Science Education

Formerly known as European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences

Our inspiring educational experiences share the scientific discoveries of EMBL with young learners aged 10-19 years and teachers in Europe and beyond. We belong to EMBL’s Science Education and Public Engagement office.

EMBL Insight Lecture 2023

“Uncovering the origin of learning and memory – A journey into the evolution of nervous systems”

Event description

The EMBL Insight Lecture 2023 will be presented by Dr. Detlev Arendt, Group Leader at EMBL Heidelberg, on 14 November 2023, 10:30-11:45 CET.

The origin of the central nervous system is one of the last remaining mysteries in animal evolution. What did the first nervous system look like, and in which animals did it occur? What kind of brain did the famous last common ancestor of vertebrates, annelids and insects possess? And can we reconstruct its form and function? Help in answering these questions comes from an unexpected source: small marine worms that live today.

In the EMBL Insight Lecture 2023, Dr. Detlev Arendt introduces the exciting field of evolution of the nervous system and takes us on a journey to find out more about the first neurons and their role in coordinating body movement and physiology in ancient animals. The lecture shows how, by investigating sea annelids and other marine worms that have changed relatively little over the last 540 million years, Detlev and his team are able to draw conclusions about the early brain that was present in the first ancestors of bilaterally symmetrical animals. Can they get us closer to uncovering the origin of learning and memory?

Event report

We wrote about the lecture in our news section.

Watch lecture

The EMBL Insight Lecture is available via on-demand-streaming from this website. You can watch it directly in the window below. Alternatively, you can open the EMBL Insight Lecture here.

Lecture series

More information on the concept behind EMBL Insight Lectures and recordings of previous lectures may be found here.

Date: 14 - 14 November 2023

Registration deadline: 7 November 2023

Topic area:  Evolutionary biology

Age group:  16-19

Organiser: SEPE