HSS course Cognition, Communication and the Brain was s great succes

The Helsinki Summer School on Cognition, Communication, and the Brain took place recently, coordinated by researchers from Cognitive Science, Psychology, Phonetics and Cicero Learning Network with Drs Alina Leminen and Eino Partanen as the main organizers.

The School was a resounding success: fully booked, having 86 applicants and accepted 33, the most popular school offered this year. 27 of the students came from overseas, and most had a background in psychology, medicine or cognitive science (23/33). The schedule presented over two weeks of top-class lectures and workshops from an international panel of multi-disciplinary scientists. The school welcomed back old friends such as Prof. Stefan Elmer (U of Zurich, Switzerland), and new ones such as Prof David Kirsh (UCSD, USA). Hosted by Dr. Benjamin Cowley, Prof Kirsh presented the open keynote on 'Thinking with the Body', to an auditorium packed with researchers and students from around Helsinki; a first in the history of the Summer School.

The Helsinki region also provided a great environment to visit collaborating neuroscience labs, including the Advanced Magnetic Imaging (AMI) Center at Aalto University, and the Biomag lab at Helsinki University Hospital. As such, Helsinki is a perfect location for this course, with many research groups studying the brain using various methods, and world-class facilities to visit in a small area linked by one of the world's best public transport networks.

The students also reported a great experience:

"Helsinki Summer School was a great experience. We really got a chance to deepen our theoretical and methodological knowledge of brain, cognition and communication and at the same time enjoy the company of fellow students and researchers from various diverse academic and cultural backgrounds. Besides the inspiring lectures, presentations and workshops from respected scientists and researchers who also shared their ideas and helped us with our own research topics and interests, we also got to see what beautiful attractions Helsinki has to offer. Visits to e.g. Suomenlinna island fortress, and Nuuksio National Park, were on social program. Overall, the summer school provided a holistic overall picture of the entire field; its history, present hot topics and some of the key methods. Now it´s a lot easier to choose the proper tools and techniques for ones own research. It also created a platform for new friendships and possible future collaborations." - Anton Berg, Masters student, Cognitive Science, University of Helsinki

Principal organisers:

Docent Alina Leminen, university lecturer in cognitive science, UH; specialist in cognitive neuroscience of language

Dr Eino Partanen, university lecturer and clinical psychologist, UH; focusing on normal and abnormal aspects of early learning and clinical neuropsychology