Pan European Networks: Science & Technology
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PROFILE
Professor Mila Vulchanova
Project Co-ordinator
LanPercept
tel: +47 73596791
Vulchanova notes: “Typically, we can see why and how basic
research can contribute to improve and address clinical research
and concerns. However, basic research can also benefit from
studies conducted in clinical settings or with clinical populations,
and clinical studies bring in a completely new perspective. The
evidence we get from clinical populations is extremely valuable
and helps research zoom into specific problems or areas which
may be specifically highlighted in the case of developmental or
acquired deficits. This evidence complements the picture we have
from typical populations. The technological tools that will be
developed in LanPercept will also open new innovative
possibilities in basic research, especially in providing us with
better ways of studying the language and perception interface.”
Training of young professionals
New technological markets and society are setting hard
requirements for young academics. It is not enough that
postgraduates in the humanities and social sciences are well-
equipped with scientific thinking, problem solving skills, skills in
team work and knowledge of their target fields. Instead, more and
more technical skills are required.
These requirements are identified in LanPercept. The LanPercept
training co-ordinator, Professor Joel Talcott from Aston University in
the UK, summarises the training as follows: “From the standpoint
of LanPercept, we are training the language researcher of the
future, not only through interdisciplinary training in theory and
research methodology, but also with the technical skills necessary
for working at the cutting-edge of the discipline and with
application to the needs of non-academic stakeholders.
“In LanPercept, both students and mentors participate in
interdisciplinary training comprising workshops and blended
learning with provision of hands-on training in methodologies
ranging from eye movement recording to neuroimaging in
collaborative research and placements with our industrial partners.”
These training components and collaboration with seven industrial
and public sector partners across Europe guarantee that young
professionals trained in LanPercept are prepared for the needs
not only of academia, but also industry and society at large.
The industrial companies involved in LanPercept also acknowledge
many benefits of being part of such a network. For example, Jon
Ward, the director of Acuity ETS Ltd., UK sees the collaboration as a
possibility for European companies to better communicate with
each other as well as with representatives of academia.
He stated: “At Acuity we feel the benefits of being involved with the
LanPercept networks are many and varied. By sharing knowledge
and resources across a number of commercial and academic
partners, from different countries, we feel that we will get a much
broader picture of the uses for our technology, how we can
integrate with other partners and develop closer partnerships with
academia across Europe”.
LanPercept concept in brief
LanPercept network consists of eight leading academic and
seven industrial and private sector partners in Europe. The
research is divided into three interconnected clusters:
n
Cluster 1 –
concentrates on developing theories that explain
how humans map language into vision, how language
shapes our visual perception and how visual environment
constrains our language understanding processes. Such
theories aim to explain the complex interplay of these two
modalities both in adult behaviour, as well as in the
developing brain.
n
Cluster 2 –
advances the knowledge obtained in the first
cluster to identify the underlying mechanisms for atypical
behaviour in people with reading disabilities, autism,
dementia and deafness.
n
Cluster 3 –
collaborates closely with the other clusters to
develop new concrete diagnostic tools, educational
software, as well as advanced experimental techniques to
further support basic and clinical research in language-
vision mapping.
Initial Training Networks is one of the Marie Curie Actions that are
targeted for training young professionals to Europe’s future
NEURODEGENERATIVE RESEARCH
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