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 ISSUE 4   MARCH 2003  
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Getting to know your Network core facilities


Christian Beaulieu (far right), PhD, a Network researcher at the University of Alberta, works with the fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging). Network researchers can access this core facility to assist with research projects.








Five of the 46 research projects funded through The Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network are part of The Network's initiative to develop core research facilities that are available to all Network members. These five facilities provide for more efficient use of resources through the sharing of equipment, research, facilities, databases and personnel.

The first core facility is based at The University of Western Ontario. The Computational Modeling facility project, which is headed by Marc Joanisse, PhD, is a network of high-performance computers working in parallel for computational modeling of cognitive development. This facility provides Network researchers with a low-cost entry point into this emerging area of research. The centre gives investigators access to world-class computational modeling expertise, premium computing power and access to software such as MATLABŪ version 13. The computational modeling network can be accessed through the Internet and can support modeling activities at any Network site. Marc Joanisse can be contacted by: phone (519) 661-2111 x86582 or by e-mail at . For more information, visit: http://www.cllrnet.ca/polaris/

In Moncton, N.B., the core facility to support bilingual literacy research is led by Jean Saint-Aubin, PhD, a Network researcher at the University of Moncton. This facility assists with studies related to bilingual language and literacy. It consists of a lab with eye tracking and computing facilities to aid in the investigation of bilingual reading skills.

"This core facility supports bilingual literacy research by combining three attractive features. First, it gives Network researchers access to a large population of children who are learning to speak and read in both official languages as well as adults who are bilingual. Second, it gives access to eye-monitoring equipment," says Saint-Aubin. "Third, we've developed a comprehensive database of norms and tests that are available for developing materials in French. This database can be accessed on-line at the Web site http://www.cllrnet.ca/bilingualliteracy."

Network researchers can take advantage of this core facility either by travelling to Moncton, N.B. to run their experiment or by having their experiment run by a core facility research assistant. The lab is open for use by any Network member. For more information contact Jean Saint-Aubin by phone at: (506) 858-4766, or by e-mail at

Software is an essential part of most Network research projects. The necessary software to run each unique research project isn't always available commercially. The Software Development Group (SDG), based at The University of Western Ontario, offers assistance and support for the many software needs of researchers within The Network. For example, the SDG has created programs to measure the ability to detect and discriminate auditory and visual signals for three Network projects: Technically-Assisted Auditory Verbal Therapy; Facilitating Practice Change by Speech Language Pathologists: Phonological Disorders and Computer-based Interventions; and Effective Intervention Through Amplification for Hearing Loss in Early Infancy.

"The core facility for software development and information technology utilization provides a centralized source of technical resources to assist and augment Network research," says Aaron Finkenzeller, Manager of Technical Services. "Beyond creating custom software to fit individual needs, the facility is available for consulting and support of information technology use within The Network."

If you have a software need that you would like to address, contact Aaron Finkenzeller by phone (519) 661-2111 x88943 or by e-mail at . For more information, visit: http://www.cllrnet.ca/sdg/

The Network has been given access to two functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging labs in Canada. One fMRI is based in London, Ont., while the other is in Edmonton, Alta. The functional Magnetic Resonance research core facility allows Network researchers to have preferred, low-cost access to these unique facilities. This core facility includes dedicated time on the fMRI, access to its engineering staff, training for the analysis staff and a peer-review structure capable of establishing priorities for the imaging research in this field.

The labs are open to all Network researchers. For the London lab, contact Ravi Menon, PhD, Network researcher, Robarts Research Institute, The University of Western Ontario at: (519) 663-3408 or by e-mail at

For the lab in Edmonton, contact Christian Beaulieu, PhD, Network researcher, University of Alberta by phone at (780) 492-0908 or by e-mail at .

For more information, visit: http://www.cllrnet.ca/index.php?fa=MagneticResearch.show.

The National Database, also known as the Knowledge Translation Project, is led by Victor Glickman, a Network researcher at the University of British Columbia. Working in partnership with Edudata Canada, which is a public education quantitative data catalogue, data development and research centre, the objectives of the Network project are to construct a research data catalogue for existing and new Network projects, and produce a user manual for researchers to catalogue their projects. Contact Victor Glickman at: (604) 862-2522 or by e-mail at . For more information, visit: http://www.cllrnet.ca/index.php?fa=NationalDatabase.show


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