Skip to content

Transversal Task Forces

The Transversal Task Forces (TTFs) stimulate interdisciplinary collaboration by sharing methods, databases, technologies, and equipment and by fostering NCCR-wide discussions on conceptual and ethical issues. TTFs address fundamental issues that are of concern to all projects. TTF leaders and staff will collaborate with project members on jointly developed solutions, publications, and outreach events, thus fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and mutual integration of knowledge.

TTF DataScience


The TTF DataScience is the backbone for comparative work within the NCCR. The mission of the TTF Data Science is to help develop solutions for data-related issues to support the research efforts of the NCCR Evolving Language. Concretely, It develops inter-operable tools for sharing and managing data sets (WP Databases), finds machine learning solutions to extract variables and patterns of interest (WP MachineLearning), and serves to robustly validate our insights (WP Statistics).

Meanwhile, the TTF DataScience also manages the computing resources and the data platforms of the NCCR, including the Google cloud computing service, the openBIS platform for data management and the NCCR Data Platform for internal exchange of research data.

For more information about the services the TTF DataScience provides and how to send a request, please visit the internal Wiki page.


Coordinating PI: Richard Hahnloser

WP Databases 

  – PIs: Sabine Stoll, Richard Hahnloser 

  – Data engineer: Sumit Kumar Ram 

  – Data aggregator: Guanghao You 

WP MachineLearning 

  – PIs: Richard Hahnloser, Paola Merlo Ce Zhang 

  – Machine learning consultant: Nianlong Gu 

WP Statistics 

  – PIs: Reinhard Furrer, Dimitri Van De Ville

  – Statisticians: Erik Ringen, Raphaël Liégeois, Marc Lischka

TTF Technology

TTF coordinator: Hervé Bourlard

The TTF Technology will support our diverse research efforts by providing closed-loop engineered systems for interaction with humans (WP ASR), their brain related signals (WP Neurofeedback), and for studying animal behaviours (WP AnimalRec).

  • WP: ASR (H. Bourlard)
  • WP: Neurofeedback (D. Bavelier, S. Brem)
  • WP: AnimalRec (R. Hahnloser)

TTF Concepts

TTF coordinator: Hans-Johann Glock

The main goal of the TTF Concepts is to integrate and streamline the conceptual frameworks of the different disciplines so that they can be brought to bear on the current issues of the NCCR. It aims at charting the conceptual landscape across the research communities in order to set up a common language (WP ConeptualEngineering).

WP: ConceptualEngineering (H.-J- Glock, M. Wild)

TTF Ethics

Missions and goals

The NCCR Evolving Language raises not only classical ethics issues associated with collection, analysis, and storage of sensitive human and animal samples, but also novel problems pertaining to the very nature of the theme: the impact on language due to digital applications and the possibility of neurointerventions on the human brain.

In response to this, Evolving Language includes a transversal task force entirely dedicated to ethics issues (TTF Ethics).

The main tasks of the TTF Ethics are:

  • to provide ethics consultations. The TTF ethics aims to support Evolving Language researchers with ethical questions regarding the design of their studies, the tools used and the expected scientific outcomes. Teams and individual researchers can ask for consultations. More information below.
  • to survey new technical developments in the language sciences in order to reflect on their potential positive and negative ethical implications.
  • to examine the ethical implications of scientific inputs for the philosophical aspects of applied ethics (in collaboration with the TTF Concepts).

The TTF Ethics also:

  • advises researchers on external communication on sensitive ethical issues (e.g. animal experimentation)
  • organizes internal training and discussions on relevant ethical issues
  • organizes public debates in collaboration with the Outreach and Communication office

The TTF Ethics does not:

  • write and submit proposals to local ethics committees
  • provide legal advice
  • act as a surveillance body. The TTF Ethics will not inquire into experiments to check its compliance with the internal ethics guidelines and the animal ethics charter when it is not invited to
  • mediate conflicts. In case of conflict, harassment, discrimination or any other relational issue, please contact Eliza Isabaeva ()


The TTF Ethics is composed of:

  • Samia Hurst-Majno, Institute Ethics HIstory and the Humanities, University of Geneva
  • Markus Wild, University of Basel (also member of the TTF Concepts)
  • Elodie Malbois, Institute Ethics HIstory and the Humanities, University of Geneva
  • des. Nico Müller, University of Basel