This chapter relates the history of an ongoing scientific collaboration among 10 different laboratories over a period of 8 years. The Perceptual Expertise Network (PEN) is a group of scientists who have been working together since 2000 to explore how different kinds of minds and brains — of children, of adults, of people with brain dysfunctions, of monkeys, and even of computers — acquire or loose class-specific visual categorization abilities. The book editors recall how the group was formed, bringing together scientists from different backgrounds and with different skills but common goals, with the support of the James S. McDonnell Foundation. The critical role of trainees in the collaborative is emphasized, as the editors discuss PEN's model for the organization of successful collaborative workshops.
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