Institut für Kognitionswissenschaft

Institute of Cognitive Science

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Research News

The latest news from research conducted at the Institute of Cognitive Science can be found here:

19. June 2018 : Visual exploration habits of left-to-right readers are more difficult to predict. Why?

New publ.:

Afsari Z, Keshava A, Ossandón JP and König P(2018). Interindividual differences among native right-to-left readers and native left-to-right readers during free viewing task. DOI:10.1080/13506285.2018.1473542.Vis Cogn

In a free viewing task, humans differ in the spatial selection of fixation points. Native left-to-right readers tend to have a spatial preference for the left visual field. In comparison, right-to-left readers demonstrate a stronger variation in their visual exploration...

31. May 2018 : Are two heads better than one? – A review on group benefits in joint perceptual tasks, the influencing factors, and how to measure it

New publ.:

Wahn B, Kingstone A and König P. Group benefits in joint perceptual tasks: A review. DOI:10.1111/nyas.13843. ANNALS OF THE NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES. Special Issue: The Year in Cognitive Neuroscience

Humans often collaborate in perceptual tasks to achieve a higher performance than performing the same task alone (i.e., attain a group benefit). In this review, Wahn et al. identify factors that influence collaborative...

29. May 2018 : Now out @eLife: Grid cells in entorhinal cortex fire without any change in space or in gaze position

New publ.:

Wilming N, König P, König S and Buffalo EA (2018). Entorhinal cortex receptive fields are modulated by spatial attention, even without movement. eLife 2018;7:e31745

Grid cells in the entorhinal cortex have been identified to encode an animal’s position in space, but have been hypothesized to play a more fundamental role in mental operations. A prerequisite for this is that they can be activated in the absence of movement. Here, we...

18. May 2018 : Congratulations to our alumna Petra Fischer



08. May 2018 : Minimizing harm at all cost—innocents, self-sacrifice and moral intuitions. This study reinforces the necessity of social debates on implementing moral values in autonomous vehicles.

New publ.:

Bergmann LT, Schlicht L, Meixner C, König P, Pipa G, Boshammer S and Stephan A (2018). Autonomous vehicles require socio-political acceptance — An empirical and philosophical perspective on the problem of moral decision making. Front Behav Neurosci 12:31.

This study examines the issue of implementing moral decisions in autonomous driving vehicles from an empirical and philosophical perspective.

In an empirical study, we investigated what...

07. May 2018 : A wonderful paper that explains well why we need obligatory ethics setting implemented in autonomous driving vehicles.

New publ.:

Faulhaber AK, Dittmer A, Blind F, Wächter MA, Timm S, Sütfeld LR, Stephan A, Pipa G and König P (2018). Human decisions in moral dilemmas are largely described by utilitarianism: Virtual car driving study provides guidelines for autonomous driving vehicles. Sci Eng Ethics

Due to the necessity of implementing moral decisions in autonomous driving vehicles (ADVs), we conducted a set of driving experiments in virtual reality. The participants...

07. May 2018 : A new paradigm to control both fixation duration and location: The temporal dynamics of eye movements as an exploitation-exploration dilemma.

New publ.:

Ehinger BV, Kaufhold L and König P (2018). Probing the temporal dynamics of the exploration–exploitation dilemma of eye movements. J Vis 18:6,1-24

When scanning a visual scene, we are in a constant decision process regarding whether to further exploit the information content at the current fixation or to go on and explore the scene. In this study, Ehinger et al. investigated how the experimental control of fixation...

26. March 2018 : Two perform better than the best individual without any information exchange & performance similarities predict the group benefit.

New publ.:
Wahn B, Czeszumski A, König P (2018). Performance similarities predict collective benefits in dyadic and triadic joint visual search. PLoS ONE 13(1): e0191179.

When humans perform tasks together, they may reach a higher performance in comparison to the best member of a group (i.e., a collective benefit).

In this study, we investigated collective benefits for joint visuospatial tasks. We tested whether dyads and triads reach a collective...

26. March 2018 : Recent PhD thesis now available at the University library

We congratulate Dr. Andrew Melnik!

Last year Andrew Melnik successfully defended and published his thesis on "Sensorimotor processing in the human brain and in cognitive architectures". The PDF of his PhD thesis can now be downloaded from the university library here:

For further details you may also contact Prof. Dr. Peter König (

22. January 2018 : Stress induction with VR technology - investigating the potential of VR as a tool for reliable and realistic stress induction in laboratory settings

New publ.:
Petr Legkov, Krzysztof Izdebski, Silke Kärcher, and Peter König. 2017.
Dual task based cognitive stress induction and its influence on path integration.
In Proceedings of the 23rd ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology (VRST '17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Article 41, 5 pages.

Classic stress induction methods often don’t reflect real life scenarios because of technical limitations. For example, they do not take into account...

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