Center for Interdisziplinary Research

Emotions as Bio-Cultural Processes

Concluding Conference of the ZiF: Research Group 2004/05

Date: September 1 - 3, 2005
Organizers: Birgitt Röttger-Rössler, Hans J. Markowitsch (both Bielefeld)

Half a year after the residential fellows left the ZiF and the research year had been finished, the Research Group Emotions as Bio-Cultural Processes together with a number of international experts re-joined for the concluding conference to present the results of their work. To be able to foster productive interdisciplinary discussions of the presented work, the conference program was planned according to a special scheme: Every one of the six sessions was opened by a presentation of results in that particular area of work from two of the former Fellows. This could either be a more general overview of the subject area or very concrete case studies. These presentations were immediately followed by comments from an expert of the topic who had not been part of the Research Group, in this way opening up the broader discussion with all participants. The sessions then closed with a longer contribution by another international expert. The sessions themselves represented all areas the Research Group had worked on in more detail during its year at the ZiF, namely the more general areas of brain and history of emotions, appraisals as bridging concept between biology and culture, the ontogenetic development of emotions, the relation between changing lives, changing societies and changing emotions as well as two special focus topics with the specific emotional situation in adolescence as well as the emotionality of social ex- and inclusion. In summary, the concept of the conference proved successful as it indeed provided ample opportunity for constructive discussions with all participants. It showed that the work of the Group was widely successful in laying the ground for a common base for all sciences concerned with emotion research. The participants became aware that it is absolutely necessary to advance beyond the established disciplinary boundaries to be able to better understand emotions and their manifold effects on the individual as well as on the society and culture it lives in.

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