
Tiago Outeiro, PhD
Luísa Lopes, PhD

Chief Medical Officer at CHDI Foundation, Princeton, EUA.

Full Professor of Aggregopathies, Director of the Department of Neurodegeneration and Restaurative Research at University Medizin Gottingen;  Professor of Neurodegeneration at Newcastle University.

Group Leader at iMM Lisboa; Associate Professor (guest) at Faculty of Medicine of Lisbon