An itinerant BrainForum
Dedicated to Rita Levi-Montalcini

October 2021 - may 2022

8 Cities/ 8 Topics/ 40 Women Scientists

In collaboration with





International relations

With the participation of



With the unconditional support of


Promoted by

In collaboration with

With the participation of

With the unconditional support of

The Concept

For centuries emotions have been pitted against reason and located somewhere in between the heart and the gut, totally alien to the brain. Therefore women, who were believed to be too susceptible to their emotions – were deemed unable to form a “high”, rational thought which was instead reserved to the speculation of men.

Reversing the stereotype of women ruled by their emotions and incapable of rationality, the Emotions Itinerant BrainForum has invited brilliant scientists from the most prestigious international universities and institutions to analyse the emotions, considering all their biochemical, genetic, epigenetic, psychological and neurological aspects. And to discuss the fundamental role of women’s emotional expertise in inclusion, empathy, preservation, sustainability, for solving the challenges of the Third Millennium – from migration to global heating to exploitation of resources and the difficult ethical decisions arising form the new technologies.

The speakers will be all women, but men are warmly invited to attend the conferences. We feel that the subject of Emotions is particularly interesting for a male audience, given the importance of emotions in enhancing wellbeing and in facing the ongoing cultural change, which requires emotional intelligence for all sexes in all domain of life.

Starting with the history of emotions, we shall discuss how they are born and develop in the brain, their role in artistic manifestations, in virtual reality, robotics and embodiment, the influence of gender in the expression of emotions, and the pathologies of emotions from excess to absence

EMOTIONS is dedicated to Rita Levi-Montalcini, and aims to promote women in science, following the path outlined by the italian nobel Prize Laureate.

The symposium was conceived by Viviana Kasam, President of BrainCircleItalia, as part of the projects organized for ELSC, the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in cooperation with EBRI, the Rome-based brain research center established by Rita Levi Montalcini, to whom Emotions is dedicated. Clara Caverzasio, Co-president of BrainCircleLugano; Prof. Hermona Soreq and Prof. Idan Segev of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Prof. Daniela Perani, Università Vita-Salute – San Raffaele, Milan, and Dr. Bianca Jones Marlin, Zuckerman Institute, Columbia University, have contributed to the development of the project. Institutional relations are entrusted to Marilena Francese, president of Musadoc.

The project involves a series of BrainForums between October 2021 and May 2022, which will take place in various cities: Jerusalem, Genoa, Rome, Lugano, Milan, Geneva, London, Lisbon. Each BrainForum will host from two to six speakers and will be organised in collaboration with prestigious local universities and research institutes. 

The BrainForums will be broadcast in live streaming accessible from this site.

Understanding emotions


October 24, 2021

Foto: Koadla,

Brain maps of emotions


October 31, 2021

Maurizio Beatrici, Wikimedia Commons

Beauty and the brain: can neuroscience explain art?


November 19, 2021

Foto: Jebulon, Wikimedia Commons

Does gender affect emotions?


December 3, 2021

Foto: Daniele Zela, Wikimedia Commons

Emotions in the artificial worlds


January 25, 2022

Foto: Mauro Gambini,

Emotions, cognition and behavior


February 11, 2022

Foto: Elbesy, Wikimedia Commons

Love and its emotional implications


May 15, 2022

Foto: Ilya Grigorik, Wikimedia Commons

Evolving emotions: from flies to humans and beyond


May 21, 2022

Foto: Thanasis Geo,