1) Ioannis Tarnanas (Former NC Team Leader)
[On leave for three years in Asia since 1rst February 2005. Professor Tarnanas has signed all the past Greek Progress Reports. He shall continue to monitor developments from afar.]
Interventional Informatics; Medical Communications; Distributed Medical intelligence; Bio-sensors; Quantitative Human performance; Expressional interface systems; Physio-informatics; Intelligent Interface-metrics; User Tracking Interface systems; Distributed tele-robotic controllers; Intermental Networking; Bio-cybernetics systems; Cognitive Neuroscience; Perceptual Psycho-physics; Perceptual state space modulation; Physiology; Physics; Intelligent Music Therapy Systems; Heart-Brain Synchronisation.
1. Creative Assistive Technologies Laboratory Principal Investigator
CATLab is an
organization dedicated to the intelligent implementation of interactive
information technologies in Health Care and
2. Peopleware - Western Macedonia Research Center Director
Peopleware is devoted to solving leading-edge problems in ergonomics, simulation, healthcare, and human-factors.
Ioannis’s research efforts have focused on advanced instrumentation and new methods of analysis which can be applied to evaluating various aspects of human function as it relates to human-computer interaction, this effort was to identify methods and techniques which optimize information flow between humans and computers.
Ioannis's work has indicated an optimal mapping of interactive interface technologies to the human nervous system's capacity to transduce, assimilate and respond intelligently to information in an integrative-multisensory interaction will fundamentally change the way that humans interact with information systems.
Application areas for this work include quantitative assessment of human performance, augmentative communication systems, environmental controls for the disabled, medical communications and integrated interactive educational systems.
Ioannis is particularly active in technology transfer of aerospace and other defense derived technologies to the fields of health care and education.
Specific areas of interest are: advanced instrumentation for the acquisition and analysis of medically relevant biological signals; intelligent informatic systems which augment both the general flow of medical information and provide decision support for the health care professional; public accesses to health information databases designed to empower the average citizen to become more involved in their own health care; intelligent music therapy systems and advanced training technologies which will adaptively optimize interactive educational systems to the capacity of the user. His most recent research efforts concentrate on Heart-Brain Synchronization and on the application of Dolphin Sounds in the rehabilitation and healing of various disabilities.
Ioannis likes painting and is interested in Tai-Chi Chuan.
1. CATLab - Multisensory Interactice Neuroergonomics Development [M.I.N.D.]. NEST-2003-1 ADVENTURE.
2. Roles for Sensorimotor Behavior in Cognitive Awareness: An Immersive Sound Kinetic-based Motion Training System. Fet.pdf
Progress Report 1
[Comments of Principal Coordinator in blue]
Some preliminary observations for the status of the Multidisciplinary multicultural Neuroscience Research in Greece, by the conduct of personal interviews and attending local and international medical conferences, such as the International Quality of Medical Services Conference in Athens 11/09/2004, we come into the conclusion that the International Multidisciplinary Neuroscience Research Programmes in Greece are either non-existent or too span in nature.
try to extend this to Interface Research Programmes (cf. IMIRC)]
we were able to find was just a few personal and group efforts towards this
direction (one in Thessalonica and two in Athens, the two major Greek cities),
that are researching therapeutic improvisation outside the general medical
framework with the aim of improving the healing potential inside the human
being. One of these efforts is our own regarding the use of Intelligent Musical
Systems for healthcare, relief of biological workload, enhanced safety; and in
the medical field, the diagnosis and observation of diseases , . The other
two efforts in Athens are directed towards acupuncture and it’s healing
potential and towards the electrical stimulation of obesity in the form of an
 F. Badilini, P. Maison-Blanche, P. Champomier, J.
C. Provost, P. Coumel, and H. Milon, “Frequency-domain heart rate variability
in 24-hour holter recordings: Role of spectral method to assess circadian
patterns and pharmacological autonomic modulation,” J. Electrocardiol.,
vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 147–157, 2000.
 Ioannis Tarnanas (2004). Computer Assisted
Influence of Cardiac Afferent Input on Heart-Brain Synchronization and Cognitive
Performance under emergency conditions. In International
Psycho-Physiology in Ergonomics Association 2004 Proceedings, 2004 published by
Idea Group, Inc.
terms of future developments, I agree with Vivian and Dr. Roscher that Cordis is
not the preferable way for a Multidisciplinary multicultural Neuroscience
[I find this quite alarming. If researchers (especially in the life sciences and medicine) do not see beyond their lab or don't understand how they can integrate their work for concrete applications in a more global perspective to improve the quality of life on this planet on a macroscopic scale, they are wasting everybody's time (and money) including their own. It is our job to open their minds. The central theme of the NewPOL Network and the IMIRC's main objective is exactly that: interactive interfaces.
A CEO from a company just wrote
to me the following:
---> ...but I guess I'll learn as it goes
He is perfectly right. This is an essential
element behind this initiative: we learn, question and discover as we go along.
There is no fixed predetermined pattern.
The NewPOL Network - a network of networks - is a
highly dynamic interactive structure that changes every day...
Every NewPOL Consortium Network Member's role is:
- to make the Network even more articulate thanks
to his/her own experience/activities
to help other colleagues with their similar
background to "see" how they could also link their own work and ideas
to the Network.
The NewPOL Network shall encourages Members to:
- consolidate existing research projects (EU FP,
EU Non-FP, Non-EU, etc...)
- create new ones in cross-cutting areas (EU FP,
EU Non-FP, Non-EU, etc...)
- help us combat inertia... :-)]
Greece is quite active in Medical Research there are very few FET, NEST and IST
projects directed at the correlation between emotions, cognition and perception
and pharmacological autonomic modulation by the use of technology or the human
healing potential alone.
Being aware of the global trends and the need for a better understanding
of the underlying mechanism of consciousness, neural plasticity and in the long
run, biochips, neuroceuticals and neurotechnology research. Unfortunately most
of the recent grants and developments come from the other side of the Atlantic
where there are specific grants for Neurotechnology Research called NBIC
(Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Society and Cognitive Science)
issued from the department of Health and Human Services.
The way I envision the future of our own efforts (the Multidisciplinary
multicultural Neuroscience Research Centre), I would take advantage of the
benefits of information society and our multidisciplinary, multicultural nature [indeed]
and I would propose something like this: Globalizing Research Communities:
The Innocentive's Way. Innocentive
allows researchers to post research problems and provide opportunities for other
scientists to solve them. Scientists that solve the challenges posted are
awarded financially. Companies contract with Innocentive as "Seekers"
to post R&D challenges. Scientists register as "Solvers" to
review challenges and submit solutions online. The Seeker company reviews the
submissions and selects the best solution. Innocentive issues the award amount
to the winning scientist/solver.
Please look at: http://www.innocentive.com/about/index.html.
This is a fine multidisciplinary research method and in fact I was preparing an
initiative like that my own, before Vivian invite me to become a National
Coordinator. After my invitation and our forthcoming conference I believe that
this way could be a team effort. As
an example of this global research and at the same time political statement way
of doing Multidisciplinary
Neuroscience Research, I can already tell you that I have three companies
already seeking for electrical stimulation implants for diabetes, obesity and
dizziness, each “seeking” to give 700.000euros to individual researchers,
institutions or research groups. Of course my group does not have the expertise
to “pursue” something like that, but if any of you would be interested I
will then know that the innocentive way realy works!
[Innocentive definitely seems to favour the inter-educative and education/business interfaces and also seems to play a very useful role making people aware of another's job, existence, needs, potential, … Innocentive could certainly make a useful contribution to the IMIRC and could play a complementary (or maybe competitive role) with the EU 6FP because the concept is less rigid and far easier to use.
This said, why does one always have to rely on others (for information, knowledge)? Why does the majority always need to look "elsewhere" for leadership?
The object of the
NewPOL Network is - in the long run - to provide the necessary intellectual
tools enabling the Seeker to become the Solver. Innocentive
certainly helps to get together people from different backgrounds, but these
remain in their backgrounds.
Even though Innocentive's vision is presently different from that of the NewPOL Consortium Network, perhaps their experience in getting together the Seeker and the Solver could offer some interesting avenues of research to fuse the two entities.
"profession", "job", "goal", "career",
…shall have a different resonance and meaning in the years to come.]
The story from Greece therefore goes
like that: we have the drive and need to become more extravagant and
multidisciplinary, however the motives and neuroscience “interfaces” are low
[Indeed. And when one thinks that awareness of interfaces implies the neurosciences in many circumstances, the task ahead of us is quite daunting. We are still VERY far from our objectives.]
My group’s interest is to
research CAT (cognitive appraisal theory). What is CAT? In simple terms, CAT is
the great unsolved mystery of the relationship between the heart and the brain.
Evidence suggests that there is a definite relationship between them ... but
what is it exactly? When you work too much with your brain then the heart goes
off. When you work too much with your heart then the brain fails. So where is
the perfect balance? It’s very subtle! Our aim is to research into this
relationship with the tools of science.
We have built a web site licensed under the GPL. Here is our project page. There are so many potential directions to extend our enquiry. A good collaborator might propose a new hypothesis or simply help with programming. We are looking for collaborators and/or sponsors.
Dimension 1: Enhancing (1) (affective) theory of mind, (2) social
cognition, (3) affective computing, (4) cognitive appraisal theory. Our work
lies at the intersection of these four research areas.
Dimension 2: A new kind of input for rule-based artificial intelligence
modeling. So much of current effort in ontology is focused on articulating
content. Little effort has been paid to testing such models or looking for
unforseen synergy or between ontologized knowledge. We propose that ordinary
people should give feedback on model output as a means to provide this much
I envision the future steps after the
conference as twofold:
1st: establish a common
multilingual website platform and not one centric and multiple local satellite
ones. This is disorienting.
[If by a
common central multilingual website platform you mean the same web site but
translated in different languages, this seems premature and WOULD - à priori -
be disorienting at this stage.
take a concrete example. NewPOL Network National Coordinators serve as an
interface between THEIR NATIONAL public and the NewPOL Consortium Network. The
NC - with his/her own mentality and culture - has fully understood the basic
principles behind the NCN. As regards Greece (in your case), you are thus in a
far better position (or more "qualified") than a non-Greek to make the
NCN initiative accessible and appealing to a Greek public with the same culture
and similar mentality as your own. Your Greek NCN Satellite web site written in
your own language and style, with your own design and conception (or directives,
should you wish to apply to a web designer) is the interface/tool that shall
make this possible.
To put it another
way, the ideas behind the NCN in order to be made accessible to a Greek public
may have to be expressed in a different way than if you were to explain the same
initiative to an Indian public.
A Greek NCN Portal
shall perhaps make YOU more accessible/reachable to the Greek public than one
Finally, I believe
that National NCN Websites shall make this whole enterprise much more articulate
by facilitating peripheral exchanges within the network.
Once the general
public from different countries have become accustomed to the NCN initiative, a
common site could be considered. But still, in this long voyage to
interdisciplinarity and global cultural exchanges, a national satellite web can
help not to forget the Greek (Chinese, Swedish, …) history and culture… and
their contribution to civilisation.]
2nd: establish a “virtual
community” in the Innocentive’s way, where we take advantage of the proven
pros of the networked information society technologies and apply it to our
humanistic intelligence needs and research efforts.
[Please refer to my observations above. The Innocentive's way is a very useful tool as regards the academic(or education)/business interface, but its very conception consolidates fragmentation.
however that, maybe paradoxically, Innocentive could also
have an important educational role within the NewPOL Network by helping us to:
however that, maybe paradoxically, Innocentive could also have an important educational role within the NewPOL Network by helping us to:
That way we can establish a “Virtual Multidisciplinary Neuroscience Research Centre” that will be
autonomous and undependable of time and space limitations and will operate in a
real open and flexible way. This “Virtual Multidisciplinary
Neuroscience Research Centre” could more easily attract funding from the EU
because it connects to many more initiatives and calls like the TEN telecom
network or the Science and Society group, where we Greeks have a stronger
[I see what you mean. Günther
Roscher) made a similar suggestion quite some time ago. My reply is therefore
also similar… :-)]
"Multidisciplinary Neuroscience Research
Centre" that will be autonomous and undependable of time and space limitations
and will operate in a real open and flexible way.
[Indeed. You are
A virtual Center would also be much less
expensive, the political problem of finding a country would be solved and
researchers would be able to "get together" on a virtual platform.
I have three observations:
We can therefore have both: they can
certainly coexist and interact.
As regards the
geographical location that shall be chosen for the construction of the Center, some kind of international agreement could be found to
make a given territory (island?) apolitical before the actual construction
of the Center is undertaken. Perhaps one day there shall be similar Centers
on other Planets.
appropriate physical construction that reflects - in design, structure and
conception - the basic conclusions of the IMIRC and that of the proposed NewPOL
Network paradigm is vital. Traditional/conventional research
institutions/universities are becoming obsolete: they shall not
even be able to implement our proposed novel integrated
interdisciplinary approach to the Life Sciences in the Universe simply because they
are not configured that way. Worse, using these conventional
institutions to work on integrated holistic issues shall do more harm than good:
you shall fragment the whole and we shall be back from where we started! It's
like using outdated tools for new concepts.
3. The virtual IMNRC could definitely contribute to the NewPOL Network Foundation. This is what we shall be working on when we have reached that stage (cf. the Agenda). External financial support is obviously necessary to begin with and perhaps some financial feedback could be set up between the virtual and the constructed IMNRC in the future.
I would really like to form our own "enterprise" so that we need not have to keep on relying on others for support. This means that EVERYONE has their share and responsibility in getting everything under way. This is in itself a considerable challenge.
Here again, some words like "own" enterprise and "relying on others" may acquire a different meaning as we progress in the future.
issues can definitely be discussed during PART III of the IMIRC or even during
the OCM Tervuren/Brussels.]
Those were my observations, remarks and
conclusions and I am open to any fruitful discussion. Please bear in mind that
our satellite website at: www.sonic-i.org
also supports a web forum, so we have an already established interface with the
general public, children and academics and you may feel free to use it as well
and contact me in order to create some new groups for discussion.
[Excellent idea. I
like the site]
National Coordinator’s Satellite Website:
[Thank you for
providing a link to www.imnrc.org
Please refer to the
Put yourself in a
Greek manual labourer's shoes (or a Greek taxi driver for example; I guess you
know what I mean) looking at your NCN Satellite web site for the first time.
Shall he/she get the message? Do you think he/she would understand a word like
"neuroimmunoendocrine" or "neuroscience" enough to want to
"click" and know further?
Please do not get me wrong: I am not criticising your site www.sonic-i.org as such, but rather as the NCN interface and portal of entry enabling the Greek population to understand the NewPOL Network initiative and … participate in our activities.
remarks apply to ALL the National Coordinators and not just Ioannis.
Thank you for your efforts.]
Progress Report 2
[Comments of Principal Coordinator in blue]
I am organizing a major promotional event for our "Virtual Research Center" (this is indeed a good idea) for April that will attract the general public and professionals from the medical and other disciplines in Greece. I also have another idea about the "Virtual Research Center" that will enable researchers from less favored countries like under-development countries to take advantage of expensive equipment like virtual reality caves etc in order to conduct psychological or other experiments. This can be done using networked technologies and enactive environments like the ones in http://emotion-research.net
[Excellent! Please do not hesitate to contact any of the other NCs (or anyone else in the Network for that matter). We are between friends, so exchange of correspondence should be completely free and informal... :-)
I sometimes get an e-mail from a NewPOL Member asking me if it is "ok" if he/she contacts another member on the web pages. Of course it is! That's what the web pages are for! Getting people to communicate!]
> ...I am also waiting for our first meeting. I hope that we will have the finance to support it!
[The OCM should be supported by the Commission. All our efforts must concentrate on having a full set of NCs and NPCs: this obviously seems the most difficult part. In order to keep everything simmering and the momentum behind this initiative going, action must be undertaken at all levels of society: you can't possibly manage all this by yourself. You need assistance: a small team. You could explain/develop your idea to Mrs Gianna Angelopoulos, the distinguished lady who organised the Greek Olympic games: she may help.
>... I am just eager to see where all these efforts are driving us into, because as you said this should be a holistic approach and not a technology drive one...
[The National Coordinator for Cyprus (Web Page pending) made a similar remark. This is the object of the IMIRC.
I might suggest that you review again just the url: http://www.imnrc.org/NCN/Activities/IMIRC/imirc.htm (cf. The Missing Link)... :-)
Just WHAT the workshop conclusions shall show and HOW we shall be able to articulate them with each other shall form PART II of IMIRC.]
Progress Report 3
(15 November 2004)
[Comments of Principal Coordinator in blue]
I am sorry if I am only addressing you with this email and not the rest of the NCs, but it seems to me that you are indeed getting quite exasperated. The same thing happened to me 6 years ago, when I arranged a top meeting with regional SUN (top guys - an Israeli lady that was directing SUN
In order to save you from present and future disappointments, it is my duty to let you know: you can not expect from every cow to be milked! Which basically means that: no matter how clear and focused your goals and vision are, sometimes when you show the Moon to someone, he only sees your finger alone, like a blind man!! I do not want to believe that for our group of NCs because we seem to have gathered the very best of human intellectuals, but it is a very strong statistical possibility to be happening.. Some blind men around us!!
That is for your advice and notice only, however if you want it for my 3rd progress report, it can be hooked online. It is true, genuine and I think that it reflects my recent approaches in Greece as well when it comes to big companies and important individuals.
You take care,
[One of the NewPOL Network's Mission is precisely to open closed minds and help the blind... but this means working with open-minded, highly resourceful and reliable NewPOL National Coordinating Teams who CAN see. Otherwise, you have the blind leading the blind: you get this everywhere.
NewPOL National Coordinators who succeed in creating a fully operational NC Team with their NewPOL Satellite Web Site must necessarily have an exceptional calibre. Otherwise, they fail. It is as simple as that.]
Progress Report 4
(5 January 2005)
Things are starting to clarify now in Greece regarding the interface of the Multidisciplinary multicultural Neuroscience Research Network and Movement. We have participated in many major National and International Conferences in Greece, regarding General Medicine, Disaster Medicine, Psychology, Public Health and Psycho-physiological monitoring and we have presented the NewPOL holistic approach. Many more conferences are coming such as the 4th National Alzheimer Disease Conference in Thessalonica, where we plan to make another presentation and if possible another collaboration.
In terms of funding and project developments, we all agree with Vivian and Dr. Roscher that Cordis is not the preferable way for a Multidisciplinary multicultural Neuroscience Research Centre.
Not only has Greece demonstrated to all that it can fully perceive and become aware of the needs of others, but it is also more than able to respond in cases of mass emergencies. As we speak there is a large effort to raise some funds for the recent disaster in Indonesia and there are 10 million euros so far, all raised from the private funds of Greek citizens. I think that this thing alone proves that besides being able to organize big and impressive Olympic Games, we are more than able to perform actual realizations as well in order to motivate things on an everyday basis. This fact made me very proud.
This also means that we already have the orientation and potential to line up with the NewPOL holistic approach and vision. Here again, the main culprit is inertia and education. We hope to be able to engage in a prosperous global attitude change using the dynamics of the NewPOL network.