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So far Nina has created 11 blog entries.
13 06, 2023

New paper on spatial navigation assessment using VIENNA out in Behaviour Research Methods!



In our article published in Behavior Research Methods, we describe the virtual environments navigation assessment (VIENNA), a brief, intuitive, and easy-to apply paradigm, which is specifically designed to evaluate spatial navigation in older adults and clinical populations.

Importantly, VIENNA does not require participants to use an interface device and does not include an episodic memory task. VIENNA was developed using the open source software package PsychoPy and is freely available for researchers and clinicians at www.osf.io/kp4c5.

In our study with 79 healthy participants aged 50 to 85 years, we assessed VIENNA performance and compared it to neuropsychological tests of different domains and self-report measures. We demonstrate the construct validity of VIENNA with a focus on visuospatial and executive functions, its feasibility and favorable psychometric properties, and its sensitivity to age and subjective sense of direction.

For more information, check it out here.

New paper on spatial navigation assessment using VIENNA out in Behaviour Research Methods!2023-06-13T08:56:44+02:00
15 03, 2023

New review on sport-related concussion out now in Neurology Clinical Practice!


Our review highlights the increasing incidence of sport-related concussion (SRC) and its potential impact on long-term cognitive functioning:

New review on sport-related concussion out now in Neurology Clinical Practice!2023-03-15T11:07:00+01:00
23 02, 2023

New paper out in Science Advances!


In this study, we uncover a spatiotemporal complexity architecture of spontaneous brain activity – a human “complexome” that is tightly linked to the brain’s organization as a large-scale network.

The key observation is that the brain operates in distinct states of complexity. Specifically, we found that brain activity is highly irregular most of the time, which is reflected by a higher degree of complexity. However, this “default state” is repeatedly interrupted by spontaneous episodes of low complexity (“complexity drops”), in which brain activity becomes much more regular for a short moment in time.

These dynamics offer an explanation for why brain areas interact in functional networks and how activity patterns spread across the brain over time. Furthermore, the approach explains how brain networks change on the scale of seconds to minutes and creates a link between functional and anatomical properties of brain regions. Moreover, our work also shows that neural complexity is linked to age as well as cognitive and motor performance.

For more, feel free to reach out to Stephan and check out the paper here:



Charité press release:



Twitter thread:



New paper out in Science Advances!2023-02-23T11:48:50+01:00
23 02, 2023

Baby brains! New preprint on the formation of brain shape in human newborns!


The human brain undergoes a phase of critical structural developments around birth. In our new study, we show that this perinatal development comes with a rapid formation of brain shape, beyond the expected growth in brain size.

Specifically, brain shape allowed us to predict the age of the infants from structural MRI data with a mean error of only ~4 days, systematically outperforming age prediction from brain size. Moreover, brain shape detected persistent signatures of premature birth that were not detected by brain size. Furthermore, we found that the brains of genetically related infants are more similar in shape than they are in size. Additionally, this shape similarity allowed us to predict which newborns are twin siblings with up to 97% accuracy, again outperforming twin predictions from brain size.

For more on this, get in touch with Stephan and check out the preprint here:


Twitter thread:


Baby brains! New preprint on the formation of brain shape in human newborns!2023-02-23T11:46:28+01:00
23 11, 2022

Dr. Frederik Bartels gets Curt Meyer Memorial Award!


Why do patients with tumor diseases suffer from cognitive deficits? This question is addressed in the work of Dr. Frederik Bartels, who has received this prestigious award for young cancer researchers in Berlin.

For more details, check out the links below to learn more about this award and Dr. Bartels’ recent work:





Dr. Frederik Bartels gets Curt Meyer Memorial Award!2022-11-23T13:53:31+01:00
2 03, 2021

Preprint on functional connectivity fingerprinting


Preprint – Fingerprinting and behavioural prediction rest on distinct functional systems of the human connectome

New preprint on the relation between functional connectome-based identification and behavioural prediction! Based on high-quality resting-state fMRI, we find a dichotomy of signatures underlying the identification of individuals and the prediction of behaviour. The dichotomy is apparent on all levels of analysis, looking at  individual connections, resting-state networks and topological distribution. Find the preprint here!

Preprint on functional connectivity fingerprinting2021-07-12T15:26:57+02:00
15 01, 2021

New article in NeuroImage: Clinical: Transdiagnostic analysis reveals a shared hippocampal damage pattern across neuroimmunological diseases


New article in NeuroImage: Clinical: Transdiagnostic analysis reveals a shared hippocampal damage pattern across neuroimmunological diseases

Our recent article shows that hippocampal surface deformations converge on the left anterior hippocampus in patients with multiple sclerosis, NMDA receptor encephalitis and LGI1 encephalitis. This surface area appears to be particularly vulnerable across diseases and is sensitive to cognitive alterations.

Discover the spatial patterns in our full-text here.


New article in NeuroImage: Clinical: Transdiagnostic analysis reveals a shared hippocampal damage pattern across neuroimmunological diseases2021-01-15T11:53:50+01:00
15 01, 2021

New members joining our lab!


New members joining our lab!

We are happy to announce that four new members are joining our lab.

Katia Schwichtenberg will be working for her medical doctoral project in 2021! She will investigate long-term cognitive outcomes following COVID-19. Welcome, Katia!

Also, we are delighted that Marie Schweikard joins for her medical doctoral thesis. Marie is going to work with us on neuroimaging findings in patients with autoimmune encephalitis. Bienvenue, Marie!

We are also very happy to welcome Nina Stephan, who is joining in 2021 as a student assistant . Hello, Nina!

And last but not least, a warm welcome to Wei Zhao, who will join for his doctoral project in 2021. Hi, Wei!

Looking forward to working with you!

New members joining our lab!2021-01-15T11:50:55+01:00
2 09, 2020

New review on cognitive dysfunction in autoimmune encephalitis


New review in Translational Psychiatry with colleagues from King’s College London – Cognitive impact of neuronal antibodies: encephalitis and beyond

The review describes the cognitive impairment associated with each antibody-mediated syndrome and discusses the potential role of autoantibodies on cognition.

Find the full publication here.

New review on cognitive dysfunction in autoimmune encephalitis2020-09-02T13:56:40+02:00
21 08, 2020

Preprint on dynamic FC in anti-NMDAR encephalitis


Preprint – State-dependent signatures of Anti-NMDA-Receptor Encephalitis

New preprint on temporal dynamics of functional connectivity in autoimmune encephalitis! State-wise group comparisons and supervised machine learning detect state-dependent alterations in patients that remain undetected in static analysis. Find the preprint here!

Preprint on dynamic FC in anti-NMDAR encephalitis2020-09-02T11:41:13+02:00