Research Labs - Functional MRI

The department forms part of the Center of Advanced Imaging (CAI) project recently installed by the German Ministry of Education and Science (BMBF). The CAI is one out of five Centers of Excellence in the field of cognitive neuroimaging in Germany. The Bremen Center of Neuroscience (ZeN) will be equipped with a 3 Tesla Siemens Allegra® headscanner. Research projects at the Department of Neuropsychology and Behavioral Neurobiology focus on the neural correlates of executive control and (working) memory performance both in healthy subjects and patients with degenerative brain disorders.

Most examinations are performed using both fMRI and MEG/EEG. This part of research is realized in cooperation with the Department of Neurology II at the University Hospital of Magdeburg and the Department of Psychology at the University of Konstanz. There is a further strong cooperation with the Bremen Center of Brain Research which aims at establishing converging evidence in human and animal data of cognitive brain function.

Part of the imaging work deals with several aspects of higher cognitive functions as mental calculation processes and different concepts of interference paradigms. Clinical research is done due to the examination of addiction memory and related aspects as well as craving. Age related changes in MEG/EEG signals representing brain maturational processess and possible dysgenesis of the brain are additional topics of interest. Further cooperations in psychiatric research are in preparation.

Recent publications:

Frühholz, S., Trautmann, S.A. & Herrmann, M. (2011). Contextual interference processing during evaluation of facial expressions, Cognition and Emotion, 25, 1045-1073.

Frühholz, S., Godde, B., Finke, M., & Herrmann, M. (2011). Spatio-temporal brain dynamics in a combined stimulus-stimulus and stimulus-response conflict task, NeuroImage, 54, 622-634.

Frühholz, S., Godde, B., Lewicki, P., Herzmann, C., & Herrmann, M. (2011). Face recognition under ambiguous visual stimulation: fMRI correlates of "encoding styles", Human Brain Mapping, 32, 1750-61.

Kuchinke, L., Hofmann, M., Jacobs, A.M., Frühholz, S., Tamm, S., & Herrmann, M. (2011). Human striatal activation during adjustment of the response criterion in visual word recognition. NeuroImage, 54, 2412-2417.

Fehr, T., Wallace, G.L., Erhard, P., & Herrmann, M. (2011). The neural architecture of expert calendar calculation: A matter of strategy? Neurocase, 17, 360-71.

Regenbogen, C., Herrmann, M. & Fehr, T. (2010). The neural processing of voluntary completed, real and virtual violent and non-violent computer game scenarios displaying pre-defined actions in gamers and non-gamers. Social Neuroscience, 5, 221-240.

Fehr, T., Weber, J., Willmes, K., & Herrmann, M. (2010). Neural correlates in exceptional mental arithmetic - About the neural architecture of prodigious skills, Neuropsychologia, 48, 1407-1416.

Miedl, S.F., Fehr, T., Meyer, G. & Herrmann, M. (2010). Neurobiological correlates of problem gambling in a quasi-realistic blackjack scenario as revealed by fMRI. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 181, 165-173.

Frühholz, S., Prinz, M. & Herrmann, M. (2010). Affect-related personality traits and contextual interference processing during perception of facial affect. Neurosci Letters, 469, 260-264.

Trautmann, S.A., Fehr, T. & Herrmann, M. (2009). Emotions in motion: Dynamic compared to static facial expressions of disgust and happiness reveal more widespread emotion-specific activations. Brain Research, 1284, 100-115.
[doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2009.05.075]


Frühholz, S., Fehr, T. & Herrmann, M. (2009). Early and late temporo-spatial effects of contextual interference during perception of facial affect. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 74, 1-13.

Domínguez-Borràs, J., Trautmann, S.A., Erhard, P., Fehr, T., Herrmann, M. & Escera, C. (2009). Emotional context enhances auditory novelty processing in superior temporal gyrus. Cerebral Cortex, 19, 1521-1529. [doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhn188]

Frühholz, S., Fehr, T. & Herrmann, M. (2009). Interference control during recognition of facial affect enhances the processing of expression specific properties - an event-related fMRI study. Brain Research, 1269, 143-157. [doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2009.03.017]

Wittfoth, M., Schardt, D.M., Fahle, M., & Herrmann, M. (2009). How the brain resolves high conflict situations: Double conflict involvement of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. NeuroImage, 44, 1201-1209.

Wittfoth,M., Küstermann,E., Fahle,M., & Herrmann,M. (2008) The influence of response conflict on error processing: Evidence from event-related fMRI, Brain Research, 1194, 118–129.

Fehr,T., Code,C., & Herrmann,M. (2008). Auditory task presentation reveals predominantly right hemispheric fMRI activation patterns during mental calculation. Neuroscience Letters, 431, 39-44.


Fehr, T., Code, C., & Herrmann, M. (2007). Common brain regions underlying different arithmetic operations as revealed by conjunct fMRI-BOLD activation.  Brain Research, 1172, 93-102.

Frühholz, S., Fehr, T., & Herrmann, M. (2007). Interference processing in emotional face perception is modulated by the emotional valence. In: Herrmann, M. & Thiel, Ch. (Eds.) Topics in Advanced Neuroimaging. Oldenburg: bis-Publishers. pp. 35-38.

Fehr, T., Strüber, D., Lück, M., Herrmann, M., & Roth, G. (2007). Neuronal correlates of perceiving aggressive behavior. In: Herrmann, M. & Thiel, Ch. (Eds.) Topics in Advanced Neuroimaging. Oldenburg: bis-Publishers. pp. 27-30.

Kuchinke, L., Jacobs, A.M., Grubich, C., Vo, M.L.-H., Conrad, M., & Herrmann, M. (2007). Incidental effects of emotional valence in single word processing. In: Herrmann, M. & Thiel, Ch. (Eds.) Topics in Advanced Neuroimaging. Oldenburg: bis-Publishers. pp. 31-34.

Trautmann, S.A., Fehr, T., & Herrmann, M. (2007). fMRI investigations of the perception of dynamic and static emotional expressions. In: Herrmann, M. & Thiel, Ch. (Eds.) Topics in Advanced Neuroimaging. Oldenburg: bis-Publishers. pp. 23-26.

Escera, C., Domínguez-Borrás, J., Schardt, D., Fehr, T., Erhard, P., & Herrmann, M. (2007). Spatiotemporal brain imaging during involuntary attention switching: A combined fMRI-ERP-study. In: Herrmann, M. & Thiel, Ch. (Eds.) Topics in Advanced Neuroimaging. Oldenburg: bis-Publishers. pp. 35-38. pp. 117-122.

Galashan, D., Zinke, W., Schmuck, K., Fehr, T., Küstermann, E., Kreiter, A., & Herrmann, M. (2007). Neuronal correlates of a shape-tracking working memory task - human data. In: Herrmann, M. & Thiel, Ch. (Eds.) Topics in Advanced Neuroimaging. Oldenburg: bis-Publishers. pp. 147-150.

Zinke, W., Galashan, D., Herrmann, M., & Kreiter, A. (2007). Neuronal correlates of a shape-tracking working memory task - macaque data. In: Herrmann, M. & Thiel, Ch. (Eds.) Topics in Advanced Neuroimaging. Oldenburg: bis-Publishers. pp. 151-154.

Wittfoth, M., Küstermann, E., Fahle, M., & Herrmann, M. (2007). Cognitive control and error processing in the human brain: evidence from fMRI. In: Herrmann, M. & Thiel, Ch. (Eds.) Topics in Advanced Neuroimaging. Oldenburg: bis-Publishers. pp. 155-158.

Christophel, T., Fehr, T., Valdes-Conroy, B., Galashan, D., Coventry, K., & Herrmann, M. (2007). MT+ activation during spatial language processing. In: Herrmann, M. & Thiel, Ch. (Eds.) Topics in Advanced Neuroimaging. Oldenburg: bis-Publishers. pp. 159-164.

Küstermann, E., Ebke, M., Dolge, K., Schwendemann, G., Leibfritz, D., & Herrmann, M. (2007). Neuronal correlates of movement disorders in normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH). In: Herrmann, M. & Thiel, Ch. (Eds.) Topics in Advanced Neuroimaging. Oldenburg: bis-Publishers. pp. 171-174.

Erhard, P., Tangeten, S., Koch, M., Leibfritz, D., & Herrmann, M. (2007). The effects of ZEN meditation on the cerebral processing of the startle response. In: Herrmann, M. & Thiel, Ch. (Eds.) Topics in Advanced Neuroimaging. Oldenburg: bis-Publishers. pp. 175-178.

Fehr, T., Code, C., & Herrmann, M. (2007). Neuronal correlates of mental calculation. In: Herrmann, M. & Thiel, Ch. (Eds.) Topics in Advanced Neuroimaging. Oldenburg: bis-Publishers. pp. 179-183.


Kuchinke,L., Jacobs,A.M., Grubich,C., Vo,M., & Herrmann,M. (2006) Modulation of PFC activation by emotional words in recognition memory. Neuroreport, 17, 1037-1041.

Wittfoth,M., Buck,D., Fahle,M., & Herrmann,M. (2006) Comparison of two Simon tasks: Neuronal correlates of conflict resolution based on coherent motion perception, NeuroImage, 32, 921-929.

Kuchinke,L., Jacobs,A.M., Grubich,C., Vo,M., & Herrmann,M. (2005) Incidental effects of emotional valence in single word processing: an fMRI study, NeuroImage, 28, 1022-1032.

Schmiedt,C., Meistrowitz,A., Schwendemann,G., Herrmann,M., & Basar-Eroglu,C. (2005). Theta and alpha oscillations reflect differences in memory strategy and visual discrimination performance in patients with Parkinson's disease. Neurosci Letters, 388, 138-143.

Grubich,C., Schiltz,K., Ebert,A.D., Heinze,H.J., Münte,T.F., & Herrmann,M. (2004). Neuronale Aktivierungsmuster von Retrieval Effort beim episodischen Gedächtnisabruf. Zeitschrift für Neuropsychologie, 15, 15-22.

Fehr, T.; Kissler, J.; Wienbruch C.; Moratti, S.; Elbert, T.; Watzl, H.; Rockstroh, B. (2003).
Source distribution of neuromagnetic slow wave activity in schizophrenic patients  -  Effects of activation. Schizophrenia Research, 63, 63-71.

Fast, K., Fujiwara, E., Grubich, C., Markowitsch, H.J. & Herrmann, M. (2003). Role of the amygdala in emotional memory: A case study. In P. Calabrese & A. Neugebauer (Eds.), Memory and emotion. Singapore: World Scientific, pp. 430-435.


Reinvang,I., Greenlee,M.W. & Herrmann, M. (2003) The Cognitive Neuroscience of Individual Differences. Oldenburg: bis-Publishers

Fehr,T., Achtziger,A. Hinrichs,H. & Herrmann, M. (2003) Interindividual differences in oscillatory brain activity in higher cognitive functions - Methodological approaches in analyzing continuous MEG data. In: Reinvang,I., Greenlee,M.W. & Herrmann, M. (Eds.) The Cognitive Neuroscience of Individual Differences. Oldenburg: bis-Publishers. pp. 101-120.

Reinvang,I., Greenlee,M.W. & Herrmann, M. (2003) The Cognitive Neuroscience of Individual Differences - New perspectives. Oldenburg: bis-Publishers; pp. 7-10.


Fernandez, A., Maestu, F., Amo, C., Gil, P., Fehr, T., Wienbruch, C., Rockstroh, B., Elbert, T., Ortiz, T. (2002): Focal temporoparietal slow activity in Alzheimer's disease revealed by magnetoencephalography. Biological Psychiatry, 52, 764-770


Herrmann,M., Rotte,M., Grubich,C., Ebert,A.D., Schiltz,K., Münte,T.F. & Heinze,H.J. (2001) Control of semantic interference in episodic memory retrieval is associated with an anterior cingulate-prefrontal activation pattern – An event-related fMRI study. Human Brain Mapping, 13, 94-103.

Fehr, T. Kissler, J., Elbert, T., Wienbruch, C., Moratti, S., Rockstroh, B. (2001): Source distribution of neuromagnetic focal slow waves and MEG-delta activity in schizophrenic patients. Biological Psychiatry, 50,108-116.

Amidzic, O.; Riehle, H. J.; Fehr, T.; Elbert, T. (2001): Focal gamma band activity: the signature of chunks in the expert memory of chess players. Nature, 412, 603.


Current research projects:

  • The neuronal basics of deficits in visuo-spatial working memory and inhibition of release in patients with Parkinson’s disease. SFB 517 (Neurocognition) sub-project C7; installed by the German Research Foundation
  • Changes in brain activation patterns associated with top-down regulation of coherent motion perception. Center of Advanced Imaging Magdeburg-Bremen, installed by the German Ministry of Science and Education (BMBF), GF GO 1337201

Details will follow