Sofia, Bulgaria

New Bulgarian University

www.nbu.bg
Sofia, Bulgaria

New Bulgarian University is a private university based in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. NBU is the first private university in Bulgaria. Its campus is located in the Ovcha kupel municipality in western Sofia, known for its proximity to the Vitosha mountain. The university's student body is smaller than that of older institutions in Bulgaria with approximately 7000 students, but larger than that of the American University in Bulgaria , making it the largest private university in the country.Since 2004, NBU is an accredited partner of The Open University Business School.As of 2014 the university offers 37 Bachelors, 69 Masters and 26 PhD programmes in several formats, including distance learning courses. Wikipedia.

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Vankov I.I.,New Bulgarian University | Bowers J.S.,University of Bristol
Language, Cognition and Neuroscience | Year: 2017

The Parallel Distributed Processing (PDP) approach to cognitive modelling assumes that knowledge is distributed across multiple processing units. This view is typically justified on the basis of the computational advantages and biological plausibility of distributed representations. However, both these assumptions have been challenged. First, there is growing evidence that some neurons respond to information in a highly selective manner. Second, it has been demonstrated that localist representations are better suited for certain computational tasks. In this paper, we continue this line of research by investigating whether localist representations are learned in tasks involving arbitrary input–output mappings. The results imply that the pressure to learn local codes in such tasks is weak, but still there are conditions under which feed-forward PDP networks learn localist representation. Our findings further challenge the assumption that PDP modelling always goes hand in hand with distributed representations and provide directions for future research. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


Popov V.,Carnegie Mellon University | Hristova P.,New Bulgarian University | Anders R.,Aix - Marseille University
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General | Year: 2017

Here we argue that semantic relations (e.g., works in: nurse-hospital) have abstract independent representations in long-term memory (LTM) and that the same representation is accessed by all exemplars of a specific relation. We present evidence from 2 associative recognition experiments that uncovered a novel relational luring effect (RLE) in recognition memory. Participants studied word pairs, and then discriminated between intact (old) pairs and recombined lures. In the first experiment participants responded more slowly to lures that were relationally similar (table-cloth) to studied pairs (floor-carpet), in contrast to relationally dissimilar lures (pipe-water). Experiment 2 extended the RLE by showing a continuous effect of relational lure strength on recognition times (RTs), false alarms, and hits. It used a continuous pair recognition task, where each recombined lure or target could be preceded by 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4 different exemplars of the same relation. RTs and false alarms increased linearly with the number of different previously seen relationally similar pairs. Moreover, more typical exemplars of a given relation lead to a stronger RLE. Finally, hits for intact pairs also rose with the number of previously studied different relational instances. These results suggest that semantic relations exist as independent representations in LTM and that during associative recognition these representations can be a spurious source of familiarity. We discuss the implications of the RLE for current models of semantic and episodic memory, unitization in associative recognition, analogical reasoning and retrieval, as well as constructive memory research. © 2017 American Psychological Association.


Bowers J.S.,University of Bristol | Vankov I.I.,University of Bristol | Vankov I.I.,New Bulgarian University | Damian M.F.,University of Bristol | Davis C.J.,University of Bristol
Cognition | Year: 2016

Why do some neurons in hippocampus and cortex respond to information in a highly selective manner? It has been hypothesized that neurons in hippocampus encode information in a highly selective manner in order to support fast learning without catastrophic interference, and that neurons in cortex encode information in a highly selective manner in order to co-activate multiple items in short-term memory (STM) without suffering a superposition catastrophe. However, the latter hypothesis is at odds with the widespread view that neural coding in the cortex is highly distributed in order to support generalization. We report a series of simulations that characterize the conditions in which recurrent Parallel Distributed Processing (PDP) models of immediate serial can recall novel words. We found that these models learned localist codes when they succeeded in generalizing to novel words. That is, just as fast learning may explain selective coding in hippocampus, STM and generalization may help explain the existence of selective codes in cortex. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


This project aims to understand what kind of social identity change is going on within European societies. For policy-making, the analysis of social identity is highly valuable because the social identity moderates the impact of policies. And this is particularly true in times of crisis. In particular, the project aims: A) to verify whether the symbolic universes grounding the social identity has undergone a major change within European societies, as a consequence of the socio-economic crisis; B) to draw strategic and methodological implications for policy-making from point A. This project includes 4 core scientific work packages: a) Multilevel Analysis of the Symbolic Universes, aimed at mapping structurally and developmentally the systems of meaning (i.e. the symbolic universes) grounding the social identity; b) Case Studies for policies, aimed at see how different policies have been organized and how their impact might or might not have been moderated by the symbolic dynamics at stake; c) the results of this analysis will be transformed into abstract criteria, contextualised in 5 different European macro-Regions, discussed with stakeholders, opinions leaders, policy-makers and finally stored within the guidelines; d) finally, the guidelines will be validated in terms of pertinence, effectiveness and the feasibility criteria, through seminars with the policy makers, opinion leaders and stakeholders, belonging to national, European, international Agencies involved in the construction and implementation of policies. Also, focus groups will be organized in each cultural context in order to study the impact of context-specific criteria.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-NIGHT | Award Amount: 94.22K | Year: 2013

The project sets as its main goal to enhance public recognition of researchers and their role in society and to encourage young people in Bulgaria to embark on scientific career. In the framework of the Europe 2020 strategy, the project focuses on the need for increasing the number of researchers and innovators in Europe and to foster the interest of the society and the youth, in particular, to research and innovation. For achieving the main goal, the following project objectives are defined: to disclose to the public the hidden sides of life and work of researchers, and show them as professionals and ordinary people; to highlight the EU emphasis on its researchers, the role of researchers in the Knowledge triangle and for building the Innovation Union; to involve citizens in debates on the contribution of researchers to European economy and society, as well as in ideas generation and open innovation; to foster active citizens position on the policy for growing research talents and making research and innovation attractive for young people. The project activities targeted at the younger participants will include within the Atelier of young talents: ideas competitions involving young people; cafes scientific Young talents under Spotlights where young talents will meet children and youth and discuss research topics with them. Most of the activities will be targeted at all age groups and will focus on making the public acquaint with the work and life of researchers: amusement programs of researchers Concert under the Stars; ideas fairs with stands of researchers groups presenting their research projects and new ideas and discussing them with citizens; lifestyle of researchers visits of research facilities guided by researchers; games between researchers and public Who, what, where show your knowledge; exhibitions of researchers; newspapers and dedicated web materials on researchers.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: MSCA-NIGHT-2014 | Award Amount: 248.65K | Year: 2014

The K-TRIO 2 consortium organized in several years Researchers Night in Bulgaria in different cities making people and especially children and youth aware of researchers profession and the contribution of research to economy and society. The public opinion surveys show that the Researchers Night became a popular event in many Bulgarian cities. People enjoy the variety of activities offered and would like to make the Researchers Night a regular Fall rendez-vous in their city with a lot of fun and interaction with researchers. Taking into account the objectives of the Researchers Night initiative of the EC, and the previous experience of the consortium, the project K-TRIO 2 sets as its main goal to enhance public recognition of researchers and innovators and their role in society and to encourage young people in Bulgaria to embark on research career. In the framework of the Europe 2020 strategy, the project focuses on the need for increasing the number of researchers and innovators in Europe and to foster the interest of the society and the youth, in particular, to research and innovation. For achieving the main goal, the following project objectives are defined: - to disclose to the public the hidden sides of life and work of researchers, and show them as professionals and ordinary people; - to highlight the EU emphasis on its researchers, the role of researchers in the Knowledge triangle and for building the Innovation Union; - to involve citizens in debates on the contribution of researchers to European economy and society, as well as in ideas generation and open innovation; - to foster active citizens position on the policy for growing research talents and making research and innovation attractive for young people. The target audience of the project will be on first place young people children, teen-agers and students, and secondly their parents and the public at large. The project K-TRIO 2 will provide various opportunities to citizens in Bulgaria to meet and entertain with researchers.


Yaneva M.,Medical University-Sofia | Kalinov K.,New Bulgarian University | Zacharieva S.,Medical University-Sofia
European Journal of Endocrinology | Year: 2013

Objective: Data on the incidence, mortality, and causes of death in patients with Cushing's syndrome (CS) are scarce, due to the rarity of CS. The aim of the study was to analyze mortality in a large cohort of patients of all etiologies and to determine the cause of death. Design: This was a retrospective study of patients with CS, treated over a period of 45 years in the main tertiary referral center in Bulgaria. Methods: Three hundred and eighty-six patients with CS of all etiologies were included. The main outcome measures were the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) and the cause of death. Results: Mean (+ s.d.) age at diagnosis was 38 ± 13 years; 84% of patients were women; mean follow-up was 85 months (range: 0-494 months). The SMR in the CS cohort was 4.05 (95% CI 2.50-5.80) (P< 0.0001). The following subgroups did not have a significantly increased SMR: patients with Cushing's disease SMR - 1.88 (95% CI 0.69-4.08), adrenal adenomas 1.67 (95% CI 0.20-6.02), and ACTH-independent bilateral adrenal hyperplasia 1.14 (95% CI 0.21-6.34). Patients with adrenal carcinomas, ectopic CS, and those with CS of undetermined etiology had significantly increased SMR: 48.00 (95% CI 30.75-71.42), 13.33 (95% CI 0.00-24.59), and 4.00 (95% CI 0.48-14.45) respectively (P< 0.0001). The significant predictors for mortality were active disease at death, age, male sex, etiology of the disease, and the overall duration of active disease. The major causes of death were vascular events (40%) - cardiovascular 29%, and cerebrovascular 11% - followed by infections (12%). Conclusions: Patients with CS have increased mortality due to vascular events and infections. © 2013 European Society of Endocrinology.


Landjev I.,New Bulgarian University | Vandendriesche P.,Ghent University
Designs, Codes, and Cryptography | Year: 2014

Let R be a finite chain ring with |R|=qm, R/Rad R ≅ F q, and let Ω = PHG (RRn). Let τ = (τ1, ⋯, τn) be an integer sequence satisfying m = τ1≥τ2≥⋯≥τ n≥0. We consider the incidence matrix of all shape ms = (m,⋯, m/s) versus all shape τ subspaces of Ω with m s ≤ τ ≤ mn-s. We prove that the rank of M ms, τ (Ω) over ℚ is equal to the number of shape ms subspaces. This is a partial analog of Kantor's result about the rank of the incidence matrix of all s dimensional versus all t dimensional subspaces of PG(n, q). We construct an example for shapes σ and τ for which the rank of Mσ, τ (Ω) is not maximal. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Gurova L.,New Bulgarian University
Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice | Year: 2013

In 1973, P. Meehl drew attention to the fact that some clinicians tend to interpret the otherwise clear symptomatic behaviour of their patients as 'normal' if they are given a plausible causal story of patients' behaviours. He claimed that this way of thinking is, in fact, fallacious and gave the alleged fallacy the 'catchy' name 'understanding it makes it normal'. Thirty years later, the cognitive psychologists W.K. Ahn, L. Novick and N. Kim questioned the fallacy status of 'understanding it makes it normal' by arguing that this way of reasoning is not only quite common among clinicians but that it is in fact rational. The controversy over whether 'understanding it makes it normal' is a reasoning fallacy or not is still unresolved and this is evident from the recent discussion about the proposed removal of the 'normal grief' exclusion criterion for Major Depressive Disorder from DSM-5. This paper proposes an analysis of what stands behind the two opposing claims about 'understanding it makes it normal'. The analysis builds on the distinction between validity and utility of psychiatric diagnoses and reaches the following conclusions: (1) the fallacy claim is consistent with the assumption that the psychiatric diagnoses are valid descriptions of real mental disorders; (2) the non-fallacy claim is consistent with the opposite assumption that current psychiatric diagnoses are not valid but only useful descriptions and their utility varies across different contexts; (3) if we agree that there is not enough evidence for the validity of the diagnostic categories embedded in DSM-4 and ICD-10, we should also agree that the behaviour of those mental health professionals who change their diagnoses under the influence of the causal context is rational; (4) nevertheless, the 'understanding it makes it normal' reasoning strategy should be considered a bias insofar as it takes into account only part of the causal context: the causes of the symptoms but not what they themselves might cause. The neglect of the latter might have dramatic negative consequences in clinical practice. In addition, some recent studies suggest that this bias probably has cultural roots. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-AG | Phase: ERC-AG-SH6 | Award Amount: 1.56M | Year: 2009

THE OBJECTIVE of this project is to explore the various ways in which the histories of the Balkan peoples were shared, connected and entangled, and in some cases became structurally inter-dependent in the course of the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries; also to explore transfers and crossings within the region and from Western Europe and Russia. What is offered is a provisional open-ended and long-term research program guided by a general paradigm , frame of reference and key concepts. I would rather keep the project open and flexible with regard to substantial issues, though with a clear vision of the general (transnational) perspective. A list of topics includes national and social movements, disputed territories, minorities and refugees, cultural and political transfers. The variegated topics demand expertise in different areas and a trans-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary treatment without regard to established disciplinary boundaries. Systematically applying the transnational and relational perspective to the study of a region as complex as the Balkans has huge cognitive potential and innovative power. The new perspective and cutting-edge methodologies will reveal fresh vistas and bring insights to a number of topics that cannot be restricted in advance. Older research objects will look different and acquire new meanings in the new context and entirely new historical objects will be constituted. The national paradigm of self-contained national histories will be challenged. Such a project may well have wider social and political relevance. There is a positive and integrative value in showing how entangled the histories of the present-day Balkan nations and states were and still are. I would like to imagine such research as promoting good relations rather than fostering divisiveness and separation. This project will also be an input to the European integration of the region, which will hopefully involve the rest of the Balkans in the near future.

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