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Research Projects at the CEE Center for Cognitive Science

Current Projects


Mind-RACES: From Reactive to Anticipatory Cognitive Embodied Systems
financed by the EC, 6th Framework Programme (Contr. ¹ 511931).






The project aims at developing robots which could have cognitive capabilities based on anticipation. The algorithms created for predicting events in a dynamic world will be implemented both in computer simulations and in real robots. The project uses Pioneer 3 and AIBO robots for the needs of research. The successful implementation of Mind-RACES will deliver a breakthrough in several cognitive science topics such as the relationship between anticipation and emotions; analogy and BDI systems; planning in neural networks and anticipatory classifier system. (


Coordinator: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy)

Partners: New Bulgarian University, Lunds Universitet (Sweden), Bayerische Julius-Maximilians Universitaet Wuerzburg (Germany), Instituto Superior Técnico (Portugal), Oesterreichische Studiengesellschaft Fuer Kybernetik (Austria), Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana (Switzerland), Noze s.r.l. (Italy)




RASCALLI: Responsive Artificial Situated Cognitive Agents Living and Learning on the Internet,
financed by the EC, 6th Framework Programme (Contr. ¹ 027596)





The project aims at the development of responsive artificial situated cognitive agents that live and learn on the Internet (Rascalli). Rascalli represent a growing class of cooperative agents that are equipped with major ingredients of cognition including situated correlates of physical embodiment to become adaptive, cooperative and self improving in a certain environment (Internet) given certain tasks. The project will develop and implement a system that integrates a cognitive model and architecture with modules such as digital memory, knowledge representation and special purpose components. This system will allow a user to create a digital presence functioning like an avatar or agent that can be instructed by the user to collect information on certain user defined topics, to engage on behalf of the user in Web communities, to establish contact with other digital presences, avatars and users, etc. The agents will be able to combine human and computer skills in such a way that both kinds of abilities can be optimally employed for the benefit of the human user. The project is based on the cognitive architecture DUAL, developed in NBU.(




Coordinator: Oesterreichische Studiengesellschaft Fuer Kybernetik (Austria)

Partners: New Bulgarian University, Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Küngstliche Intelligenz (Germany), ARC SEIBERSDORF RESEARCH GMBH (Austria), Radon Labs GmbH (Germany), Ontotext Lab of Sirma Group Corp.  (Bulgaria)




ANALOGY: Humans – The Analogy-Making Species
financed by the EC, 6th Framework Programme (Contr.¹ 029088)




The project focuses on understanding the uniquely human mechanisms of analogy-making, and exploring their evolution and development. The ability to see a novel experience, object, situation or action as being “the same” as an old one, and then to act in an approximately appropriate manner (fine-tuned to fit the novel experience), is one of the capacities that sets humans apart from all other species. What are the underlying mechanisms that allow us to do this? How did they evolve in the population? How do they develop in an individual? How do they differ from “the same” mechanisms in primates? A highly experienced, interdisciplinary international team will study and compare the performance of primates, infants, children, healthy adults, as well as children and adults with abnormal brain functioning. An interdisciplinary methodology will be used to pursue this goal, one that includes computational modeling, psychological experimentation, comparative studies, developmental studies, and brain imaging. The results from this project will contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms of analogy-making, their origin, evolution and development and will lead to advances, not only in our basic knowledge of human cognition, but also in the development of educational strategies to help children and young people to be more efficient learners and to achieve a better and deeper understanding of the surrounding world.(http://cogs,


Coordinator: New Bulgarian University

Partners: Cambridge University (UK), University of Heidelberg (Germany), University of London (UK), Université de Bourgogne (France), University College Dublin (Ireland), Institute of Cognitive Science and Technology – Roma (Italy), University of Athens (Greece), Birkbeck College, University of British Columbia (Canada)




Eye-to-IT: Development of Human-Computer Monitoring and Feedback Systems for the Purposes of Studying Cognition and Translation
financed by the EC, 6th Framework Programme (Contr. ¹ 517590)


The project aims at constructing a technology set consisting of EYE-, KEY- and EEG-monitoring tools for registering online the behavior of an operator of a human-computer interaction system with a mini-max set of variables, and also providing the operator with online feedback about aspects of her/his performance. The set of tools and technologies developed will be used for exploring aspects of the performance of the operator of human-computer interaction system during cognition-for-translation tasks. The final measure of success of the project will be the integration of tools and technologies in question into a unified set for the purposes of studying cognition and translation. (http://cogs,


Coordinator: University of Tampere (Finland)

Partners: New Bulgarian University, Handelshoejskolen i Koebenhavn (Denmark), Universitetet i Oslo (Norway), Tobii Technology AB (Sweden), Technische Universität Graz, (Austria)




WELKOM: Work with E-learning and Knowledge Operational Management
financed by the EC, Leonardo Da Vinci Programme (Contr. ¹ FR/04/B/P/PP-151124)


The general goal of the project is to establish a methodology for development of effective systems for electronic education. The systems are tested and studied in the course of the whole process of creation, implementation and use.


Coordinator: Turbomeca (France)

Partners: New Bulgarian University (Bulgaria), VBS Petrol Holding (Bulgaria), Turbomeca (France), Incodev (France), IStar training (France)




Perceptual Learning
in collaboration with Indiana University


The project aims at studying human conceptual and perceptual learning by development of a connectionist model. The focus of research is the link and interaction between unitization and segmentation at the level of perceptional learning. The findings of the research and the development of the model will result in better understanding of the perceptual learning phenomenon and the human learning mechanisms as a whole.


Coordinator: Indiana University (USA)

Partners: New Bulgarian University



Explaining Religion
financed by the EC, 6th Framework Programme (Contr.¹ 043225)


The project seeks to identify statistically measurable patterns of recurrence and variation in religious thinking and behaviour and to identify statistically measurable patterns of recurrence and variation in religious thinking and behaviour and to reconstruct core features of religion in human prehistory. Several leading experimental psychologists and biologists have suggested that our species’ susceptibility to the universal religious repertoire results from universal cognitive biases. This project will provide the first systematic testing ground for these new and influential hypotheses. It seeks to explain variations in the universal religious repertoire in terms of variable priming of the cognitive mechanisms that underpin those features and the role of creative thinking and expert memory. A computational model of religious dynamics will be developed, which could be used to explain present and past religious traditions and to simulate future developments. The results of the project will be highly significant for the formulation of social policy, in key areas as the teaching of science and religion in schools and the effective promotion of inter-religious and inter-ethnic tolerance. It will also shed light on the religiosity and broader ideological commitments (including political affiliation and voting behaviour). The research will have significant implications for our understanding of the rise and spread of various forms of religious fundamentalism and sectarianism.(



Coordinator: University of Oxford (UK)

Partners: New Bulgarian University, Queen’s University Belfast (UK); University of Liverpool (UK); Brunel University (UK); University of Zurich (Switzerland); University of Salzburg (Austria); University of Groningen (the Netherlands); University of Aarhus (Denmark), Centre Nacional de la Recherche Scientifique (France)




Previous Projects

1. Cross-Linguistic Studies of Aphasia (joint project with the University of California and universities in Italy, Germany, Spain, France and Russia), financed by James McDonnell Foundation, USA

2. Real-World Common Sense Reasoning (joint project with the Hamburg University), financed by the EC, 4th Framework Programme (COPERNICUS)

3. Belief in Reason and Belief against Reason, financed by the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.

4. Context and Emergent Cognition (joint project with the Institute of Psychology in Rome and the Bulgarian Academy of Science), financed by the Italian National Research Council.

5. Development of Temporal Modulation Perimetry (joint project with Eye Clinic, University of Munich and the Bulgarian Academy of Science), financed by the Volkswagen Foundation.

6. Perception of Space and Shape (joint project with the University of Dortmund and the Bulgarian Academy of Science), financed by the German National Research Fund-DFG.

7. Mechanisms of Ìotion Perception in Humans (joint project with the Institute of Occupational Physiology at the Dortmund University and the Bulgarian Academy of Science), supported by DFG grant 436 BUL–113/32, Germany

8. Cognitive Processing of Bulgarian Language in Norm and Pathology, financed by the Bulgarian National Science Fund

9. Context and Priming Effects on High-Level Cognitive Processes,  financed by the Bulgarian National Science Fund

10. Developing New Tools for Research of Child Language in Bulgarian, financed by the Research Support Scheme of the Open Society Institute, Budapest, Hungary

11. Connectivity in Language Rehabilitation in Stroke, financed by the EC, 5th Framework Programme

12. Reliability of EEG Nonlinear Dynamic Characteristics Obtained During Cognitive Tasks (joint project with Ben-Gurion University, Israel and the Bulgarian Academy of Science), financed by Ben-Gurion University- Beer Sheva (Israel)

13. Detection and Identification of Interaction Between EEG and Other, Time-related Events (joint project with the Czech Academy of Science and the Bulgarian Academy of Science), financed by the Czech Academy of Science

14. Estimation of the Dynamics of the Brain Electrical Activity During Cognitive Processing of Sentences (joint project with the Bulgarian Academy of Science), financed by the Bulgarian National Science Fund

15. Comparative Studies of Language Development and Reading in Four Languages (joint project with UCSD, Attila Jozsef University, Szeged, Hungary, University of Rome "La Sapienza", Italy) financed by NATO Research Program.

16. Visual Perception and Motor Activity (joint project with University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France)

17. Human Vision: A Psychophysical Search for the S-cone OFF-channel (joint project with Vision Science Research Group, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster at Colerain, UK), financed by Wellcome Trust

18. Spatial Cognition - International Quality Network, financed by DAAD and involving the University of Bremen, the University of Hamburg, the University of Freiburg, as well as  20 other Universities.

19. EUROCOG: Integration of Central and East European Centre for Cognitive Science into the European Cognitive Science Research Area, financed by the EC, 5th Framework Programme, (Contr. ¹ QLG4-CT-2002-90459)