I.C.O.N.S., International Conference on the Neurophysiology of Silence, is an international conference on the topic of silence conceived and organized annually by the Research Institute of the Patrizio Paoletti Foundation.
Neuroscientists, philosophers, psychologists and meditation experts together explore the topic of silence with a multidisciplinary approach, both from a theoretical-scientific and a practical-applicative perspective. The objective is to deepen the understanding of its effects on the well-being of individuals. Topics range from the neurophysiology of meditation to the importance of silence in music, to the application of awareness in a clinical, professional and personal context. Guided hands-on experiences, meditation sessions, and artistic performances are organized side by side with theoretical sessions.
According to a study by the World Health Organization, more than 3,000 heart attacks each year are caused by noise pollution. A figure confirmed in 2019 by the research of a German scientific journal, which showed the actual correlation between noise and heart attacks. People live immersed in noise in the modern world, which can be external as well as internal. The first is physical: the sound waves of noise cause the brain to release a large amount of cortisol, the stress hormone. So the brain is always on alert, so much so that those who live in very noisy environments tend to feel more agitated and anxious than normal. Then there is the inner noise, that continuous brooding that is often confused with introspection and that can amplify fears, anxieties and judgments about oneself and others.
Silence, on the contrary, is good for you. Friedrich Nietzche stated that "The path to great things passes through silence." It is not only the absence of noise, silence is an active factor that generates well-being: it is able to instill calm, to remove negative thoughts and not only.
Numerous research shows that it is able to significantly improve the quality of life. There is an ever increasing number of studies, in various fields of knowledge and all around the world that investigate how silence helps reduce the stress load that is accumulated every day, producing a long-term positive impact on the brain and various cognitive performances.
Starting from scientific research, with presentations by the speakers, all the way to experiencing the power of silence with practical sessions, I.C.O.N.S. wants to achieve a goal: to emphasize the importance of the inner world. Because it is there that everyone can give themselves the opportunity to create a new narrative of their own story and thus understand their role and responsibility towards others, becoming men and women capable of living passionately and generating peace around them.