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Research and education related to brain research in non-human primates: a multidisciplinary European training platform


The proposed Early Stage Research Training Program (EST) 'SensoPrim' (sensory information processing in non-human primates) offers a unique pan-European platform for research and education related to non-human primates. It focuses on the neural information processing and cognitive, perceptual phenomena in a highly developed brain.

The EST coordinates European laboratories studying higher brain functions in this demanding model. The participating research groups are represented by U. Buttner (Ludwig-Maximili ans University, Munich, G); W. Graf (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, F), B. Hess (University of Zurich (CH), Neurology Department); K.-P. Hoffmann (Ruhr University of Bochum, G); A. J. van Opstal (University of Nijmegen, NL); G. A. Orb an (University of Leuven, B); G. Rizzolatti (University of Parma, I); W. Schultz (University of Cambridge, GB); H.-P. Thier (University of Tubingen, G); S. Treue (German Primate Center, Gottingen, G).

The proposed EST program will provide a unique opportunity for young European scientists (10 full-time doctoral students) to learn the complex issues related to these sophisticated experimental procedures and animal-handling techniques. Within the framework of structured training, special events will be held a t the different host institutions. Thus the fellows can visit leading European laboratories, learn about the different research aspects and methods in the study of sensory information processing. Other laboratories will have the opportunity to join this 'nucleus' temporarily.

Through this joint program, the different European laboratories can extensively collaborate in order to further refine and improve their set-ups and experimental procedures. The initiative will also strengthen the organizational structure among European neuroscientists to communicate the importance of this work to the general public, and to gain a general acceptance and awareness of this line of research.

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