Deliberately forgetting

Simon Hanslmayr, collaborating with Karl-Keinz Bäuml from the University of Regensburg and Maria Wimber from the MRC Cambridge, provided evidence that our brain deliberately forgets irrelevant information. Although forgetting normally is described as a failure of memory, it can help us to delete unwanted information in order to discharge brain capacity and to keep our memory flexible.

To explain the formation of new memories it is important to consider the neural synchronization between distant…

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Neuroscience in New Orleans

From 13-17 October 2012 Simon Hanslmayr and Sarang Dalal, together with their research group, participated in the "Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience 2012" (SfN) in New Orleans. They were involved in five postersessions and three talks. With more than 35.000 attendees the SfN claims to be the largest conference in this field and usually also attracts a lot of public interest.

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Long term visions at the Marbach castle

The Scientific Retreat of Malte Drescher’s research group took place from September 9 to September 11, 2012 as an off-site meeting at the Marbach castle conference and training center. The castle’s Boathouse offered a fantastic change of scenery for the eleven group members during their scientific sessions.

At the current stage the group has to master the step from a junior research group to an established one. While the first generation of PhD researchers is going to leave the group soon,…

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153 successful applicants

After the Recruitment Committee´s first pre-selection, held on 19 September, 153 out of 352 candidates applying for the 2-year and 5-year Fellowships are left. Their applications will now be judged by external referees. Afterwards the Recruitment Committee will take a second pre-selection on 5 November. The best candidates for the 5-year Fellowships will then be invited to the Workshop on Future Research Directions at the University of Konstanz on 10/11 January 2013. In the same meeting the…

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Talking about responsibility

Martin Bruder and Attila Tanyi participated in the 8th international conference of the Society for Analytic Philosophy (GAP). It took place in Konstanz from September 17 to 20 under the title “What may we believe? What ought we to do?” and was co-hosted by the Department of Philosophy of the University of Konstanz.  Martin and Attila presented their interdisciplinary project “Overdemanding Consequentialism? An Experimental Approach” in the section on “Normative Ethics, Metaethics, Theory of…

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Visiting professorship for Ulrich Sieberer

Ulrich Sieberer accepted a visiting professorship in the Department of Government at the University of Vienna. In the winter term 2012/13 he will teach a seminar entitled “Institutional Design in Western Democracies” for Master and PhD students in political science. In cooperation with his mentor Prof. Wolfgang C. Müller, head of the Department of Government and Professor for Democratic Governance, Ulrich Sieberer is currently working on publications about institutional changes in European…

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New publication by Thomas Voigtmann

Thomas Voigtmann, in cooperation with the Helmholtz Centre Berlin for Materials and Energy (HZB), published an article in "Physical Review Letters". Together with his research group at the Zukunftskolleg Thomas Voigtmann developed a theoretical model that allows to qualitatively describe the different phases from creeping to ultimate materials failure. To prevent materials damage is a major concern in engineering applications, from the design of airplanes to that of bridges. The long-time…

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New publications by Doris Penka

Recently three new articles by Doris Penka were published:

  • Doris Penka (2012): “Negative Features on Negative Indefinites: Evidence from Split Scope”, in: “Journal of Semantics” Volume 29 / Issue 3: 373-402.
  • Agnes Jäger & Doris Penka (2012): “Development of sentential negation in the history of German”, in: “Comparative Germanic Syntax. The state of the art” by Peter Ackema, Rhona Alcorn, Caroline Heycock, Dany Jaspers, Jeroen Van Craenenbroeck and Guido Vanden Wyngaerd (eds.) [LA 191],…
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More than 350 applications

The Zukunftskolleg received more than 350 applications for the 2-year Postdoctoral and the 5-year Research Fellowships. Closing date for applications was on 26 August. The awarding of the Fellowships is done in a competitive procedure involving international and interdisciplinary experts who are represented in the Recruitment Committee. The dates for the pre-selection are 19 September and 5 November. The candidates for the 5-year Fellowships will also be invited to the Workshop on Future…

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Sofja Kovalevskaja prize winner at the Zukunftskolleg

Dr. Niels Weidmann, winner of the renowned Sofja Kovalevskaja prize, will start working in the Zukunftskolleg on 1 October 2012. The financial means will be used to build a research group analyzing the role of modern communication technologies in mobilizing a huge crowd. Read more about it in the press release (in German):

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New publication by Simon Hanslmayr in “Current Biology”

How the brain brings back memories of past events remains largely unknown. In a collaboration between the MRC Cognition & Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge (Dr. Maria Wimber), the University of Konstanz (Dr. Simon Hanslmayr, Zukunfskolleg) and the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, researchers have now identified a rapid memory reactivation mechanism that has so far only been speculated about. In this project, participants learned long lists of words while the screen was flickering at…

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Giora Hon at the Zukunftskolleg

The Zukunftskolleg is warmly welcoming the Senior Fellows Prof. Giora Hon from the University of Haifa who is our guest since 1st July. He has been nominated by our Alumnus Samuel Schindler and will stay until 30th September.

Prof. Giora Hon is a great addition to the Zukunftskolleg. His work is located at the interface between the history of physics and the philosophy of science. He is thus well-versed in and prepared for the interdisciplinary context of the Zukunftskolleg.

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Brian Leahy left the Zukunftskolleg

On July 1st, 2012 Brian Leahy started working in the Linguistics department on the project “The Semantics and Pragmatics of Counterfactual Statements”, in the DFG-funded collaborative research center “What if? On the meaning, epistemology, and scientific relevance of counterfactual claims and thought experiments”. He has been a Postdoctoral fellow of the Zukunftskolleg since August 2010.

The “What if?” research center is an interdisciplinary group comprised of linguists, philosophers, historians…

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Looking for new fellows

EC meeting on 21 June

by Sigrid Elmer

On June 21st 2012 the Executive Committee held its first meeting after the DFG´s important decision on June 15th to support the excellence status of the University of Konstanz until 2017. For the Zukunftskolleg this means that up to five 5-year Research Fellowships, fifteen ZIF Marie Curie 2-year Postdoctoral Fellowships and eight ZIF Marie Curie 5-year Research Fellowships can be offered to new fellows. Therefore these calls for application were the EC´s…

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Hegau-Bodensee Seminar/Zukunftskolleg: Wissen – Räume und Vermittlung

In Rahmen der Kooperation des Hegau-Bodensee Seminars mit dem Zukunftskolleg an der Universität Konstanz findet am Dienstag, den 26. Juni 2012 der Workshop "Wissen – Räume und Vermittlung" statt.

Vorträge und Workshops mit:
Prof. Dr. Ulrik Brandes (Informatiker)
Dr. Julia Jones (Biologin)
Alexander Schellow (Künstler/Filmemacher)
Dr. Zsuzsanna Török (Historikerin)/Dr. Andreas Thum (Biologe)

Die Begrüßung von Prof. Dr. Ulrich Rüdiger, Rektor der Universität Konstanz und von Dr. Norina Procopan,…

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Psychology: "Brainwaves: The secret language of the brain?"

On Thursday, June 28, at 18:45 - 19:15, in A 701 Joachim Gross, Senior Fellow of the Zukunftskolleg in Psychology, will be giving a public seminar entitled "Brainwaves: The secret language of the brain?".

"Brain oscillations are a prominent feature of dynamic brain activity. The last decade has seen a large number of studies exploring the functional role of brain oscillations. Systematic modulations of oscillatory amplitude have been shown to relate to many cognitive processes including…

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Zukunftskolleg Summer Event: "How our ancestors control our gene expression"

The Zukunftskolleg is happy to announce a round table discussion titled “How our ancestors control our gene expression” within the framework of Zukunftskolleg Summer Event.

The participants are: Thomas Elbert (Psychology), Helen Gunter (Biology) and Iris-Tatjana Kolassa (Psychology). The discussion will be moderated by Christoph Fehige (Philosophy).

Everyone is welcome to join the event on:

Friday, 29. June 2012 at 5.30 p.m.

at the Studiobühne University of Konstanz.

The round table will be…

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Zukunftskolleg Lecture Summer Term 2012

Every semester a Senior Fellow closely related to and associated with the Zukunftskolleg is honored with the Zukunftskolleg Lecture. The excellent researchers of the Zukunftskolleg present their research work to a broad and various audience. This semester within the framework of the Zukunftskolleg Lecture Senior Fellow Joseph Y. Halpern (Prof. for Computer Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA) will give the following talk:

„Knowledge and common knowledge in multi-agent systems“

21. Juni…

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Valerie Shafer und Joseph Y. Halpern at the Zukunftskolleg

The Zukunftskolleg is warmly welcoming the Senior Fellows Prof. Valerie Shafer and Prof. Joseph Y. Halpern, who are our guests since 3rd June.

Valerie Shafer has been nominated by our Alumna Tanja Rinker and will stay until 26th July. She is dedicating this time period to her project “The relationship between speech-perception and language development in bilingually exposed preschoolers“. We are also happy to announce her workshop „Studies on normal and impaired language acquisition in…

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Philosophy: Monday Monthly Meeting

Everybody is cordially invited to attend the last Monthly Monday Meeting on:

Monday, June 18, 2012, 3-8pm, V 1001

15:00-16:00: Peter Fritz (Oxford): 'Metaphysical Necessity' as a Theoretical Term

16:15-17:15: Joseph Y. Halpern (Cornell/Senior Fellow): Intransitivity and Vagueness

17:30-18:30: Thomas Kroedel (Berlin): Mental Causation for Dualists

18:45-19:45: Timothy Williamson (Oxford): Knowing the Real and Apparent Time

More information is available here.

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Workshop I "Forgetting"

The Workshop I "Forgetting" takes place in cooperation with the Martin Buber Society of Fellows in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem from

10th-13th June 2012 in Konstanz

About the Workshop

The Zukunftskolleg of the University of Konstanz and the Martin Buber Society of Fellows at Hebrew University, Jerusalem, are new interdisciplinary institutions designed to foster outstanding early-career researchers. Since their inception, the two institutions have…

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Fourth Formal Epistemology Festival

The fourth Formal Epistemology Festival funded by the German Research Foundation will take place on June 4-6, 2012 at the University of Konstanz. This event is organized by Rachael Briggs (ANU), Kenny Easwaran (USC), Jonathan Weisberg (Toronto), and the Zukunftskolleg Fellow Franz Huber (Konstanz).

The talks of the Zukunftskolleg members within the framework of the workshop will be given in the room V 1001:

on Monday, June 4, 2012 at 4.30 p.m. by Franz Huber

on Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 6 p.m.…

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The Virtual Hadrian’s Villa

The Zukunftskolleg Senior Fellow Bernard D. Frischer, Professor of Art History and Classics at the University of Virginia (USA), will visit the Zukunftskolleg in May again to report on progress of the Virtual Hadrian's Villa Project, which was already in focus of his work during his stay at the Zukunftskolleg from October 2010 to July 2011. Together with a team of specialists Bernard Frischer succeeded in creating a 3D digital model of the archaeological site of Hadrian's Villa along with a…

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Philosophy Beyond Borders

Quantum mechanics is arguably the most puzzling physical theory we have ever had. On the one hand, it makes excellent empirical predictions; on the other, we know that it cannot be the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Trying to understand quantum mechanics while keeping its predictive success has led to alternative formulations of the theory. One of the most suggestive of these, Hugh Everett III’s pure wave mechanics, describes a quantum universe constantly evolving into many parallel,…

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Konstanzer Geistes Slam

On Saturday, the 5th of May, the second „Konstanzer Geistes Slam“ was a great success. For one hour within the “Lange Nacht der Wissenschaft” five young scientists from varying institutions presented their subjects. Although the well established PowerPoint presentation was a useful help, this event was stamped by the motto: anything goes, as long as it serves a better understanding. The participants had eight minutes time to bring across their message, afterwards presenter Mario Müller („Theater…

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Philosophy Beyond Borders

What are "altruism" and "selfishness" in human action, and do they exclude each other? Which role do they play in economics? What's the point of accusing someone of being "selfish", and is the pleasure of feeling morally superior not "selfish" in its own way?

Let's continue exploring philosophy and its borders in a conversation between Christoph Fehige, Professor of Practical Philosophy at Saarland University in Saarbrücken and Senior Fellow at the Zukunftskolleg, and Urs Fischbacher, Professor…

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