Research at the Department of Experimental Psychology

We mostly become aware of the everyday capabilities of our body and mind only once they are restricted due to illness or accident. It seems so natural to vividly remember past events, enjoy music or the taste of a strawberry, and experience colors and shapes when observing an image. Nevertheless, it is still unclear how the body produces such conscious experiences, especially since behavioral experiments show that we can also react to stimuli which we do not perceive consciously.

At the Department of Experimental Psychology, we currently study the processing of stimuli in the absence of awareness. In parallel, we explore the processes that result in conscious experience. To that end, we analyze the experience and behavior of human participants in perceptual tasks in the laboratory. Moreover, we examine the brain processes which are correlated with perceptual experience and behavior using electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Our department infrastructure includes six dedicated laboratories for conducting computer-based perceptual experiments with access to the following methods:

  • Psychophysics (behavioral and reaction time measurements)
  • Eye tracking (SR Research EyeLink 1000)
  • Dichoptic presentation of visual stimuli using mirror stereoscopes or head-mounted displays
  • Ultra-fast presentation of visual stimuli using oscilloscopes
  • 3D virtual reality environments (FOVE and Oculus HMDs)
  • 64 channel EEG system (biosemi active-two)
  • Siemens Prisma 3T MRI scanner for functional neuroimaging (University Medical Center)


Current third-party funded projects:

Visibility, type of masking, prime duration and task as determinants of effects of masked stimuli (DFG Research Grant, Prof. Uwe Mattler)

Qualitative individual differences in metacontrast masking: An instrument to investigate mechanisms of visual consciousness (DFG Research Grant; Prof. Dr. Uwe Mattler, Dr. Thorsten Albrecht)