Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Vittorio Gallese, Felicity Callard, Alva Noë

Vittorio Gallese is Professor of Physiology at the University of Parma with appointments in the departments of neuroscience, psychiatry and psychology. His research investigates the brain mechanisms underlying social cognition, in particular empathy and its role in aesthetic experience. Gallese is one of the discoverers of mirror neurons and remains a main contributor to research on this key finding in cognitive neuroscience and to the interpretation of its implications in a variety of domains and disciplines, for example in his recent book, The Birth of Intersubjectivity: Psychodynamics, Neurobiology, and the Self (with Massimo Ammaniti, W.W. Norton, 2014). Professor Gallese also holds an appointment as professor in Experimental Aesthetics at the University of London, where he is researching the neural basis of aesthetic experience.

Felicity Callard is Professor in Social Science for Medical Humanities at Durham University, UK. Her research sits at the intersection of the social sciences and the humanities and specifically addresses twentieth- and twenty-first century psychiatry, psychology, psychoanalysis and cognitive neuroscience. She has a strong interest in practices, epistemologies and histories of interdisciplinarity, as manifested in her co-authored, Open Access book, Rethinking Interdisciplinarity across the Social Sciences and Neurosciences (Palgrave, 2015). From October 2014 to December 2016, Callard was Director of Hubbub – the first interdisciplinary residency of the Hub at Wellcome Collection – where she led a team of scientists, artists, humanists, clinicians, public health experts and public engagement professionals, who explored states of rest and its opposites in mental health, cognitive neuroscience, the arts and the everyday.

Alva Noë is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is also a member of the Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences and the Center for New Media. He works on the nature of mind and human experience, insisting on the embodied nature of cognition and the enactive nature of interactions between body, mind and world. He is the author of Action in Perception (MIT Press, 2004), Out of Our Heads (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2009), Varieties of Presence (Harvard University Press, 2012), and Strange Tools (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015). He has been philosopher-in-residence with The Forsythe Company and has also collaborated with a number of dance artists. Alva Noë is a 2012 recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and a former fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He is a weekly contributor to National Public Radio’s science blog 13.7: Cosmos and Culture.