The programme of the Summer School is modelled after the Pyramid approach to research in cognitive neuroscience (Repovš, 2001). It proposes that in order to be able to formulate and validate a thorough model of cognitive functions one has to approach it from four lines, four fields of research. The role of cognitive psychology is to describe in detail what capacities and properties the model is to explain and put forward a functional architecture in virtue of which the mind/brain enables the person to have those properties and capacities. Computational science enables us to build working computational models of cognitive functions that specify in detail and test the proposed theoretical assumptions. Neuroscience provides the detailed data on the actual anatomical structure and physiology of the brain that has to be taken into account as well in order to be able to explain how the cognitive functions are actually instantiated in the brain. And last but not least, neuropsychology and neuropsychiatry provide further constraints and tests of the theory that has to be able to explain cognitive dysfunctions following a specific brain damage. Each of the stated lines of inquiry is related to every other one. There is no proper or ideal sequence of undertaking the proposed fields of research since new findings in any of these fields will constantly provide new tests, constraints and ideas for the rest of them.
To follow the proposed approach the programme of the summer school is divided into five working days that will cover five distinct approaches to research in cognitive neuroscience. Each day will revolve around a leading theme, stated as a question that the approach is trying to answer. Every day will start with core introductory lectures, continue with practical workshops and group sessions and end with miscellaneous additional activities. The overall topic and five individual themes are:
Topic of the Summer School
How does working memory emerge from the working of the brain?
What exactly is "working memory"?
Neuropsychology and Neuropsychiatry
Carving up the system at its joints: What can we learn of working memory from its dysfunctions?
Orange spots and lively spikes: How does working memory look in action?
Below the hood: What are the molecular/cellular bases of working memory?
Playing the Creator: Can working memory really work that way?