I.C.O.N.S 2021

In the crisis, the science in support of education

A neuroscientific, psychological, educational and contemplative perspective

I.C.O.N.S - Second Edition

From the first International Conference on the Neurophysiology of Silence a help against the difficulties of the pandemic

The Research Institute for Neuroscience, Education and Didactics (RINED) of the Patrizio Paoletti Foundation organised the second edition of the International Conference on the Neurophysiology of Silence (ICONS).

Neuroscientists, philosophers, psychologists, educators and meditation experts will explore the theme of silence from a multidisciplinary approach, both from a theoretical-scientific point of view and from a practical point of view.

ICONS has reached hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world, and resulted in several scientific publications, including ICONS eBook. The novelty of the new edition of ICONS is that in addition to the neuroscientific lectures, active participations and some of the contemplative practices, we introduce a full day dedicated to education and to how neuroscientific findings related to silence can be applied to help teachers, educators, parents as well as medical doctors and professionals who deal with stress in general and particularly in the current pandemic times.

After the promising results of the first edition in 2019, the goal is to continue the process of creating a shared language, as well as to deepen the understanding of what silence is, and its effects on well-being. The topics will range from the neurophysiology of meditation to the importance of silence in education, to the application of self-awareness and observation in a personal, social and clinical context, especially in connection with caregiving in the broadest sense.

Guided practical experiences, meditation sessions, workshops and artistic performances will accompany the theoretical sessions, in order to create a multi-disciplinary experience that can involve all aspects of our being humans and the connection between silence and our more intimate nature.

2021_06_17_ICONS 27 luglio_Assett landing_icona

9 ECM credits


Patrizio Paoletti

RINED Research Institute for Neuroscience Education and Didactics, Patrizio Paoletti Foundation, Italy

Patrizio Paoletti is the founder of the Research Institute in Neuroscience, Education and Didactics and the Paoletti Foundation for Development and Communication. Paoletti developed the Sphere Model of Consciousness, which has recently been considered the most advanced neuro-phenomenal model for consciousness. His research interests include the investigation of “consciousness-in-itself”, self awareness and its neurophysiological correlates; sensorimotor paradigms aimed at the development of attention and will abilities, and their educational applications. He created several techniques to enhance different brain functions, among which is the Quadrato Motor Training, a mindful movement trainig that has been proved beneficial in developmental disorders and neurodegenerative states. In the educational field, through his many educational projects, Paoletti promotes a global approach to human development in terms of bodily experience, regulation of emotions, enhancement of attention and self-awareness. The neuroscientific investigation of Paoletti and his Foundation aim to provide scientifically validated education-tools, for different age groups ranging from children to adult education, as well as for professionals of education and non-specialized audience. Paoletti’s Foundation Vision is embodied in an education for Peace and Awareness as indispensable values for the future of humanity.

Tal Dotan Ben-Soussan

RINED Research Institute for Neuroscience Education and Didactics, Patrizio Paoletti Foundation, Italy

Tal Dotan Ben-Soussan is the director of the Neuroscientific Unit of the Research Institute for Neuroscience, Education, and Didactics, Patrizio Paoletti Foundation. Ben-Soussan leads studies examining the effects of sensorimotor and contemplative training
paradigms on neuroplasticity, cognition, and well-being. Her multidisciplinary approach utilises electrophysiological, neuroanatomical, and molecular tools to examine the underlying mechanisms mediating cognitive and emotional change. Ben-Soussan’s pioneering work on the Quadrato Motor Training has demonstrated that specifically-structured sensorimotor activity can improve neuronal
functions, as well as enhance creativity, reflectivity, and spatial cognition. Together with close collaborations with Sapienza University of Rome and Bar-Ilan University, she is also applying her neuroscientific model to examine the interconnectedness of motion, emotion, and cognition in the
workplace, schools, as well as in learning disorders and neurodegenerative states, such as dyslexia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Stephen Porges

Kinsey Institute, Indiana University, Bloomington Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA

Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D. is Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium in the Kinsey Institute. He is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, and Professor Emeritus at both the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. He served as president of the Society for Psychophysiological Research and the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences and is a former recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Development Award. He has published more than 350 peer reviewed scientific papers across several disciplines including anesthesiology, biomedical engineering, critical care medicine, ergonomics, exercise physiology, gerontology, neurology, neuroscience, obstetrics, pediatrics, psychiatry, psychology, psychometrics, space medicine, and substance abuse. His research has been cited in more than 40,000 peer review publications. He holds several patents involved in monitoring and regulating autonomic state and originated the Polyvagal Theory, which emphasizes the importance of physiological state in the expression of behavioral, mental, and health problems related to traumatic experiences. He is the creator of a music-based intervention, the Safe and Sound Protocol ™ , which currently is used by more than 2000 therapists to improve spontaneous social engagement, to reduce hearing sensitivities, and to improve language processing and state regulation. He is the author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-Regulation, The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe, and Polyvagal Safety, as well as co-editor of Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies.

Antonella Galié

Patrizio Paoletti Foundation, Italy

Director of the of Assisi International School. She has a degree in Modern Literature and is a board member of the Patrizio Paoletti Foundation. Since 2009, she has been in charge of the AIS project, for which she was responsible for the development of the educational programmes.

Giuseppe Chiarenza

International Centre of Learning, Attention and Hyperactivity Disorders (Centro Internazionale Disturbi di Apprendimento, Attenzione, Iperattività, CIDAAI), Milan, Italy

Dr. Giuseppe Augusto Chiarenza, child neuropsychiatrist, neurologist, psychotherapist, is a BCIA (USA) certified neurotherapist with Neurofeedback. He organises and teaches BCIA certified neurofeedback courses. He has the qualification of tutor for the BCIA certification of Neurofeedback therapist. Dr. Chiarenza is the Founder and President of the International Centre for Learning Disorders, Attention and Hyperactivity (Centro Internazionale Disordini Apprendimento, Attenzione e Iperattività, CIDAAI). He has more than 30 years of experience in the treatment of dyslexia, ADHD, childhood trauma and many other developmental neuropsychiatric disorders. Director of the Bionatural Detoxifi cation Centre (CDB) of the Eris Onlus Foundation. Since 2010 he has been President of the International Organization of Psychophysiology. Honorary member of the Italian Society of Psychophysiology. He has taught at the University of Milan and the Cattolica University of Piacenza, Faculty of Education. He was the Director of the Operative Unit of Child Neuropsychiatry, Rho Hospital, Azienda Ospedaliera G. Salvini, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Child Neuropsychiatry, Azienda Ospedaliera G. Salvini, Garbagnate Milanese. He founded the Italian Society of Psychophysiology, of which he was President from 1994 to 1996. Founder and President of the European Federation of Psychophysiology Societies (2000-2003). President of the Psychoneurobiology Section of the World Psychiatric Association (1996-2011). Vice-President of the Italian Society of Child Neuropsychiatry (2004- 2011). He has supervised the master’s degree theses and doctoral theses of numerous medical, psychology and bioengineering students. Dr. Chiarenza conducts research projects in the field of learning disorders and ADHD collaborating with various foreign university research institutes (Cuban Neuroscience Institute, Chengdu University China, BRL New York).

Mark A. Elliott

School of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway, Republic of Ireland, Ireland

Trained in experimental psychology at the University of London, and subsequently in psychophysics at the University of Leipzig, Germany and electrophysiology at the Max-Planck Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience, also in Leipzig, Mark is a measurement scientist with backgrounds in general psychology and cognitive science. Mark’s scholarly lineage originates in the German Gestalt Schools, reflecting scientific and philosophical interests in perceptual structure, alongside the dynamics of mechanisms that bring this structure about. Mark has been involved across a spectrum of research: This has included investigations of schizophrenia, autism-spectrum-disorder, central-auditoryprocessing disorder, specific-reading and language-impaired children as well as stroke-lesioned patients. However, he specializes in the cognitive microstructural dynamics of visual and auditory representation using experimental methods, and sometimes neuroimaging. This interest has evolved into studies of the dynamics inherent in art and music, and an interest in the psychogenesis of “symbol”.

Narayanan Srinivasan

Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Centre of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences, University of Allahabad, India

Dr. Narayanan Srinivasan is currently Professor at the Interdisciplinary Program in Cognitive Science at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and also Centre of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences, University of Allahabad. Dr. Srinivasan has been a visiting scientist at the Riken Brain Science Institute and Visiting Professor at University of Rome. He has a Master degree in Electrical
Engineering from Indian Institute of Science and PhD in Psychology from University of Georgia. He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Louisville. He also worked at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore for two years before joining one of the first centres for Cognitive Science in India. Dr. Srinivasan is interested in understanding mental processes, especially attention, emotions, consciousness, self, and decision making using multiple methodologies. Dr. Srinivasan has edited nine books and four special issues. He has more than 160 journal publications, book chapters and full papers in conference proceedings. Dr. Srinivasan is a fellow of Association for
Psychological Science, National Academy of Psychology (India), and Psychonomic Society. He is
currently an associate editor of Mindfulness, Cognitive Processing, Royal Society Open Science, and Neuroscience of Consciousness. He is currently the President of National Academy of Psychology

Rotem Leshem

Department of Criminology, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

Dr. Rotem Leshem is a senior lecturer in the Criminology Department at Bar-Ilan University. Dr. Leshem’s interdisciplinary academic credentials include M.A. and Ph.D studies in clinical criminology at Bar-Ilan University and Certificate studies in psychotherapy at Ben-Gurion University. She completed her Postdoctoral training in the cognitive neuroscience lab at UCLA, USA through funds from the International Outgoing Fellowships (IOF) – FPF-PEOPLE- Marie Curie Actions. Dr. Leshem’s work encompasses an interdisciplinary approach that builds on converging bodies of knowledge stemming from criminology, psychology and neuroscience. Her research extends across the field of neuro-criminology focusing on neuropsychological analyses of cognitive and emotional processes in the human brain as well as language and emotion regulation in the context of behaviors at risk. Her interest lies in exploring emotion and self-regulation and modification and reformulating it in terms of its neurobiology and physiological basis, to relate it to behavioral outcomes.

Carlo Quattrocchi

Departmental Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Campus Bio-Medico University, Rome, Italy

Carlo C. Quattrocchi MD and PhD is a diagnostic imaging specialist. Since 2017, he is the scientific coordinator of the Master in Magnetic Resonance Techniques in clinical and research settings. Since 2016 he is the head of UOC Diagnostic Imaging and Interventional Radiology at the Policlinico Universitario Campus Bio-Medico in Rome. At the University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome he is also lecturer in the course in Medical Radiology Imaging and Radiotherapy Techniques and lecturer at the Schools of Specialization in Radiodiagnostics, Radiotherapy and Neurology. Dr. Quattrocchi currently serves as Head of Diagnostic Imaging and Interventional Radiology Unit, University Campus Bio- Medico of Rome. Carlo conducts research on Neuroradiology and Radiology topics. Current areas of investigation are Brain connectivity in health and disease, Magnetic Resonance Safety, Contrast Media.

Ruben Laukkonen

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands

Ruben received his PhD from The University of Queensland in Australia, winning the Research
Excellence Award for his dissertation on insight experiences. He is now based at the VU University
of Amsterdam as a postdoctoral fellow researching the effects of advanced meditation practices on
the mind and brain. Using a combination of neuroimaging, machine learning, and phenomenology,
Ruben is investigating some of the rarest states of consciousness available to human beings. He
has published articles in leading journals, given talks at international conferences, consulted for the
Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development, and has written on topics that range from
artificial intelligence to psychedelics. Ruben has an eclectic contemplative background, including
traditions such as Zen, Advaita, and Theravada.


The event will take place in accordance with the regulations for the containment of COVID-19 infection currently in force

Monday 26th July

I.C.O.N.S. - Education Support Day

In the crisis, the science in support of education

16:00  Antonella Galiè (in presence)
A pedagogy for the third millennium

16:20 Patrizio Paoletti (in presence)
Silence and Self-Care: self-awareness as a key to resilience and as an antidote to the challenges of the pandemic

16:40 Giuseppe Chiarenza (in presence)
Calming the mind: practical implications for parents and children

17:00 Rotem Leshem (recorded)
Raising healthy adolescents in times of pandemic

17:20 Stephen Porges (recorded)
Managing pandemic-related stress

17:40 Break and collection of questions

18:00 Q&A with the speakers

18:30 Aperitif offered by the Patrizio Paoletti Foundation

19:30 Mirabilis Ensemble Concert

Tuesday 27th July


International Conference on the Neurophysiology of Silence

Session one: Silence, coping with uncertainty and attention

Chair: Tal Dotan Ben-Soussan

08:30  Participants Registration
Handover of headphones for simultaneous translation

09:15 Short Practice

09:30 Tal Dotan Ben-Soussan (in presence)
Entering the Silence: the Electro-topography of Self

10:00 Patrizio Paoletti (in presence)
Silence and Observing Self in the Light of the Spherical Model of Consciousness

10:30 Short Practice

10:45 Narayanan Srinivasan (recorded)
Attention and Mental Training Effects on Emotions and Prosocial Behaviour

11:15 Coffee Break

11:45 Mark Elliot (in presence)
What occurs as a consequence of perceptual silence: the emergence and dynamics of spontaneous experience

12:15 Short Practice

12:30 Ruben Laukkonen (in presence)
Freedom from prediction: How meditation builds resilience against a changing world

13:00 Stephen Porges (recorded)
A Polyvagal theory perspective during pandemic times: An innate quest for inner silence, safety, and sociality

Lunch Break

Session two: Silence at the service of healthy development and aging

Chair: Mark A. Elliott

14:30 Short Practice

15:00 Giuseppe Chiarenza (in presence)
The psychophysiology of “covert” goal-directed

15:30 Rotem Leshem (recorded)
Doing out of silence: The inextricable link between neural networks and social networks in pro-social behaviours among youth

16:00 Coffee Break

16:30 Short Practice

16:45 Carlo Quattrocchi (in presence)
Surface Morphometrics of the brain: cortical plasticity after Quadrato Motor Training

17:15 Break and collection of questions

17:45 Short Practice

18:00 Closure: Q&A

I.C.O.N.S First Edition (2019)

The first edition of I.C.O.N.S. took place from 26 to 28 July 2019 in Nocera Umbra and resulted in a research topic in the journal Frontiers: Read now

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Patrizio Paoletti
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Marina Risi
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Patrizio Paoletti
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Narayanan Srinivasan
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Tavola Rotonda
8 / 20
Tavola Rotonda
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Sabrina Venditti
10 / 20
Mark Wittman
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Joseph Glicksohn
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Adam Hanley
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Oded Maimon
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Moshe Bar
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Tal Dotan Ben-Soussan
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Tania Di Giuseppe
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Filippo Carducci
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Aviva Berkovich-Ohana
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Scientific Committee

Patrizio Paoletti, RINED, Patrizio Paoletti Foundation
Tal Dotan Ben-Soussan, Research Institute for Neuroscience, Education and Didactics (RINED), Patrizio Paoletti Foundation
Sabrina Venditti, Department of Biology and Biotechnology “C. Darwin”, “La Sapienza” University
Micaela Caserta, CNR – Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology
Loredana Verdone, CNR – Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology

Local Organizing Committee

Tal Dotan Ben-Soussan, RINED, Patrizio Paoletti Foundation
Gianni Bernardi, Patrizio Paoletti Foundation
Antonella Galiè, Patrizio Paoletti Foundation
Elena Perolfi, Patrizio Paoletti Foundation
Andrea Pintimalli, RINED, Patrizio Paoletti Foundation


Patrizio Paoletti Foundation

20 years of passionate commitment

It is a non-profit research organisation that has been dedicated to the study of human functioning for 20 years. Through interdisciplinary research, the results of which are applied in the field of education and didactics, the organisation promotes the best talents in children and adults.
The Foundation, through its Research Institute for Neuroscience, Education and Didactics (RINED), studies how man grows, learns, gets excited and improves, with the aim of creating practical, immediate, innovative and effective tools that support people in learning how to know how to do, how to live in order to ‘be’ in a constantly changing world.
Through its educational projects, the Foundation works so that every adult becomes more aware of his or her own resources, role and responsibility towards others and the planet; so that every child, in every part of the world, finds the right conditions to fully express his or her potential.

Research Institute for Neuroscience, Education and Didactics


The Research Institute in Neuroscience, Pedagogy and Didactics (RINED) is part of the Patrizio Paoletti Foundation (Fondazione Patrizio Paoletti, FPP), an Italian organisation listed in the National Research Register of the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR).

The main objective of RINED, and FPP in general, is to identify new theoretical and practical models of knowledge that promote cognitive, physical, psychological and emotional health and well-being from childhood to old age.


Fondazione Patrizio Paoletti
Via Nazionale, 230 – 00184 Roma
Tel. +39 06 8082599 – Fax +39 06 92912688