S2-L01-ERASMUS MUNDUS-AUDITORY COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE TRAINING NETWORK (UNITED STATES of AMERICA, CANADA)
Start date: Jul 15, 2010,
Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience is the scientific study of how people think about or respondto sound, with a focus on the relationship between auditory behaviour (hearing, imagining, ormaking sound) and the neural substrates of the mental processes involved. Examples includerecognizing a phone ring, understanding speech in noise, listening to music, or imagining aparent's voice. Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience is the research discipline that contributes tothe understanding and creation of models of brain function and dysfunction, includingtinnitus, tone deafness, stuttering, aphasia, and auditory processing disorders. Brain responsesto sound have a profound impact on related health areas including attention, memory, mood,and motor rehabilitation. These recent developments highlight the need for interdisciplinarytraining in Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience across natural and health sciences, to benefitfields ranging from audio engineering and communications technology to medical imagingand stroke recovery.Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience is highly multidisciplinary and relies strongly oninternational cooperation. Direct experience with the culture and working environment inother countries is a key benefit for young researchers in the international scientificcommunity. Typical university study programs do not adequately prepare students for thisenvironment. We would argue that the optimal way to prepare students for this environment isto expose them to it through practicums and internships in top foreign research labs. Auditoryneuroscience is a field in which Canada, the USA and countries of the European Union host ahigh number of leading laboratories. Our goal for the proposed exchange program is to linkthese laboratories and provide an outstanding and novel training environment for the doctoraland postdoctoral students. This approach will enable North-American students to develop anunderstanding of different European cultures, languages and institutions, and vice versa, itwill enable students from different European member states to experience North-Americanresearch institutions, culture, and languages. Most importantly, the students will receivetraining in cutting-edge research labs to enhance their competitiveness in an internationalwork environment.In addition to the importance of geographical and cultural mobility, there is an urgent need toprepare researchers in Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience to be mobile among differentacademic disciplines, industrial, and health care settings. In order to support themultidisciplinary aspect of the exchange program, students from a diverse range of studyprograms will be able to participate in the exchange. The program will attract excellentdoctoral and postdoctoral students by providing mentoring by the world leading scientists inthe field with special emphasis on international networking. Participating doctoral studentsand also young postdocs will have gained their scientific qualification from very differentareas, such as psychology, psychophysics, neurology, audiology, neurolinguistics, biology,physics, electrophysiology, bioengineering, mathematical modeling, and computer sciences.The common factor between all potential exchange students will be the interest in researchtraining in auditory neuroscience. The participating research labs specialize in a wide varietyof disciplines, ranging from biology (e.g. neurobiological research in animal models) tocognitive psychology (e.g. functional neuroimaging in humans) and biomedical engineering(e.g. development of cochlear implants).
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