Open ph.d. position

We currently have an opening for a ph.d.-student in our lab in a project investigating synaesthesia and expertise. The position is a three year position at Aalborg University, with strong collaborations in Iceland, China, and the US.

For more information and to apply please see (advertisement here).

The application deadline has been extended to February 1st 2017.

Funding

Recently we received the DFF 2 research project grant from the Danish Council for Independent Research, which will support a number of investigations into synesthesia.

The Synesthesia Project

dff-logoThe Synesthesia Project have recently received a grant for a three year project on the perceptual effects of synesthesia and how they relate to prior experience, entitled “Synaesthesia – the Roles of Association Learning and of Differential Brain Development“. The project involves three full-time positions including part time involvement from a number of researchers already part of The Synesthesia Project; from Denmark (Thomas Alrik Sørensen (PI), Maria, Nordfang, Morten Storm Overgaard) and Iceland (Árni Gunnar Ásgeirsson). Moreover, the project has a number of international partners which recently was extended to include partners from England, Iceland, USA, China, and Japan. Currently the project is set to begin in the fall of 2016 and run over a three year period (announcement from the Danish Council for Independent Research).

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Brain Awareness Week in Denmark

BAW 2016.jpgWeek 11 is the international Brain Awareness Week, so during the last week I have been organizing a number of talks over three different cities in Denmark; Århus, Aalborg and Copenhagen. We received a grant from the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and the Dana foundation to support the events. The aim is to raise awareness of brain research and brain diseases for the general public, by having researchers make the different topic available for a broad audience. Over the duration of the week a number of good colleagues from Center for Functionally Integrative Neuroscience in Århus gave talks on topics from all areas of the brain (the full programme in Danish can be found on facebook.com/hjerneuge), also in the middle of the week we opened the doors for tours in the MEG/MR and PET labs. Additionally, two afternoon sessions one in Aalborg (tuesday) and one Copenhagen (thursday) allowed to make four different presentations including researchers from Universities in both cities.

During the planning we discovered a newly found network coordinating information on brain related events during week 11; hjernen i fokus (= the brain in focus) and added our events to their programme. Below is a map modified from hjernen i fokus of the events during week 11 in Denmark (our events highlighted in orange).

Hjernen i fokus del 2

Hjernen i fokus did an excellent job at gathering information of the different events and providing news updates throughout the week.

Thanks to all who attended our events, FENS and Dana, hjernen i fokus and the numerous people who helped advertise our events (University Extension and Universities in the three cities as well as the academy of young talents and the high schools in the regions) – and a huge thanks to all the different speakers who gave memorable presentations on the functions of the brain, how to investigate the brain, what happens when the brain fails, and how the brain relates to concepts like religion and consciousness. With the successful conclusion of the event I hope we can make a similar contribution to week 11 next year.

Hot dogs and Cocktail

In the heart of one of the old worker districts of Copenhagen, the now trendy Vesterbro area in walking distance from the central square and the main railway station you can find Foderbrættet, which is a nice place to grab a drink and a fast lunch – or even dinner.

When first I heard of the combination of hot dogs and cocktails I immediately thought of one of my favorite speakeasy bars in New York City – Please Don’t Tell – tucked away behind a secret entrance in Crif Dogs on E 8th street. Foderbrættet is not a speakeasy and also not primarily a cocktail bar, but the cocktails on the menu are well made and the hot dogs are elevated to a higher level compared to what you usually find around the city, making this a very nice pitstop on Vesterbrogade. They have a variety of sausages including pork and lamb, that have a very nice meaty texture as well as being flavourful. This provides a solid base for the different less traditional gourmet hot dogs in the menu, and the combination of Infected mushroom in the company of a Dark ‘n Stormy (see picture above) seemed to work very well together. Hot dogs and cocktail – a great combination (see also Harry’s New York Bar in Paris).

 

Lost in Beijing

I have waited a bit to write this post, but one of my absolut favorit places to dine in Beijing is Lost Heaven near the Forbidden City in the south-east corner of Tiananmen Square, located in the area I believe housed the US embassy until 1949. Lost Heaven have two restaurants in Shanghai, and the one in Beijing, and serve Yunnan cuisine (which is one of my absolute favorite areas for food in China).

Usually, I complain that most Chinese food served in Europe has been modified to an extend where it rarely is possible to link it back to its origin, and as there is so much delicious Chinese food, this is often a crime. The Yunnan food at Lost Heaven seem to have been modified for a European pallet, however, this must be the exception that confirms the rule. Especially, the Lijiang Stir Fried Beef, Shrimp Spring Rolls, and Samosa are extraordinarily good – and never forget to order the Copper Plate Pot Sticker Dumplings, that are absolutely brilliant. Finally, as an added bonus they serve splendid cocktails at Lost Heaven as well. The staff varies slightly and some are better trained than others if you want to move outside the menu, nevertheless, if you stick to the cocktail list you won’t go wrong. So order your dumplings and a Yunnan Mule, and for dessert go for the Paperback Daiquiri.

Lab moved (again)

Today our lab moved back to Kroghstræde 3 and we have set up two interim experimental rooms for testing where we hope to begin collecting data again some time next week or at least by early November. Currently we have three projects starting up one on synaesthesia, one on attention, and finally, some piloting of methodological issues.

We will try and get the lab fully up and running before the end of the year, but this is somewhat dependant on when our office space is freed up for the furniture currently occupying large parts of the lab space.

When the lab is up and running – hopefully around the beginning of the new semester – we will try and hold an official opening of the lab, where we also present some of our work. More on the official opening data – probably some time in January.