The International Seminar on Neuroscience and Education is specially addressed to families, professors, psychologists, educators and professionals working in the teaching field. The event will feature the participation of leading experts in the field of education and neuroscience who will analyze the fundamentals of human development from birth to adulthood.

The ISNE thematic areas are as follows:

  • Development of executive functions (0-18 years).
  • The importance of epigenetics in the development of executive functions.
  • Creativity and its relationship with academic and personal development.
  • Montessori education, neuroscience and research.
  • Early Childhood Education: from discovering to developing executive functions.
  • Education in the Primary stage: development of executive functions in the different educational methodologies.
  • Education at the Secondary stage: health, neuroscience, behavior and genetics. Epigenetics in relation to these concepts.
  • Education and life in the stage of 18 to 24 years: health, neuroscience, behavior and genetics. Epigenetics in relation to these concepts.

Dates, location and schedule
Dates10th and 11th of May 2024
LocationMontessori Palau Girona


FRIDAY, May 10
5:15pm - 5:35pm Reception and register MIRTC staff
Montessori Palau students
5:45pm Welcome
Montse Julià Barnadas
Head of Montessori Palau
5:55pm Authority Greeting
Xavier Aldeguer
Deputy Mayor and Councilor for Talent, Innovation, Health, and Community, City Council of Girona
6:15pm Inaugural conference
'This is not a stress, it's a challenge!': Stress mind-sets, brain and behaviour in children and teenagers

Prof. Sonia Lupien
University of Montreal, Canada
7:30pm Experiential lecture
The metaphor, an engine of creativity

Dr. Pere Renom
TV3 - Catalonia TV
8:45pm Friday program end
9:00am Welcome
9:05am Lecture 3
Neuroscience and Montessori

Cristina García, PhD Researcher
Montessori Palau Girona
10:20am Lecture 4
Montessori Education and Its Outcomes

Prof. Angeline Lillard
University of Virginia, USA
11:35am Coffee-break / Visit to stands
12:15pm Lecture 5
Neuroscience, education, and resilience

Dr. Boris Cyrulnik
University of Toulon and Var, France
1:30pm Lecture 6
Educational neuroscience: a new way to think about how we learn

Dr. Cathy Rogers
University of London, United Kingdom
2:45pm Cápsula
Make them enthusiastic about understanding music with their hands

Àngels Florit
2:55pm Lunch / Visit to stands
3:45pm Panel discussion
(David Bartres-Faz, Sonia Lupien)
Forging the Future: The Impact of Our Attitudes and Values on the New Generations
Moderador: Dr. Pere Renom
4:30pm Conclusions and Presentation of the ISNE VI-2026
Ana Julià Barnadas
MIRTC Executive Director
4:45pm Closing lecture
The importance of the first years: scientific evidence about the influence of childhood and adolescence on the adult brain

Prof. David Bartres-Faz
University of Barcelona, Spain
6:00pm Farewell and End of the Seminar


Sonia Lupien is the founder and director of the Centre for Studies on Human Stress ( that has for mission to transfer scientifically validated knowledge on stress to the general public. She holds the Canada Research Chair on Human Stress. A scientific researcher for the last 30 years, Sonia Lupien studies the effects of stress on the human brain, from infancy to adulthood and old age. Her studies have shown that stress hormones can significantly impair memory performance and emotional regulation and that exposure to early adversity modifies the developmental trajectory of the brain. In her new research projects, she is working on differences between men and women in stress reactivity, and she is developing new educational programs on stress. She is also working on the impact of negative stress mindsets on the physiological response to stress in children and teenagers with the goal of developing new stress interventions aimed at modifying the public's interpretation of human stress.

His professional interests focus on science and scientific outreach. In science, he studied biology at UB and obtained his PhD in biomedicine at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (UPF) with a doctoral thesis on paleogenomics. In outreach, he has published about fifty articles, a children's story dedicated to Posidonia, a Mediterranean marine plant (Ed. Generalitat de Catalunya), which has been translated into Spanish, French, and Arabic, and the books "Curiosities of the natural world for everyone," "50 questions and answers for everyone" (Ed. Baula), and "Science under the spotlight" (Ed. Cossetània and TV3). From 2006 to 2019, he was a reporter on the science outreach program "Quèquicom" (Canal 33), and he carried out more than 140 reports that allowed him to immerse himself under the ice, fly in a hot air balloon, parachute jump, submerge in a submarine, swim across the Strait of Gibraltar, run a marathon, climb the Cavall Bernat de Montserrat, go spelunking, or experience weightlessness in a parabolic flight with the European Space Agency. He now presents a weekly live science section on the program "Tot es mou" (TV3), where he has already accumulated more than 200 interventions. During the Covid-19 pandemic, his outreach work had a unique impact and spurred the production of special programs in which he also participated, such as the TV3 Marathon (2020), and even directed, like the “Volem saber” saga (2020 and 2022). Since then, he continues to explain science associated with current events, such as the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the island of La Palma (2021), where he even made live connections. Some of his works have been awarded the Albert Pérez Bastardas Award (2002), the Novo Nordisk International Award (2008), the Boeringer Ingelheim Award (2008), the Science in Action Award (2015 and 2018), and the Prisma Award (2019).

David Bartrés-Faz is a Professor of Medical Psychology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and Researcher of the ICREA Academia program at the University of Barcelona. His field of study is cognitive aging and the promotion of brain health throughout life. He has completed pre- and post-doctoral stays at Harvard Medical School in the United States, and at the Institut National de la Santé et the Recherche Médicale (INSERM, France) where he has trained in neuroimaging techniques and non-invasive brain stimulation. He has been the principal investigator of 8 consecutive projects of the National Plan, of two projects of the European Commission for the Center of the University of Barcelona and has published more than 200 scientific articles and supervised 12 doctoral theses. Together with Prof. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, he is currently the coordinator of the strategic line of brain health at the Institut Guttmann and leads the Barcelona Brain Health Initiative prospective longitudinal study.

Dr Cathy Rogers completed her PhD in Educational Neuroscience at Birkbeck, University of London, after many years spent as a producer, director and host of science television programmes. It was those years spent working with other creatives that first piqued her interest in the brain basis of creativity – and this was the area she focused on for her PhD, investigating the processes involved in creativity in children. Her research interests are broad; she has worked with policy organisations and on the ground to improve the teaching of adult literacy, she works with a lab focused on understanding the factors that bring about social change and she is writing a hopeful, science-based children’s book about the future. Underpinning all her research is a passion to communicate ideas clearly, no matter how complicated the subject matter. Most recently, she has published a book which is an introduction to the field of Educational Neuroscience.

Cristina Garcia is a Montessori guide for 6-12-year-olds, currently a PhD researcher at the University of Girona, where she is completing her doctoral thesis based on the integration of principles from neuroscience and Montessori pedagogy, which she applies in the classroom every day. After her scientific training as a biologist and working in various clinical and genetic analysis laboratories, her professional profile took a turn. She pursued a master's degree in Montessori pedagogy at Loyola University (Baltimore), and since then, her career has always been linked to the educational field. From that point, her direct work with children complements her scientific vocation. Additionally, she has been involved in various outreach events about Montessori, conducting courses in collaboration with other institutions such as the Childhood Institute of Sant Cugat del Vallès, and presenting the primary program during the centenary commemoration of the first Montessori school in Spain. Last August, she gave two conferences at the latest Montessori International Congress held in Thailand, one on neuroscience and another on the importance of having a garden as a starting point for classroom work. Currently, she continues to be a tutor for an upper primary cycle group at the Montessori Palau Girona school and combines her professional activity with research and dissemination tasks.

Angeline Lillard is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia where she directs the Early Development Laboratory and the Montessori Science Program. She is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science. She received her PhD in Psychology from Stanford University in 1991, and the American Psychological Association's Boyd McCandless Award for her early career contributions to Developmental Science. Her book, Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius (Oxford University Press) received the Cognitive Development Society Book Award, is translated into several languages, and is currently in its 3rd edition. She has been keynote speaker at dozens of Montessori and Psychology conferences nationally and worldwide. Her research has been funded by the Institutes of Education Sciences, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and many private foundations.

Boris Cyrulnik was born in 1937 in Bordeaux, is a renowned French neurologist and psychiatrist. His childhood experiences during World War II, including his own escape from the Nazis and the loss of his parents, were crucial to his interest in psychiatry. These challenging experiences motivated him to study human psychology extensively and inspired his creation of the concept of resilience, which refers to the ability to overcome adversities and recover from difficult situations. As the chief physician of "La Salvate" medical center in Toulon from 1971 to 1978, Cyrulnik demonstrated a deep commitment to the field of mental health. He served as a neurology consultant from 1972 to 1991 at the Medical-Social Center of La Seyne sur Mer. Throughout his career, he has published 200 medical and scientific articles, as well as 17 personal books, such as "Mémoire de singe et parole d'homme" (Monkey Memory and Human Speech) in 1983 and "Un merveilleux malheur" (A Wonderful Misfortune) in 1999. As a prominent figure in the medical field, Cyrulnik contributed to the establishment of the psychiatric sector in the Alpes de Haute-Provence from 1968 to 1971. He was a neurology consultant at the Toulon - La Seyne Hospital from 1971 to 1991. In addition to his UNICEF missions, he participated in various ministerial commissions, such as psychiatric research in 1985 and the fight against pedophilia in 2002. In the academic realm, Cyrulnik has extensive experience, having supervised around fifty theses in areas such as psychiatry, psychology, neurosciences, and ethology. He has been distinguished with honorary doctorates awarded by various international universities, including those in Belgium, Peru, and Canada. In 2014, he was appointed an officer of the Legion of Honor.

In the last 10 years of his professional life, Àngels Florit has dedicated herself body and soul to working in his private music classroom. Firstly, she explores the auditory and musical sensory capacities of boys and girls at an early age, confirming the incredible potential they present at these ages. Following guidelines from pedagogues such as Willems and Dalcroze, she has subsequently developed her own, experiential method of acquiring musical skills. The most notable thing about it has been the introduction of its manipulative musical learning materials that are both innovative and ground breaking in the field of musical pedagogy. In this way she has facilitated and paved the way for boys and girls when entering the complex field of music in its abstract aspect. In 2019 he founded SERCLET.


Despite what the media report, small amounts of stress have positive effects on brain and behavior. Yet, most people continue to think that stress is negative and this leads them to produce high levels of stress hormones. The idea that stress only have debilitating effects on brain and behavior is called a negative stress mindset. In contrast, a positive stress mindset is the idea that stress can also have positive effect on brain and behavior. Our studies and that of many colleagues show that children and teenagers are highly sensitive to negative stress mindsets, and these can lead to a physiological stress response that decreases cognitive performance. Consequently, we and others have developed various interventions to increase positive stress mindsets in children and teenagers that can have the potential to decrease stress reactivity and increase cognitive performance.

Only God creates out of nothing. To create, one must start with something pre-existing; in fact, one must recreate. Creativity is a manifestation of rationality. Language is the primary support of rationality and the raw material of creativity. However, language has physical limitations (intensity, frequency, duration...), alphabetical, morphosyntactic, grammatical, lexical, and semantic limitations. Therefore, humans have a series of rhetorical resources that enhance the potential of language to represent reality: metonymies, similes, allegories, parables, euphemisms, ironies, paradoxes, antitheses, oxymorons, prosopopoeias, equivocations, antonomasies, litotes, epimones, periphrases, paraphrases, or metaphors. And of all these rhetorical figures, metaphor is the most potent. Its potential is so great that we could not only consider it an engine of creativity but creativity itself.

The brain of a young, healthy person is at its peak performance, presenting enormous capabilities if it remains healthy. Often, however, we think that the problems associated with the brain that appear in adulthood, such as the decline in cognitive functions, dementia or adult depression, are a consequence precisely of the fact that the brain of affected people has aged poorly. Current scientific evidence, however, increasingly supports the idea that what happens during childhood, adolescence and youth has a direct impact on the health of our brain as an adult. In this presentation we will see how, for example, exposure to adversity, including the perception of chronic stress in young life, produces biological changes that are maintained throughout life and explain why there is more cognitive decline from the stages of youth to those of middle and old ages. We will also see how lifestyles, such as sleep habits, affect brain health throughout life, while protective lifestyles, such as maintaining stimulating cognitive activity from a young age, promote the brain to be more resilient in later advanced stages. This presentation will therefore emphasize understanding the importance of acquiring healthy lifestyle habits and avoiding harmful ones associated with risks, such as excessive consumption of social networks, from a perspective of brain health throughout the life cycle.

The purpose of educational neuroscience is to use our understanding of how the brain works and how it learns to help teachers do an even better job of teaching young brains. Many of the insights from neuroscience come from understanding the processes our brains have perfected through evolution. Our brains didn’t evolve to sit in classrooms and learn! When the brain does learn, it does so by making use of the whole suite of processes that have been honed through evolutionary development. This means using the sensorimotor system to bring together all the information from sensory systems to produce movements; it means integrating emotions into learning; it means understanding social processing - recognising the central role that other people play in an individual’s learning. All of these aspects are as much part of what goes on in brains in classrooms as ‘pure cognition’. In this presentation, I will describe how the brain works using this evolutionary perspective and setting out the brain’s processing priorities. There will be barely a word of jargon! Instead I will describe how the brain thinks and learns using simple language and analogies. I will talk about how the brain forms abstract concepts, how memory works, the principles of plasticity and more. Along the way I will point out the many synergies between what we have learned from neuroscience and what Maria Montessori observed more than a century earlier.

Recent scientific knowledge, many of them in the field of neuroscience, invite us to educational innovation, to the creation of new ways of educating, pedagogies supposedly based on the latest advances in science. But more than 100 years ago, what is known as scientific pedagogies proposed an education based on scientific principles: observation, application, analysis and review. This is the case of Montessori pedagogy. When trying to relate the latest research in educational neuroscience with this educational system we can see that for more than a century the neuroscientific principles that we all consider valid today have been applied, without knowing them: executive functions, emotion, creativity. During this presentation, we will review these neuroscientific indices and their educational bases and we will observe if there is a correlation between these and work in a primary Montessori classroom.

Prof. Angeline Lillard will briefly discuss what Montessori is. Studies on the outcomes of Montessori education will be reviewed, putting special emphasis on executive function, creativity, and academic and personal development.

Neuroscience is changing our ideas about child development. Environmental pressures made up of three sensory niches constantly sculpt the brain.
1) In the womb, maternal emotions stimulate stress substances, which pass the placental barrier.
2) After birth, an emotional constellation guides the child's learning. The first 1.000 days constitute the acquisition of protective factors that facilitate resilience in the face of adversity.
3) The ontogeny of speech, understood as the development of speech and the ability to narrate stories throughout the growth and development of the individual, triggers emotions provoked by stories. The child returns to school having previously acquired vulnerability or protective factors. Today, the school has become the new organizer of social classes. Its overinvestment, a source of anxiety, entails educational modifications.

The starting point is the conviction that music should be present in the education of girls and boys, given the benefits it brings to personal development. Music is a complex language that participates in various dimensions: auditory sensory, rhythmic, emotional or artistic, and intellectual. Its intellectual and abstract dimension can discourage children who, on the contrary, may exhibit extraordinary sensitivity and musicality. SERCLET proposes a structured method of musical education that focuses on the introduction in the classroom of didactic materials of a manipulative nature. With these materials, abstract concepts are transferred to a concrete and tangible terrain that makes them understandable. Their design, their playful nature, and above all their adaptation to the child and their learning pace facilitate the acquisition of essential skills for a profound experience of music.


Last edition's videos attached.

1st early payment registrations (from 4/12/2023 to 31/1/2024)215,00€
2nd early payment registrations (before 31/3/2024)230,00€
General registration280,00€
Students under 25 with certification (limited places)70,00€
Friday program75,00€
Saturday program205,00€
Streaming Registration90,00€
Registrations with non-cumulative discounts: AME partners, CICAE, EPIC, MP/MIRTC alumni, groups of 3 or more10% of price
Individual simultaneous French to Spanish translation (supplement) (*)7,00€
Individual simultaneous English to Spanish translation (supplement) (*)12,00€
Individual simultaneous English and French to Spanish translation (supplement) (*)16,00€
Individual simultaneous French to English translation (supplement) (*)7,00€
Individual simultaneous Spanish to English translation (supplement) (*)12,00€
Individual simultaneous French and Spanish to English translation (supplement) (*)16,00€

(*)Translations will be done through the zoom platform. You will have to bring your device and headphones.

RENFE discount:

Do you plan to come to the Seminar with RENFE? Once you have registered, ask us for the 5% discount for traveling on AVE!


Participants will receive a certificate of attendance certified by the Montessori-Palau International Research and Training Center (MIRTC).


The V International Seminar of Neuroscience and Education is an event that needs the support of companies and institutions that have a vision of future and a firm commitment to the need to bet on young people, the seed of the society that will come. In addition, we want to have companies that want to be in contact with the educational vanguard and new trends in the field of pedagogy and education.

If you are interested in making any kind of support, you can request the sponsorship file to find out the corresponding counterparts or make your own proposals by sending an email to