Interdisciplinary Research—Difficulties and Benefits

Ingrid Kurz
Institut für Übersetzer- und Dolmetscherausbildung der Universität Wien


Part One outlines the desirability and difficulties of an interdisciplinary approach to interpretation research and theory. Part Two describes the design, implementation and first results of a collaborative study: EEG recordings during mental simultaneous interpretation into L1 and L2 were compared with EEG recordings during other cognitive tasks (shadowing, mental arithmetic, listening to music) and with the EEG at rest to investigate the cortical processes during simultaneous interpretation. Both hemispheres are involved in simultaneous interpretation, most of all the temporal regions (left more than right), and there are EEG differences between tasks involving verbal thinking and non-verbal tasks and between simultaneous interpretation into L1 and L2.

Table of contents

With the vast expansion of knowledge in virtually all fields of research we witness, on the one hand, a fragmentation of traditional disciplines into a multitude of subdisciplines and, on the other hand, an increasing demand for interdisciplinary cooperation. There is a striking phenomenon of convergence in science and scholarship. New subjects, highly interdisciplinary in traditional terms, are emerging. These interdisciplinary subjects do not link together the whole of one traditional discipline with another; rather, particular subfields are joined together to make a new subject (Pagels 1988).

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