Berlin, Germany

Free University of Berlin

www.fu-berlin.de
Berlin, Germany

The Freie Universität Berlin is a renowned research university located in Berlin and one of the most prominent universities in Germany. It is internationally known for its research in the humanities and social science, as well as in the field of natural and life science. Founded in West Berlin during the early Cold War period and born out of the increasingly Communist-controlled Humboldt University, its name refers to West Berlin's status as part of the free world, as opposed to the Soviet-occupied "unfree" areas surrounding the city.Freie Universität Berlin was one of nine German universities to win in the German Universities Excellence Initiative, a national competition for universities organized by the German federal government. Winning a distinction for five doctoral programs, three interdisciplinary research clusters and its overall institutional strategy as an "International Network University", Freie Universität Berlin is one of the most successful universities in the initiative. Wikipedia.

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Koelsch S.,Free University of Berlin
Trends in Cognitive Sciences | Year: 2010

Music is capable of evoking exceptionally strong emotions and of reliably affecting the mood of individuals. Functional neuroimaging and lesion studies show that music-evoked emotions can modulate activity in virtually all limbic and paralimbic brain structures. These structures are crucially involved in the initiation, generation, detection, maintenance, regulation and termination of emotions that have survival value for the individual and the species. Therefore, at least some music-evoked emotions involve the very core of evolutionarily adaptive neuroaffective mechanisms. Because dysfunctions in these structures are related to emotional disorders, a better understanding of music-evoked emotions and their neural correlates can lead to a more systematic and effective use of music in therapy. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Pulvermuller F.,Free University of Berlin
Trends in Cognitive Sciences | Year: 2013

How brain structures and neuronal circuits mechanistically underpin symbolic meaning has recently been elucidated by neuroimaging, neuropsychological, and neurocomputational research. Modality-specific 'embodied' mechanisms anchored in sensorimotor systems appear to be relevant, as are 'disembodied' mechanisms in multimodal areas. In this paper, four semantic mechanisms are proposed and spelt out at the level of neuronal circuits: referential semantics, which establishes links between symbols and the objects and actions they are used to speak about; combinatorial semantics, which enables the learning of symbolic meaning from context; emotional-affective semantics, which establishes links between signs and internal states of the body; and abstraction mechanisms for generalizing over a range of instances of semantic meaning. Referential, combinatorial, emotional-affective, and abstract semantics are complementary mechanisms, each necessary for processing meaning in mind and brain. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Menzel R.,Free University of Berlin
Nature Reviews Neuroscience | Year: 2012

Honeybees contradict the notion that insect behaviour tends to be relatively inflexible and stereotypical. Indeed, they live in colonies and exhibit complex social, navigational and communication behaviours, as well as a relatively rich cognitive repertoire. Because these relatively complex behaviours are controlled by a brain consisting of only 1 million or so neurons, honeybees offer an opportunity to study the relationship between behaviour and cognition in neural networks that are limited in size and complexity. Most recently, the honeybee has been used to model learning and memory formation, highlighting its utility for neuroscience research, in particular for understanding the basis of cognition. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Koelsch S.,Free University of Berlin
Nature Reviews Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Music is a universal feature of human societies, partly owing to its power to evoke strong emotions and influence moods. During the past decade, the investigation of the neural correlates of music-evoked emotions has been invaluable for the understanding of human emotion. Functional neuroimaging studies on music and emotion show that music can modulate activity in brain structures that are known to be crucially involved in emotion, such as the amygdala, nucleus accumbens, hypothalamus, hippocampus, insula, cingulate cortex and orbitofrontal cortex. The potential of music to modulate activity in these structures has important implications for the use of music in the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2017

Is there a crisis in the legitimacy of the European Union? That research question is timely and important. Investigating it is also an ideal way of training research leaders of tomorrow to rethink our assumptions about the study of legitimate political order. Whilst, however, the financial crisis has raised new questions about the legitimacy of the EU, existing theories of legitimacy crises are largely based on single-state political systems. New theory is, therefore, needed to understand what would count as legitimacy crises in the case of a non-state political system such as the EU. PLATOs (The Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU) ESRs will work together as a team to build new theory from 15 investigations into different standards and actors with whom the EU may need to be legitimate. ESRs will go well beyond the state-of-the-art by building a theory of legitimacy crisis in the EU from a uniquely interdisciplinary understanding of how democracy, power, law, economies and societies all fit together with institutions within and beyond the state to affect the legitimacy of contemporary political order. By developing the analytical tools needed to understand a core predicament in which the EU may both need to develop legitimate forms of political power beyond the state and find those forms of power hard to achieve, PLATO will train ESRs with the conceptual clarity needed to define new research questions at the very frontiers of their disciplines and the methodological skills needed to research those questions. They will also be prepared for careers in the non-academic sector (policy-advice, consulting, civil society, European institutions and expert bodies). PLATOs ambitious cross-university, cross-country and cross-sectoral programme of research training, supervision and secondments will pool resources from a unique network of 9 research-intensive universities and 11 non-academic partners who are themselves key users of state-of-the-art social science research.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-21-2016 | Award Amount: 7.58M | Year: 2017

STRENGTHS aims to provide effective community-based health care implementation strategies to scale-up the delivery and uptake of effective mental health interventions in different country contexts. The current refugee crisis across Europe and the Middle East effects both individual refugees psychological well-being, as they face extreme stressors in their flight from their home country, but also has large effects on the healthcare systems of countries housing refugees. In reponse to this crisis, the STRENGTHS project aims to provide a framework for scaling-up the delivery and uptake of effective community-based mental health strategies to address the specific needs of refugees within and outside Europes borders. STRENGTHS will outline necessary steps needed to integrate evidence based low-intensity psychological interventions for common mental disorders into health systems in Syrias surrounding countries taking up the majority of refugees (Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan), a LMIC (Egypt) and European countries (Germany, Switzerland the Netherlands and Sweden). The consortium is a unique partnership between academics, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international agencies and local partners with the responsibility to provide and scale-up evidence-based mental health and psychosocial support interventions for refugees. Key preparatory steps in the local political, regulatory and governance processes for uptake and scaling-up of the intervention and key contextual and system-related factors for integration will be validated for the real-life impact on the responsiveness of the system. The low-intensity interventions and training materials will be adapted and implemented in Syrian refugees within Syrias surrounding countries taking up the majority of refugees (Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan), a LMIC (Egypt) and European countries (Germany, Switzerland the Netherlands and Sweden). STRENGTHS will disseminate and promote buy-in of a validated framework for large-scale implementation of the low intensity interventions to providers of health and social services, policy makers and funding agencies.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: REV-INEQUAL-06-2016 | Award Amount: 5.00M | Year: 2017

ISOTIS addresses the nature, causes and impact of early emerging social and educational inequalities in the context of socioeconomic, cultural and institutional processes. The aim is to contribute to effective policy and practice development to combat inequalities. Quasi-panels and pooled longitudinal datasets will be used to examine the variation in early educational gaps and developmental trajectories across countries, systems and time. To disentangle the complex interactions between characteristics of systems and target groups, ISOTIS will study significant immigrant, indigenous ethnic-cultural and low-income native groups, associated with persistent educational disadvantages. ISOTIS will examine current resources, experiences, aspirations, needs and well-being of children and parents in these groups in the context of acculturation and integration, and in relation to local and national policies. ISOTIS aims to contribute to effective policy and practice development by generating recommendations and concrete tools for (1) supporting disadvantaged families and communities in using their own cultural and linguistic resources to create safe and stimulating home environments for their children; for (2) creating effective and inclusive pedagogies in early childhood education and care centres and primary schools; for (3) professionalization of staff, centres and schools to improve quality and inclusiveness; for (4) establishing inter-agency coordination of support services to children and families; and for (5) developing policies to combat educational inequalities. ISOTIS will develop inter-linked programmes for parents, classrooms and professionals using Virtual Learning Environments for working in linguistically diverse contexts. All this work together is expected to support the education practice and policy field in Europe in meeting the challenges of reducing social and educational inequalities.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-35-2016 | Award Amount: 499.98K | Year: 2017

One of the major terminological forces driving ICT development today is that of big data. While the phrase may sound inclusive and integrative, in fact, big data approaches are highly selective, excluding any input that cannot be effectively structured, represented, or, indeed, digitised. Data of this messy, dirty sort is precisely the kind that humanities and cultural researchers deal with best. It will therefore be the contribution of the K-PLEX project to investigate these elements of humanities and cultural data, and the strategies researchers have developed to deal with them. In doing so it will remain at the margins of ICT so as to better shed light on the gap between analogue or augmented digital practices and fully computational ones. As such, it will expand our awareness of the risks inherent in big data and to suggest ways in which phenomena that resist datafication can still be represented (if only by their absence) in knowledge creation approaches reliant upon the interrogation of large data corpora. K-PLEX approaches this challenge in a comparative, multidisciplinary and multisectoral fashion, focusing on 3 key challenges to the knowledge creation capacity of big data approaches: the manner in which data that are not digitised or shared become hidden from aggregation systems; the fact that data is human created, and lacks the objectivity often ascribed to the term; the subtle ways in which data that are complex almost always become simplified before they can be aggregated. It will approach these questions via a humanities research perspective, but using social science research tools to look at both the humanistic and computer science approaches to the term data and its many possible meanings and implications. As such, K-PLEX project defines and describes key aspects of data that are at risk of being left out of our knowledge creation processes in a system where large scale data aggregation is becoming ever more the gold standard.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.90M | Year: 2016

We propose a Multi-Partner ITN-ETN network on Transport of Soft Matter at the Nanoscale. The scientific topic, which is the focus of the proposal, is an emerging field of science and technology. Challenges such as design of environmentally friendly engineering materials or understanding the principles of biological organization crucially depend on fundamental understanding of transport of fluids and colloids at the nanoscale. Topics we will study within NANOTRANS are at the core of modern technology (i.e. active design of smart nanomaterials, nanofluidic and lab on a chip devices, sustainable nanocompounds, energy storage, contaminants dissemination in environment, oil recovery, drug delivery and disease treatment). The main objective of the ITN network is to train students. We will offer a balanced and timely supradisciplinary research training program providing a range of skills in various scientific and technological disciplines and fostering creativity and entrepreneurial mindset. Both, private and academic sectors are strongly represented in the network and will substantially contribute to the NANOTRANS training program, which will offer the participating fellows unparalleled education unavailable in standard academic programs at Universities, as well as excellent career opportunities both in academia and industry. NANOTRANS research will result in improved fundamental understanding of soft matter systems out of equilibrium, novel experimental and theoretical methods for nanoscale exploration, as well as in designing advanced aterials, products and applications. In turn, it will contribute to issues connected to energy production and storage, sustainable development, and novel disease treatment strategies. The NANOTRANS research, training and outreach activities will have a substantial and lasting impact on the society, environment, international scientific community, industry and on the European Union.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-03-2016 | Award Amount: 3.10M | Year: 2017

The main objective of the project is to design and implement a parameterized, knowledge-based, multi-target food sensitive mini-portable system, with heterogeneous micro-scale photonics for on-the-spot food quality sensing and shelf-life prediction. In particular, the miniaturized smart integrated system will be able to detect food hazards, spoilage (incl. early sign of spoilage) and food fraud through the combined bio-chemical data analysis and additionally will be able to perform food components/additives analysis, food identification and prediction of food shelf-life. The following use case will be addressed during the project: Use case 1: Detection of mycotoxins in various grains and nuts. Aflatoxins detection. A simple, convenient ultraviolet test makes it possible to detect the possible presence of aflatoxin. Use case 2: Detection of early sign of spoilage and spoilage in fruits, vegetables, meat, fish: combined with estimation on product expiration date. Use case 3: Detection of food fraud: Adulteration of alcoholic beverages, oil, milk and meat. 3 sensor devices will be integrated in the miniaturised smart sensor node: i) a MEMS-based near IR spectrometer (950-1900 nm), ii) a UV-VIS spectrometer (450-900 nm) and iii) a micro-camera. Moreover 3 light sources will also be integrated to support the sensing functionality: i) UV-LED, ii) white LED and iii) a miniaturised IR emitter. Smart signal processing of the spectrum images will be performed by an advanced microcontroller, integrated in the sensing device. The data will be communicated to a smartphone device, where the spectroscopy analysis will take place with the help of a cloud-base application connected to a reference database. Advanced detection algorithms will be deployed both in the level of cloud and the smartphone application. PhasmaFOOD system will enable common consumers for on the spot food quality sensing and shelf-life prediction.

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