Division Leibniz Competition
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Funding line 4: Promoting women for academic leadership positions

Neurocognitive foundations and processing pathways of arithmetic learning and their plasticity in adults as well as in typically and atypically developing children

Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM), Tübingen

Success in managing modern life is associated substantially with the ability to appropriately deal with and handle numbers. The present project aims at investigating neuro-functional grey matter and neuro-structural white matter correlates of numerical learning. This focus on the neuro-educational aspects of (numerical) learning addresses the issue of neuroplasticity, i.e.  the neural instantiation of learning. In three consecutive steps from (1) an initial investigation of numerical learning in educated adults to (2) a longitudinal evaluation of the neural instantiation of numerical development in typically developing children to (3) the specification of possibly diverging neural networks in atypically developing children the project takes a first step from basic research to the emerging scientific field of educational neuroscience with the view of suggesting new approaches for diagnostics and remediation of numerical deficiencies.

Period: 1. January 2014 - 31. December 2017

Final report (in German only) (PDF)

Democratisation of expert knowledge: map production and map use in new media landscapes

Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL), Leipzig

Today everybody can produce, use and distribute maps by using the internet and open source software. Thus the importance of maps in our daily life has increased significantly. The research project will study the design of and handling with maps in the virtual world, i.e. by using google maps and derived mashup maps. The interdisciplinary cooperation of geographers, cartographers, cultural scientists and cognitive psychologists also allows to research changings in the ability to critically use the powerful instrument map. In contrast to other new media of communication like blogs and wikis maps are a very special and complex medium representing imaginations of our surrounding and the world. Their impact is comparable to photographs. On the one hand the project aims to develop the theoretical basis of the expert discipline cartography. On the other hand it will provide tools for a critical map making and map using to all new media prosumers.

Period: 1. May 2014 - 30. April 2018

Project Website
Final report (in German only) (PDF)

Advanced mass spectrometric tools to elucidate structures involved in viral infection

Heinrich Pette Institute – Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology (HPI), Hamburg

Viruses, tiny, infectious particles, cause over 3 million deaths per year as effective antivirals to complement vaccination are lacking. Understanding the viral life cycle to identify new drug targets and design drugs requires detailed structural studies on built-up of protein complexes during viral replication. Viral proteins involved in replication are highly flexible and not well studied. High resolution techniques struggle with flexible, dynamic systems or the size of viral complexes. Native mass spectrometry (MS) can probe the masses of such systems elucidating the composition. Native MS will be used to identify viral proteins that are engaged in complexes with viral and host cell components to enable reproduction. This will establish an interaction network of viral proteins to identify points impeding infections. The project also pursues integration of native MS at X-ray free-electron lasers to achieve high structural resolution for dynamic complexes and create molecular movies.

Period: 1. April 2014 - 30. June 2017

Final report (PDF)