About the Hanse Institute for Advanced Study
The Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK) is a foundation of the federal states of Bremen and Lower Saxony and the city of Delmenhorst. As an independent Institute for Advanced Study, the HWK promotes the disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration of internationally renowned scientists and young investigators by offering guest scholars (Fellows) the opportunity to concentrate on research projects for a certain space of time without the distractions of their regular academic responsibilities. Through its conference programs, workshops and public lecture series, the HWK also serves as a place of intellectual debate. These conferences and workshops are distinguished by their international orientation and the interdisciplinary composition of the participants. The openness for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary thinking that is fostered by the scientific activities is further promoted by the Artists in Residence program and the dialog that this program creates between science and art.
About the organisers
I’m head of the Joint Research Academy for Biomedical Engineering and the Science of Hearing and Sensory Systems in the cluster of excellence “Hearing4all” (www.hearing4all.de), the coordinator of the transregional collaborative research center “The Active Auditory System” (www.sfb-trr31.uni-oldenburg.de) and a Professor of Animal Physiology and Behaviour in the Department for Neuroscience of the School for Medicine and Health Sciences at the Carl-von-Ossietzky University in Oldenburg (www.zoophysiologie.uni-oldenburg.de/en/). My research interests lie in understanding the mechanisms relevant for auditory scene analysis in complex real world acoustics settings. We approach this topic by studying human subjects and animal models with a combination of psychophysics and electrophysiology and model their auditory processing. A special focus of our work in the cluster of excellence “Hearing4all” is on the effects of hearing disorders that develop with age on the capability of communicating in complex acoustic environments.
I’m head of the newly formed Cognition Institute at Plymouth University and also Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in the School of Psychology. My research interests lie in developing theoretical and computational models of auditory perception and cognition. In particular, I want to understand more about the perceptual organisation of sounds within natural acoustic environments and to translate this knowledge into bio-inspired practical applications, e.g. improved hearing devices, or sonar systems for detecting people trapped in rubble and smoke-filled buildings. I’m also interested in driving inter-disciplinary research into all aspects of cognition and encouraging collaborations between artists and scientists of all practices and disciplines.
When studying solid-state physics I decided that I didn’t want to remain limited to traditional domains of physics. After receiving my master in 1991 I became one of the three first founding staff-members of what is now the Artificial Intelligence department of the University of Groningen. In my spare time I started the PhD-research addressing the question how people separate speech from other sounds and received the PhD in 2002 when being director and founder of the company Sound Intelligence where I developed the world’s first fully sound based detector of a nontrivial source (verbal aggression) in an unconstrained social environment (namely on the street). In 2005 I returned to university, where I started a sensory cognition group and became director of education for AI for a number of years. In 2009 I started working part-time for INCAS3 – the Innovation Center for Advanced Sensors and Sensor Systems in Assen (the Netherlands) –helping to define the concept of cognitive sensors. My interest in cognition ranges from the synaptic cleft to geopolitics and from microseconds to millennia. My focus is on Auditory Cognition in uncontrolled real world conditions and especially issues associated with improving wellbeing and comfort.