Keynote Speakers

Alfons Aichinger

Alfons Aichinger is a graduate psychologist, Psychotherapist, and Psychodrama Psychotherapist for nearly 40 years.

From 1975 to 2012 he was the Head of the Caritas Association’s Psychological Counseling Centre for Parents, Children, and Youth in Ulm, Germany. 

Since 1980 he has been the Head of the Advanced Training at the Moreno Institut Stuttgart; since 2004 at the Szenen Institut Collogne and since 2012 at various Systemic Institutes in Germany. 

He is the author of 3 books and numerous articles on the subject of Psychodrama with Children. 



Topic: The Power of Play  

Playing is „fertilizer“ for the brain, „fireworks“ for the grey cells. With these statements the German neuroscientist Gerald Hüther advocates the rediscovery of play. Play is brain building, it enhances brain structure and promotes learning, adaptive and prosocial behaviour. And play reduces stress.

This research, with all caution, provide important information about the central conditions for successful learning. Moreno´s statement that play is the „royal road“ for children anticipated the results of neuroscience. And Psychodrama with Children, like no other method, promotes the mood for development, encourages children to lose their fear and activates neural networks with the help of which children become creative and full of ideas for chances,

However, not all children can use the benefits of psychodramatic play for neural pattern chances. There are many children who, because of their specific disorders, remain in solidified patterns and use play to reinforce their problematic strategies.

In my presentation I will point out, which disorder-specific play-interventions help to chance play re-enactment in such a way that neuronal pattern chances are stimulated in order to enhance development in children and to build pro-social brains.

Bogdan Draganski

Professor Bogdan Draganski, native Bulgarian, is a Consultant Neurologist at the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland, Director of the neuroimaging laboratory LREN and of the Departmental MRI platform. After qualifying in Clinical Neurology in Germany he spent time working on computational anatomy research in neurodegenerative and movement disorders at the Institute of Neurology, UCL, London, UK, followed by research at the MAx Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany.

Topic: Imaging Neuroscience to Study Learning and Brain Plasticity

There is much controversy about the precise mechanisms underlying the capacity of the mature human brain for reactive change on brain injury or altered environmental demand. Computational anatomy using in vivo magnetic resonance (MR) imaging confirmed the notion of use-dependent gross remodelling of brain structure and failed to provide further insights into the underlying neurobiological processes. To tackle these issues, we have carried out in the past 20 years a number of experiments to study the behavioural and brain anatomy changes associated with endogenously and exogenously induced plasticity. In my presentation, I will provide a chronological review of achievements in the field to then attempt to predict what will come in the next 10 years.