Using behavioural, pharmacological, and neuromodulatory methods, we investigate the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive (dys-)function in healthy subjects and patients suffering from neurological disorders.
Functional imaging (PET, MRI) and electrophysiological methods (EEG, TMS, tDCS) are combined with computational approaches to achieve a better understanding of i) the development of normal brain functions during ageing, ii) disease-induced dysfunction, and iii) cerebral plasticity and recovery of function.
Results help to decode how the human brain enables higher cognition and to develop novel therapeutic approaches.
The study group spatial cognition studies the different aspects of spatial Information processing in the human brain. Here fundamental research as well application-orientated clinical research is the centre of our interest.
One Target of our study group is the to get a clearer view in the mechanism of visual and spatial Information processing in the human brain and to transfer that knowledge applicable orientated in clinical issues. One centre of interest is the so-called neglect syndrome, which is mostly associated with right hemisphere brain lesions.
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All cognitive processes are expressed by actions. In turn, complex actions draw upon cognitive functions. Motor cognitive disorders, like apraxia, strongly impair the outcome of stroke patients. Therefore, the Motor Cognition group investigates the neural mechanisms and concepts (e.g., body schema ) underlying complex action by structural (statistical lesion mapping) and functional (network connectivity) imaging in healthy volunteers and neurological patients. Furthermore, non-invasive neuromodulatory techniques (e.g., TMS, tDCS) are used to develop new strategies for the therapy of motor cognitive disorders.In the following two exemplary projects are presented:
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Rehabilitation of cognitive impairments
A brain lesion as a consequence of either illness or accident can cause permanent dysfunctions in the brain. In our society stroke is the most frequent cause of a permanent disability.
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The aim of our research group is to construct mathematical models of the neuronal network dynamics underlying motor actions in healthy humans and stroke patients, using recordings of individual brain activity (EEG and fMRI).
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The focus of the study group is the research field of social cognition, which assembles all cognitive processes, which are relevant for the interaction and communication between human beings.
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Memory Clinic Köln Jülich
The Memory Clinic Köln Jülich (JMC) aims to establish a close cooperation between clinical medicine and research in the field of aging and dementia. The initial consultation and assessment of cognitive complaints takes place at the Department of Neurology at the University Hospital of Cologne. In cooperation with the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM) at Jülich Research Centre, modern brain imaging tools such as PET-MRI are in use.
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