Connecting European Neuroscience

Cellular mechanisms and networks in addiction

29 May - 4 June 2016, Bertinoro, Italy



Current models of addiction are converging on the idea that aberrant function and remodeling of neural circuits cause the compulsive drug use despite negative consequences, which defines the disease. According to this hypothesis, drug reward, negative affect, or stress would trigger specific forms of synaptic plasticity, which in susceptible subjects would become persistent. The course will review the arguments in favor of abnormal neuronal plasticity underlying addiction. The techniques necessary to achieve a comprehensive description of the relevant functional neuroanatomy will be presented. A special emphasis will be on the design of experiments that aim at establishing causality within genetically trackable circuit components. The course will conclude by lectures on translational studies to leave the students with information converging a broad spectrum of addiction research and a long list of open questions.

Scientific chairs


Invited faculty

Damiaan Denys (Academisch Medisch Centrum (AMC), The Netherlands), Nelly Allia-Klein (Hess Center for Science and Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, USA), Boris Gutkin (Group for Neural Theory, Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives, Ecole Normale Supérieure, France), Patricia Janak (Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, Johns Hopkins, USA) Manuel Mameli (INSERM, Institut du fer á Moulin, France), Trevor Robbins (Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge UK) Marina Wolf (Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, USA)  

Download the preliminary programme here:  

Registration and stipends

  • Fee: FENS Members: 495 EUR
             FENS Non-members: 575 EUR
  • Registration fee covers tuition, accommodation and meals.
  • FENS offers a number of stipends (covering the registration fee) available for candidates from disadvantaged countries. Any applicant in need of a grant should however first try to request it from the lab, institution or government if possible.Once an applicant has been accepted to the school, the available grants will be provided on the basis of need.


Bertinoro, Training Center of the University of Bologna, Italy









For enquiries, please contact:



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The students' perspective

The students who attended the FENS-SfN Summer School 2015 on Shared mechanisms and specifity in neurodegenerative diseases (7-13 June 2015, Bertinoro, Italy), tell you about their experience:

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Interview with Roger Barker

Prof. Roger Barker, one of the faculty members at the FENS SfN Summer School 2015 on Shared mechanisms and specificity in neurodegenerative diseases, explains his views on the school and shares his experience in this interview.

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