Groups and Max Planck UCL Centre
Lise Meitner Group
The Max Planck Society has established the Lise Meitner Excellence Program to recruit and promote exceptionally qualified female scientists.
The research group studies how the physical environment affects human beings. To do so, the group uses observational studies where research scientists investigate normal living environments, like student housing, and extreme environments, such as Antarctica. Experimental studies serve to unravel underlying causal pathways, for example, by testing how variations of environmental factors, such as alterations of residential buildings, impact the brain as well as mental health.
Emmy Noether Group
The Emmy Noether Programme is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and gives particularly qualified young scientists the opportunity to qualify for a university professorship over a period of 6 years by independently leading a junior research group.
The research group seeks to understand how and why the human brain fluctuates so markedly from moment to moment. It examines brain signal variability and dynamics in relation to six core research foci: lifespan development, cognition, neuromodulation, structural/functional connectivity, transcranial stimulation, and methods/modeling.
ERC-Funded Research Group
The ERC Consolidator Grants are designed to support excellent researchers whose independent research group is still in its consolidation phase.
Human cognition is perplexingly powerful, despite the known capacity limits of biological brains. The research group commenced its work in 2022 and examines this conundrum in core cognitive functions, including memory, learning, and decision making. A main focus of the group is how neural representations are dynamically structured in working memory to provide us with just the right information at just the right time, and in just the right format, to enable adaptive behavior. In addition to the ERC Consolidator Grant, the research group is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
Max Planck Research Groups
While Max Planck Research Groups (MPRG) use the facilities and resources of a Max Planck Institute, they have their own staff and equipment, which enables their heads to pursue research projects independently, laying the foundations for a successful career. They are initially limited to 5 years, but can be extended. Four Max Planck Research Groups are currently working at the Institute.
Human development unfolds in transactions between biology, including genetics, and environments. The research group commenced its work in 2022 and examines how social disparities affect child and adolescent development to shape differential outcomes of education, health, and well-being across the lifespan.
By bringing together methods from developmental and cognitive psychology, philosophy, education, information theory, and computational modeling, the group’s research program sheds light on the cognitive, social, and cultural mechanisms underlying children’s ability to engage in ecological active learning and face uncertain—more or less expected—future challenges.
The research group explores social learning and cognitive development in infancy and early childhood from an evolutionary perspective. The group’s primary research program investigates how infants learn about plants. Their work has established a novel area of inquiry within cognitive development and demonstrates that learning and evolution are not mutually exclusive processes.
The research group investigates how the brain uses past experiences to guide decision making. It employs functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study neural representations and replay of previous events, and use reinforcement learning and neural network algorithms to model behavioral and neural data. This sheds light on our memory, on our choices, and on parallels between human and artificial intelligence.
Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research
The Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research was established in April 2014 as a joint initiative of the Max Planck Society and the University College London. The Centre fosters a mechanistic understanding of behavioral aging and psychopathology by developing and applying statistical and computational tools to delineate individual differences in brain–behavior dynamics.