The Cognitive Neuroscience Lab was established in April 2013 as independent research group at the Center for Behavioral Brain Sciences (CBBS) and Faculty of Economics at the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg (OvGU). Our primary research interest lies in the neural mechanisms of adaptive, goal-directed behaviour with particular focus on reward-guided learning and decision making.

We use various neuroimaging methods (fMRI, MEG, EEG) which we often combine with neurochemical approaches (drug challenges, MR spectroscopy) and computational modelling. 


>> - - News from our lab - - <<

01.010.2016. Welcome Lennart! Lennart Luettgau has joined the team. For his PhD, he will be working on neural mechanisms of value generalisation using the local 7T scanner and a MVPA approch.


15.09.2016. Welcome Luca! Luca F. Kaiser has joined the team. For her PhD, she will be working on value computations in sensory cortical areas recorded with MEG (within our project B16N in the SFB 779 collaborative research centre).


29.07.2016 PhD student position open in our lab!

We offer a three year PhD student position in a project funded by the German Research Foundation  (DFG). More information click here!


20.04.2016 PhD student position open in our lab!

We offer a three year PhD student position in a project funded by the European Union and the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt.
This position has been filled!


08.02.2016 new paper accepted in Neuron, DOI

Jocham G, Brodersen KH, Constantinescu AO, Kahn MC, Ianni A, Walton ME, Rushworth MFS, Behrens TEJ (in press) Reward-guided learning with and without causal attribution. Neuron

A new study showing that humans deploy several learning mechanisms operating in parallel to solve the credit assignment problem. The paper shows that healthy humans use contingent learning, correctly applying knowldege about the causal structure of the task. However, they also exhibited learning via statistical approximations or on the basis of temporal proximity between action and outcome, even when this was not adaptive. These learning mechanisms were anatomically separable.


10.12.2015 Four year PhD student position (funded by DFG) open in our lab!

Be part of the great and inspiring neuroscience community in Magdeburg.
This position has been filled!


18.11.2015 SFB 779 „Neurobiology of motivated behavior“ approved

including our project "Value computations in sensory cortical areas during choice: network mechanisms and neuromodulation“ approved by DFG (German Research Council) http://www.sfb779.de/en/b16n.html


19.09.2015 new paper accepted at Translational Psychiatry 

Kohl S, Gruendler TOJ, Huys D, Sildatke E, Dembek TA, Hellmich M, Blum M, Timmermann L4, Ahmari SE, Klosterkoetter J, Jessen F, Sturm V, Visser-Vandewalle V, Kuhn J (in press) Effects of DBS on prepulse inhibition in severe OCD. Translational Psychiatry.


10.08.2015 new paper accepted at Journal of Neuroscience 

Sevgi M, Rigoux L, Kuehn A, Mauer J, Schilbach L, Hess M, Gruendler TOJ, Ullsperger M, Stephan KE, Bruening J, Tittgemeyer M (in press) An Obesity-Predisposing Variant of the FTO Gene Regulates D2R-Dependent Reward Learning. J Neurosci.


01.07.2015 Gerhard has defended his habilitation thesis 

Gerhard has been awarded the Venia Legendi ("License to teach") for Psychology from the Faculty of Sciences, Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg.


13.04.2015 new paper accepted at Current Biology

Danielmeier C, Allen EA, Jocham G, Özgür AO, Eichele T, Ullsperger M (in press) Acetylcholine mediates behavioral and neural post-error control. Current Biology.


21.02.2015 new paper accepted at Neuropsychologia

Schüller T*, Gruendler TOJ*, Jocham G, Klein TA, Timmermann L, Visser-Vandewalle V, Kuhn J, Ullsperger M (in press) Rapid feedback processing in human nucleus accumbens and motor thalamus. Neuropsychologia.


29.01.2015 new paper accepted at Nature Neuroscience

Browning M, Behrens TE, Jocham G, O'Reilly JX, Bishop SJ (in press) Anxious individuals have difficulty learning causal statistics of aversive environments. Nat Neurosci.

(See also news feature:  RBB Kulturradio, Mit Angst lernt es sich schlecht - german only)


04.11.2014 new paper accepted at TiCS

Fischer AGJocham G, Ullsperger M (2015) Dual serotonergic signals: a key to understanding paradoxical effects? Trends in Cogn Sci 19(1): 21-26

(See also news features: CELL press releaseTime Magazine, OvGU press release, Medical Daily)


19.08.2014 new paper accepted at Journal of Neuroscience

Jocham G, Klein TA, Ullsperger M (2014) Differential modulation of reinforcement learning by D2 dopamine and NMDA glutamate receptor antagonism. J Neurosci 34(39): 13151-13162


03.06.2014 new paper accepted at Neuroimage

Jocham G, Furlong PM, Kröger IL, Kahn MC, Hunt LT, Behrens TE (2014) Dissociable contributions of ventromedial prefrontal and posterior parietal cortex to value-guided choice. Neuroimage 100: 498-506.


27.05.2014 G.A. Lienert (Methods in Biopsychology) scholarship awarded to Theo

Theo will spend three months at the Wellcome Trust Center for Neuroimaging at UCL with Gareth Barnes, Laurence Hunt and Ray Dolan.


31.03.2014 new paper accepted at Molecular Psychiatry

Kuhn J, Hardenacke K, Lenartz, Gruendler TOJ, Ullsperger M, Bartsch C, Mai JK, Zilles K, Bauer A, Matusch A, Schulz R-J, Noreik M, Bührle CP, Maintz D, Woopen C, Häussermann P, Hellmich M, Klosterkötter J, Wiltfang J, Maarouf  M, Freund H-J, Sturm V (2014) Deep brain stimulation of the nucleus basalis of Meynert in Alzheimer’s dementia. Molecular Psychiatry.


18.03.2014 new paper accepted at PLoS one

Kohl S, Wolters C, Gruendler TOJ, Vogeley K, Klosterkötter J, Kuhn J (2014) Prepulse Inhibition of the Acoustic Startle Reflex in High Functioning Autism. PLoS one 9(3):e92372.