Invitation for CCCT seminar Friday 16 November 16.00-17.00

Center for Creation, Content and Technology (CCCT) Seminar

Friday, 16 November 2012, 16.00-17.00 (followed by drinks), Science Park 904, room C1.112.

Under the CCCT umbrella, researchers from the humanities, the social and behavioral sciences, and the natural sciences collaborate in a multidisciplinary setting on information-rich research topics. CCCT is organizing a bi-monthly seminar in which one of the three faculties hosts speakers from the other two to report on research activities that are of shared interest.

Speaker: Ellen Rutten (Slavonic Literature and Culture, FGw, UvA)
Title: Designing Imperfection: Digitization and Creative Culture in Post-Soviet Russia

Now that digital technologies allow us to perfect our lives more and more — with, say, Photoshop, or spellcheckers — creative professionals increasingly foreground imperfection. Filmmakers, writers, composers, (fashion) designers, musicians, artists: today’s creative class increasingly embraces the imperfect as a hallmark for authenticity in a digitized age. In scrutinizing this “imperfection cult” in my lecture, I zoom in on a selection of creative professionals from a society that boasts a special relationship with imperfection: post-Soviet Russia.

Speaker: Sennay Ghebreab (Informatics Institute, FNWI, UvA)
Title: Simple visual regularities predict neural and behavoural responses to (moving) pictures

The visual world is complex and continuously changing. Nevertheless, within a few hundred milliseconds, our brain transforms patterns of light falling on our retina into coherent scene percepts. The brain presumably accomplishes this extraordinary feat by exploiting structural regularities in visual scenes to efficiently encode and analyze visual input. We study to what extent visual regularities, revealed by computer vision, carry information relevant for perceptual, cognitive emotional processing of visual input. In this talk I will discuss some recent research showing how visual regularities in (moving) pictures predict human responses at both neural (fMRI, EEG) and the behavioral level.

Moderator: dr. Marcel Worring (Informatics Institute, UvA)

Date and Time: Friday, 16 November 2012, 16.00-17.00 (followed by drinks)

Science Park, room: room C1.112
Science Park 904
1098 XH Amsterdam

Prof. dr. Ellen Rutten is a professor of Literature (with a focus on Slavonic literature and culture) and chair of the Slavonic Department at the University of Amsterdam. Her research interests include post-Soviet culture, literature and art, digital humanities, social media, and memory discourse. She currently coordinates a HERA research project on “web wars”: discussions of the Soviet past in post-socialist social media. Together with her colleagues from this project she is preparing both an edited volume and a film on online commemorations of the socialist experience. Finally, she also studies a trend to embrace imperfection in contemporary (Russian) culture and she is finalizing a book on post-Soviet sincerity rhetoric.

Dr. Sennay Ghebreab is an assistant professor at the Informatics Institute, University of Amsterdam. His research field is cognitive vision, focussing on the integration of computational, neural and behavioral data to understand how the human brain efficiently and effectively process (visual regularities in) natural scenes. He currently undertakes his research in one of four projects awarded in the interdisciplinary and interfaculty university research priority program Brain & Cognition of the UvA. Dr. Ghebreab teaches information, communication and cognition at the master and bachelor levels to UvA students at the Science Faculty and the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences. He also lectures courses at the AUC, where he founded the Brain & Technology Amsterdam lab (BeTA lab).