Brain event

Serial Matters

Building on swissnex’s successful 2009/2010 event series on light, our 2010/2011 season introduces two new series: the brain and mind, and gaming.

Brain and Mind

As science discovers more and more about how the brain functions, it uncovers deepening questions about the mind. How does understanding the mechanisms of decision-making change the concept of free will, for example? To dissect these ideas, our series pairs the latest in neuroscience with research in philosophy, psychology, linguistics, history, and art. The journey will take us from the secrets of sleep to brain computer interfaces to out-of-body experience and even the sound of neurons firing. Look for the brain icon on our event page.

June 4, 2010 – The Secrets of Sleep: Science and Philosophy

Sleep scientist Mehdi Tafti, of the University of Lausanne, meets historian Willis Regier, Director of the University of Illinois Press, to discuss how sleep affects brain function and how lack of sleep can influence the mind.

October 26, 2010 – This is Your Brain on Brain Date

Brain Date is a brain computer interface (BCI) game inspired by speed-dating in which willing participants don electrodes to measure brain activity. Next, they try to match up brain waves using thought alone.

February, 2011  – The Brain and the Self

We look in the mirror and see our own reflection yet somehow understand that our physical body lies on this side of the glass. Olaf Blanke studies out-of-body experiences as a means of determining where—and how—the brain recognizes the self. And what can we learn about self-conciousness through artists’ portraiture?

March, 2011 – Emotional Response

Advertisements, rousing speeches, music, faces. Emotional fodder is everywhere. Didier Grandjean, a professor of Neuropsychology of Emotion and Affective Neurosciences at the University of Geneva, relays how emotions are read and how the brain acts on emotion.



We’ve come a long way from PONG. These days, video games—from MMOs (massively multiplayer online) to Wii to Farmville—are practically everywhere. And gaming is getting serious, with applications for healthcare and office productivity becoming common. Gaming has even eclipsed film as the highest grossing sector of the entertainment industry and now employs scores of artists, architects, designers, and more creating new digital worlds. Coinciding with the launch of the GameCulture program from the Swiss Arts Council, Pro Helvetia, we investigate the growing relevance of gaming in contemporary technology, society, art, and economics. Check back soon for schedule and details. Look for the gaming icon on our event page.