New ERC Decision Neuroscience Group

The group was established in early 2019 as part of a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant awarded to Dr Konstantinos Tsetsos.

During complex decisions people do not process all available information at once but instead they attend sequentially to different aspects of the available alternatives. However, the regularities that govern this sequential process remain poorly understood. The primary research direction of this group is to fill this gap by harnessing tools from sensory neuroscience in order to unravel the computational and neural mechanisms that guide attention towards different aspects of multiattribute alternatives. This project aspires to yield a neurophysiologically detailed theory of multiattribute choice that will shed light on century-long questions, such as why humans reverse their preferences irrationally, when irrelevant alternatives are added to the choice-set.

SFB 936 awarded for a second funding period

The SFB 936: "Muli-Site Communication in the Brain" funding by the German Research Foundation (DFG) was awarded for a second funding period of four years, from July 2015 to June 2019.

The first funding period ran from July 2011 to June 2015. The Centre involves 24 scientists from theoretical and clinical departments at the UKE and the University of Hamburg, as well as scientists from the Universities of Lübeck and Osnabrück. The overarching hypothesis pursued by the SFB 936 is that perceptions and actions emerge from multi-site communication, defined as temporally coordinated brain activities at multiple sites.

The SFB 936 is coodinated by:

  • Prof.Dr. Andreas K. Engel
  • Prof.Dr. Christian Gerloff

New Heisenberg Research Group "Decision Neuroscience"

The group was established in 2015, within the context of a DFG Heisenberg Professorship awarded to Tobias Donner.

The group studies the neural dynamics underlying decisions in the human brain. Human decision-making is highly flexible and context-dependent. Even simple sensorimotor decisions result from a complex interplay between large numbers of neurons distributed across many different areas of the cerebral cortex. The flexibility of decision-making evident at the behavioral level suggests that the underlying cortical circuit dynamics can be remodelled “on the fly”, depending on the behavioral context. The modulatory neurotransmitter systems of the brainstem might play a key role in this flexible remodelling. To test this hypothesis, the group uses an integrative approach that combines psychophysical measurements and computational modeling of choice behavior, multimodal neuroimaging (fMRI, MEG), and pharmacological intervention.