Our research targets the neural mechanisms underlying top-down and stimulus-driven bottom-up processes in the human brain. A particular focus of our studies is on the role of neural synchrony, measured by the electroencephalogram and magnetoencephalogram, for multisensory processing. Moreover, our studies focus on the neural mechanisms underlying pain and on the investigation of oscillatory responses in clinical populations, e.g., patients with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Our studies also involve pupilometric measurements and quantification of neurotransmitter concentrations using MR-spectroscopy. 



Ongoing Studies








Role of aberrant neural oscillations for multisensory processing deficits in schizophrenia


Recent studies have suggested multisensory processing deficits in patients with schizophrenia, but the neurophysiologic mechanisms underlying these deficits are not well understood. This project comprises of electroencephalography studies using multisensory paradigms for which effects in neural oscillations have been previously established in healthy individuals. Multisensory processing, as reflected in local power, dynamic network patterns, and functional connectivity will be examined in schizophrenia patients and healthy control participants. (DFG, SE1859/4-1)


Key Publications: Roa Romero et al., 2016, J Neurophysiol; Balz et al., 2016, Frontiers in Psychology






Analysis and visualization of neural oscillations in electrocorticographic singals


This collaborative BMBF/NIH research project (Senkowski and Thesen) involves the analysis of a unique data set obtained from patients with brain implants and the creation and dissemination of an analysis toolbox to the wider scientific community. (BMBF/NIH, 01GQ1416)

                          Multisensory Integration

The influence of local cortical oscillations and distributed connectivity networks on multisensory perception

In natural situations, we continuously monior and integrate multiple inputs that enter our sensory systems. Recent electrophysiological studies have provided evidence that ongoing oscillations and neuronal connectivity in cortical networks play a crucial roile for the integration and perception of upcoming multisenory stimuli. The central goal of this project is to adress how ongoing oscillations, neuronal connectivity, and information flow within cortical networks influence the integration of upcoming multisensory stimuli. (DFG, KE1828/4-1)


Key Publications: Keil et al., 2012, Cereb Cortex; Keil et al., 2014, Cereb Cortex




Piezo Stim                




Finished Studies














Neural signatures of intersensory selective attention: investigating the role of neural synchrony and functional network properties

Intersensory attention describes our ability to attend to stimuli in a selected modality while ignoring input from other modalities. Top-down orienting of intersensory attention can bias the brain states prior to stimulus presentation. Neural synchrony, as reflected in oscillatory activity, could be an important mechanism therein. Using electroencephalography and transcranial magnetic stimulation, we examine the mechanisms underlying intersensory selective attention. (DFG, SE1859/3-1)


Key Publications: Keil et al., 2016, Cortex; Keil et al., 2017, Neuroimage; Pomper et al., 2015, Hum Br Mapp







The multisensory mind: From neural mechanisms to cognition


The main objective of this research program was to examine neural and neurochemical markers of multisensory integration and to test a the hypothesis that considers dynamic interplay of synchronized neural populations as key to multisensory processing (Senkowski et al., 2008, Trends Neurosci). The studies within this program included healthy subjects and patients with schizophrenia. Multisensory processing were examined in a series of experiments designed to engage various cognitive processes. Aside from electrophysiological measures of neuronal activity, neurotransmitter concentration were assessed using magnetic resonance spectroscopy. (ERC Starting Grant 263567)


Key Publications: Balz et al., 2016, Neuroimage; Keil et al., 2016, Front Hum Neurosci; Krebber et al. 2015, Neuroimage; Pomper et al., 2014, Plos ONE; Roa Romero et al., 2016, J Neurophysiol; Senkowski & Gallinat, 2015, Biol Psychiatr



Multisensory processing of pain: An investigation of neural binding mechanisms in electrophysiological and hemodynamic brain responses


Pain is a common symptom in the German population with a prevalence of about 32-67%. Natural painful events are often accompanied by sensory inputs from other modalities, which are likely to influence the processing of pain (e.g., seeing the needle when receiving an injection). The central goal of this project was to address how and under which conditions sensory inputs from other modalities affect the processing of pain. (DFG, SE1859/1-1, SE1859/1-2)


Key Publications: Höfle et al., 2012, Pain; Pomper et al., 2013; Neuroimage; Senkowski et al., 2011, J Neurosci; Senkowski et al., 2014, Trends Cogn Sci; Senkowski et al., 2016, Neurosci Biobehav Rev



Andreas K. Engel, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf

John J. Foxe, University of Rochester

Jürgen Gallinat, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf

Andrej Kral, Hannover Medical School

Lars Riecke, Maastricht University

Florian Schubert, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt Berlin