The content of the works supported by the Grants program for Scientific Research and the interest shown by the scientific community led the BIAL Foundation to hold the “Behind and Beyond the Brain” Symposia, an event that, every two years since 1996, has been bringing together the most relevant names in the fields of neuroscience and of parapsychology and the various researchers supported by the Foundation.

“In this way, the BIAL Foundation hopes to contribute to (…) Humankind clarifying itself as a spiritual being and as a physical being, of great sensitivity and of great capacity for reasoning and achievement, freeing itself from crippling dependencies on third parties and on numbing mystical practices”, stated Luís Portela, in the opening speech of the 1st Symposium.




Cavaco Silva

“It’s a time of celebration. We are celebrating 25 years of vision (...) in recognition, in anticipation capacity, in projection into the future. Understanding all of these decades ago had a huge merit. And realising this with the creation of the BIAL Foundation in 1994 has added merit, because it means institutionalising, not being dependent on one person, however exceptional he may be, and exceptional he is. Above all, it is to have vision (...). We are here at a time of celebration, consensually celebrating what is a triumph for health in Portugal”.


Prof. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
President of the Portuguese Republic
at the ceremony of the Prémio BIAL de Medicina Clínica 2018


Some of the names that have helped to consolidate the importance of this event:

Miguel Castelo-Branco (Coimbra) 
Axel Cleeremans (Brussels)
Lorenza Colzato (Leiden)
António Damásio (Los Angeles) 
Hoyt Edge (Florida) 
Peter Fenwick (London) 

Eberhard Fetz (Washington) 
Fernando Gil (Sorbonne)
Allan Hobson (Harvard) 
Jerome Kagan (Harvard) 
Irving Kirsch (Boston) 
Stephen Kosslyn (San Francisco) 

Stephen Laberge (Stanford) 
Dietrich Lehmann (Zurich) 
Fernando Lopes da Silva 
(Amsterdam and Lisbon)
Edwin May (Palo Alto) 
Robert Morris (Edinburgh) 

Dean Radin (Petaluma)
Alcino Silva (Los Angeles) 
Ian Stevenson (Virginia) 
Robert Stickgold (Harvard)


In 2021, from the 24th to the 27th March, the 13th Symposium will take place at Casa do Médico in Porto with “The Mystery of Time” as the central theme.