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Projects

CURRENT PROJECTS


DFG funded project "Multisensory Perception of Self Motion: Psychophysics and Functional Neuroanatomy

DFG-Projekt "Multisensorische Wahrnehmung der Eigenbewegung: Psychophysik und Funktionelle Neuroanatomie"

Project leaderDfg Logo

Prof. Dr. Mark W. Greenlee

Project members

PD Dr. Anton Beer, M.Sc. Simon Wein

Funding period

01.12.2018 – 31.12.2021


Objectives

Our sensory systems allow us to experience our environment by the senses of touch, hearing, seeing, smell, and taste. Moreover, we have vestibular organs that inform us about self-motion and thus help us to keep our body in balance. In order to analyze the interactions between the visual and vestibular sensory systems for the sensation of self-motion, we will combine the method of caloric vestibular stimulation with visual stimulation. We want to use these stimulation types in order to investigate the neural interactions during simulated self-motion. Therefore, congruent and incongruent stimulus combinations will be applied in order to investigate their effect on the perception of self-motion, detecting its direction, and the relevant neural correlates of self-motion perception. We will assess the brain activity of healthy volunteers with the method of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Moreover, we will apply the method of diffusion-weighted MRI combined with probabilistic fiber tracking in order to analyze the anatomical connecitivity between vestibular and visual cortical regions. By comparing structural and functional connectivity of the the human brain during rest (i.e., resting state) we want to show how parts of the visual-vestibular network are connected and how they interact with each other. Ultimately, we will also investigate the suppression of vestibular cortex during visual processing. If attention is directed towards visual motion stimuli, then activity in the vestibular cortex is suppressed. The method of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and functional MRI will be applied in order to determine the source of this inhibition in the vestibular cortex. The results of these studies will provide new insights into the multisensory integration of visual and vestibular information for the perception of self-motion.


Contact


PD Dr. rer. nat. Anton L. Beer 
anton.beer@ur.de
University of Regensburg
Institute for Experimental Psychology
93040 Regensburg, Germany
Tel: +49 941 943 3745 
Fax: +49 941 943 813745


DFG funded project "Neurokognitive Mechanismen der Graphem-Farb-Synästhesie"

DFG funded project "Neurokognitive Mechanismen der Graphem-Farb-Synästhesie"(VO 1998/1-1)

Project leaderDfg Logo

PD Dr. Gregor Volberg

Project members

Franziska Weiß, Anja Schöll

Funding period

01.11.2014 – 31.10.2017


Objectives

Synesthesia is a perceptual phenomenon where a stimulation in one sensory modality induces a concurrent sensation in a different modality or feature dimension that was not objectively stimulated. In this project we aim to identify the neuro-cognitive mechanisms of grapheme-color-synesthesia where written numbers or letters induce a concurrent sensation of color. Especially, we will investigate neural connectivity between grapheme and color processing brain areas and brain areas associated with visual-spatial selection. To this end, EEG experiments as well as combined EEG and fMRI studies will be conducted. The results of this project will improve our understanding of synesthesia and related topics in general psychology, like visual awareness or visual feature integration.


Contact

PD Dr. rer. nat. Gregor Volberg
gregor.volberg@ur.de
University of Regensburg
Institute for Experimental Psychology
93040 Regensburg, Germany
Tel: +49 941 943 3862
Fax: +49 941 943 3233
http://www.psychologie.uni-regensburg.de/Greenlee/team/volberg/volberg.html


DFG funded Research Unit 1075 "Regulation and Pathology of Homeostatic Processes for Visual Function"

DFG funded Research Unit 1075 "Regulation and Pathology of Homeostatic Processes for Visual Function"

Subproject 8 "Neuroplasticity in retinotopic visual cortex as a consequence of retinopathologies"

Dfg For 1075Project leader

Prof. Dr. Mark W. Greenlee

Project members of the 2nd period

Dr. Katharina Rosengarth, Markus Goldhacker, Sabine Brandl-Rühle (in cooperation with Prof. Dr. med. Horst Helbig, Director, University Eye Hospital)

Project members of the 1st period

Dr. Tina Plank, Jozef Frolo, Sabine Brandl-Rühle (in cooperation with Prof. Dr. med. Horst Helbig, Director, University Eye Hospital)

Funding period

since 2008


Objectives

This 3-year project uses functional MRI to determine the extent to which macular degeneration induces neuroplastic alterations in the visual cortex of the affected patients. We will compare the results of a group of 20 patients with a juvenile form of macular degeneration (JMD) to those of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Our main focus will deal with the issue whether oculomotor training in AMD patients, assisting them to establish a new preferred retinal locus (PRL) for eccentric fixation, can promote cortical reorganization. The results will provide important feedback for therapeutic gains in patients with AMD. They will help guide new training protocols, thereby improving the patients' experienced quality of life.

For more information see: http://www.uni-regensburg.de/FOR1075/index.htm



PAST PROJECTS


PHD THESES

2019


Mohammadi Jooyandeh, Somayeh (2019).

"Pharmaco-fMRI Challenges before and after short-term Treatment of Major Depression with Escitalopram, Mirtazapine, Agomelatine or Placebo and the Relation to the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal-Axis Activity"


2017


Goldhacker, Markus (2017).

"Frequency-resolved Dynamic Functional Connectivity and Scale Stability of Connectivity States"


Frank, Sebastian (2017).

"The neural bases and behavioral characteristics of feature conjunction learning"


2016


Lehner, Astrid (2016).

„Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for the treatment of chronic subjective tinnitus: Optimization of treatment effects“

Dissertation at the Institute of Experimental Psychology (supervisor Prof. Dr. M. W. Greenlee), University of Regensburg.


2014


Dodoo-Schittko, Frank (2014).

"Funktionelle Magnetresonanztomographie als Instrument zur Aufdeckunghemisphärischer Dominanz, der Lokalisation und neuroplastischer Prozesse von Sprachfunktionen."

Dissertation at the Institute of Experimental Psychology (supervisor Prof. Dr. M. W. Greenlee), University of Regensburg.

Manuscript available at the Library of the University of Regensburg
under: 00/CZ 1320 D646. Further printed copies are also available at several German University libraries and at the German National Library (deutsche Nationalbibliothek).


Blurton, Steven (2014).

"Integration auditiv-visueller Reizinformation."

Dissertation at the Institute of Experimental Psychology (supervisor Prof. Dr. M. W. Greenlee), University of Regensburg.

Manuscript available online.


Zunhammer, Matthias (2014).

"Central modulators of human pain: Effects of oxytocin, exam stress, breathing exercises and transcranial magnetic stimulation."

Dissertation at the Institute of Experimental Psychology (supervisor Prof. Dr. M. W. Greenlee), University of Regensburg and the Institute of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy.

Manuscript available online.


2011


Fischer, Volker (2011).

"Analysis of connectivity between local multi-variate patterns of functional MRI data"

Dissertation at the Institute of Biophysics and Physical Biochemistry (supervisor Prof. Dr. E. W. Lang) in collaboration with the Institute of Experimental Psychology (supervisor Prof. Dr. M. W. Greenlee), University of Regensburg.

Manuscript available online.


Alichniewicz, Karolina (2011).

"Neuronale Korrelate der visuell-räumlichen Informationsverarbeitungsprozesse bei Mild Cognitive Impairment"

Dissertation, University of Regensburg.

Manuscript available online.


2010


Heckel, Andreas (2010).

"Processing of pain and emotion in the human brain. An fMRI study"

Dissertation at the Institute of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Medical Faculty (supervisor Prof. Dr. H. E. Klein) in collaboration with the Institute of Experimental Psychology (supervisor Prof. Dr. M. W. Greenlee), University of Regensburg.

Manuscript available online.


2009


Acs, Ferenc (2009).

"Neuronal dynamics of visual movement processing areas: A fMRI investigation of the connectivity of visual processing areas for motion processing and attention in the human brain"

Dissertation, University of Regensburg.

Manuscript available online.


Herpes, Martin (2009).

"Morphometrie cerebraler Veränderungen und psychophysische Erfassung olfaktorischer Störungen bei Morbus Parkinson"

Dissertation at the Medical Faculty (supervisor Prof. Dr. U. Bogdahn) in collaboration with the Institute of Experimental Psychology (supervisor Prof. Dr. M. W. Greenlee), University of Regensburg.

Manuscript available online.


Rosengarth, Katharina (2009).

"Neuronale Korrelate grammatischer und semantischer Prozessierung bei Erwachsenen, Kindern und dysgrammatischen Kindern"

Dissertation at the Philosophic Faculty IV (supervisor Prof. em. Dr. H. Brekle) in collaboration with the Institute of Experimental Psychology (supervisor Prof. Dr. M. W. Greenlee), University of Regensburg.

Manuscript available online.


Frank, Gabriele (2009).

"Neurofunktionelle, neurostrukturelle und neuropsychologische Korrelate gesunden und pathologischen Alterns: der Einfluss des genetischen Risikofaktors ApoE epsilon4"

Dissertation, University of Regensburg.

Manuscript available online.


2007


Vallines García, Ignacio (2007).

"Modulation of neural activity in human visual cortex during saccade programming"

Dissertation, University of Regensburg.

Manuscript available online.


2006


Baumann, Oliver (2006).

"Kortikale Aktivierungsmuster auditiv-visueller Bewegungswahrnehmung während der Ausführung von Augenbewegungen und die Rolle des Neocerebellums in der Augenbewegungssteuerung"

Dissertation, University of Regensburg.

Manuscript available online.


STUDENT THESES (Bachelor, Diplom, Master)

Am Lehrstuhl besteht die Möglichkeit zur Betreuung von Abschlussarbeiten.

Eine Liste mit Themen bisher angefertigter Bachelor- und Masterarbeiten kann im Sekretariat angefordert werden.


DFG funded project "Integration of auditory-visual information"

DFG funded project "Integration of auditory-visual information" (GO 1855/1-1, GR 988/20-2)

Dfg LogoProject leaders

Prof. Dr. Mark W. Greenlee, Dr. M. Gondan

Project members

Steven Blurton, Anja Wienbreyer

Funding period

01.04.2011 – 31.03.2013 (GR 988/20-2)

01.04.2009 – 31.03.2011 (GO 1855/1-1)


Objectives

We investigate basic mechanisms of integration of information provided by different sensory systems (e.g. auditory and visual). In basic speeded response tasks, participants receive either auditory information alone, visual information alone, or redundant information via both sensory modalities. Abundant evidence now exists that redundant information is pooled into a common channel (coactivation).  In our project we try to describe this process using a computational model (Diffusion Superposition Model, Schwarz, 1994, J Math Psychol): Based on the idea of simple additive superposition of channel activity, the model describes the reaction times observed in simple response tasks with redundant auditory and visual stimuli. In our project we investigate whether the model can equally explain reaction times observed in more complex tasks (Go/Nogo discrimination, choice reactions). Moreover, we manipulate task demands and spatial attention (e.g. Posner-task) to test whether the integration mechanism requires spatial attention. In an EEG study the computational model will be related to neurophysiological data.



DFG funded Research Unit 1097 "Person Perception Research Unit"

DFG funded Research Unit 1097 "Person Perception Research Unit" (KO3918/1-1)

The temporal context of face perception

Project leaderDfg Logo

G. Kovacs

Project members of the 1st period

Christian Walther, Daniel Kaiser, Iulia Lavric

Funding period

2010-2012


Objectives

A given picture of a person might look different at different times. The previous encounters with other people or in other words, the temporal context of a given face modify its perception. In our present proposal we will study the effect of previous experiences on face perception using psychophysical, electrophysiological and neuroimaging methods. In most of our planned experiments we will use the powerful paradigm of face adaptation (Kovács et al, 2006), leading to specific, high level aftereffects. In the first set of experiments we will study the similarities and differences of two immediate repetition related phenomena, priming and aftereffects. In a second series of experiments we will study how the variation of the statistical properties of preceding stimuli affects face perception. For this we will use matrixes of multiple faces. In the last set of experiments we will study perceptual decisions, related to faces. In particular, we will compare the effects of bottom-up bias (such as caused by face adaptation) and top-down biases (caused by directed selective attention or by prior predictive information) on perceptual decisions. Altogether our experiments will shed light on the mechanisms of implicit and explicit face representations and on the related decisions that are important in social settings during our everyday life.

For more information see http://www2.uni-jena.de/svw/Allgpsy1/indexppru.html


BMBF funded Network "Perceptual Learning"

BMBF funded Network "Perceptual Learning" (01GW0761)

Subprojects 1, 4 "Brain plasticity and perceptual learning: Experimental analysis and computational modeling"

Bmbf LogoProject leader

Prof. Dr. Mark W. Greenlee

Project members

Dr. Katharina Rosengarth, Markus Goldhacker

Funding period

01.01.2008 - 30.06.2011


Objectives

"Perceptual Learning" is a BMBF network funded in the platform "Research collaborations on cognitive performance and relevant disorders in humans".

This collaborative research effort aims to explore the neural mechanisms underlying cortical plasticity in healthy subjects and in patients who learn or re-learn a perceptual task. Our approach is novel since it is strongly guided by methods from computational and cognitive neurosciences and directly applies them to problems arising in clinical neurology and neurorehabilitation. In the experimental part of the project, we plan to employ prototypical tasks that can be learned within a few hours or at most a few days with repeated practice. Before and after this extensive training, our participants will take part in functional and anatomical MR-scan sessions. We will ask the subjects to perform a task for the first time (e.g., speed discrimination of transparent motion). After a sufficient training period, the participants will be scanned again on the same task. We will then compare the MR-correlates of brain structure, brain activation, brain connectivity and neural information processing before and after this training (Project Greenlee).

Furthermore, we plan to examine patients with retrochiasmatic injury and homonymous visual field loss with respect to their global processing capacity in scene perception and in reading at the behavioural-neuropsychological and the functional-neurobiological level. To gain more insight into the neuronal processes underlying neuronal plasticity in adults, fMRI and neuropsychological studies will be conducted before and after an oculomotor training program in patients recovering from posterior infarctions and/or cerebral haemorrhaging (Project Zihl). The results of these basic and clinical investigations will be modelled with mean-field theory and computational models to get a better quantitative description of the neural processes underlying perceptual skill acquisition and reacquisition after brain damage (Projects Neumann, Lang, Deco). Powerful novel data-analysis techniques for functional MRI data will be developed and applied to enhance our ability to extract specific correlates of neuronal plasticity during neurorehabilitation.

A further aim of the research group is to gain a better understanding of how learning takes place in low-level sensory and sensorimotor circuits and compare these processes with those occurring in high-level cognitive learning. Some of the projects will focus on the low-level perceptual learning that occurs when healthy volunteers learn a new task. What changes take place in the brains of adults when they learn a new sensory or sensorimotor task? Moreover, we are interested in the brain changes that take place when patients recover from brain damage. At the macroanatomical level, the neural basis of “scaffolding” processes (Petersson, 1998), where additional brain circuits are temporally recruited to perform supplementary processing during the recovery period, will be investigated. At the microanatomical level, spike timing dependent plasticity (Masquelier and Thorpe, 2007) will be incorporated into models of higher-level motion processing required for velocity discrimination. It remains to be determined how exactly both these macro- and microanatomical changes take place. Finally, we hope to provide clinicians with new imaging approaches and diagnostic tools to map changes in grey and white matter that accompany neural learning processes.


BMBF funded Network "Visuo-spatial Cognition"

BMBF funded Network "Visuo-spatial Cognition"

Subproject 3 "Neural correlates of visual and memory-guided saccades during visual search" (01GW0653)

Bmbf LogoProject leader

Prof. Dr. Mark W. Greenlee

Project members

Volker Fischer, Markus Raabe

Funding period

01.01.2007 - 30.06.2010


Objectives

"Visuo-spatial Cognition" is a BMBF network funded in the platform "Cognition research".

The goal is to model and analyze brain mechanisms underlying spatial cognition during visual search and visual exploration. A total of 4 German laboratories are collaborating on this project.

For more information see:


Chair funded projects "Neurodegeneration"

Chair funded projects "Neurodegeneration"

Visuo-spatial information processing in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI)

Karolina Alichniewicz, Florian Brunner, Helmut Nebl, Dr. Hans-Hermann Klünemann, Prof. Dr. Mark W. Greenlee

This study aims at exploring visuo-spatial information processing in healthy elderly and patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). Participants undergo an extensive behavioral test battery with the main focus on working memory and attention. Subjects also participate in a pro-/anti-saccade task. With the help of two fMRI experiments we plan to investigate the neural correlates of cognitive processes relevant for working memory and saccadic control and to detect altered/compensatory brain activation patterns in aMCI patients.

In addition the project explores possible benefits of a short-term nordic walking program for aMCI patients and its impact on cognitive performance in behavioral tests as well as on neural brain activation.


Olfactory BOLD-reactions in patients with Parkinson's disease

Carolin Mößnang, Gabriele Frank, Dr. Beate Winner, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Winkler, Prof. Dr. Mark W. Greenlee

Recent studies (e.g. Albers et al., 2006; Masaoka et al., 2007) point to the fact that already in early stages of Parkinson's disease (PD) the olfactory system shows distinct impairments additional to the well known pathological alterations in the basal ganglia. By presenting sniffing sticks as olfactory stimuli to 15 PD-patients and 15 age-matched healthy controls during the fMRI-session in a 3-Tesla-Scanner we will investigate the underlying neurofunctional correlates of this olfactory impairments. We hope to get new insights in the neuropathological processes of Parkinson's disease and to contribute to an effective and reliable diagnostic in early stages of this disease.


Neurofunctional and neuropsychological correlates of pathological ageing: mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and the impact of the genetic risk factor APO E epsilon4

Gabriele Frank, Stefanie Feuerer, Dr. Hans-Hermann Klünemann, Prof. Dr. Mark W. Greenlee

This study deals with the neurofunctional correlates of an important aspect of semantic memory, the recognition of the faces of famous people in MCI-patients, age-matched controls and young healthy subjects by conducting an fMRI experiment (3-Tesla-Scanner). Because it is well known that Apolipoprotein E epsilon4 (APOE epsilon4) is an important genetic risk factor for the development of Alzheimer's disease, a main focus of our study lies on the impact of the APOE status on cortical activation as well as neuropsychological performance of the subject groups mentioned above.


EU FP6 IST Cognitive Systems Integrated Project "Decisions in Motion"

EU FP6 IST Cognitive Systems Integrated Project "Decisions in Motion" (FP6 Project 027198)

Decisions In MotionProject coordinator

Prof. Dr. Mark W. Greenlee

Project members at University of Regensburg

Dr. Gyula Kovács, Markus Raabe

Funding period

2006 - 2009


Objectives

"Decisions in Motion" is a EU Commission project funded in the platform FP6 IST Cognitive Systems.

The goal is to model and implement fast sensory-based decision making in moving cognitive agents. A total of 8 European laboratories and 2 SMEs are collaborating on this project.

For more information see:


"BayernBrain3T", funded by Bayerische Forschungsstiftung

"BayernBrain3T", funded by Bayerische Forschungsstiftung

BfsProject leaders

University Medical Center Regensburg, Department of Neurology, Prof. Dr. U. Bogdahn

University of Regensburg, Institute of Experimental Psychology, Prof. Dr. M. W. Greenlee

Project partners

Siemens AG

RAPID BioMedical GmbH

Funding period

2004 - 2007


Objectives

"BayernBrain3T" is a research and developmental project funded by Bayerische Forschungsstifung and dedicated to preclinical, neuropsychological and clinical research on a 3T high field MR scanner.

The goal of the project is to develop and optimise medical imaging techniques to evaluate diagnostic and therapeutic methods applied in the context of regeneration of CNS damage in particular and neuronal plasticity in general.

For more information see: http://www.forschungsstiftung.de/ (in German only)


DFG Priority Program "Executive Functions"

DFG Priority Program "Executive Functions" (SPP 1107)

Subproject 12 "Neural correlates of executive functions in children with ADHD as measured by fMRI and MR-spectroscopy"

Project leaderDfg Logo

Prof. Dr. Mark W. Greenlee

Project members

Petra Behlmer-Elster, Markus Raabe, Markus Mühlhan, Jale Özyurt

Funding period

2003 - 2005


Objectives

Attention deficit hyperacitvity disorder (ADHD) is a phenotypically heterogeneous neuropsychiatric disorder that usually manifests itself in early childhood. The pathogenetic factors that lead to ADHD are only partly understood and remain a matter of considerable dispute. Accumulating evidence from on-going research indicates, however, that ADHD reflects a dysfunction of cortical and subcortical systems, and that these neuronal substrates form the basis of executive functions. The goal of the present research proposal is to investigate well diagnosed subgroups of pediatric ADHD patients with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnet resonance spectroscopy (MRS). Using fMRI we intend to explore the neural correlates of fundamental subprocesses that contribute to executive functioning (such as response inhibition and working memory). Behavorial data recorded during the fMRI experiments can be used to validate possible differences in brain activation. The use of MRS should focus on possible pathologically altered neurochemical processes in ADHD. Using both technologies, we plan to investigate de novo patients clinically diagnosed with ADHD and compare these findings with those collected after treatment with methlyphenidate (MPH; the neuroactive substance e.g. in Ritalin). Such a comparison should reveal the effect of stimulants on the fMRI-BOLD responses to challenging tasks and to altered brain metabolism as revealed by MRS. ADHD-specific patterns of brain activation recorded during tasks that require executive function and/or alterations in neurochemical markers might help to better understand the neural basis of ADHD and might serve as biological markers to objectively validate the diagnosis of the disorder.


DFG funded International Graduate School "Neurosensory Science and Systems: Measuring and Modelling the Processing of Sensory Information and its Applications"

DFG funded International Graduate School "Neurosensory Science and Systems: Measuring and Modelling the Processing of Sensory Information and its Applications" (GRK 591)

Workgroup Prof. Dr. Mark W. Greenlee "Functional magnetic resonance imaging in the human visual and oculomotor system"

Participating members

Dfg Logo

Prof. Dr. Mark W. Greenlee, Ignacio Vallines García (University of Regensburg), Riklef Weerda (University of Oldenburg)

For more information see: Progress reports 2002 and 2005

  1. Fakultät für Psychologie, Pädagogik und Sportwissenschaft
  2. Institut für Psychologie

 

Small-projects

Zentrum für Magnetische Resonanz in Chemie und Biomedizin

 

DFG FOR 1075