The conference program included nine tours of the premier behavioral
research facilities in and around the Vrije Universiteit.
- Natura Artis Magistra (Artis) Zoo of Amsterdam. Take a look
behind the scenes of Artis Zoo, the oldest zoo in the Netherlands
with a 19th-century atmosphere. It exhibits a wide variety of exotic
animals. Artis Zoo used to be joined to the University of Amsterdam.
From the old days till now, many students and Artis staff have done
research in a variety of disciplines. The behavior of zoo animals
is one of these. Not only is the behavior observed in the light of
fundamental ethology, but also of behavioral enrichment, which, being
a hot item these days, can count on much interest. During the tour
in Artis Zoo our guides will show the visitors behind the scenes addressing
nutrition, identification transponders, transport of animals, international
breeding programs and the application of behavioral enrichment in
Artis Zoo. More information is available at www.artis.nl.
- Cognitive Science Center (University of Amsterdam). VLAM-G,
the Grid-based Virtual Laboratory AMsterdam, provides a science portal
for distributed analysis in applied scientific research. It offers
scientists the possibility to carry out their experiments in a familiar
environment, where content and data are clearly separated. Emphasis
is put on the development and use of open standards and seamless integration
of external devices. It incorporates and integrates the most recent
developments in Grid-computing (such as the Globus toolkit), database
technology and visualization techniques. For more information visit
of Rehabilitation Medicine (Vrije Universiteit Medical
Center, Amsterdam). The laboratory of human
movement analysis, is performing mainly gait analysis within a clinical
context. This requires that measurements put a low load on the patient.
Presentation of results to the referring physicians are based on multimedia
technology (SYBAR system). Research involves (1) the use of surface
EMG to quantify muscle coordination within a motor task (2) measurements
of energy consumption during walking (3) measurement of muscle function,
including stiffness (4) effects of walking speed and perception (using
a virtual world) on movement coordination (5) advanced visualization
techniques. The tour will include a demonstration of the SYBAR system.
For more information
- Institute for Fundamental and Clinical Human Movement Sciences
(Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam). Tour of the human gait laboratory.
The Department of Human Movement Sciences is renowned for its research
on human behavior related to perception and coördination, as
well as in the areas of sport and rehabilitation. The tour will give
an overview of ongoing projects related to wheelchair propulsion,
grasping behavior in infants, but also on more fundamental research
related to human muscle function. More information is available at
- Motek, Amsterdam. Motek will demonstrate the CAREN platform.
CAREN stands for the development of Computer Assisted Rehabilitation
ENvironments, operating in a real-time domain. CAREN concerns the
development of a virtual reality system in which the balance behavior
of humans can be tested in a variety of reproductible conditions.
It allows movement scientists and medical experts to view and analyze
human balnace disorders in an interactive, controlled environment.
For more information visit www.e-motek.com.
- Department of Computer Science (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
The Interactive, collaborative tiled display (ICWall) is a digital
projection screen built with off-the-shelf computer technology. The
core of the system consists of 16 DLP projectors. Aligned in a 4 by
2 grid, eight projectors (tiles) cover a physical area of around 5.5
by 2 meters and provide a resolution of 4096 by 1536. A PC drives
each projector with a rather advanced graphics card. Special software
takes care of the alignment of the tiles, producing a uniform image.
By using two projectors for a single tile and producing images for
the left and right eye, it will be possible to switch the display
from monoscopic to stereoscopic mode. The ICWall is part of the Surf-funded
MultiVLA project and has as primary goal to integrate this technology
in an educational setting. Many applications have already been developed,
through collaborations with groups from many faculties (e.g., Physics,
Geology, Medicine, Human Movement, ACTA). More information can be
found at www.iwall.org.
Aerospace Laboratory NLR, Amsterdam. NLR is an independent research
institute that carries out contract research for national and international
customers. Main research areas are civil and military aeronautics
and space flight. Empirical research for the utilization of new
concepts and devices, such as new procedures, cockpit layouts and
air traffic controller teamwork, is conducted using flight simulators
and an air traffic simulation facility. Behavioural research focuses
on human-machine interaction. Applied measures range from observations
(e.g. video) to physiological measures in combination with the achieved
performance. The tour will take you to NLR's key experimental facilities
for human factors research. More information is available at www.nlr.nl.
SARA is one of the most advanced computing and networking centers
in the Netherlands, offering High Performance Computing- and Networking
(HPCN) and affiliated services, such as visualization, to the scientific
community, educational institutes and industry, and enabling innovative
research, new educational techniques, and advanced product development.
SARA's flagship in visualization is the CAVE, a multi-user projection-based
VR system. In this system, the viewer is surrounded by stereoscopic
computer generated images on four sides. More information is available
of Developmental Neurobiology (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
The department uses a multidisciplinary, systemic research approach
that combines molecular techniques, cell biology, neuroanatomy,
electrophysiology in-vitro and in-vivo, and behavioral analysis,
as well as the continued development of methodology for the analysis
of the behavioral and electrical data. During the lab tour, we show
our breeding facilities for birds, the facilities for sound recordings
and on-line sound analysis, and our facilities for in-vivo electrophysilogical
work. For the latter, we explain our telemetric system designed
to collect neurophysological activity in relation to vocal communication
of our experimental models, zebra finches and canaries. Further,
we demonstrate set-ups to do auditory physiology in restrained animals
and methods to extract data from extra-cellular multi-unit recordings.
More information is available at www.bio.vu.nl.
29 July 2003