3rd IFM Colloquium 'From Neural Dysfunction to Mental Illness'

A review written by Olivia Engmann, Silvina Diaz and Sebastian Fernandez

« On the morning of October 26 2012, a crowd of brain enthusiasts decided to interrupt their rocket science to educate themselves on psychiatric diseases by joining the colloquium organized by young researchers of our institute, the INSERM Fer à Moulin.

The theatre was packed, with roughly 180 persons registered. Some post-docs had even arrived from tropical places such as Turkey and South London. They were not disappointed. The speakers were an international mixture of high ranking experts in the field, and offered us the latest findings reaching from adult neurogenesis to the neural basis of impulsivity and depression. During the coffee and lunch breaks, students from Tours had the chance to mingle with researchers from Yale or Columbia University in a lively conversation on the brain, science in France and psychotic mice. We directly applied our knowledge acquired from the lectures that chronic stress is a predictor for depression and enjoyed the colloquium in a relaxed and productive athmosphere.

The talks did not only fill our neuronal networks with hardcore information on molecular pathways, but we also learned about the philosophical implications of obsessive-compulsive disorder and why the lawn is kept so short in England. Towards the evening the speakers and organizers continued their discussion over dinner on a bateau on the Seine, while the rest of the crowd consolidated their new memories over drinks at the ENP welcome party. I believe this colloquium was a great opportunity for the French neuroscientist community to create international contacts and to make ourselves known in the rest of Europe and the world. As the attendance was free and the feedback positive, we are looking forward to an equally vibrant and interesting colloquium in 2013  we hope to see you there! »