KLI Colloquia are informal, public talks that are followed by extensive dissussions. Speakers are KLI fellows or visiting researchers who are interested in presenting their work to an interdisciplinary audience and discussing it in a wider research context. We offer three types of talks:

1. Current Research Talks. KLI fellows or visiting researchers present and discuss their most recent research with the KLI fellows and the Vienna scientific community.

2. Future Research Talks. Visiting researchers present and discuss future projects and ideas togehter with the KLI fellows and the Vienna scientific community.

3. Professional Developmental Talks. Experts about research grants and applications at the Austrian and European levels present career opportunities and strategies to late-PhD and post-doctoral researchers.

  • The presentation language is English.
  • If you are interested in presenting your current or future work at the KLI, please contact the Scientific Director or the Executive Manager.

Event Details

Cover "The Making and Breaking of Minds"
KLI Colloquia
The Making and Breaking of Minds. How social interactions shape the human mind
2023-03-09 15:00 - 2023-03-09 16:30
Organized by KLI
You are invited to a Zoom meeting. 
When: Mar 9, 2023 03:00 PM Vienna
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Topic description / abstract:

The human brain reorganizes itself and flexibly adjusts to fluctuating environmental conditions by means of neuroplastic processes. Neuroplasticity provides the basis for wide-ranging learning and memory processes that are particularly profuse during childhood and adolescence. At the same time, the exceptional malleability of the developing brain leaves it highly vulnerable to negative impact from the surroundings. 

Abusive or neglecting social environments as well as socioeconomic deprivation cause physiological stress responses that can severely compromise cognitive development, emotional processing, and executive brain functions by altering the underlying neurobiochemical homeostasis. Importantly, such detrimental neurophysiological consequences are not limited to the affected individual but can be transmitted to the offspring through a process of social niche construction. 

Proof of concept is supported by research on transgenerational trauma.

Link to book:


Biographical note:

Isabella Sarto-Jackson is a neurobiologist, executive manager of the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, and president of the Austrian Neuroscience Association (ANA). She holds a Master´s degree in genetics, a PhD in neurobiochemistry, and the venia docendi in neurobiology. She has worked as a neuroscientist at the Center for Brain Research of the Medical University in Vienna and extended her research focus to cognitive science and evolutionary biology since joining the KLI in 2011.

Her work is highly interdisciplinary – at the interface of neurobiology, cognitive science, evolutionary biology, and social education.

Link to ISJ´s website: