Category / Featured

“Handsome young men and shoes I’ll never wear”

Lots of ‘creativity’ in academia to report, at least according to two articles in recent international blogs.

The Creativity Post reports a playful interchange between Kip Jones (RUFUS STONE) and Patricia Leavy (Method Meets Art). Each scholar asked the other 20 Questions. The only requirement was NOT to talk about their work. In an article written by Jones and Leavy elsewhere (The Qualitative Report), Jones advises ‘not to live and work in silos, but let all parts of your lives flow in and out of each other’. In this spirit, Leavy and Jones discuss the personal in the Creative Post article and how it contributes to their innovative endeavors.

In another article in the Creative Quarter, Jones is interviewed by Bournemouth University  Media School’s Trevor Hearing about the making of the research-based, award-winning short biopic, RUFUS STONE. Jones admits that here too the personal became central to solidifying the characters for the film and how auto-ethnography played a role in creating the story.

Those with an interest in ARTS in Research (AiR) are welcome to join the collaboration now forming across Schools at BU. Both faculty and postgrad students welcome!  More information or contact Kip Jones.

Neuroscience@BU seminar: “Emergent oscillatory activity in the cerebral cortex” Friday the 2nd of May 14:00 PG 10 (Poole House)

Next Friday the 2nd of May at 14:00 h in PG10, we will have a research seminar in neuroscience entitled “Emergent oscillatory activity in the cerebral cortex”.

Our guest is Prof. Maria Victoria Sanchez-Vives, http://www.sanchez-vives.org/,  ICREA Research Professor at the IDIBAPS (Institut d’Investigacions Biomediques August Pi i Sunyer) in Barcelona, head of the Systems Neuroscience group.

Prof. Maria Victoria Sanchez-Vives has published a number of influential papers in journals like e.g. Science, Nature Neuroscience or PNAS and is currently the Chief Editor of Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience. She has been funded by Human Frontier Science Program, national and international agencies and has been partner in six European Projects. She is currently coordinator of the FET EU project CORTICONIC.

Her main interests include how neuronal and synaptic properties as well as connectivity determine the emergent activity generated by neuronal networks. The integration of the cortical information giving rise to bodily representation and the combination of brain-computer interfaces and virtual reality for understanding these processes, is another research line of her group.

We strongly suggest not to miss the opportunity to attend to this seminar. Afternoon cakes, coffee and tea will be served during the event.

Best wishes, Emili

Emili Balaguer-Ballester, PhD
Faculty of Science and Technology , Bournemouth University
Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, University of Heidelberg

———————————

Title: “Emergent oscillatory activity in the cerebral cortex”.

Abstract: “Understanding complex systems like brain networks is a challenge. Cortical networks can perform computations of remarkable complexity, accounting for a large variety of behaviours and cognitive states. At the same time, the same networks can engage in stereotypical patterns of spatio-temporal activation, such as the ones that can be observed during sleep, anaesthesia and in cortical slice. Collective phenomena emerging from activity reverberation in cortical circuits at different spatio-temporal scales results in a rich variety of dynamical states. Slow (around or below 1 Hz) and fast (15-100 Hz) rhythms are spontaneously generated by the cortical network and propagate or synchronize populations across the cortex. This is the case even in isolated pieces of the cortical network, or in vitro maintained cortical slices, where both slow and fast oscillations are also spontaneously generated. The similarity between some of these patterns both in vivo and in vitro suggests that they are somehow a default activity from the cortical network. We understand that these emergent patterns provide information on the structure, dynamics and function of the underlying cortical network and their alterations in neurological diseases reveal the circuits dysfunction”.

 

 

 

Centre for Qualitative Research (CQR) Refreshes Its Web Presence

The Centre for Qualitative Research (CQR), a long-standing resource for research practice and postgraduate learning at BU, has recently undergone a ‘refit’ of its web pages.  Content from the old site has been moved over to the new platform for Bournemouth University groups and centres. The new format now makes it possible to link with work taking place in other Schools and research sites. In addition, Impact, Public Engagement and Postgraduate Research links feature on every page.

CQR is held in high esteem globally for its innovative work and commitment to qualitative research. The refreshed web pages provide an international ‘shop window’ for CQR, School of Health & Social Care and BU more generally in regards to cutting-edge qualitative work. CQR has always engaged across Schools at BU and welcomes new opportunities for collaborate efforts.

The new CQR pages include information, resources and links organised around the following areas of research:

In addition, areas such as Biographic Narrative Interpretive Research, Cut-up Technique and Appreciative Inquiry are covered. A new page outlining the ‘Gay and Pleasant Land? Project and Rufus Stone’ has been added. The recently organised, cross-Schools ARTS in RESEARCH (AiR) collaboration is also featured.

The new web pages include new information and resources, links to further information and even videos for viewing pleasure! Last but not least, a photo has been added as a ‘Featured Image’ highlighting the essence of each page.

Have a look around this interesting site!

Neuroscience@BU seminars next week, Wednesday the 12th and Friday the 14th

Dear colleagues,
Next week we will have two thematic research seminars in neuroscience organized by Dr Julie Kirby and me.

-The first of the seminars of this series will take place next Wednesday the 12th of March, 15:00, P302 LT. The invited speaker is Dr Dimitris Pinotsis, http://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/browse/profile?upi=DPINO08.
Dr Pintosis obtained his PhD in September 2006 from the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP) of the University of Cambridge. After an EPRSC Research Fellowship and lectureship in Reading University he moved to UCL where he is working at the Welcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging ; having secured funding from EPSRC and the Wellcome Trust.
Dr Pinotsis has a strong track record and a number of landmark publications in imaging neuroscience modelling; he is also the author of the most advanced versions of the state-of the art models for neuroimaging data, the dynamic causal models. I am familiar with Dimitris work and I very strongly encourage the attendance to researchers both in machine learning and in cognitive psychology.
The title of his exciting talk is “Electrophysiological Data and the Biophysical Modelling of Local Cortical Circuits”. “Dynamic Causal Modelling (DCM) is a general framework that allows for a formal (Bayesian) analysis of the properties of neuronal populations, based upon realistic biophysical models. In the past few years, a wide variety of such models has been implemented in the DCM framework. In this talk, I will first review some of these recent advances and then focus on models that allow one to infer spatial parameters of cortical infrastructures generating electrophysiological signals (like the extent of lateral connections and the intrinsic conduction speed of signal propagation on the cortex). I will try to highlight the links between different models and address how the experimental hypothesis or question asked might inform the choice of an appropriate model”.

-The second seminar of this series will take place on Friday the 14th of March, at 14:00 in K101. Our guest is Prof. Maria Victoria Sanchez-Vives, http://www.sanchez-vives.org/

Maria V. Victoria Sánchez-Vives, M.D., PhD in Neurosciences has been ICREA Research Professor at the IDIBAPS (Institut d’Investigacions Biomediques August Pi i Sunyer) in Barcelona since 2008, where she is the head of the Systems Neuroscience group. She is currently co-director of the Event Lab (Experimental Virtual Envir onments in Neuroscience and Technology).
After obtaining her PhD at the University of Alicante in Spain, MVSV was postdoctoral fellow/research associate at Rockefeller University (1993-1994) and Yale University (1995-2000). She next established her own laboratory at the Neuroscience Institute of Alicante (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas) while being Associate Professor of Physiology. Her independent research has been supported by national and international agencies. She has been funded by Human Frontier Science Program and has been partner in six European Projects. She is currently coordinator of the FET EU project CORTICONIC.
Her main interests include how neuronal and synaptic properties as well as connectivity determine the emergent activity generated by neuronal networks. The integration of the cortical information giving rise to bodily representation and the combination of brain-computer interfaces and virtual reality for understanding these processes is another research line of her group.
She is currently Chief Editor of Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience.
For information see www.sanchez-vives.org
Maria Victoria Sanchez-Vives is a renowned neuroscientist which has published a number of highly influential papers in journals like e.g. Science, Nature Neuroscience, PNAS or Journal of Neuroscience. I strongly encourage not missing the opportunity to attend to this seminar and to discuss perhaps potential synergies.
The title of her talk will be “Emergent oscillatory activity in the cerebral cortex”.
“Understanding complex systems like brain networks is a challenge. Cortical networks can perform computations of remarkable complexity, accounting for a large variety of behaviours and cognitive states. At the same time, the same networks can engage in stereotypical patterns of spatio-temporal activation, such as the ones that can be observed during sleep, anaesthesia and in cortical slice. Collective phenomena emerging from activity reverberation in cortical circuits at different spatio-temporal scales results in a rich variety of dynamical states. Slow (around or below 1 Hz) and fast (15-100 Hz) rhythms are spontaneously generated by the cortical network and propagate or synchronize populations across the cortex. This is the case even in isolated pieces of the cortical network, or in vitro maintained cortical slices, where both slow and fast oscillations are also spontaneously generated. The similarity between some of these patterns both in vivo and in vitro suggests that they are somehow a default activity from the cortical network. We understand that these emergent patterns provide information on the structure, dynamics and function of the underlying cortical network and their alterations in neurological diseases reveal the circuits dysfunction”.

If you would like to talk to the guests kindly let me know.
Best wishes, Emili

Emili Balaguer-Ballester, PhD
Faculty of Science and Technology , Bournemouth University
Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, University of Heidelberg

Prof. Ben Azvine, Global Head of Security Research and Innovation at BT. Monday the 11th of November, PG16

The next of our research seminars will take on Monday, the 11th of November, PG16 at 15:00.
Our distinguished guest is Professor Ben Azvine, the Global Head of Security Research and Innovation at BT; invited by our colleague Prof. Bogdan Gabrys.

Professor Azvine holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, an MSc in Control Engineering, a PhD in Intelligent Control Systems all from Manchester University and an MBA from Imperial College, London. Having held research fellowship and lectureship posts in several universities, he joined British Telecom Research in 1995 and set up a research programme to develop and exploit intelligent systems technologies within BT.
Since then he has held senior, principal and chief research scientist as well as head of research centre posts at Adastral Park, the head quarter of BT R&D. Ben has edited several books and published more than 100 scientific articles. He is an inventor on 50 patents, has won two BCS gold medals, and the IET award for innovation in IT, holds visiting professorships at Universities of Bristol, Cranfield and Bournemouth in the UK.

The title of his exciting talk will be “Industrial applications of novel Intelligent Systems”. Intelligent systems play an important role in industry for managing customer relationship, providing business intelligence, helping organisations analyse their data and protecting organisations against Cyber-attacks. In this talk I’ll present a number of case studies within BT where we have used intelligent system originating from within our research organisation and successfully downstreamed them into our operations.

I strongly encourage academics and PhD students not to miss the opportunity to attend to the seminar and to discuss potential collaborations.

Emili

Decreasing spatial disorientation: towards dementia-friendly environments: A progress report

Spatial disorientation is among the earliest indicators of dementia, an increasingly common condition in our ageing society that currently costs the UK £23 billion annually. With support of the Fusion-CCCP strand we have created ViRtUOS (Virtual Reality User Orientation System), a state-of-the-art eye-tracking and virtual environments research platform which will facilitate the study of factors that affect spatial disorientation in people with dementia. Data gathered using ViRtUOS will be used to formulate design principles for dementia-friendly care homes, reducing care costs, and leading to new knowledge with significance and reach.

To develop ViRtUOS we have brought together undergraduate RAs from Computing, Creative Technology and Computer Animation to work co-operatively and as part of a high-level, well-resourced multi-disciplinary team.

This video demonstrates the results of their excellent work:

 CLICK HERE TO VIEW; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1oo6JXWNuY

So far, this FIF project has been a great success and feedback from the students RAs suggests that they have enjoyed this unique student experience and that working in an inter-disciplinary team has helped them improve their skills.

Excerpts from students’ feedback:

“I enjoyed working on a project which is not exactly ordinary in my field, and working with people who come from different professional backgrounds. It was interesting to see how contrasting subjects tie into the same workflow to try and produce a coherent product. Personally, I am glad to take away new knowledge about my own study subject and the ones of my fellow colleagues; most of that knowledge I will surely apply in my last year of study.” Jurate Pozeraite (Computer Animation, Media School)

“I’ve learnt a lot in my time here, which will be invaluable for both my final year project and my future career. I’ve learnt not only about software development, but about modelling, developing reliable systems, working as a team to produce a joint system and error handling and bug fixing. I feel that working with other students, in a similar position to myself, really helped me in this project. They made me feel at ease and they helped me learn about their roles in developing this system, which otherwise I would have completely ignored. Overall I feel that for me personally this was a very worthwhile project, for expanding my experience and learning something new. I would love to continue my work with this project for as long as possible.” William Chappell (Computing, DEC)

“During the full length of the project I had learnt more and more, I think that this was the best opportunity I have had in a long time. This job gave me lots of experience with people from different schools, which have completely different perspectives. They are both brilliant in their profession and I have learned a lot from them. Also I hope they have learned some things from me. Generally, I have gained new skills including working with ‘Vizard 4.0’ software and ‘3DsMax’. In fact, the project was really interesting and I was glad to not only earn experience from it but also produce a good quality product at the end. Overall I am very happy that I get a chance to work with such a wonderful team. It was a great experience that improves my skills for future projects. If I had a chance to go back in time and redo this project again I will definitely do it.” Arkadiusz Szerszmidt (Creative Technology, DEC)

 We believe that ViRtUOS has great potential to also foster other inter-disciplinary collaborations within BU and we would like to invite academics and students from across BU to get in contact with us, visit the laboratory and explore its potential for their research interests.

The further development of ViRtUOS will be driven by two PhD projects that started in October this year and we are planning to run first experiments investigating spatial orientation in people with dementia soon.

The team, from left to right: Arkadiusz Szerszmidt (undergraduate RA, Creative Technology), William Chappell (undergraduate RA Computing), Mary O’Malley (PhD student, Psychology & BUDI), Mariela Gaete-Reyes (BUDI), Jurate Pozeraite (undergraduate RA, Computer Animation), Chris Ramsey (PhD student, CDE), Jan Wiener (Psychology & BUDI)

 CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE VIDEO !!!

By Mariela Gaete-Reyes & Jan Wiener