From integration to virtual environment

March 20, 2006

Four proposals have been honoured in the subsidy programme 'Medium Investments Social Sciences'. A total of 950,000 euros has been awarded. The projects are an international study into integration, a magnetic laboratory for brain research, a computer for genetic analyses and virtual reality as a trial area for psychological experiments.

The programme for medium-sized investments covers subsidies for the purchase of equipment and for the setting up of data collections, associated programming and bibliographies. One of the conditions for receiving an award is that the proposal must clearly make a nationally accessible contribution to the infrastructure which cannot be acquired by purchasing.

The projects awarded are:

Integration of the European second generation
Dr M.R.J. (Maurice) Crul, Migration and Ethnic Studies, Universiteit van Amsterdam
The researchers are investigating how the children of immigrants integrate into their new home country. How do they fair on the employment market, where do they go and live, how do they experience their identity, and what sort of educational courses do they follow? Many different aspects are considered in this study which follows three ethnic groups in 15 cities in 8 different countries.

Magnetic lab for cognitive neurosciences
Prof. V.A.F. (Victor) Lamme, Psychonomics, Universiteit van Amsterdam
The researchers are investigating the brain in action with the help of magnetic stimulation. With this technique brain processes can be activated in a safe and reversible manner. The researchers then use EEGs to study the effects of the magnetic stimulation on visual perception, working memory, consciousness, concentration and cognitive error settlement.

Cluster computer for genetic matching research
Dr D. (Danielle) Posthuma, Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit
Genetic analyses are becoming increasingly more commonplace. However calculating power is crucial for meaningful statements about the statistical aspects. As making a single analysis sometimes takes several days, serial calculations are no longer an option. The researchers are using a new, fast computer to perform parallel calculations.

Virtual environment technology for social psychology
Dr D.H.J. (Daniël) Wigboldus, Social Psychology, Radboud University
The researchers are introducing a new virtual technology to the Netherlands to carry out socio-psychological research. The technique is used to create three-dimensional, computer-generated environments, which scientists can use to test psychological theories in a completely controlled environment.

Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research

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