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Wellcome Trust School on Biology of Social Cognition
14-21 August 2011
Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK

     Registration/application deadline:Closed

Registration for the 2013 summer school is now open, please click on the following link for further information

This week-long workshop provides intensive training in the biological underpinnings of social behavior, aimed mainly at advanced graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty. The workshop reviews the genetic, molecular, and neural factors that contribute to social behaviour as well as details emerging on analytical approaches to these topics, and discusses theoretical advances that have helped make sense of the data. The program will emphasisehuman social cognition, but will also feature comparative and evolutionary approaches. All themes will be related to the clinical consequences of dysfunctional social cognition as well as the role of translational research in these topics. Places on this workshop are limited and will be awarded on merit. Please see below for the registration and application process. 

***Please note: Limited bursaries are now available to cover up to 50% of the registration fee. See below for full application and bursary details.***

Scientific Programme Committee: 

Jason Mitchell Harvard University, USA
David Skuse University College London, UK


Confirmed Tutors include: 

Ralph Adolphs, Caltech, USA 

Dorothy Bishop, University of Oxford, UK 

Thomas Bourgeron, Institut Pasteur, France  

Thomas Bugnyar, University of Vienna, Austria 
Ian Couzin, University of Oxford, UK/ Princeton University, USA

Fiery Cushman, Brown University, USA 
Richard Ebstein, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel 

Peter Hammond, UCL Institute of Child Health, UK
Christian Keysers,
University Medicial Center Groningen, The Netherlands
Tetsuro Matsuzawa,
Kyoto University, Japan
Marcus Munafo, University of Bristol, UK
Robin Murray
Kings College London, UK
Arcadi Navarro, University of Barcelona, Spain
Trevor Robbins, University of Cambridge, UK
Barbara Sahakian, University of Cambridge, UK 
Bob Schultz, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, USA

Philip Shaw NIMH, USA 

Larry Young Emory University, USA
Jamil Zaki Harvard University, USA

Summary programme (provisional)

Monday 15 August: Introduction, Cognitive and Developmental Perspectives               

Investigating theory of mind (Jason Mitchell, Harvard University, USA)             

Empathic accuracy, social influence and altruism (Jamil Zaki, Harvard University, USA)           

Workshop: Introduction to Genomics (Arcadi Navarro, University of Barcelona, Spain)           


Tuesday 16 August: Evolution of Social Cognition and Language        

Social evolution of the chimpanzee mind (Tetsuro Matsuzawa, Kyoto University, Japan)           

Moral development (Fiery Cushman, Harvard University, USA)            

Workshop: Neuropeptides (Larry Young, Emory University, Atlanta USA)        

Workshop: Evolution of collective behaviour (Ian Couzin, University of Oxford, UK/ Princeton University, USA)                


Wednesday 17 August: The Functional Neuroanatomy of Social Behaviour                 

Functional neuroimaging of social cognition (Philip Shaw, NIMH, USA)           

Mirror neurons and the human mirror system (Christian Keysers, University of Groningen, Netherlands)             

Autism and the brain (Bob Schulz, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, USA)               


Thursday 18 August 2011: Special Topics Workshops          

Workshop: 3-D facial imaging in health and disease (Peter Hammond, University College London, UK
Workshop: ‘Social cognitions in corvids (Thomas Bugnyar, University of Vienna, Austria)         


Friday 19 August: Gene Systems                

X-linked genes and social cognition (David Skuse, University College London, UK)       

Genetics and autism (Thomas Bourgeron, Pasteur Institute, Paris, France)                 

Gene-environment interactions (Marcus Munafo, University of Bristol, UK)       

An introduction to neuroeconomics (Richard Ebstein, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel)                


Saturday 20th August: Genetic Influences/ the Amygdala     

Overlaps between autism and specific language impairment: phenomimicry or shared etiology? (Dorothy Bishop, University of Oxford, UK)    

Social cognition and major mental illness (Robin Murray, King’s College London, UK)            

Workshop: The Amygdala and social cognition (Ralph Adolphs, Caltech, USA)    

Sunday 21 August 2011: Review and Future Perspectives      
Dilemmas in the use of cognitive enhancers (Barbara Sahakian University of Cambridge)
Fronto-striatal systems and neuropsychiatric disorders (Trevor Robbins, University of Cambridge)

The programme will also feature a free afternoon with punting in Cambridge, student poster sessions and a workshop banquet at St John's College, Cambridge.


For the duration of the Wellcome Trust School on Biology of Social Cognition, accommodation, catering, and tutoring is included in the registration fee of £1,300.00. Immediate payment will be required from selected participants on receipt of a letter of invitation.

How to apply:

Please complete an application form and attach it to the Abstract Submission section during the "on-line registration". Click here to download the application form.

All applicants are also expected to provide a research abstract, which will be considered for a poster presentation by the scientific organisers. These can be emailed to The selection process will take place in June 2011, after which successful applicants will be notified immediately.

Please note: Limited bursaries are now available to cover up to 50% of the registration fee. These will be awarded on merit. Please complete the Bursary section at the end of the application form (including supervisor's section) to be considered for a bursary. 

Registration/application deadline: Closed  

Please contact with queries or for more information.




 Gibbs Building, 215 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, UK   tel:+44 (0)20 7611 8888