The inaugural lecture at the Canis Majoris Foundation’s Elena Pessino Center for Cultural Diffusion

On 24 January the inaugural lecture at the Canis Majoris Foundation’s Elena Pessino Center for Cultural Diffusion was a keynote lecture given by our distinguished guest, the renowned neurobiologist Giacomo Rizzolatti, professor at the University of Parma and recipient of the Principe de Asturias Award, world-renowned for his discovery of “mirror neurons.”

 

“Profesor Giacomo Rizzolatti”

Professor Rizzolatti spent the morning visiting the Elena Pessino Laboratory for Neurosciences of Mental Illness, located in the Parque Científico de Madrid (Science Park of Madrid), where he met with the Director of the Laboratory, Doctor Raúl Alelú and his staff, Dr. Ariel Cariaga and Don Killian Gutiérrez, where the professor was informed of the research being carried out along with their latest findings which  the  professor praised the research and showed interest in establishing future collaboration agreements.

 

The Conference was held at the Ateneo de Madrid in the afternoon at 7pm and was presented by Elena Pessino, Honorary President of the Canis Majoris Foundation, and Dr. Raúl Alelú, Director of the Foundation and the Elena Pessino Laboratory for Neurosciences of Mental Illness.

The title of the conference “A neural mechanism for understanding others” refers to a type of neuron that is activated when an action is executed and when that same action is observed to be executed by another individual. They mimic individual neurons as “reflecting” the action of another. Professor Rizzolatti and his team discovered these neurons in 1996 following an experiment on monkeys in order to study neurons specialized in the control of hand movements.

After the lecture, Professor Rizzolatti responded to numerous questions from the public and addressed the various implications of his discovery where he especially emphasized the role of these neurons for learning and for social interaction, through imitation and empathy in disorders such as autism or practical application in areas such as rehabilitation.

The Canis Majoris Foundation presented a commemorative plaque to Professor Rizzolatti in appreciation for his scientific contributions in the field of neuroscience and also for his participation in the inaugural lecture of the Elena Pessino Center for Cultural diffusion.

Acknowledgment to:

Grupo de Investigación de Neurociencia Clínica de Madrid (GINC)

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