Dear colleague,

we are pleased to invite you to the eight edition of the Cognitive Science Arena (CSA). The conference will be held in Brixen-Bressanone (Italy) on February 7-8th, 2020.

Spirit and mood
The aim of the CSA is to set a conference where young scientists can disseminate their scientific contributions in a friendly and cooperative environment, and challenge the senior scientists in a fruitful debate.
In particular, highly innovative research ideas as well as research-in-progress are encouraged. The idea of the CSA is to reverse the usual format of scientific conferences. Young researchers first:
they play the starring role (no talks or posters from senior researchers are allowed), they compete for a prize for the best talk and poster voted by the audience. We would like to bring together young and promising minds now working in cognitive science and provide them with a fruitful and cooperative environment.

Topics include (but are not limited to) all area (and surroundings) of cognitive science: developmental cognition and education, language, memory, perception, psychometrics, anthropology, economics and social sciences, neuroscience, clinical psychology, and animal cognition, just to mention a few.

This year we will host an invited talk by Raffaella Rumiati (Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at SISSA, Trieste and member of the ANVUR, the Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of the University and Research Systems).

SENIOR DISCUSSANTS (old and grumpy tenured that will make your life a nightmare with the toughest questions you may imagine)
Demis Basso (University of Bolzano)
Chiara Begliomini (University of Padova)
Massimo Grassi (University of Padova)
Manila Vannucci (University of Firenze)
Marcel Zentner (University of Innsbruck)

The key-ideas of the CSA are the following:
[1] works by young scientists only (master students, PhD and post-doc students, and researchers with a fixed-term contract…);
[2] long time for each speaker: 15 minutes talk + 10 minutes discussion; [3] “You will never talk alone” poster-session with dedicated time for each poster;
[4] “Short-talks for posters”: poster presenters are asked to prepare a three-minutes talk (with PowerPoint-like presentations) that summarizes and introduces the audience to the content of the poster;
[5] NEW THIS YEAR!. “One minute for you!” The last minute of the discussion, the discussion stops and the audience asked to write down (either via paper or Padlet) one or more comment to the presenter.
[5a] “Verba volant, scripta manent” (aka, several anonymous reviewers): attendees can write comments, criticisms and suggestions to the speaker via paper and pencil. Comments are delivered to the speaker at the end of the talk (or poster) session;
[5b] PADLET: Starting from 2018 edition at CSA we use padlet. Padlet ( is a virtual blackboard where you can write (anonymously or not: you decide!) questions, comments, criticisms, hurray, etc. while the speaker is giving his/her talk; 

[6] in progress and high-risk research are welcome!

Type of contribution: talk and poster
CSA is accepting two types of contributions: talks and posters. Talks consist of a 15 minute-presentation, followed by a 10-minute discussion.
The poster session is divided in two moments. On the first day of the conference (Friday), poster presenters are asked to give a three minutes talk that introduces the audience to the content of the talk. The following day (Saturday) takes place the “you will never talk alone poster session” with regular posters and dedicated time and discussion for each poster presented in day one. A note for participants: this type of poster session (i.e., short talk plus regular poster) is strongly recommended for in progress or research ideas (i.e., research that has no data yet).

Abstracts submission
Participants must submit an abstract through the conference website (please, specify “talk” or “poster” when submitting). Abstracts will be selected on the basis of the principle “first come first served” until slots for talks and posters will be available. In case the number of submissions exceeds the availability, the scientific committee will operate a selection among the received contributions. In addition, the scientific committee may change the type of submission (e.g., from talk to a poster) in the case the research submitted is more suitable for the other format. *Abstract can be submitted starting from the 13/11/2019 12:00 to the 13/12/2019 12:00 (i.e., noon) CET*. The authors of the selected abstracts will be email-notified within one week after submission deadline, and will be asked to confirm their participation by replying to our email (those who will not reply on time will be excluded from the final program).

Registration fees
– 20 euros registration fee for participants presenting talks or posters. The fee has to be paid as soon as the participant is acknowledged about the selection of his/her contribution. This fee is a deposit and a commitment to participate at CSA. Note: the fee is not returned if the participant withdraws the contribution.
– 60 euro is asked to tenured researchers;
– no fee for students, doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers that attend to the conference without presenting any contribution. 
The fees will be used to partly (or fully) cover the expenses of the conference (lunches, coffee breaks and “Cheers, cheese & wine” buffet).

“Valiant” and “Painter” awards 2020
During the conference, the audience will vote for the best CSA talk and poster. At the end of the conference, the best speaker and the best poster presenter will receive a certificate and a monetary award.

The official language of CSA is English.

Social events
CSA includes two worldwide famous social events: the “Friday night sleigh ride” and the “Cheers, cheese & wine” buffet. The sleigh ride is usually held the first evening of the meeting (i.e., Friday): be prepared! Contact for further information. The “Cheers, cheese & wine” buffet is held at the end of the conference.

Suggested (i.e., cheapest) accommodations
– Youth hostel:
– Cusanus Academie:

How to get to CSA:
The closest airports are Innsbruck (INN) and Verona (VRN). The city of Brixen-Bressanone is along the railway line connecting the two cities (see maps here:

Conference website
More information, abstract submission and registration forms can be found here:

Contacts & info:
Facebook: Cognitive Science Arena

The organizing committee:
Demis Basso (University of Bolzano):
Chiara Begliomini (University of Padova):
Massimo Grassi (University of Padova):
Manila Vannucci (University of Firenze):

Supporting institutions:
– Faculty of Education, University of Bolzano
– Department of General Psychology, University of Padova
– Associazione Italiana di Psicologia
– Centre for Applied Cognitive Neuroscience (CeNCA)

Feel free to forward this call to other colleagues of yours that may be interested.

See you in Brixen!
The CSA team