"The multisensory mind: From neural mechanisms to cognition"
The main objective of this research program is to examine neural and neurochemical markers of multisensory integration and to test a new hypothesis that considers dynamic interplay of synchronized neural populations as key to multisensory processing. The studies within this program include healthy subjects and psychiatric patients (e.g., patients with schizophrenia). Multisensory processing will be examined in a series of experiments designed to engage various cognitive processes.
Funded by a Young Investigator Award of the European Research Council (ERC-2010-Stg_20091209).
"Multisensory processing of pain: An investigation of neural binding mechanisms in electrophysiological and hemodynamic brain responses"
Pain is a common symptom in the German population with a prevalence of about 32-67%. Natural painful events are often accompanied by sensory inputs from other modalities, which are likely to influence the processing of pain (e.g., seeing the needle when receiving an injection). The central goal of this project is to address how and under which conditions sensory inputs from other modalities affect the processing of pain.
Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG; SE1859/1-1 and SE1859/1-2)
"Speech processing in bilateral cochlear implant users"
For more than two decades, people with severe binaural hearing impairment, due to inner-ear damage, have successfully used cochlear-implants (CI). For rehabilitation and financial reasons, the use of one CI in combination with a traditional hearing device has long been though to be sufficient. An increasing number of studies, however, have shown that the use of binaural CIs can substantially improve spatial auditory processing. The neural mechanisms underlying this improvement are, thus far, not understood. The main goal of this project is to study whether persons with binaural CIs activate similar cortical structures as normal hearing people.
Funded by a Research Fund of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (NWF-10/12).
The research group collaborates with multiple national and international research facilities including University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Andreas K. Engel), Hannover Medical School (Andrej Kral), Ghent University (Durk Talsma), and Albert Einstein College of Medicine (John J. Foxe).