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Six fingers per hand: A congenital additional finger brings motor advantages

Polydactyly is the extraordinary condition of someone being born with more than five fingers or toes. In a case study published in Nature Communications, researchers from the University of Freiburg, Imperial College London, the University Hospital of Lausanne, and EPFL have for the first time examined the motor skills and sensorimotor brain areas in people with polydactyly. The results show that an extra finger can significantly extend the manipulation abilities and skill.

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Concurrent control of a brain-computer interface and natural overt movements

A primary control signal in brain–computer interfaces (BCIs) have been cortical signals related to movement. However, in cases where natural motor function remains, BCI control signals may interfere with other possibly simultaneous activity for useful ongoing movement.

Journal of Neural Engineering, 15(6) (2018)

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Simon task with tRNS

Modifying response times in the Simon task with transcranial random noise stimulation

Perceptual decisions pervade our every-day lives, and can align or conflict with inbuilt biases. We investigated these conflicting biases by applying transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) while subjects took part in a visual Simon task.

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Scientific Reports, 715633 (2017)

MSc Neuroscience in Freiburg

MSc Neuroscience in Freiburg

M.Sc. Neuroscience Program

Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system and the brain, with the aim to unravel their function. Modern neuroscience investigates the brain on multiple scales, ranging from the molecular level to behaviour using a combination of experimental and theoretical techniques. Thus, neuroscience is multi-disciplinary drawing from biology, medicine, behavioural sciences, engineering, computer science, mathematics and physics. Beyond fundamental research, neuroscientific research comprises the development and application of new technologies to understand, repair, replace and enhance nervous system function, as well as the exploitation of neuroscientific advances for technological innovation. Such applications hold the potential to revolutionise medical treatments and are therefore of relevance for the medical devices and pharmaceutical industries.

The MSc Neuroscience program in Freiburg unites teaching expertise at the faculties of biology, engineering, and  behavioral sciences and economics to offer a coherent course program that provides the training needed by the next generation neuroscientists.

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New FRIAS Project Group

New FRIAS Project Group "Neural networks of motor control and motor learning"

The Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies - FRIAS has approved funding to inverstigate the neural networks underlying motor control and motor learning. The FRIAS Project Group brings together six research teams from different faculties of the University of Freiburg combining expertise in all relevant fields, from motor neurophysiology to computational motor control to clinical movement neuroscience and neural network modeling: Prof. Ilka Diester (Faculty of Biology), Jun.Prof. Christian Leukel (Faculty of Economics and Behavioral Sciences & Bernstein Center Freiburg), Prof. Carsten Mehring (Faculty of Biology & Bernstein Center Freiburg), Prof. Stefan Rotter (Faculty of Biology & Bernstein Center Freiburg), Dr. Robert Schmidt (Faculty of Biology, BrainLinksBrainTools & Bernstein Center Freiburg), Prof. Cornelius Weiller (Neurocenter University Clinics & Bernstein Center Freiburg).

The research of the FRIAS Project Group aims at a better understanding of neural networks of motor control and motor learning: The only way we can interact with the world is through movement, be it by using tools, manipulating objects or by speaking. Humans vastly surpass the flexibility and motor learning ability of any man made robot. Scientists still scarcely understand the mechanisms that underlie these unique human capabilities. In recent years, computational models have been developed that accurately describe human behaviour in a variety of motor tasks. While these models advanced our understanding of basic principles underlying motor control and motor learning, their neural underpinnings remain unclear. On the other hand, neuroanatomical and –physiological studies have produced a wealth of data on the cellular mechanisms of movement control and how neural activities relate to behaviour. The link of these discoveries to computational findings, however, is mostly obscure. We believe that a fundamental advance in our understanding will be accomplished by investigating the motor system on the level of neuronal networks, merging findings from different approaches studying motor control. Surprisingly, this level of analysis has been largely ignored in present research on the motor system. To achieve this goal, a group of scientists teams up for this project – combining expertise in all relevant fields, from motor neurophysiology, over computational motor control to clinical movement neuroscience and neuronal network modeling – and aims to unravel neuronal networks underlying motor control and motor learning.

Realignment of neural responses

New paper on realignment of neuronal responses

We have published a new article on realignment of neuronal responses on arXiv:

"Inference based method of realingment of single trial neuronal responses"

by Tomislav Milekovic, Carsten Mehring

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Closed-loop brain stimulation

New grant to support our research on closed-loop brain stimulation.

The lab has won a new grant to support our research on closed-loop brain stimulation. Our goal is to develop new brain stimulation methods for humans in which stimulation patterns are adapted online to the ongoing brain activity. Such methods will allow us to modulate brain activity more specifically and more efficiently than previous open loop stimulation techniques.

Best Illusion of the Year contest

Best illusion of the year 2015 contest - our "Third Hand Illusion" among top ten finalists

The best illusion of the year contest is a celebration of the ingenuity and creativity of the world’s premier illusion research community. Contestants from all around the world submitted novel illusions, and an international panel of judges rated them and narrowed them to the top ten. Our "Third Hand Illusion" has been selected to be among the top ten finalists for 2015.

You can see our video here

UniWissen 01'2015

Article about our work published in the University Magazine

In german only:


Wie erlernt und steuert der menschliche Körper Bewegungen? Carsten Mehring und sein Forschumgsteam erarbeiten Grundlagenwissen und lassen es in die Entwicklung von Gehirn-Maschine-Schnittstellen einfließen.

In der ersten Ausgabe des Jahres 2015 stellt UniWissen diese Arbeit vor. UniWissen 01'2015, S. 12-15, von Katrin Albaum



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Freiburg-Imperial Symposium 2014

A symposium for exchange of ideas

Freiburg-Imperial Symposium on Computational Neuroscience and Neurotechnology 2014 

The aim of this symposium is to exchange scientific ideas and explore common interests and possible joint funding opportunities between researchers at both institutions. The symposium in Freiburg on September 23-25th is part of a series of two symposia with a 2nd workshop taking place in London in 2016.


Click here for details

Here are pictures of the event

Full program as PDF