On digital technology, healthy brains and public policy, organised by Radboud Healthy Brain

During this symposium, researchers from across all Radboud University faculties will discuss the promises and risks of digital technology for a healthy brain. What is the impact of modern digital technology on brain, cognition, and behavior, and more broadly, well-being? Should the answers to this question inform public policy and law, and if so, how? 

In this symposium, we take a closer look at the impact of digital technology. From the moment we wake up to closing our eyes, technology permeates every facet of our existence. What are the opportunities and what are the risks of this frequent use of digital technologies for our brain, our mental capital, and our (mental) health? This event brings together experts to explore what the impact of digital technology on our individual well-being, and therefore on our societies and economies. This brings us to the question of whether and, if so, how this impact should also inform our public policy and legislation.


09:00 - 09:10 - Opening and introduction by dr. Daniel Wigboldus (chair of the Executive Board)

09:10 - 09:55 - Keynote by prof. dr. Emily Murphy (from UC College of Law, San Francisco): Collective Cognitive Capital: Using brain and behavioral science to evaluate public policy, followed by a Q&A

09:55 - 10:25 - Sander Schimmelpenninck explores the profound influence of social media and how the use of social media undermines our democracy

10:25 - 10:40 - Break

10:40 - 12:00 - Part 1: Mental and Moral Healthy in a Digital Society, by moderator Frank Rensen. Speakers: 

Followed by a panel discussion about promises and risks of smartphone use for mental health.

12:00 - 13:00 - Walking lunch with poster sessions and demos

13:00 - 14:05 - Part 2: Trust and Sustainable Democracy, by moderator Kees Verhoeven. Speakers: 

Followed by a panel discussion about the role of AI in trust and sustainable democracy.

14:05 - 14:20 - Break

14:20 - 15:25 - Part 3: Large language models for a healthy brain, by moderator Pam Tönissen. Speakers: 

Followed by a panel discussion about promises and risks of language technology for collective cognitive capital.

15:25 - 15:40 - Break

15:40 - 16:45 - Part 4: Brain-inspired technology, law and safety, by moderator Stan van Pelt. Speakers: 

Followed by a panel discussion about regulation of neurotechnology.

16:45 - 17:00 - Closure by dr. Roshan Cools

17:00 - 18:00 - Drinks and network opportunity

The programme is in English and takes place in the Red Room, (01.201), Trigon, Kapittelweg 29, Nijmegen.

Healthy Brain

Radboud University is known worldwide for its excellence in fundamental research on brain, cognition and behaviour. To generate societal impact based on the scientific excellence in this domain, Radboud University has launched the Healthy Brain initiative. Multiple societal issues and problems could benefit from the input of our science. We will not do this in isolation. Collaboration between different disciplines and co-creation of societal impact with relevant stakeholders and problem owners are key.  Healthy Brain organises events and meetings with policymakers, politicians, journalists, grant providers, and other relevant stakeholders such as patient organisations, companies and NGOs, to identify relevant contributions our researchers can make, under the Radboud-wide slogan 'You have a part to play'.

Lecture Radboud Reflects

In the evening, keynote speaker Professor Emily Murphy will also attend the lecture The Future of the Mind in a Digital Society at the Lindenberg, organised by Radboud Reflects. After Murphy’s lecture, cognitive scientist Alan Sanfey will join the conversation, bringing his expertise on the neural mechanisms of decision-making to the table. Interested? Sign up here.

Healthy Brain Symposium The Future of the Mind op 25 april 2024