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Researching the human ability to map visual information and language [Print to PDF] [Print to RTF]

The EU is investing EUR 4.15 million to study the human ability to map visual information and language.

LanPercept - Language and Perception is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network funded through the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) that will develop cutting-edge te...
Researching the human ability to map visual information and language
The EU is investing EUR 4.15 million to study the human ability to map visual information and language.

LanPercept - Language and Perception is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network funded through the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) that will develop cutting-edge techniques in order to better understand vision-language mapping across the lifespan in typically and atypically developing populations. Furthermore, it will allow researchers to identify behavioural and brain mechanisms that play a role in mapping visual information about language in daily events.

Researchers will develop theories that aim to capture the features of the visual environment that humans typically attend to. The theories will also explain how visual objects, events and actions are shaping language understanding. Experiments will also be conducted in order to test how language shapes our attention to the visual environment. It is hoped that the findings from the research will produce theories which can explain the complicated interplay of vision-language mapping in humans.

Key to this project will be the training of 11 PhD researchers and 4 postdoctoral researchers from 8 leading academic and 7 industrial and private sector partners in Europe. Increasing numbers of young researchers are finishing their PhDs or postdoctoral training at universities and are seeking various ways to build a professional career outside of academia. In response, LanPercept is focusing on training interdisciplinary professionals who are no longer confined to the traditional boundaries between academia and the private sector.

Professor Mila Vulchanova from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology says, 'In Europe today there is a clear trend for interdisciplinary research and enterprise, with novel and unforeseen cross-fertilizations across traditional fields. Clearly, postgraduate education should follow lead and prepare graduates for the needs of changing technological markets, and society at large.'

For this project, the network will bring together professionals from psychology, neuroscience and linguistics in an attempt to identify behavioural and brain mechanisms which are involved in mapping visual information and language in everyday situations. The knowledge gained will then be used to develop innovative testing and training tools as well as software for clinical work with elderly people suffering from dementia and people with autism spectrum disorders, deafness and reading disabilities.

Professor Vulchanova adds, '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. This is a must for the European researcher for the future.'

In addition to helping people with vision-language mapping problems, the clinical aspects of the network are important for advancing basic research in the field; as Professor Vulchanova explains, '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.'

LanPercept aims to have a strong clinical collaboration with leading industrial partners to guarantee a career path from academia to industry and the public sector. Young researchers in the network will do internships with the participant market-leading eye-tracking and brain research companies, which offer technical tools for vision-language research. Industrial partners will also offer direct training to teach how to identify direct applications of research outputs, as well as training in entrepreneurial skills.
Source: LanPercept - Language and Perception

Related information

Countries

  • Norway
Record Number: 35347 / Last updated on: 2012-12-14
Category: Project
Provider: EC