The relationship between mental ill health and the environment is extremely topical. With the novel concept of "extended mind," the notion that the mind is not "in" the brain but rather is a reflection of the causal interaction between cerebral representations and the environment, epidemiology urgently needs to devise novel ways to study onset of ill health from the environmental mind perspective. In addition, even though molecular genetic studies of psychiatric phenotypes have remained remarkably inconclusive, much of the genetic contribution to mental ill health and resilience may exert powerful effects through the environment. Furthermore, the effects of the environment on psychological mechanisms, the epigenome and brain structure and function can now be studied and brought together by interested epidemiologists. The challenge of combining all these perspectives for the purpose of research and treatment will be addressed during this conference. Top researchers and students together will endeavour to create clarity and bring the field forward.
Special attention will be given to work by PhD students and Postdocs, for whom reduced admission fees will apply and multiple prizes will be made available. Although the topic is about the envirome and mental health, we welcome any PhD contribution in the broadly defined area of psychiatric epidemiology, health services research, and culture and psychiatry.
The conference will hosted in association with EU-GEI, a major FP7 project on gene-environment interactions funded by the European Commission.