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About CINACS Print E-mail

The CINACS (Cross-modal Interactions in Natural And Cognitive Systems) International Research Training Group (IRTG) is funded by the DFG (IGK 1247). It is a joint project of the University of Hamburg and Tsinghua University of Beijing, provides outstanding and internationally competitive research and PhD training.

Our research concept focuses on the topics of cross-modal interactions and integration. A unique and novel feature of the project is the integration of biological and engineering/robotics approaches, allowing for the creation of complementary knowledge in those fields. We also expect the exploitation of the insights obtained for potential clinical and technical applications.



The following series of general research questions will direct our research on cross-modal interactions:

  • Which architectures are suitable for certain types of cross-modal tasks?

  • How to transform between modalities?

  • What are the mechanisms of cross-modal perceptual phenomena?

  • What are the general principles for resolving cross-modal conflicts?

  • How are multimodal percepts generated and represented?

  • How can cross-modal integration be realized in technical systems?

For the first generation of our PhD students, we have defined three major research topics :

1. Multisensory perception, representation and attention.

2. Cross-modal learning, association and problem-solving.

3. Multimodal communication.

To ensure a tight cooperation between all members of the graduate school, we plan for each PhD student to be advised by three professors, in interdisciplinary teams whenever possible. In addition to the main supervisor, the students will have two thesis advisors, one from Hamburg University and one from Tsinghua University. Joint supervision by the Hamburg CINACS members will be realized by periodical common meetings of the doctoral student with the supervisors.