Fellows

Katharina Kaduk studied Psychology at Potsdam University, Germany and successfully obtained her Diploma in Psychology in August 2011. Contact: k.kaduk@lancaster.ac.uk
Language processing and action understanding (using EEG): the processing of language may KKadukProfilepicderive from the ability to make sense of others’ actions or gestures.  Therefore, in order to understand the emergence of cognitive structures supporting language, an understanding is required of the basic aspects of semantic expectations related to goal directed action early in development.  These expectations can act as a scaffold for later language development, with implications for vocabulary development and language comprehension as a function of the capacity to detect and interpret actions modulated by semantic content. This project seeks to build knowledge in how language derives from understanding the content of action.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Áine Ni Choisdealbha did her B.A. (Mod) in Psychology and English literature and her M.Sc. in Neuroscience, both at Trinity College Dublin. Contact: a.nichoisdealbha@lancaster.ac.uk
Semantics related to object knowledge and action prediction (using eye tracking): As goalaine2_1 directed actions are often performed with a specific object that facilitates that action (such as a hammer for inserting nails into wood), so an additional layer of information related to that object must be processed by an observer.  This could enhance the speed at which decisions on the appropriateness of an observed action are taken, or it could lead to assumptions about the nature of intended actions.  This project will explore the manner in which semantic knowledge of objects interacts and interferes with predicting action outcomes.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Janna Gottwald studied Psychology at the Universities of Kiel and Potsdam (Germany) and received her Diploma in Developmental Psychology in 2011. Contact: janna.gottwald@psyk.uu.seJanna__2__1
Prospective control during manual exploration (using motion capture):this project will seek to map relations between action development and prospective control during reaching. A specific emphasis will be placed on posture control and prospective grasping. This project will inform us about the developmental trajectory of action, with a focus on the underlying systems that contribute to the construction of these abilities.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Benjamin Koch studied Linguistics at the Universities of Paderborn and Bielefeld (Germany) and received his M.A. in Linguistics in 2011.
Contact: benjamin.koch@psyk.uu.sebenjamin1_bw_200
Goal anticipation during observation of others’ actions (using eye tracking): We know from previous work that infants anticipate the goal of others actions, if they have experience performing the same actions themselves. To date little is known about the underlying mechanisms behind this anticipatory ability. This project focuses on understanding the underlying mechanisms that allow humans to encode and anticipate the goal of others actions early in development.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Livia Freier has a Diploma in Psychology from the University of Barcelona and a M.Sc. in Neuroscience from Goldsmiths, University of London. 
Contact: l.freier@mail.bbk.ac.uklivia_birkbeck_1
The interplay of top-down and bottom-up constraints in the selection of action:
This project will investigate how perceptual processes induce constraints in choosing an action to perform and how this interacts with decision-making processes and judgments. Such research will inform us on the acquisition of action abilities and cognitive processes during development.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Constantinos Mitsopolos has a BSc in Physics (Athens) and MSc in Machine Learning (UCL).
Contact: kmitsopou@hotmail.comDSC01884_crop
Using reinforcement learning and internal models to map intention to action: This project aims to determine the mechanisms underlying how learning takes place and how it interacts with internal processes related to intentional action perception and production. Understanding these links will help us determine how learning type influences the ability to track intentions and how motor developmental disorders occur.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Claire Monroy has a BA in psychology from Williams College.
Contact: c.monroy@donders.ru.nlclaire
Action execution during collaborative acts (using EEG): Frequency activity in the brain will be recorded when actions are performed in isolation or in collaboration with others. The aim is to investigate how the brain process collaborative actions early in development. From a developmental perspective little is known about how infants process social interactions that the infant is actively engaging in.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ezgi Kayhan has a MA in psychology from Bogaziçi University.
Contact: e.kayhan@donders.ru.nlezgi
Understanding others social interactions (using eye tracking): Observing others interacting is a highly complex and difficult task due to the number of variables present at any given time.  How infants use cues to attend to relevant elements of a social scene is predominantly unknown.  Understanding the elements that are required for the detection of important social information and the cues that social information provide to other forms of learning, are the focus of this project.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Oscar Portolés Marín studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the universities of Zaragoza and Glyndwr, and obtained a MSc in Biomedical Engineering from UPC and UB (Spain).
Contact: opm@brainproducts.comOscar_Portoles
The creation of trial analysis tools suitable for infant populations: New technology is needed for the new field of developmental cognitive neuroscience, as the current technology does not cater for the challenges of infant EEG data. ERP studies with infants use software which is designed for work with adult data despite real and substantive differences in the nature and quality of obtained data. This state of affairs in the field suggests that an integrated software package that caters for infant data is critical at this point in time.  The software produced by this project will come in three components, all of which will integrate with each other.  The first element is a data transformation and editing suite.  The second component is an analysis suite.  The third component is a graphics package that allows for the accurate presentation of temporal and topographical information for EEG and ERP data.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Estefanía Domínguez Martínez has a M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering from Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain).
Contact: estefania.dominguez@tobii.comEstefania_Dominguez
Developing software/hardware that integrate eye tracking and EEG: systems exist for integration of eye tracking and EEG. However, the systems used are not optimal for infancy research, especially with respect to eye tracking. The aim is to develop stable and easy-to-use behavior-brain interaction systems in collaboration by European SME research oriented companies and university users.
Estefanía created a blog where she uploads all her sample projects and speaks about things related to her project.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Zlatko Franjcic has a MSc in Computer Science from ETH Zurich.
Contact: zlatko.franjcic@qualisys.sezlatko
Developing analysis tools for Qualisys motion capture data specifically targeting developmental data: As described above, analysing motion profiles of infants is difficult, particularly due to missing data and an enhanced need to interpolate and filter data. This project will focus on developing tools that make this process easier, more accessible, robust and reliable.