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RF Cognitive Sciences


A great part of the scientific work within the Research Focus is organized and conducted inside our labs. Here, professors closely co-operate with research assistants and students.

We are looking for participants in our studies:

The cognitive sciences are always welcoming new participants to our studies, e.g. experiments on reading, attention, memory, sentence processsing, picture interpretation, etc. Detailed information on the SONA participant pool you can find here


In the BabyLab, the cognitive and language-related development of children, aged four months or older, is studied. The laboratory is under the direction of Prof. Dr. Birgit Elsner, Developmental Psychology, and Prof. Dr. Barbara Höhle from the field of Psycholinguistics and Language Acquisition.

In the EyeLab, linguistic, visual, and oculomotor processes are studied. Research focuses on reading and reading processing, shifts of attention, and other processes loading working memory. In the Eyelab, psychologists, physicists, computer scientists, mathematicians and linguists co-operate closely.

The Social Psychology Laboratory, under the direction of Prof. Dr. Barbara Krahé, has set its focus on aggression and media research. Issues dealt with include, among others, the effects of media violence or the risk factors for sexual aggression in young adults.

NOLA (Neurocognition of Language) groupis an interdisciplinary team of Linguists, Psychologists, and Neuroscientists led by Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger. The goal is to characterize language – from basic acoustic processing to complex sentence processing –, its development and plasticity, and the respective underlying cerebral mechanisms. This is done by combining behavioral, psychophysiological (eye-tracking), neurophysiological (EEG), and neurovascular (fMRI, NIRS) methods in various populations.

The Potsdam Embodied Cognition Group (PECoG) studies conditions and consequences of "embodied knowledge". How do sensory and motor experiences become part of our knowledge representation? How do they affect the recall of knowledge? To answer these questions, the Group uses several methods. They range from behavioral measurement (e.g. reaction times, error rates, body temperature) and measurement of motion (e.g., kinematics analysis, eye tracking, power production) to neuroscientific methods (eg, TMS, EEG, fMRI).

Under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Urs Granacher, in the lab o the Training and Movement Sciences strength, balance and endurance in different population groups (e.g. children, adolescents, athletes, employed and retired people ) are diagnosed using biomechanical apparatuses.

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Central concern of the Vasishth Lab is the research of processes of human understanding of sentences. To this end, the research group, led by Shravan Vasishth, uses mathematical models of syntax analysis and experimental methods, such as eye tracking, self-directed reading and event-related potentials. With the help of the obtained data, predictions of mathematical models can be reviewed and assessed.

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The Potsdam Research Institute for Multilingualism (PRIM) investigates the nature of multilingualism in children and adults, including patients with language disorders. Core areas of language processing are investigated using behavioural and physiological techniques such as eye-movement monitoring and electroencephalography.

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