Stanford Scholar opens PSU International Forum, Raises Discussion

How does our brain look, when making social-based, moral decisions? Can we speak of morality if we mention animals, let’s say, rats? May we introduce the holy commandments into such tests, and why?

Today, the International Forum “Science and Global Challenges of the 21st Century” started at Perm State University, uniting PSU scholars with those national and international ones, aiming to incorporate cross-discipline research, smart technologies and innovations into pragmatic, problem-applied decisions.

At the start of the Forum, the opening report “Manipulation of Brain States” by Dr. Luis de Lecea, Stanford University School of Medicine (Stanford, USA) was presented to on- and offline audience.

Concentrating on a problem of brain cells manipulation within the optogenetics’ approach, Dr. Luis de Lecea drew on the example of a rat leaving a ‘safe’ dark chamber into ‘unsafe’ light. Along the use of a neuron signal, the rat learned to ‘calm down’ its neighbor locked in a shadow zone, causing less stress for both and heading to a more balanced co-existence, establishing ‘moral’ principles of behavior. 

The test raised discussion among the audience. First, a definition of morals and its division from a mere instinct was requested. Then, the question of a goal/hypothesis of such experiment was asked. Finally, Dr. Oleg Pensky, Professor of the IT Department, PSU proposed assimilation of commandments, shared by believers and regarded as true morals, to be introduced into the experiment.      

Technically, optogenetics is known as a biological tool that involves light to control neurons that have been genetically modified to express light-sensitive ion channels in living tissue and, remarkably, within freely-moving animals. The appearance of additional philosophical notions, such as understanding, compassion, or morals brings a new dimension into a strictly ‘natural’ academic approach.   

Optogenetics had been previously announced by academic research journals as a breakthrough in science. On the clinical side, optogenetics-driven research led to insights into Parkinson’s disease and other neurological and psychiatric disorders, including autism, Schizophrenia, drug abuse, anxiety, and depression, and more – like experimental treatment for blindness.

Meet PSU Scholars Through Springer Publications!

Interested in international science and research? Ever thought of studying in Russia, or collaborating with Russian colleagues? Looking for relevant phenomena to explore, or make money from?  

Students, scholars, teaching fellows are getting ready for the start of the international forum “The Science and Global Challenges in the 21st Century“, taking place on 18 October23 November at Perm State University (Perm, Russia). 

The Forum is an international event aiming to comprehend the tasks and problems faced by science and education, as well as the society in general – within the context of globalization, proposing solutions, targets and opportunities, regarding possible challenges and risk management. The Forum scholars aim to form end-to-end innovation chains, enabling fundamental and applied research, technology development, practical applications and widespread use of IT.

For the Forum, an impressive set of 99 reports have been published under the Springer series “Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies”. The Forum proceedings, with a full translation into English, cover all the disciplines studied at 12 PSU Faculties, and beyond.

The “Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies” book series publish research on such topics as knowledge, intelligence, innovation and sustainability – solving global problems in industry, ecology and society. The publication addresses the challenge of modern science and humanities, technology and business – revealing common challenges, looking for intelligent tools of their resolution.

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