Invited speakers:





Mircea Dumitru, PhD. – Rector of University of Bucharest

Mircea Dumitru is Professor of Philosophy and Rector of the University of Bucharest, Romania. He works primarily in philosophical logic, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind and consciousness. In addition to his many journal articles in his areas of expertise, Dumitru has a co-edited volume of essays on Quine's philosophy, Words, Theories, and Things: Quine in Perspective (Pelican, 2010).


Presentation theme:

On Toleration, Charity, and Epistemic Fallibilism





Peter Mitchell, Ph.D., School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, UK

Biography: Dr. Peter Mitchell is Professor of Psychology at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom and Chair of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Grant Assessment Panel. Previously, he was Dean of Science at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus and before that Head of the School of Psychology in Nottingham UK. He has published around 100 scientific articles in leading international journals, has published six books and he is editor of the British Journal of Psychology. His research has won national prizes in the UK (The Neil O’Connor Prize for the UK’s best article on cognitive aspects of developmental disorders in 2007) and his paper on cognitive theories of autism, published in Developmental Review, ranks number 1 as the journal’s most downloaded article. He has served as Chair of the Developmental Section of the British Psychological Society and as Chief Examiner for the Economic and Social Research Council UK PhD studentship competition. Before joining Nottingham University he worked at the University of Birmingham, University of Oxford, University of Wales and University of Warwick. He also served as visiting professor at McGill University in Canada.


Presentation theme:

Being Sherlock Holmes: Reading minds from clues in Behaviour

This talk summarizes research into people’s ability to guess what happened to someone (a target) from clues in their reaction, something known as ‘retrodictive mindreading.’ People are surprisingly good at doing this and in the presentation I will report new findings showing that people can infer whether another (the target) is accompanied or alone just by observing how they react to provocative stimuli. I will also demonstrate that people can determine which emotional expression a target is looking at by observing how the target naturally and spontaneously mirrors the expression of the face they are viewing. Furthermore, I will report how well people can determine what a target is thinking, suggesting that their thoughts are externalised as interpretable clues in the target’s face and body language.



Germain Weber, Ph.D. - University of Vienna


Prof. Germain Weber, Ph.D. – Dean of the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Vienna and Professor of Psychology, Department of Health, Development, Enhancement, Intervention. At the Université du Luxembourg Professor Weber holds an associate professorship where he teaches clinical psychology on a regular basis. Further, Dr. Weber acts as president of “Lebenshilfe Austria”, the major Austrian NGO organization offering systems of support for over 10.000 persons with intellectual disability and advocating for them on a national and European level. Since many years, Dr. Weber is involved in European Union funded research projects on intellectual disability issues, aging issues and assistive technologies. Dr. Weber has authored over 100 publications and has lectured in many countries on topics of psychology, intellectual disability and aging including mental health issues.


Presentation theme:

Inclusive Perspectives on Mental Health Strategies and Actions for people with Developmental Intellectual Disabilities

The WHO European Mental Health Action Plan (2013-2020) states, “Everyone has an equal opportunity to experience mental wellbeing throughout their lifespan, particularly those who are most vulnerable or at risk”. Further, the strategy emphasizes on mental health promotion, prevention of mental health disorders as well as empowerment of service users and carers, defined as prominent priority areas. Obviously people with Developmental Intellectual Disabilities (DID) are included in the descriptor “most vulnerable or at risk”, as prevalence figures for mental health disorders are reported globally considerably above the figures of the population without DID. In addition, there is substantial evidence that mental health is more than a biological health issue. Sustainable mental health relates to a vast number of factors such as social, economic and environmental factors. Further, it is well documented that mental well-being contributes to healthier lifestyles, meaningful participation in daily life, better relationship and more social cohesion. Against this background, advanced evidence based knowledge on preventing mental health issues will be analyzed. In addition, areas like early detection and differential diagnosis are addressed, and frameworks of etiological models presented. Finally, actions and practices to prevent mental health disorders and to strengthen mental well-being will be highlighted. In this scope, special attention will be given to inclusive practices and inclusive communities, and the way inclusion can contribute to long-lasting mental well-being and better prospects for mental health. 



Matthias Müller, Ph.D., Experimental Psychology and MethodsLeipzig University, Germany

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Presentation theme:

Distracted by emotion: Biasing competition for processing resources by emotional stimuli in early visual cortex of the human brain


In everyday life we are confronted with complex environmental settings that require highly adaptive interactions. Pivotal for adaptive behavior is to extract and process relevant sensory information while one has to ignore all other information that is not behaviorally relevant at a given moment. Emotional stimuli, relative to other visual stimuli, provide pivotal information about potential danger or threat that trigger defensive actions, or, conversely, prompt approach behavior when confronted with pleasant and appetitive stimuli. Therefore, emotional stimuli are assumed to have competitive processing advantages due to their intrinsic stimulus significance. In a number of studies we found clear evidence for a prioritized role for emotional stimulus processing in visual cortex. On the one hand, I will present studies that demonstrate that emotional stimuli serve as potent distractors when subjects are involved in a demanding visual detection task. On the other hand, our studies demonstrate that emotional compared to non-emotional stimuli attract more attentional resources, signifying preferential processing. Furthermore, our studies suggest that competition for processing resources relies on higher-order cognitive processes, such as the extraction of the emotional content of a certain image.




Zafer Bekirogullari, Ph.D., United Kingdom

Dr. Bekirogullari is certified as a Teacher and Counseling Psychologist. He is a Chartered member (Cpsychol) – British Psychological Society and Registered Practitioner Psychologist – Health Professions Council / the United Kingdom. He has living & working experiences in Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey and Cyprus. For the time being he is living in the United Kingdom and working at the Samuel Maynard Centre as a counseling psychologist, providing individual psychotherapy to adults, adolescents and families with psychological problems and offering psychological assessment and evaluation services