Course description:

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.

Dates, location and schedule
DatesFrom Friday 26th April to Saturday 27th April, 2019
LocationMontessori Palau Girona


The Language of the lectures will be Spanish or English. There is the option to take simultaneous translation, with a € 5 supplement, at the time of registration.

Provisional program:

FRIDAY, 26th April
17:45 18:00 Registration MIRTC
18:00 Welcome:
Aims of the 3th ISNE
Montse Julià
18:10 19:00 Opening lecture:
Children's executive function skills provide a foundation for learning and creative problem solving
Phil Zelazo, Ph.D.
19:15 20:30 Lecture 2:
The orchestral brain
Juan Felipe Molano
20:45 22:15 Dinner with the speakers (limited places)
SATURDAY, 27th April
9:00 Good Morning Presenters
9:10 10:00 Lecture 3:
The praise paradox: How well-intended words can backfire
Eddie Brummelman, Ph.D.
10:10 11:00 Lecture 4:
Attention to diversity and executive functions according to the Montessori pedagogy approach
Silvia Dubovoy, Ph.D.
11:10 11:40 Coffee-break
11:40 12:30 Lecture 5:
Learning difficulties. What happens in the brain of our children?
María López Juez
12:40 13:30 Lecture 6:
What can we learn from EF research and the arts to help all children thrive?
Adele Diamond, Ph.D.
13:40 14:30 Lecture 7:
The art of transforming the mind
Rosa Casafont, Ph.D.
14:40 15:50 Lunch
15:50 16:40 Lecture 8:
Epigenetics: how environment and education can improve the expression of the genome. The brain and it’s neurodevelopment in the infant, adolescent and young
Prof. Jordi Sasot, Ph.D.
16:40 17:30 Lecture 9:
"The Four Planes of Development with an Elaboration of the Fourth Plane"
Prof. Kay Baker, Ph.D.
17:30 18:15 Round Table:
Education for Peace
18:15 18:40 Break - Fruits and cheeses C origin
18:40 19:30 Lecture 10:
The leader brain
Prof. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, MD, Ph.D.
19:45 Closing Ceremony Ana Julià
20:00 End of ISNE


Professor Zelazo studies the development and neural bases of executive function, or the conscious control of thought, action, and emotion. He does so using a variety of approaches, from experimental to cross-cultural to electrophysiological (EEG/ERP), and his work has focused on a number of influential ideas, including the notion that the executive function depends, in part, on the development of the ability to use increasingly complex, higher-order rules (formulated in self-directed speech)—part of the Cognitive Complexity & Control theory; the notion that consciousness develops through a series of "levels" in which information is reprocessed via thalamocortical circuits involving prefrontal cortex (the Levels of Consciousness model)—with consequences for the quality of subjective experience, and the potential for recall, rule complexity, and cognitive control; and the importance of the distinction between more "cool", cognitive aspects of executive function typically associated with dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DL-PFC) vs. more "hot", affective aspects associated with more ventral and medial regions of PFC (e.g., orbitofrontal cortex; OFC).

Juan Felipe Molano is graduated with honors at the Vienna Conservatory. He was designated as Director of the Youth Orchestras of Los Angeles by the Philharmonic of Los Angeles through an international competition in 2014, and as Director of the Young Musicians Orchestra of Claremont in 2016. In 2017, the Colombian Chancellery and the RCN channel awarded him a prize in the city of Washington as one of the most outstanding Colombians in the United States. In the same way, the Council of Medellín, his native town, gave him the Juan del Corral order for his outstanding artistic career.

As Director of the Symphonic Orchestra of Yucatán (Mexico), between 2003 and 2008, he led this institution to become one of the most outstanding professional orchestras of that country with an eclectic symphonic repertoire, the inclusion of innovative interdisciplinary staging as well as an important number of operas, among which are Madame Butterfly, Bastian and Bastiana, Elixir of love and Rigoletto. He has worked with artists like Ilya Gringolts, Placido Domingo, Min Lee, Gustavo Dudamel, Coldplay, Eric Aubier, Joseph De Pasquale, Ryu Goto or the Latin American Quartet, among others. Molano has directed orchestras in different countries of Europe, Asia and America. Some of them are: Los Angeles Philharmonic, Monterey Symphony (United States), Slovak Radio Symphony, Simón Bolívar Symphony of Venezuela / Take a Stand Festival, Vienna Conservatory Symphony, YOA Orchestra of the Americas, El Sistema Japan Orchestra, Via dei Concerti Festival, National Symphony of Colombia, Bogota Philharmonic, Medellin Philharmonic, EAFIT Symphony Orchestra, Cali Philharmonic, University of Nuevo Leon Symphony, Morelia Symphony, Orchestra of the Michoacán University, National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, Youth Orchestra of the Valencian Community (Spain), among many others. For 6 years he was the National Director of the Youth Orchestra System of Colombia (Sistema de Orquestas Juveniles de Colombia Batuta). He has also been Director of the Wolfgang Sinfonietta Orchestra of Singapore, Young Philharmonic of Colombia, Director of the American Youth Symphony, Director of El Sistema Salinas, El Sistema San Rafael (California) and the National Take a Stand Festival Orchestra in the United States. In addition to his work as director, Molano has a great passion for education as well as a professor at universities of Colombia, the United States and Mexico, as well as a frequent lecturer and orchestral consultant in the United States, Korea, Japan, Singapore, the Philippines, Argentina, Colombia and Norway, highlighting his recent talk TEDx Medellin in 2018. During 2018, he will be guest conductor of orchestras in the United States, Spain and Colombia, including his debut at the recognized Hollywood Bowl in September. Juan Felipe resides in Los Angeles with his wife and his two daughters.

Dr. Brummelman obtained his PhD in Psychology at Utrecht University. He was Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the University of Amsterdam and Stanford University. He is now Assistant Professor in the Research Institute of Child Development and Education at the University of Amsterdam. His research focuses on the socialization of the self—how social processes shape children’s self-views, such as narcissism and self-esteem, and how these processes can be altered to help children flourish. Doing so, he seeks to simultaneously advance our understanding of the self and develop interventions that bring about positive change in children’s real-world lives.

AMI trainer for 0-6 Montessori Guides. Director of the training courses of the Master’s Degree in Montessori Pedagogy offered by the Universistat de Vic, Barcelona, and of the training courses offered by the Montessori Institute of San Diego. Academic and researcher of the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), holds the 0-3, 3-6 and Special Education AMI Diplomas. She was a member of the AMI Pedagogical Committee, in the association´s headquarters in Amsterdam from 1982 to 2010. Currently, she works for the AMI Research Committee and represents this entity before the United Nations. She is also an active member of the AMI-USA Consultation Committee. She is also associate professor at Loyola University Maryland.

Regarding her training, it has to be emphasized her PhD in Biological Sciences (Neurosciences program) from the Complutense University of Madrid and a specialization in Child Brain Development (IAHP, Philadelphia, USA), among others. She has been working with children with brain injury and learning disabilities for 30 years. She is also actively involved in the training of parents in the field of brain injury, university level and professionals who are already practicing.

Since 2000, Dr. López works in the center of Neurological Organization Neocortex. In this center, children with neurodevelopment problems, ranging from deep brain injuries to mild brain injuries, are attended. This neurodevelopment problems include: child brain paralysis, disorders in the autism spectrum, generalized developmental disorders, language problems, learning problems, attention deficit and/or hyperactivity disorders, and dyslexia, among others.

Dr. López give lessons in the Master of Neuropsychology Education of the Rioja International University (UNIR). In the San Antonio Catholic University of Murcia (UCAM), she is Director of the Neurodevelopment chair and has participated in several teacher training activities.

She has published three books and a series of children’s stories about neuroscience and education addressed to parents and professionals.

Adele Diamond is the Canada Research Chair Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. She received her B.A. from Swarthmore College Phi Beta Kappa (in Sociology-Anthropology & Psychology), her Ph.D. from Harvard (in Developmental Psychology), and was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale Medical School in Neuroanatomy.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and has been listed as one the 15 most influential neuroscientists in the world.

Prof. Diamond helped pioneer the now flourishing field of "developmental cognitive neuroscience" and is one of the world leaders on executive functions, self-regulation, and self-control. Her discoveries have improved treatment for medical disorders (ADHD & PKU) and impacted education worldwide, improving millions of children’s lives.

She offers a markedly different perspective from mainstream education in hypothesizing that focusing exclusively on training cognitive skills is less efficient, and ultimately less successful, than also addressing children’s emotional, social, spiritual, and physical needs. She has championed the roles of play, music, dance, storytelling, and physical activity in improving executive functions and academic and mental health outcomes.

Prof. Diamond is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Award for Lifetime Contributions to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society from the American Psychological Association, the International Mind, Brain and Education Society’s Translation Award (the highest award that society gives) and an honorary doctorate from Ben-Gurion University.

Degree in Medicine and Surgery from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Master's Degree in Neuroscience from the University of Barcelona and Master's Degree in Occupational Health from the University of Barcelona. Higher music studies at the Music Conservatory of Barcelona and management studies at the Higher School of Business Administration, ESADE of Barcelona.

Training in the health, educational and social fields. She is part of the training team of different Universities: Official Master's Degree in Neurorehabilitation of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Guttmann Institute); Postgraduate in Neuroeducation of the University of Barcelona; Postgraduate in Mentoring and Educational Coaching of the University of Barcelona; Postgraduate Degree in Emotional Education of the University of Barcelona, and Specialization Course in Emotional Education of the University of Santiago de Compostela.

Rosa Casafont is author of the books Trip to your brain: The art of transforming your mind and Trip to your emotional brain: An immersion in the world of emotions, both of the Editorial Grupo Randdom House. Dr. Casafont is coauthor of Emotional Gymnastics and Coaching, coordinated by Rafael Bisquerra, and of Educate us to educate: Neurolearning to transform education, of the Paidós Educación Editorial, Grupo Planeta.

As a health professional and committed to education, Dr. Casafont feels fortunate to exercise her vocation, medicine, and her passion, neurosciences. Her professional practice is to bring applied neuroscience to different fields of activity.

Kay M. Baker has been an AMI Director of Training for 30 years and has directed both academic year and summer courses during this time. She has directed elementary courses both in the U.S. and in Europe. Her academic qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, a master’s and Ph.D. in mathematics education and AMI diplomas for children ages 3-6 and 6-12. Dr. Baker is also an AMI consultant for primary and elementary classes. She is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association. She has given many talks and workshops nationally and internationally on topics ranging from the four planes of development to suitable classroom practices. Dr. Baker is particularly interested in children’s thinking, having investigated children’s solution strategies for multiplication word problems for her doctoral dissertation. She has spent her career considering the necessity for adults to continue to learn in order to aid the life of the developing child.


Executive function refers to the skills needed for the conscious control of thought, action, and emotion—skills that include cognitive flexibility, working memory, and inhibitory control. These skills, which develop rapidly during early childhood, support school readiness and socioemotional competence, and more generally, they serve as a foundation for learning and adaptation across a wide range of situations. This talk will review what is known about EF and its development in childhood, discuss how to measure EF objectively, and describe effective ways for parents, teachers, and others to support the healthy development of EF.

The objectives of the conference are:

1Understand and discuss the influence of experience on brain development and behavior

2Define and discuss executive function and its development in childhood

3Understand how executive function is measured in early childhood

4Identify ways to promote the healthy development of executive function

The similarity in the functioning of the brain and that of a symphony orchestra. Brain disorders are easy to exemplify with a symphony orchestra given the similarity of functions between the conductor of an orchestra and the cortical thalamus, which is responsible for sending messages to the cerebral cortex to be executed; it is a wonderful subject.

The learning objective of the conference is exemplify artistic results and human experiences, juxtaposing the traditional methodologies with those developed in the System of youth orchestras, which converge totally with those developed in Montessori.

Since the 1970s, Western parents have become increasingly concerned with building children’s self-esteem. Parents intuitively believe that high self-esteem is key to success, health, and well-being, and they try to raise self-esteem by telling children that they are unique and extraordinary. Unfortunately, there is some evidence that since the very same decade, Western youth have become increasingly narcissistic. This raises the question: Are we inadvertently cultivating narcissism in children? My talk will discuss this question.

Recent studies show that children with neurological differences have processing problems that interfere with necessary skills, such as organization, time planning, abstract reasoning, memory and attention, which are considered executive functions. People who work with children should observe and recognize certain behaviors or characteristics that can be an obstacle to satisfactory learning and offer the means to overcome them.

Knowing what the executive functions are helps adults to achieve that children with special needs acquire them in a Montessori environment.

Which are those characteristics of a Montessori environment that promote self-control, attention, memory and concentration in all children and especially in those who show different style of learning or have exceptionalities. Montessori education has elements that allow to acquire them at an early age.

This conference aims to convey the difficulties that some of our children face in the acquisition of learning tools, such as literacy skills, and look for development strategies.

The following topics will be discussed at the conference:

1Introduction to neurodevelopment

2Information input versus output systems

3Motor route

4Visual route

5Auditory route

The abilities to reason and creatively problem-solve, to exercise self-control and resist temptations and think before you speak or act, to stay focused and concentrate, and to have the flexibility to see things from different perspectives and adapt to change are critical for success in school and in life. Collectively, these abilities comprise what are called "executive functions."

You may have noticed that when you’re stressed, sad, or feeling lonely or ill you cannot think as clearly or exercise as good self-control. There is good reason for that. Executive functions depend on a brain region called "prefrontal cortex", and that brain region is affected first and most severely if you’re sad, stressed, lonely, or not in good physical health. Conversely, when you’re calmer, happier, more physically fit, and feel more socially supported your prefrontal cortex works better and you are better at problem-solving and exercising self-control.

It follows that what nourishes the human spirit is also best for executive functions and thus for the best performance at school and at work. Evidence shows that the different parts of a person (social, emotional, spiritual, cognitive, and physical) are all interrelated. The brain does not recognize the sharp divisions between these that we impose in our thinking. Physical, social, emotional, and cognitive health are all fundamentally interconnected.


1There is no limit to what young people can achieve if they are engaged in activities they are passionate about, where mentors and experiences inspire and instill self-confidence.

2The stress of being terrified of making a mistake or of being embarrassed is one of the greatest impediments to doing well.

3At any age, we are more engaged in something if we have some role in choosing or shaping it.

4One major route to loving what you are doing is to feel you are making a positive difference. Research shows that what brings people the most happiness is not money or creature comforts. Rather it is making others happy (seeing the smile on someone’s face because of something you did), feeling that what you are doing matters, being united with others in striving to achieve an important shared goal, that you are helping in some way (small or large) to make the world a better place.

5What children need most from us is to feel loved, respected, and valued. Your caring is more important than your knowledge or skill, material things, or doing the textbook-perfect thing.

Currently, from Neuroscience, the mind is defined as a complex and enigmatic entity, but at the same time, our mind is just our own. Our mind is subjective, unique and non-transferable and we express it through action.

Our brain is the most complex organ we have and, as expressed by Rodolfo Llinás Riascos referring to his influence, "we are dream machines that build virtual models of the real world".

We also know that the mind defines us as a species, allows us intelligence and wisdom, that our brain has structures with plastic capacity and that the environment is capable of influencing changes in its structure and function.

In this conference we will review this and other capacities for change, which contribute to our potential for action. We will start from the self-knowledge of structures, functions and capacities to support that, although having the capacity to change can be an opportunity, the true value is obtained when we are able to acquire the ability to direct the change. Directing it towards a healthier life, generating a "self-transformation of value" and from this, influencing the quality of our personal, familiar, professional and social environment.

And in this forum, accompany the growth of children by facilitating their development process, their learning, decision making... In short, promoting them to reach their full potential.

At the end of the conference, we will explore and substantiate the reasons to what to do and what to avoid in our life process.

First, we will have identified. Secondly, we will have been able to believe in our own capacity to carry it out. Finally, we will have explored how to acquire skill in the ART OF TRANSFORMING THE MIND.

A discussion of the development of the human being using Maria Montessori’s framework of the four planes of development. These four stages of development are explored with the idea of describing what maturity is. An elaboration of the fourth plane of development is proposed, especially within the context of the needs of the human being at that stage.


Last edition's video attached.

Inscripciones antes del 28 de febrer de 2019200,00€
Inscripciones después del 28 de febrer de 2019270,00€
Estudiantes menores de 25 años con acreditación (plazas limitadas)50,00€
Programa del viernes70,00€
Programa del sábado200,00€
Inscripciones con descuentos no acumulables: socios AME, CICAE, EPIC y exalumnos MP, grupos de 3 o más180,00€
Cena especial con los conferenciantes30,00€
Suplemento equipo traducción simultánea individual5,00€


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

El III Seminario Internacional sobre Neurociencia y Educación es un evento que necesita el apoyo de empresas e instituciones que tengan visión de futuro y un compromiso firme con la necesidad de apostar por los jóvenes, la semilla de la sociedad que vendrá. Además, queremos contar con empresas que quieran estar en contacto con la vanguardia educativa y las nuevas tendencias en el campo de la pedagogía y la educación.

Somos conscientes de que cualquier patrocinio supone una inversión y por tanto, hay que buscar un retorno y unos beneficios. Por este motivo, hemos creado una plataforma para que las empresas puedan hacer llegar su mensaje a personas de todo relacionadas con el ámbito de la educación. En caso de que estéis interesados podéis enviar un correo a y os haremos llegar las modalidades de patrocinio.