Feedback, Communicative Gesturing and Gazing Summer School

NordForsk Research Training Course


23-28 May 2011

Room 213, Siltavuorenpenger 5A
00014 University of Helsinki

Organised by the University of Helsinki and the NOMCO project
in collaboration with CICERO Learning Network

This training course focuses on multimodal and multilingual human-human and human-machine interactions. Active research is being conducted, in the Nordic countries and worldwide, concerning different modalities and their various functions in natural conversations, and the activities are supported by recent progress in interaction technology. New tools and methods, such as highquality video recordings, novel recognition devices, semi-automatic data analysis, and visualisation techniques, enable us to study communicative activity and investigate how the interlocutors give feedback, maintain social bonds, and build a shared context. The aim of the school is to provide an opportunity for research students to discuss methodological challenges related to multimodal research and data collection, and to study a number of multimodal interaction phenomena related especially to gesturing and gazing. The approach in the course is multidisciplinary, and the issues will be addressed both from a theoretical and from a practical point of view, including hands-on exercises on data analysis. The participants will also have an opportunity to present their own work. The school is thus a unique opportunity to work with some of the leading experts of the field, to exchange ideas and comments with peers, and to get concrete guidance on one’s own work. Who should participate? The course is intended first of all for Nordic postgraduate students and young researchers, but students and researchers from outside the region are also welcome to attend. Preference will be given to those working on multimodality or related topics for their thesis, but the organisers will also consider applicants who are in the final phase of their graduate studies. The course will focus on the Nordic languages, but there will also be material concerning English, Estonian, and Japanese conversations.

The focus of the research training course is on multimodal feedback and the various verbal and nonverbal expressions that are used to give and elicit feedback in social communication. Issues that will be addressed concern the function and combinations of different modalities, such as hand gestures, body posture, head movement, eye-gaze, and facial expressions, as communicative means in conversational interactions. The course can also provide material for the comparison of communicative behaviour and for the categorisation of multimodal strategies in different languages. Lectures and contributions will address these issues from various view-points.

The teachers are experts in their field of study. Besides the organisers of the NOMCO project, the course will feature internationally acknowledged researchers as invited lecturers:

Jens Allwood, Feedback, Gaze and Communicative Gesturing, University of Göteborg, Sweden

Roman Bednarik, Eye-gaze, University of Eastern Finland, Finland

Nick Campbell, Data collection and analysis, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Marianne Gullberg, Gesturing, University of Lund, Sweden

Dirk Heylen, Multimodal communication, University of Twente, The Netherlands

Päivi Majaranta, Eye-tracking applications, University of Tampere, Finland

Patrizia Paggio, NOMCO – Nordic Collaboration in Data, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Isabella Poggi, Gaze and Gesture, University of Rome, Italy

Matthias Rehm, Communicative activity, University of Aarhus, Denmark

Summer School programme
Summer School reading list
Student presentation topics

Organizing Committee
Elisabeth Ahlsèn, University of Gothenburg
Jens Allwood, University of Gothenburg
Kristiina Jokinen, University of Helsinki (chair)
Costanza Navarretta, University of Copenhagen
Patrizia Paggio, University of Copenhagen
Leena Eerolainen (local coordinator)

Useful links
MUMIN network
NOMCO project

If you have any queries about the summer school course, please write to

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