Cognitive and language mapping using direct electrical stimulation during awake brain surgery in tumor patients

Using innovative language, speech, and cognitive tests we improve the quality of intraoperative testing for preservation of brain function.

Christian Kell is in charge of this project that is performed in cooperation with Volker Seifert, Department of Neurosurgery, Goethe University Frankfurt.

Optimized cognitive testing and invasive recordings in epilepsy patients

Using innovative cognitive tasks we improve the quality of cognitive testing during invasive epilepsy monitoring. We acquire and analyze high quality invasive recordings with and without cortical stimulation and analyze the impact of epilepsy and stimulation on cognitive networks.

Johannes Gehrig, Diljit Singh Kajal, Henrik Kabel, Moritz Funk, and Christian Kell are in charge of this project that is performed in collaboration with Felix Rosenow, Rhein Main Epilepsy Center Frankfurt, Volker Seifert, Department of Neurosurgery, Goethe University Frankfurt, Wolf Singer, Ernst Struengmann Institute, and Michael Wibral, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Goettingen.

Brain dynamics in different states of consciousness

Using electrocorticography during the transition from coma to wakefulness in the course of awake surgery we study the dynamics of the neural signal, particularly interregional information transfer.

This study is run by Christina Weismantel and performed in collaboration with Bertram Scheller, Duesseldorf, Georgios Michalareas, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, and Volker Seifert, Department of Neurosurgery, Goethe University Frankfurt.

Cortical representations of prosodic and syntactic structure

Using temporal representational similarity, we try to identify the way the left perisylvian cortex codes prosodic and syntactic structure during listening, speaking and when maintaining sentences in short term memory. The direct electrocorticography data are acqiured during awake brain tumor surgery.

Johannes Gehrig is primarily responsible for this project that is run in cooperation with Antje Meyer and Andrea Martin, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen.

Oxytoninergic modulation of speech perception and production

This fMRI study investigates oxytocin in its role as a neuromodulator in speech production and perception by studying polymorphism effects and consequences of acute oxytocin administration on neural networks involved in prosody perception and speech production.

This study is performed by Charlotte Vogt in cooperation with Suzana Gispert-Sanchez, Department of Neurogenetics.

Neural dynamics of manual sound control

A prevailing view in neuroscience sees the purpose of the brain in the production of complex movements. The brain is assumed to control the body, and to use sensory feedback of the resulting movements in order to update internal representations of the physical reality. An alternative view describes control as a process that keeps certain parameters of the sensed input in proximity to internal references, by appropriately varying the output. What is controlled is essentially the input, not the output of an organism. While it is difficult to differentiate between these two frameworks generally, we try to challenge several specific predictions derived from these frameworks in the context of manual sound control. To this end, we combine experimental manipulations of task context and sensory feedback with behavioral analyses and fMRI and MEG recordings of neural activity. One prediction concerns the reliance on concurrent sensory feedback during the execution of a short discrete movement. Motor control would predict that such feedback is used to update internal models and should manifest in a change of future behavior. Perceptual control predicts immediate effects on behavior, since, according to this view, behavior is always situated in the current sensory situation. By comparing two different manipulations of concurrent auditory feedback during an auditory reaching paradigm, we hope to shed light on the contribution of on-line and model-based adaptation processes.

This study is performed by Johannes Kasper and is funded by the Polytechnische Gesellschaft Frankfurt.

Altered motor planning and execution in patients suffering from complex regional pain syndrome

In recent years, we studied neural processes underlying motor preparation and execution in the speech domain, but extended our research efforts to the control of manual actions. CRPS with its associated fear of movement and reduced use of the affected extremity represents an interesting condition in which we study the interaction between the limbic and the hand sensorimotor system. We hypothesize that chronic pain induces maladaptation that eventually leads to altered movement planning and execution.

This project is run by Mareike Floegel in cooperation with Frank Birklein, Gutenberg University Mainz.

Time of day-dependent control of behavior

Using fMRI at rest and during different sensorimotor and cognitive tasks, we aim at identifying the mechanisms by which the circadian pacemaker in the human hypothalamus modulates system-specific brain function to elicit diurnal variations in cognition and control of behavior.

This project is run by Lorenzo Cordani in cooperation with Celine Vetter and Till Roenneberg, Institute of Medical Psychology, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, and Joerg Stehle, Department of Cellular and Molecular Anatomy, Goethe University Frankfurt.

Empirical Aesthetics: Dissociating fact from fiction

Common sense tells us that there is a difference between reality and fiction, but what has yet to be uncovered are the factors that modulate our implicit knowledge of the distinction between what is real and unreal. This basic research of aesthetic perception and evaluation is positioned between the disciplines of psychology, neurosciences, cultural studies and philosophical aesthetics, and is methodologically implemented in an fMRI-study.

This project is performed by Marion Behrens in cooperation with Pascal Nicklas, Institute for Microscopic Anatomy and Neurobiology, Gutenberg University, Mainz.

Collaborating partners

Frank Birklein, Department of Neurology, Mainz University

Susanne Fuchs, Leibniz Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft Berlin

Anne-Lise Giraud, Université de Genève

Suzana Gispert-Sanchez, Department of Neurogenetics, Goethe University Frankfurt

Sergiu Groppa, Mainz University

Simon Hanslmayr, University of Birmingham

Pavel Hok, Department of Neurology, Pavlacky University Olomouc

Andrea Martin, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen

Antje Meyer, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen

Georgios Michalareas, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt

Muthuraman Muthuraman, Mainz University

Katrin Neumann, Wilhelms University Muenster

Pascal Nicklas, Department of Microscopic Anatomy and Neurobiology, Mainz University

Felix Rosenow, Epilepsy Center Rhein Main, Goethe University Frankfurt

Maren Schmidt-Kassow, Institute of Medical Psychology, Goethe University Frankfurt

Volker Seifert, Department of Neurosurgery, Goethe University Frankfurt

Wolf Singer, Ernst Struengmann Institute, Frankfurt

Joerg Stehle, Department of Neuroanatomy, Goethe University Frankfurt

Michael Wibral, Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience and Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Goettingen