The KLI Labs provide an experimental space for alternative formats such as dissussion platforms, practice talks, feedback rounds for manuscript drafts, reading clubs, etc. 

Event Details

Altenberg Workshop
Sociocultural EvoDevo: Cultural Neurobiological Inheritance Systems (CNIS)
41st Altenberg Workshop in Theoretical Biology
2024-06-18 12:00 - 2024-06-21 12:00
Organized by Isabella Sarto-Jackson & Daniel O. Larson

The purpose of the proposed Workshop is to bring together a group of internationally recognized scholars to discuss the prospect of developing a Unified Science of Human Behavior. Representatives from multiple fields including neurobiology, anthropology, evolutionary developmental biology, social psychology and human development will be invited to participate in focused discussions on topics that challenge the individual scholar as well as the scientific community collectively.  We will explore what possible role each of these fields might play in an interdisciplinary effort to build a comprehensive theory of human behavior grounded in a Sociocultural EvoDevo framework.  Specifically, the group will explore crosstalk between biological and cultural factors that become manifested in the individual brain development, neural wiring, neurochemical homeostasis, and behavior. We will focus on the potential value of collaborative research designed to probe the integrative dynamics of cultural context, neuroplasticity, learning, memory, neurotransmitters and emotions. This evaluation may be key to operationalizing a Unified Theory of proximate and ultimate causes of human behavioral expressions.  Indeed, the group will consider exactly how we might bridge disciplines in unique ways to shape conceptual innovations, pose hypothesis testing programs, structure interdisciplinary research designs and employ advanced methods and technologies.  In this era of intra-disciplinary specialization, these kinds of integrative issues are seldom explored with any rigor.  Therefore, we anticipate the scholarly evaluations to be undertaken during the proposed Workshop will be informative and perhaps groundbreaking.  Lastly, our objective is not unprecedented.  During the 1920s, meetings in Vienna attended by philosophers, scientists and psychologists were held in a bold effort to try and bridge fields for the specific purpose of building a common Unified Theory.  We think that with extraordinary advances in our collective fields, in both theory building and empirical research, it is time to rekindle this one-hundred-year-old intellectual pursuit.

The program and abstract booklet can be found here.


Igor Branchi (Istituto Superiore di Sanità / Italian Institute of Health)
Claudia Buss (Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin & University of California Irvine)
Christine Caldwell (University of Stirling)
Francesca Cirulli (Istituto Superiore di Sanità / Italian Institute of Health)
Barbara Fischer (KLI & University of Vienna)
Annelies Hoorn (University of Toronto)
Kevin Lala (University of St Andrews)
Ehud Lamm (Tel Aviv University)
Daniel Larson (California State University)
Adam Linson (Open University)
Isabelle Mansuy (University & ETH Zürich)
Oded Rechavi (Tel Aviv University)
Isabella Sarto-Jackson (KLI)
Regina Sullivan (New York University School of Medicine)
Eörs Szathmary (Parmenides Foundation & Eötvös Loránd University)
Michael Tomasello (Duke University)
Antonella Tramacere (University of Roma Tre)

Markus Kunze (Medical University of Vienna)
Sophie Veigl (University of Vienna)
Luis Alejandro Villanueva Hernández (University of Würzburg)