EU study tackles vision-mapping language
Scientists led by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) are developing sophisticated techniques to understand vision-language mapping across the lifespan in typically and atypically developing populations. The LANPERCEPT ('Language and perception') project has received a Marie Curie Initial Training Network grant worth more than EUR 4 million under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), to investigate the ability of humans to map visual information and language.
The LANPERCEPT team is testing novel tools and training software that will benefit the elderly who are diagnosed with dementia, and individuals with disabilities or disorders like deafness and autism. The software will enable them to negotiate the translation between vision and language.
The study will allow the researchers to identify behavioural and brain mechanisms that play a role in mapping visual information about language in daily events.
Thanks to the work being carried out in the study, the project partners that work in various areas of research will give practitioners in educational and health institutions the means to deal with challenges impacting European society.
'The current network is unique in bridging together basic research and clinical research (which is still rare), with a strong focus on methodology and advanced techniques for studying language and perception,' said Professor Mila Vulchanova, who is coordinating LANPERCEPT. 'This is a must for the European researcher for the future.'
The researcher commented on the significance of the clinical aspects of this network: '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.'
For the purposes of this study, researchers are developing theories that are able to capture the features of the visual environment and humans typically attend to. The results will provide insight into how visual objects, events and actions are shaping language understanding.
In terms of the diverse groups that make up the LANPERCEPT network, the partners said industry and academia are working together to obtain the best results.
Said Tommy Strandvall, the global head of Knowledge and Training at Tobii Technology in Sweden: 'This is a great opportunity for us as a full partner of LANPERCEPT to collaborate closely with eight outstanding European universities. By engaging an experienced researcher for 24 months we aspire to make new knowledge and eye-tracking solutions available to the research community.'
For his part, Martin Pötter, product manager at SensoMotoric Instruments GmbH in Germany, said: 'We at SMI are looking forward to the collaboration with senior specialists as well as future professionals in the area of language and perception to better understand the needs and develop the next generation of research tools for this community.'
Experts from Denmark, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom are contributing to this study.
Data Source Provider: Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Document Reference: Based on information from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Subject Index: Coordination, Cooperation; Innovation, Technology Transfer; Life Sciences; Materials Technology; Scientific Research