Current Research Projects

  • Accessing Semantic Information and Names

    Failures to retrieve familiar personal names are among the frequently reported everyday memory errors. Failures to correctly retrieve semantic information (e.g. occupation, place of living, etc.) for familiar people are relatively less frequent. [more…]

  • Assessing and Training Socio-Emotional Skills

    Based on long-standing experience of the group in research on cognitive aging and its neuronal correlates, as well as with individuals experiencing handicaps of social communication, this project develops and evaluates assessment tools, perceptual and cognitive training programs, and tailor-made interventions to improve various aspects of social interaction. [more…]

  • Audiovisual Integration in Speech and Speaker Perception

    We are able to understand speech more efficiently if we are able to see the speaker’s lips moving, in addition to the acoustic signal. The so-called McGurk illusion demonstrates that the visual signal has an involuntary influence on the perception of the spoken sound. [more…]

  • Comparative Psychology – DogStudies

    Animal minds can inform us about the factors driving the evolution of cognition. For a number of reasons, the domestic dog (Canis familiaris) is a very interesting model for investigating different questions regarding the evolution of cognitive abilities. [more…]

  • Emotional Face Processing

    Faces reveal important social information about identity, emotional expression, gender, age and visual speech. The relationship between these various aspects of face processing has been the subject of considerable debate. [more…]

  • Face Learning / Expertise

    Familiar faces can be easily recognized even from poor quality images and across a large range of viewing conditions. By contrast, it is surprisingly difficult to recognize or even to match unfamiliar faces across different images. [more…]

  • Faces/Voices and Attention

    Human faces are critically important to our daily interactions. However, there is relatively little known about how faces influence our attention. Some research suggests that faces can grab our attention more easily than other stimuli, and we will investigate this formally here. [more…]

  • High-level Adaptation Effects

    Neuronal adaptation can be regarded as a mechanism by which perceptual processing is constantly re-calibrated as a result of specific characteristics of incoming stimuli. Adaptation has been demonstrated in the form of perceptual illusions or aftereffects. [more…]

  • Human-Machine Interaction

    Although research in our department has a clear focus on interpersonal perception and interactions between humans, technological progress has already changed the reality of social interactions for many people. [more…]

  • Interhemispheric Cooperation

    While functional hemispheric asymmetries in information processing have been known for some time, more recent research has focussed on the specific ways in which the two cerebral hemispheres collaborate in the processing of complex stimuli. [more…]

  • Misinformation in Human Memory and Social Networks

    Misinformation in social networks is considered to have manifold adverse effects on the individuals using them, such as erosion of trust in politicians and traditional media, or reduced adherence to pro-environmental behavior and public health measures in a pandemic situation. [more …]

  • Perceptual Priming

    Research on perceptual priming has furthered our understanding of the nature of representations mediating the recognition and categorisation of everyday stimuli such as words, objects, or faces. [more…]

  • Person Categorization

    The efficient analysis and representation of person-related information is one of the most challenging and important tasks of human social perception. In particular, efficient processing is achieved by person categorisation (e.g. old vs. young, male vs. female, own vs. other eth-nic group etc.). [more…]

  • Prosopagnosia and other Disorders of Person Perception

    Just like any other aspect of cognitive functioning, our “social brain” and its machinery – which enables us to recognize identity, emotional expression, and other signals from a face or a voice – may be severely compromised by brain lesions following stroke or traumatic injury. [more…]

  • Timing in Face Perception

    Current models of face perception propose independent brain systems allowing for parallel analysis of identity and expression. Our aim is to examine whether or not there is some cross-talk between mechanisms by which we perceive different facial signals. [more…]

  • Voice Perception

    While the perception of faces from static portraits has been investigated in many studies, little research has been devoted to processes mediating auditory recognition of people via their voices. [more…]