Research topics  

9 - Numbtouch: Introspection and extrospection of undetected tactile stimuli

PI: Professor Dr. med Arno Villringer

Contact: villringer-please remove this


Can we make correct statements about visual stimuli which we have “not seen” or tactile stimuli which we have “not felt”? Such phenomena have been reported in blind patients after stroke (blindsight) and in patients with impaired perception of touch after focal brain lesions (numbtouch). We have recently described similar phenomena in healthy subjects who were able to localize weak somatosensory stimuli which they did not detect (“not feel”). The first aim of this project is to identify neural correlates of this phenomenon using EEG, MEG, 7 Tesla fMRI, and – in few patients – invasive electrode recordings (extrospection) combined with subjects’ reports (introspection). Paradigms will be used which allow for data analysis based on signal detection theory. To confirm the functional role of the presumably involved brain areas (aim 1), the second aim is to alter subjects’ reports by modulating neural activity of these brain areas with transcranial stimulation (TMS, TDCS). The third aim is to improve the clinical symptom numbtouch in patients after stroke.

Requirements for research topic 9

(1) Strong background in cognitive neuroscience,
(2) Interest in clinical neuroscience and philosophy,
(3) Experience with neuroimaging experiments and data analysis,
(4) Intermediate (or better) programming skills,
(5) Willingness and aptitude for interdisciplinary interaction and collaboration,
(6) Willingness to fully participate in the research, education and training program of the RTG,
(7) Proficiency in English,
(8) Master's degree in a relevant field.

Applications for research topic 9

(1) A proposal for a doctoral project in research topic 9: "Numbtouch: Introspection and extrospection of undetected tactile stimuli" (max. 5 pages in Arial 11, single spaced, plus max. 3 pages references),
(2) A meaningful letter of motivation (max 2 pages),
(3) Full academic CV,
(4) Copies/scans of Bachelor's and Master's certificates,
(5) Transcript of records for Master's degree.

Please send the above in one PDF file of no more than 7 MB.

Please name the file as follows: YourName_RTG_Topic9

Application address

mb-extrospection-please remove this


Two letters of reference should be sent directly to: Ms Annette Winkelmann, mb-extrospection-please remove this

Guidelines for referees for Topic 9 - please send them to your referees: download pdf

Application period 2018 and deadline

Deadline: Thursday 19 July 2018 11:59:59 a.m. CEST


This page last updated on: 13 July 2018