Peter König

Peter König
Universität Osnabrück | UOS · Institute of Cognitive Science

Prof. Dr. med.

About

435
Publications
120,900
Reads
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23,179
Citations
Introduction
I want to understand the neurophysiological basis of cognitive functions. With experimental and theoretical approaches I study sensory processing and sensory motor integration in the mammalian cortex under natural conditions. The emphasis is placed on the role of top-down signals, their relation to the fast dynamics, learning, and plasticity in the neuronal network. Insights obtained from this work are transferred to real-world applications.
Additional affiliations
July 2011 - present
University Medical Center Hamburg - Eppendorf
Position
  • Guest Professor
October 2003 - present
Universität Osnabrück
Position
  • Professor (Full) of Neurobiopsychology
January 2003 - December 2007
ETH Zurich

Publications

Publications (435)
Article
Full-text available
Vision provides the most important sensory information for spatial navigation. Recent technical advances allow new options to conduct more naturalistic experiments in virtual reality (VR) while additionally gathering data of the viewing behavior with eye tracking investigations. Here, we propose a method that allows one to quantify characteristics...
Article
Full-text available
Single-brain neuroimaging studies have shown that human cooperation is associated with neural activity in frontal and temporoparietal regions. However, it remains unclear whether single-brain studies are informative about cooperation in real life, where people interact dynamically. Such dynamic interactions have become the focus of interbrain studi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Eye movements in the natural environment have primarily been studied for over-learned activities such as tea-making, sandwich-making, and hand-washing, which have a fixed sequence of actions associated with them. These studies indicate an interplay of low-level cognitive schemas that facilitate task completion. However, it is unclear if this strate...
Article
Full-text available
Autonomous vehicles represent a significant development in our society, and their acceptance will largely depend on trust. This study investigates strategies to increase trust and acceptance by making the cars’ decisions. For this purpose, we created a virtual reality (VR) experiment with a self-explaining autonomous car, providing participants wit...
Article
Full-text available
While abundant in biology, foveated vision is nearly absent from computational models and especially deep learning architectures. Despite considerable hardware improvements, training deep neural networks still presents a challenge and constraints complexity of models. Here we propose an end-to-end neural model for foveal-peripheral vision, inspired...
Preprint
Tendencies of approach and avoidance seem to be a universal characteristic of humans. Specifically, individuals are faster in avoiding than in approaching negative stimuli and they are faster in approaching than in avoiding positive stimuli. The existence of this automatic approach/avoidance bias has been demonstrated in many studies. Furthermore,...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial orientation and navigation depend primarily on vision. Blind people lack this critical source of information. To facilitate wayfinding and to increase the feeling of safety for these people, the “feelSpace belt” was developed. The belt signals magnetic north as a fixed reference frame via vibrotactile stimulation. This study investigates th...
Article
Full-text available
Augmented reality applications allow users to enrich their real surroundings with additional digital content. However, due to the limited field of view of augmented reality devices, it can sometimes be difficult to become aware of newly emerging information inside or outside the field of view. Typical visual conflicts like clutter and occlusion of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Vision provides the most important sensory information for spatial navigation. Recent technical advances allow new options to conduct more naturalistic experiments in virtual reality (VR) while additionally gather data of the viewing behavior with eye tracking investigations. Here, we propose a method that allows to quantify characteristics of visu...
Poster
Full-text available
Eye-hand coordination is a research topic of great interest since it is significant to important activities related to object interactions. Various studies have been conducted ranging from simple object manipulation (Ballard et al., 1995) to more complex natural activities including driving (Mars and Navarro, 2012), hand washing (Pelz and Canosa, 2...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Social interactions, including joint actions, are a central aspects of human life (Frith, 2007; McCabe et al., 2001; De Jaegher et al., 2010). Joint action can be described as any social interaction whereby two or more people temporally and spatially align their actions (Sebanz et al., 2006). Due to their interactive nature, however, joint actio...
Presentation
Full-text available
Eye-tracking experiments in virtual reality (VR) have become progressively popular in the last decade. These experiments measure human eye movement behavior in naturalistic settings that afford complex, natural head and body movements. Given the complexity, eye-tracking systems require high spatial accuracy and precision of the measured gaze in the...
Article
People often perform visual tasks together, for example, when looking for a misplaced key. When performing such tasks jointly, people coordinate their actions to divide the labor, for example, by looking for the misplaced key in different rooms. This way, they tend to perform better together than individually-they attain a group benefit. A crucial...
Preprint
Full-text available
Seminal studies on human cognitive behavior have been conducted in controlled laboratory settings, demonstrating that visual attention is mainly goal-directed and allocated based on the action performed. However, it is unclear how far these results generalize to cognition in more naturalistic settings. The present study investigates active inferenc...
Article
Full-text available
Robots start to play a role in our social landscape, and they are progressively becoming responsive, both physically and socially. It begs the question of how humans react to and interact with robots in a coordinated manner and what the neural underpinnings of such behavior are. This exploratory study aims to understand the differences in human-hum...
Preprint
Full-text available
Autonomous vehicles as cognitive agents will be an important use case of artificial intelligence in modern societies. Investigating how to increase acceptance and trust, we created a self-explaining car, informing passengers before actions in virtual reality. This study investigates the attitude towards self-driving cars with data from 7850 partici...
Preprint
Full-text available
Neural mechanisms of face perception are predominantly studied in well-controlled experimental settings that involve random stimulus sequences and fixed eye positions. While powerful, the employed paradigms are far from what constitutes natural vision. Here, we demonstrate the feasibility of ecologically more valid experimental paradigms using natu...
Preprint
Full-text available
Single-brain neuroimaging studies have shown that human cooperation is associated with neural activity in frontal and temporoparietal regions. However, it remains unclear whether single-brain studies are informative about cooperation in real life, where people interact dynamically. Such dynamic interactions have become the focus of inter-brain stud...
Article
Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), applied to two brain sites with different phase lags, has been shown to modulate stimulation-outlasting functional EEG connectivity between the targeted regions. Given the lack of knowledge on mechanisms of tACS aftereffects, it is difficult to further enhance effect sizes and reduce variability...
Article
Full-text available
There is growing awareness across the neuroscience community that the replicability of findings on the relationship between brain activity and cognitive phenomena can be improved by conducting studies with high statistical power that adhere to well-defined and standardized analysis pipelines. Inspired by efforts from the psychological sciences, and...
Article
Full-text available
The reproduction and simulation of workplaces, and the analysis of body postures during work processes, are parts of ergonomic risk assessments. A commercial virtual reality (VR) system offers the possibility to model complex work scenarios as virtual mock-ups and to evaluate their ergonomic designs by analyzing motion behavior while performing wor...
Preprint
Full-text available
Robots start to play a role in our social landscape, and they are progressively becoming responsive, both physically and socially. It begs the question of how humans react to and interact with robots in a coordinated manner and what the neural underpinnings of such behavior are. This exploratory study aims to understand the differences in human-hum...
Article
Full-text available
The embodied approach of human cognition suggests that concepts are deeply dependent upon and constrained by an agent's physical body's characteristics, such as performed body movements. In this study, we attempted to broaden previous research on emotional priming, investigating the interaction of emotions and visual exploration. We used the joysti...
Article
Full-text available
With the further development of highly automated vehicles, drivers will engage in non-related tasks while being driven. Still, drivers have to take over control when requested by the car. Here, the question arises, how potentially distracted drivers get back into the control-loop quickly and safely when the car requests a takeover. To investigate e...
Article
Full-text available
Investigating spatial knowledge acquisition in virtual environments allows studying different sources of information under controlled conditions. Therefore, we built a virtual environment in the style of a European village and investigated spatial knowledge acquisition by experience in the immersive virtual environment and compared it to using an i...
Preprint
Full-text available
Most artificial neural networks used for object detection and recognition are trained in a fully supervised setup. This is not only very resource consuming as it requires large data sets of labeled examples but also very different from how humans learn. We introduce a setup in which an artificial agent first learns in a simulated world through self...
Preprint
Full-text available
With the further development of highly automated vehicles, drivers will engage in non-related tasks while being driven. Still, drivers have to take over control when requested by the car. Here the question arises, how potentially distracted drivers get back into the control-loop quickly and safely when the car requests a takeover. To investigate ef...
Preprint
Full-text available
There is growing awareness across the neuroscience community that the replicability of findings on the relationship between brain activity and cognitive phenomena can be improved by conducting studies with high statistical power that adhere to well-defined and standardised analysis pipelines. Inspired by efforts from the psychological sciences, and...
Article
Full-text available
How do humans acquire a meaningful understanding of the world with little to no supervision or semantic labels provided by the environment? Here we investigate embodiment with a closed loop between action and perception as one key component in this process. We take a close look at the representations learned by a deep reinforcement learning agent t...
Article
Full-text available
Oscillatory a-band activity is commonly associated with spatial attention and multisensory prioritization. It has also been suggested to reflect the automatic transformation of tactile stimuli from a skin-based, somatotopic reference frame into an external one. Previous research has not convincingly separated these two possible roles of a-band acti...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), applied to two brain sites with different phase lags, has been shown to modulate stimulation-outlasting functional connectivity between the targeted regions. Objective Here, we test if spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) can explain stimulation-outlasting connectivity modulation...
Preprint
Full-text available
The embodied approach of human cognition suggests that concepts are deeply dependent upon and constrained by an agent's physical body's characteristics, such as performed body movements. In this study, we attempted to broaden previous research on emotional priming, investigating the interaction of emotions and visual exploration. We used the joysti...
Article
Full-text available
Current computational models of visual salience accurately predict the distribution of fixations on isolated visual stimuli. It is not known, however, whether the global salience of a stimulus, that is, its effectiveness in the competition for attention with other stimuli, is a function of the local salience or an independent measure. Further, do t...
Article
Full-text available
Classifying artists and their work as distinct art styles has been an important task of scholars in the field of art history. Due to its subjectivity, scholars often contradict one another. Our project investigated differences in aesthetic qualities of seven art styles through quantitative means. This was achieved with state-of-the-art deep-learnin...
Preprint
Full-text available
With the introduction of autonomous vehicles, drivers will be able to engage in non-related tasks while being driven. But in critical situations the car needs the support of the human driver. How do distracted drivers get back into the control-loop quickly when the car requests a take-over? To investigate effective take-over actions, we developed a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the present study, we aim to explore whether and how well we can predict tasks based on eye movements in a virtual environment. We designed four different tasks in which participants had to align two cubes of different sizes. To define where participants looked, we used a ray-based method to calculate the point-of-regard (POR) on each cube at ea...
Preprint
In daily life, humans often perform visual tasks together such as, for instance, solving puzzles or looking for a misplaced key. In such tasks, humans tend to distribute task demands, enabling them to reach a higher performance compared to performing the same task alone – a group benefit. Research on group benefits in joint visual tasks has found t...
Article
Full-text available
Social interactions are a crucial part of human life. Understanding the neural underpinnings of social interactions is a challenging task that the hyperscanning method has been trying to tackle over the last two decades. Here, we review the existing literature and evaluate the current state of the hyperscanning method. We review the type of methods...
Article
Full-text available
Virtual environments will deeply alter the way we conduct scientific studies on human behavior. Possible applications range from spatial navigation over addressing moral dilemmas in a more natural manner to therapeutic applications for affective disorders. The decisive factor for this broad range of applications is that virtual reality (VR) is able...
Article
In daily life, humans often perform visual tasks, such as solving puzzles or searching for a friend in a crowd. Performing these visual searches jointly with a partner can be beneficial: The two task partners can devise effective division of labor strategies and thereby outperform individuals who search alone. To date, it is unknown whether these g...
Preprint
Full-text available
Investigating spatial navigation in virtual environments enables to study spatial learning with different sources of information. Therefore, we designed a large virtual city and investigated spatial knowledge acquisition after direct experience in the virtual environment and compared this with results after exploration with an interactive map (Koni...
Article
Full-text available
Dynamic communication and routing play important roles in the human brain in order to facilitate flexibility in task solving and thought processes. Here, we present a network perturbation methodology that allows investigating dynamic switching between different network pathways based on phase offsets between two external oscillatory drivers. We app...
Preprint
Full-text available
INTUITIVE is an Innovative Training Network under EU H2020 MSCA that will provide a unique research training opportunity to students within the burgeoning multidisciplinary field of haptic user interfaces, touch perceptual mechanisms in the brain, artificial touch in robotics, flexible electronics and their applications in robotics and assistive te...
Preprint
Full-text available
Social interactions are a crucial part of human life. Understanding the neural underpinnings of social interactions is a challenging task that the hyperscanning method is trying to tackle in the last two decades. Here, we review the existing literature and evaluate the current state of the hyperscanning method. We review the type of methods (fMRI,...
Article
Full-text available
Self-driving cars have the potential to greatly improve public safety. However, their introduction onto public roads must overcome both ethical and technical challenges. To further understand the ethical issues of introducing self-driving cars, we conducted two moral judgement studies investigating potential differences in the moral norms applied t...
Article
Full-text available
The question of how self-driving cars should behave in dilemma situations has recently attracted a lot of attention in science, media and society. A growing number of publications amass insight into the factors underlying the choices we make in such situations, often using forced-choice paradigms closely linked to the trolley dilemma. The methodolo...
Article
One of the goals of visual neuroscience is to develop predictive models of brain activity to better understand the underlying mechanisms of the visual cortex. One example is the identification of presented images from fMRI recordings. Recently, Zuiderbaan et al. (2017) used the population receptive field (pRF) model and image contrast information t...
Article
Humans frequently perform tasks collaboratively in daily life. Collaborating with others may or may not result in higher task performance than if one were to complete the task alone (i.e., a collective benefit). A recent study on collective benefits in perceptual decision‐making showed that dyad members with similar individual performances attain c...
Preprint
Full-text available
Self-driving cars have the potential to greatly improve public safety. However, their introduction onto public roads must overcome both ethical and technical challenges. To further understand the ethical issues of introducing self-driving cars, we conducted two moral judgement studies investigating potential differences in the moral norms applied t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Current computational models of visual salience accurately predict the distribution of fixations on isolated visual stimuli. These predictions relate to the relative distribution of fixations within a single image, that is they form a local salience map. It is not known, however, whether the global salience of a visual stimulus, that is its effecti...
Article
Full-text available
To become acquainted with large-scale environments such as cities people combine direct experience and indirect sources such as maps. To ascertain which type of spatial knowledge is acquired by which source is difficult to evaluate. Using virtual reality enables the possibility to investigate whether knowledge is learned by direct experience or the...
Article
Full-text available
Eye-tracking experiments rely heavily on good data quality of eye-trackers. Unfortunately, it is often the case that only the spatial accuracy and precision values are available from the manufacturers. These two values alone are not sufficient to serve as a benchmark for an eye-tracker: Eye-tracking quality deteriorates during an experimental sessi...
Preprint
Automated driving technology advances quickly, and self-driving vehicles will soon no longer need human supervision. The ethical questions that the technology brings with it, however, are diverse and not always easily solvable. In particular, the question of morally right behavior in dilemma situations presents an unsolved issue to date, a solution...
Preprint
Data augmentation is a popular technique largely used to enhance the training of convolutional neural networks. Although many of its benefits are well known by deep learning researchers and practitioners, its implicit regularization effects, as compared to popular explicit regularization techniques, such as weight decay and dropout, remain largely...
Preprint
Full-text available
Deep convolutional neural networks trained for image object categorization have shown remarkable similarities with representations found across the primate ventral visual stream. Yet, artificial and biological networks still exhibit important differences. Here we investigate one such property: increasing invariance to identity-preserving image tran...