Prof. Dr. Friedrich T. Sommer
Friedrich T. Sommer is Associate Adjunct Professor at the Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience and at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at University of California, Berkeley. He received a PhD in Physics from University of Düsseldorf with a thesis on the theory of associative memories. He conducted postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Tuebingen and he holds a Habilitation degree in Computer Science from University of Ulm. Fritz Sommer's broad research interest is to understand how brains learn and perform tasks with ease that computer algorithms struggle with, for example analyzing a cluttered visual scene or retrieving relevant information from a large body of stored data. Long-standing research interests include models of memory and studies of the computation performed by networks of sensory neurons.
His recent interests include developing a theory of learning in sensor-motor loops and using ideas from compressed sensing in models how functional brain regions communicate. His lab uses approaches from Machine Learning, Applied Mathematics and Physics to devise computational models of the brain, as well as techniques for analyzing neuroscience data. Further, the group collaborates with various experimental neuroscientists. The visit of Fritz Sommer at the Mercator Research Group in March and April 2012 will give the opportunity of exchanging ideas about the research themes mentioned and beyond.
Prof. Dr. Emar Maier
Emar Maier received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Radboud University Nijmegen in 2006 with a thesis on the semantics of de re and de se attitude ascriptions. After working as postdoctoral researcher in Linguistics (Nijmegen) and Philosophy (ILLC/Amsterdam), he is now PI of an ERC Starting Grant project on the grey area between direct and indirect reported speech (combining formal semantics and empirical investigation of child language, sign language, and ancient Greek). His research interests include: presuppositions and dynamic semantics; reported speech and quotation; indexicals and proper names; and attitude reports. His visit to the Bochum Philosophy of Language department/Mercator Research Group will provide an opportunity for mutual exchange of ideas about philosophical and empirical issues in the study of meaning generally, and about the nature of linguistic self-reference through quotation in particular.
Prof. Dr. Christopher Gauker
Christopher Gauker is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cincinnati. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh for a dissertation written under the direction of Wilfrid Sellars. His interests lie primarily in philosophy of mind, philosophy of language and philosophical logic. He is the author of four monographs: Thinking Out Loud: An Essay on the Relation between Thought and Language (Princeton 1994), Words without Meaning (MIT 2003), Conditionals in Context (MIT 2005), and Words and Images: An Essay on the Origin of Ideas. Recent publications in journals include articles in Noûs, Mind and Language and the Journal of Semantics. In October and November 2011 he visited the Mercator Research Group and gave presentations on sensory perception, the prospects for naturalized semantics and the concept of logical validity. Currently, he is especially interested in the nature of imagistic cognition and in approaches to formal semantics that eschew word-world reference relations.
Prof. Dr. Klaus-Peter Hoffmann
Klaus-Peter Hoffmann is a retired professor of Zoology and Neurobiology at the Ruhr University Bochum. He did his PhD with Otto Creutzfeldt in Munich and did his habilitation at the University of Munich. He studies the evolution and comparative neurobiology of vision and the control of visuo-motor behavior. To this end he applies neurophysiological and neuroanatomical methods in animal models as well as psychophysical methods, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging in humans. His research results were published in over 200 articles in renowned scientific journals, including Nature and Science. Professor Hoffmann was president of the German Neuroscience Society and a member of the editorial board of numerous neuroscientific journals. He played a fundamental role in numerous initiatives in teaching and research. He was founder and spokesman of the first DFG Research Training Group „Cognition, brain und neural networks“, spokesman of the International Graduate School of Neuroscience at the Ruhr University, chair of the review board of Biology at the DFG, chair of the jury in the Bio-Future program of the BMBF and first chair of the expert group in the Human Frontier Science program in Strasbourg. Currently, he is a member of the DFG Review Board, the Board of Trustees of the Hertie Institute in Tübingen and the Review Committee of the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility in Stockholm. His research took him abroad several times: to Canberra, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro, Pasadena, and New York. Prof. Hoffmann visited the Mercator Research Group "Structure of Memory" from November 2010 to August 2011.
Prof. Dr. Sven Bernecker
Sven Bernecker is Chair Professor of Philosophy at the School of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine. He holds a PhD from Stanford University and has been habilitated at the LMU Munich. In his two books Memory: A Philosophical Study (Oxford University Press, 2010) and The Metaphysics of Memory (Springer, 2008) he investigates the topic of memory from an epistemological and metaphysical perspective. He is arguably the single-most outstanding contemporary philosopher of memory. Deeply rooted in epistemology, he is the author of Reading Epistemology (Blackwell, 2006) and editor of The Routledge Companion to Epistemology (with Duncan Pritchard, Routledge 2011) as well as of Knowledge: Readings in Contemporary Epistemology (with Fred Dretske, Oxford University Press, 2000). He has also published numerous articles in the internationally most renowned philosophy journals. He was a Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center, Research Professor at the Brazilian Council of Technological and Scientific Development, and a Heisenberg Fellow. In May and June 2010, Bernecker visited the Mercator Research Group where he read the lecture series Memory: Philosophical Perspectives.
In alphabetical order:
- Dr. Giosué Baggio, SISSA, Trieste
- PD Dr. Andrea Bender, U Freiburg & MPI Nijmegen
- Prof. Dr. Regine Eckardt, U Göttingen
- Prof. Dr. Julia Fischer, German Primate Center, U Göttingen
- Prof. Dr. Brian Hill, HEC-Paris
- Dr. Jan Pieter Konsman, PsychoNeuroImmunology Laboratory , Université Bordeaux 2
- PD Dr. Ricarda Schubotz, MPI Cologne
- Prof. Dr. Achille Varzim Columbia University, New York
- Dr. Carsten Wotjak, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich