The present Reserach Training Group ("Graduiertenkolleg" (GK)) aims to investigate the role of attention in higher cognitive function, beyond perception. In an interdisciplinary approach, we intend to investigate the allocation of attentional resources in higher cognitive operations such as language acquisition and comprehension, memory and action control. Despite the pure functional role of attention in these processes, our aim is to find answers to the question whether such processes interact with perceptual processes and might impair or mediate perceptual processes such as selective stimulus processing. Very little is known as of today with regard to these interactions. To answer these highly complex questions, all methods of contemporary cognitive neuroscience will be employed, such as EEG/MEG, imaging (fMRI), patient studies and studies with children all of which are available here in Leipzig, combined with excellent expertise in these methods.
The scientific environment is provided by 8 groups from two institutions, namely the Universität Leipzig (Institute for Psychology and Institute for Biology) and the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences. These groups offer future students enrolled in the degree program innovative and interdisciplinary research with regard to the theme of the GK.
Besides teaching the scientific background of the proposed theme, the program intends to communicate basic knowledge in the management of science. The major aim of the program, however, is to guide students to independent scientific work. International research exchange is as important as inviting experts to colloquia, workshops and summer schools. This allows students to achieve the international highest standards in the field. The program intends to attract the best students in the world in the fields on psychology, biology, linguistics and to some extend physics. Leipzig offers a unique environment to guarantee scientific exchange with all facilities and participating institutions within a radius of one kilometer.