AG Lange

Perception and ongoing neuronal oscillations

Even when we are doing nothing at all, our brain is active: Groups of neurons constantly produce activity in a synchronized and rhythmic pattern. These neuronal oscillations, however, are not just random "noise" of the brain, but show coherent and systematic patterns that can substantially influence perception and cognition.

In our research group, we use behavioural tasks and magnetoencephalography (MEG) to study how such ongoing neuronal oscillations influence perception. In addition, we measure pathophysiologically altered neuronal oscillations in diseases like Parkinson's disease and hepatic encephalopathy to study their impact on impaired perception. Finally, by employing transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), we noninvasively modulate neuronal oscillations and study their causal impact on perception.

Selected publications:

Baumgarten TJ, Schnitzler A, Lange J (2015). Beta oscillations define discrete perceptual cycles in the somatosensory domain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.; 112(39):12187-92. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1501438112.

Baumgarten TJ, Schnitzler A, Lange J (2016). Prestimulus Alpha Power Influences Tactile Temporal Perceptual Discrimination and Confidence in Decisions. Cereb Cortex; 26(3):891-903. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhu247.

Lange J, Oostenveld R, Fries P (2013). Reduced occipital alpha power indexes enhanced excitability rather than improved visual perception. J Neurosci.; 33(7):3212-20. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3755-12.2013.

For all publications and pdfs please click here.


Perception of biological motion

Human movements and gestures form an important aspect of social interaction. Recognition of these movements and actions is thus an important task in everyday life. The human brain has developed remarkable capabilities to recognize other individuals' actions and gestures, even if these actions are represented by just a few point lights (so called point-light walkers). Despite decades of research, it is still not fully understood, how the human brain accomplishes these complex tasks with such a speed and efficiency.

In our research group we aim to understand the neuronal mechanisms underlying this remarkable capability of the human brain. To this end, we are currently using magnetoencephalography (MEG), behavioural studies as well as computer models.

Selected publications:

Pavlidou A, Schnitzler A, Lange J. (2014). Interactions between visual and motor areas during the recognition of plausible actions as revealed by magnetoencephalography. Hum Brain Mapp.;35(2):581-92. doi: 10.1002/hbm.22207.

Lange J & Lappe M (2006). A model of biological motion perception from configural form cues. Journal of Neuroscience, 26(11), 2894-2906.

Lange J, de Lussanet M, Kuhlmann S, Zimmermann A, Lappe M,  Zwitserlood P, Dobel C  (2009).  Impairments of biological motion perception in congenital prosopagnosia. PLoS One.; 4(10):e7414. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007414.

For all publications and pdfs please click here.


Joachim Lange


Marc Wittenberg
Viktoria Pundmann (cand. med.)
Moritz Lazar (cand. med.)
Judith Geusen

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