Friday, October 28, 2011

Wie won de Creatieve Geest Prijs? [Dutch]

Onderzoeker Shanti Ganesh van de Radboud Universiteit is de winnaar van de Creatieve Geest Prijs 2011, een nieuwe prijs aan de UvA geïnitieerd door de Freek & Hella de Jonge Stichting en het Cognitive Science Center Amsterdam (CSCA). Ganesh ontvangt de prijs voor haar onderzoeksvoorstel ‘Can creativity switch domains?’ Met de prijs van € 10.000 kan ze haar voorstel verder uitwerken, waarbij ze ondersteund wordt vanuit het UvA-onderzoekszwaartepunt Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

Met het instellen van de Creatieve Geest Prijs willen Freek en Hella de Jonge onderzoek stimuleren naar creativiteit en de hersenactiviteiten die daarbij een rol spelen, zoals het waarnemend vermogen van schilders, het ruimtelijk inzicht van architecten en het associatieve talent van cabaretiers.

Meer informatie over de winnaar van 2011.
Meer informatie over de prijs.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Interested in human nature?

During a partner meeting yesterday evening at the residence of the Amsterdam municipality, the majority of the speakers list was released for the 2011 edition of the TEDxAmsterdam event. The speakers and the audience will enter the theme ‘Human Nature’ on an expedition to find out what it means to be human in a society that is increasingly dominated by technology and economical issues.

More than ever has there been a need for a vision that is based on human virtues and those that deserve the mark of ‘practical wisdom’. Dutch speakers who are confirmed for TEDxAmsterdam 2011 are among others prof. dr Eveline Crone (Leiden University), prof. dr Henkjan Honing (University of Amsterdam), Chief of the Netherlands Defence Staff Peter Van Uhm, dr David Lentink (bird and swift flight expert), journalist Joris Luyendijk (observes bankers in the City of London). Het Nationale Ballet will perform the opening act.

For the full speaker list see here.

ResearchBlogging.orgCrone, E., & van der Molen, M. (2004). Developmental Changes in Real Life Decision Making: Performance on a Gambling Task Previously Shown to Depend on the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Developmental Neuropsychology, 25 (3), 251-279 DOI: 10.1207/s15326942dn2503_2

ResearchBlogging.orgLentink, D., Müller, U., Stamhuis, E., de Kat, R., van Gestel, W., Veldhuis, L., Henningsson, P., Hedenström, A., Videler, J., & van Leeuwen, J. (2007). How swifts control their glide performance with morphing wings Nature, 446 (7139), 1082-1085 DOI: 10.1038/nature05733

Monday, October 10, 2011

A history of music cognition?

One of the pioneers in the field that would come to be called music cognition was H. Christopher Longuet-Higgins (1923-2004). Not only was Longuet-Higgins one of the founders of the cognitive sciences (he coined the term in 1973), but as early as 1971 he formulated, together with Mark Steedman, the first computer model of musical perception. That early work was followed in 1976 with a full-fledged alternative in the journal Nature, seven years earlier than the more widely known, but, according to Longuet-Higgins, less precisely formulated, Generative Theory of Tonal Music of Lerdahl and Jackendoff. In a review in Nature in 1983 he wrote somewhat sourly:
‘Lerdahl and Jackendoff are, it seems, in favor of constructing a formally precise theory of music, in principle but not in practice.’
Although Lerdahl and Jackendorff’s book was far more precise than any musicological discussion found in the leading journals, the importance of formalization cannot be underestimated. Notwithstanding all our musicological knowledge, many fundamental concepts are in fact treated as axioms; musicologists are, after all, anxious to tackle far more interesting matters than basic notions like tempo, meter or syncopation, to name a few. But these axioms are not in actual fact understood, in the sense that we are not able (as yet) to formalize them sufficiently to explain them to a computer. This is still the challenge of ‘computer modelling’ (and of recent initiatives such as computational humanities) – a challenge that Longuet-Higgins was one of the first to take up [Excerpt from Honing, 2011]. Longuet-Higgins, H. C. (1983). All in theory — the analysis of music Nature, 304 (5921), 93-93 DOI: 10.1038/304093a0 Longuet-Higgins, H. C.  (1976). Perception of melodies Nature, 263 (5579), 646-653 DOI: 10.1038/263646a0 Honing, H. (2011). The illiterate listener. On music cognition, musicality and methodology. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.