Keynote Lecturers (accepted so far):
  • Annamaria Berti (University of Turin)
  • Olaf Blanke (EPFL, Lausanne)
  • Anjan Chatterjee (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Anthony Chemero (University of Cincinnati)

Kate JefferyKate Jeffery (University College London): “How environmental movement constraints shape the neural code for space“. Kate Jeffery is a neuroscientist researching how the brain makes an internal representation of space, the so-called “cognitive map”, which it can use for navigation. She studied medicine originally, and as a student became interested in the question of how the brain makes “knowledge” using neurons. After qualification she embarked upon a research career to investigate this question by studying the activity of a class of brain cells called place cells, which seem to form the core of a place-knowledge system used for both navigation and memory. Her current research focuses on how the brain represents complex space, with a particular focus on two main issues: three dimensional space, and the internal “sense of direction”. She heads the Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences at UCL, and is co-director of the electrophysiology company Axona Ltd, which makes high-density recording systems for behavioural neuroscientists. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and Fellow and Vice-President of the Royal Institute of Navigation.


  • Toru Ishikawa (INIAD Toyo University)
  • Marko Nardini (Durham University)

Barry Smith (University of Buffalo): “The Natural, Cultural, Cognitive and Social Niches of Human Activity“. Barry Smith is one of the most widely cited contemporary philosophers and a prominent contributor to both theoretical and applied research in ontology. He is Director of the National Center for Ontological Research at the University at Buffalo, where he holds appointments in the Departments of Philosophy, Biomedical Informatics, Neurology, and Computer Science. Currently he is also Visiting Professor at the Università della Svizzera italiana in Lugano. He was awarded the Wolfgang Paul Prize of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the inaugural Paolo Bozzi Prize for Ontology from the University of Turin. In 2014 he was elected Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics. Smith is well known in the spatial informatics field through a series of papers he published in the 1990s on geospatial ontology and (with Achille Varzi) on fiat boundaries and on the ontology of the niche. Since 2005, he has played a leadership role in ontology-driven initiatives to create and manage large annotated data repositories, initially in the field of biomedicine, now also in areas such as manufacturing, defense, and intelligence. Recently, the ontological methods developed by Smith have been codified by the International Standards Organization and the International Electrotechnical Commission as ISO/IEC 21838.


  • Alexander Stahn (Center for Space Medicine and Extreme Environments, Berlin)

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