Science Argentina , Argentina, Tuesday, April 17 of 2018, 07:27

The first Argentine Platform of Cognitive Neurosciences and Behavioral Sciences was launched

The PENCO assembles more than fifty professionals who work on this interdisciplinary area

CONICET/DICYT The initiative, which aims at boosting the collaboration between researchers of the interdisciplinary area linked to the cognition brain basis, was presented at the event attended by the president of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), Alejandro Ceccatto; the researcher and general coordinator of the Argentine Platform for Cognitive Neurosciences and Behavior Sciences (PENCO), Agustín Ibáñez; and more than fifty members of the Platform.


“I became interested in this subject with artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology and men-machine interaction, which has an unavoidable future in science”, Ceccatto said to the PENCO members. Then, he added “Since 2000, the studies on brain have had a great impact on science from the research on convergent technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology and the TIC’s. One of the main strengths of this platform is its interdisciplinary character, which is a world trend.”


For Ibáñez, “this platform brings together those who want to prove the working of the brain and those who want to understand it. The goal is to take the sciences of the mind, the brain and behavior out of the laboratory, thus fostering the communication between disciplines with broad horizon. When the mind sciences discuss with other disciplines, they can provide concrete solutions for people’s lives. On the whole, we are divided into seven areas which include Education, Development and vulnerability; Extension, academy and society; Philosophy and Ethics; Infrastructure and equipment; Translational neuroscience; Health; and Modeling and Cognitive Technology, an area which is going to lead us to a strong automation of several processes.” During the meeting, the atendees also agreed with the need to make the platform promote research, services to third parties and transference.


The PENCO members divided their tasks into the seven already mentioned areas. The platform is aimed at forming a space for the coordination of skills, debates between the different approaches, the generation of proposals to consolidate the field and the relationship with the areas interested in different sectors such as health, education, technology and development, among others. The PENCO is going to seek to promote research, interdisciplinary integration, the development of technology and movement of cognitive, emotional and social neuroscience, and the behavior sciences through concrete actions and platforms from the dissemination and the growth of regional expertise. The news of the PENCO Platform will be published within a microsite in CONICET.


What is the PENCO?


The Argentine Platform for Cognitive Neurosciences and Behavior Sciences (PENCO) is going to study the processes behind cognition –speaking, thinking, reasoning, problem solving-, of the effects, behavior and social interactions. The focus is always on the brain or the cognitive basis of the mental processes.


Despite the fact that this topic has been quite popular in the last two decades, the studies of this topic are dispersed. The reason for this is its interdisciplinary character (Cognitive Neuroscience oriented to humans does not manage to fit in traditional themes) and the fact that there are not initiatives that boost the development of multi site studies or multilateral research projects (what reduces the empowerment and maximization of research resources). Besides, so far, there was no entity in charge of providing visibility, supporting multilateral programs or strengthening research in this area.


In order to promote the growth of the initiatives that encourage the collaboration between researchers of the area in projects related to basic, applied and translational science, this Platform provides identity and visibility to the study of this interdisciplinary area. The idea is to enhance the collaborations between work groups, thus generating a larger impact on the society and the scientific community.