Keynote Speaker

Allison Adcock

Portrait Prof. Dr. Allison Adcock

Strategic Autonomous Neuromodulation of Learning: Discovery Science and Translational Promise

The same neurotransmitter systems that fine tune our memories take the multifaceted mental images that embody our hopes and fears and distill them into simple signals.  This capability implies that we can regulate our own brain chemistry using imagination. Using fMRI, we have demonstrated that people can indeed learn to activate small nuclei – specifically, those that produce most of the brain’s dopamine – using nothing but mental imagery.  Like the discovery that runners can trigger endorphin release with physical activity, the self-regulation of neurochemistry with mental activity suggests many methods for changing brain function in response to the current moment.

Our discovery science investigates brain systems for motivation to better understand memory mechanisms and neurotransmitter systems. Specifically, we aim to delineate the full range of motivational states that shape human learning and their distinct neural architectures, each with a signature impact on learning and on the memories that underlie behavior. Our translational work aims to help define ways to tune a learners’ brain state, matching it precisely to a specific challenge. 


The Adcock laboratory works to understand brain states conducive to learning and how to engage them in order to further individual and societal flourishing. 

Prof. Dr. Adcock graduated from Emory University and received her PhD in Neurobiology and MD from Yale University. She completed psychiatric residency at Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute at the University of California San Francisco, with postdoctoral research connecting UCSF, the San Francisco VA, and Stanford, before joining Duke as faculty. Her work, funded by NIDA, NIMH, NSF, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, and by Alfred P. Sloan and Klingenstein Fellowships in the Neurosciences, has been honored by the National Academies of Science Kavli Fellowship, 2012 National Academy of Sciences Seymour Benzer Lectureship, and the 2015 Applied Behavioral Analysis Institute BF Skinner Lectureship.

Adcock laboratory:

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    Pre-conference workshops

    Preliminary workshop program now available! 

    Sunday – November 3, 2024
    09:00Registration open (Mannheim)
    10:00 - 12:00WorkshopWorkshop
    12:00 - 13:00Lunch break
    13:00 - 14:30Workshop Workshop 
    14:30 - 15:00Coffee break
    15:00 - 16:30WorkshopWorkshop
    17:30Social event
    Monday – November 4, 2024
    08:30Registration open (Mannheim)
    09:00 - 12:00WorkshopWorkshop




    Monday – November 4, 2024
    13:00Registration open (Heidelberg)
    14:00 - 14:30Welcome adress
    14:30 - 16:00SymposiumSymposium
    16:00 - 16:30Coffee break
    16:30 - 18:00Keynote 1
    19:00Social event
    Tuesday – November 5, 2024
    08:00Registration open (Heidelberg)
    08:30 - 10:00SymposiumSymposium
    10:00 - 12:00Poster session 1
    12:00 - 13:30Lunch break
    13:30 - 14:30Keynote 2
    14:30 - 16:00SymposiumSymposium
    16:00 - 16:30Coffee break
    16:30 - 18:00SymposiumSymposium
    18:30 - 19:00Public Lecture (Alte Aula, Heidelberg University)
    19:00Conference Dinner
    Wednesday – November 6, 2024
    08:00Registration open (Heidelberg)
    08:30 - 10:00SymposiumSymposium
    10:00 - 12:00Poster session 2
    12:00 - 13:30Lunch break
    13:30 - 14:30Panel discussion
    14:30 - 15:30Keynote 3
    15:30 - 16:00Closing remarks