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Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

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Research at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences revolves around human cognitive abilities and cerebral processes, with a focus on the neural basis of brain functions like language, emotions and human social behaviour, music and action.

Our studies look into the perception, planning, and generation of human cognitive abilities and cerebral processes, and analyse the interaction and common functional bases of their production and perception. Other research focuses on plastic changes in the human brain and the influence this has on various cognitive abilities, and also the neuronal and hormonal basis of modern diseases such as high blood pressure and obesity. In addition, the further development of imaging methods for the neurosciences is a focal point of research at the Institute.

The MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences provides an exciting framework for these topical and alluring theoretical domains, with the full gamut of cognitive and neuroscientific methodology available under one roof.

A hallmark of the Institute and its research strategies is the dovetailing of research, development, and engineering. The centre draws on elaborate modern imaging techniques – a new 7-Tesla scanner was up and running in summer 2007 – which are gaining ground as part of more conventional behavioural approaches.

Our Institute on Stephanstrasse in Leipzig was established on 1 January 2004 by a merger between the former Leipzig Max Planck Institute of Cognitive NeuroScience and the Munich Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research. The new Institute, joining two centres of expertise into one, reflects the development that psychological and neuroscientific research are being conducted increasingly closer together. The creation of this centre in Leipzig also established exceptional conditions for interdisciplinary behavioural and neurobiological research into human cognition.

Currently, the Institute has four departments and seven independent research groups. The Managing Director is Professor Dr. Nikolaus Weiskopf.

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