RITPART is a partnership project between the RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion at the University of Oslo and three world-leading research groups at the University of California, Berkeley (USA), McGill University (Canada), and Toyohashi University of Technology (Japan). The partners complement and strengthen RITMO in three core methodologies, particularly neuroimaging, motion capture, and eye-tracking. These methods are vital in reaching RITMO's vision, namely to reveal the basic cognitive mechanism(s) underlying human rhythm. Many planned activities were cancelled due to the pandemic. However, we still managed to organize five international seminars: motion capture (November 2018), EEG analysis (May 2019), intracranial EEG (October 2019), pupillometry (April 2022), and rhythm (May 2022). The project has funded several short-term scientific missions (both incoming and outgoing) between Oslo and the three partner institutions and facilitated online collaboration between research assistants at the partner institutions during the pandemic. The project has resulted in many joint publications, some datasets, and openly available software. Some of the most visible results of the project are two online courses on the FutureLearn platform. "Motion Capture: The art of studying complex human activity" was launched in January 2022, and "Pupillometry - The eyes are windows to the soul "will launch in the fall of 2022.
The primary objective of RITPART was to develop world-class research and research education within the new Centre of Excellence, RITMO, through partnerships with leading research groups in three prioritized countries. Even though the pandemic severely limited mobility, we have developed closer relationships with each partner. We have also expanded the collaboration with more researchers and research groups in each institution.
The project has resulted in publications, data sets, software, and online courses. Perhaps more importantly, we have developed relationships at both institutional and personal levels that will have long-lasting effects on how we work and collaborate. There are now even closer ties between faculty members at the partner institutions. These collaborations will continue to strengthen as we see new student mobility and cross-hiring between the institutions.
The project has been multidisciplinary and centred on some core methodologies and related technologies. The systematic documentation of procedures and openly available software and educational tools will greatly support others using the various tools. At the last workshop in May 2022, we were, for the first time, able to carry out synchronized recordings with motion capture, eye tracking, pupillometry, EMG, ECG, and EEG. This will pave the way for much more complex studies of human behaviour than what has previously been possible.
RITPART is affiliated with RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion, a Centre of Excellence at the University of Oslo.
RITPART will continue and expand long-term relationships with three world-leading research groups, each connected to the three core branches of RITMO (musicology, psychology and informatics):
(1) The Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, USA
(2) Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology, McGill University, Canada
(3) Electronics-Inspired Interdisciplinary Research Institute, Toyohashi University of Technology, Japan
The partners have been chosen to complement and strengthen three methodological approaches that are of high importance to the success of RITMO: neuroimaging (Berkeley), motion capture (McGill) and eye tracking (Toyohashi). These methods are key to reaching the vision behind RITMO, namely to reveal the basic cognitive mechanism(s) underlying human rhythm, using music, motion and audiovisual media as empirical points of departure. The research will be based on the combined perspectives of the humanities, cognitive neuroscience, social sciences and informatics, including a large variety of theoretical and methodological approaches.
RITPART will reach its objectives through six work packages:
- WP1: Kick-off seminar in Oslo
- WP2: Intensive research training courses
- WP3: Short-term scientific missions between partners
- WP4: Cooperation on development of educational tools
- WP5: Knowledge exchange for support staff
- WP6: Project administration
These strategies will strengthen the general level of internationalization in RITMO and will help us develop into a truly world-leading hub for research and research education in the fields in question.