Carsten Finke

Principal Investigator 

Carsten is a consultant neurologist and assistant professor with joint appointment at the Department of Neurology at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Berlin School of Mind and Brain. He is interested in the clinical and cognitive neuroscience of memory and memory disorders with a specific focus on neurological diseases associated with hippocampal dysfunction, e.g. autoimmune and viral encephalitis, transient global amnesia and temporal lobe epilepsy.

Frederik Bartels


Frederik studied medicine at Heidelberg University, Université de Lausanne, University College London, and Columbia University. For his doctoral thesis he examined molecular mechanisms of glioblastoma invasiveness at the German Cancer Research Center. Currently, he is training as a neurologist at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and working as a clinician scientist in our lab. He is interested in neuroimmunological diseases, including autoimmune encephalitis, antibody-mediated and paraneoplastic neurological disorders.

Tim Hartung


Tim is investigating imaging markers of neuroimmunological diseases using methods such as resting-state and quantitative MRI. Coming from a background in psycho-oncology and clinical neurology, he has a keen interest in epidemiology and psychometrics. Tim holds degrees in psychology and philosophy (M.A., University of Cambridge) and medicine (M.D., Leipzig University).

Josephine Heine

PhD student

Josephine is interested in tracing the neuronal signatures of memory deficits using structural and functional connectivity MRI. Her research focuses on neuroimmunological diseases, such as autoimmune encephalitis and multiple sclerosis. Beyond that, she explores ultra-high field MR imaging (7T), metamemory, and health-related quality of life in neurological disorders. Josephine holds degrees in neuroscience (MSc, Freie Universität zu Berlin) and psychology (BSc, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin & University of California, San Diego).

Sara Eileen Holm

PhD student

Sara is a PhD student investigating acquired musical anhedonia after focal brain damage with Prof. Christoph Ploner and Prof. Alexander Schmidt. Beforehand she obtained a master’s degree in Systematic Musicology with focus on Neuromusicology at the University of Hamburg. Sara joined the group in 2020 and performs cognitive assessments in MS patients in cooperation with the NeuroCure Clinical Research Center. She also works on the GENERATE database, a platform that bundles information on different forms of autoimmune encephalitis.

Deetje Iggena

Post-Doc (SFB 1315, PIs Finke/Ploner)

After studying medicine and working as a doctor in the department of Neurology, Deetje started working in the SFB 1315 in January 2019. For her doctoral thesis, she examined how lifestyle-interventions modulate hippocampal neurogenesis and spatial memory in mice. Now she is working on human spatial memory consolidation in VR- and real-life-settings.

Darko Komnenić

PhD student

After studying psychology in Belgrade, Darko attended the master’s program at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain, writing his thesis in our lab. His thesis was on the relationship between depression and changes in the structure and function of hippocampus in patients suffering from neuromyelitis optica. His PhD project expands on this, looking at other changes in brains of neuromyelitis optica patients, with a particular focus on comparing patients with different antibody profiles.

Stephan Krohn


Stephan studied medicine (Berlin, Málaga, Montevideo) and cognitive neuroscience (Berlin, Jaén) and joined the lab in 2018. He is particularly interested in computational methods to improve the understanding of brain disorders. His projects explore cognitive assessment with immersive Virtual Reality and investigate brain topology and functional dynamics in MRI by combining approaches from information theory, network science, and complexity analysis.

Joseph Kuchling


After studying at Medical School -­ Charité University Medicine Berlin,  and  completing  doctoral  studies  on  ultrahigh-­field  MRI  in multiple  sclerosis,  Joseph  joined  the  lab  with  an  eager  interest  in the application of diffusion tensor imaging and advanced MRI techniques  in  neuroinflammatory  diseases.

Amit Lampit


Amit is a clinical neuroscientist (PhD Sydney 2014) specialising in clinical trials of cognitive training across the lifespan, development of cognitive intervention technologies and research synthesis. He also holds a CR Roper senior research fellow position at University of Melbourne and co-lead the CITE Group at the Academic Unit for Psychiatry of Old Age.

Leonie Maier

Research assistant & PhD student

Leonie is a medical student at Charité Berlin and joined our lab in 2019 as a Research Assistant. She is involved in different projects of the lab as she is coordinating, recruiting and testing participants for our neuroimaging studies. She is interested in exploring new methods of understanding human brain functions and works with Virtual Reality Tasks for her dissertation.

Patrizia Maier

PhD student (SFB 1315, PIs Finke/Ploner)

Patrizia studied Psychology in Freiburg, Copenhagen and Berlin. She uses 3D navigation tasks to investigate the temporal dynamics of spatial learning and memory consolidation in neurological patients (behaviorally) and healthy subjects (fMRI). She started working in the SFB 1315 “Memory Consolidation” in October 2018.

Maron Mantwill

PhD student

Maron studied Philosophy, Psychology and Neuroscience in Jena, Warwick and Berlin. He joined the lab in 2016 and is interested in single-subject connectivity analysis, resting-state functional connectivity and machine-learning based prediction in neurological diseases.

Sophia Rekers

PhD student

Sophia studied psychology in Berlin and does her PhD at the Berlin School of Mind. Her interests are neuropsychology and clinical and cognitive neuroscience. Currently, she researches how virtual environments and mixed reality can be used to study, diagnose, and treat spatial navigation impairment in acquired brain injury.


Amy Romanello

PhD student

Amy holds degrees in Behavioral Neuroscience (BSc) and Medical Neuroscience (MSc). She joined the lab in 2019 and currently investigates functional connectivity in multiple sclerosis and methodological approaches to assess brain signal complexity. Amy is interested in using computational methods to study altered network dynamics and states of consciousness in patients with neuropsychiatric disease and pharmacologically-induced models.


Katia Schwichtenberg

Medical student

Katia is a medical student at Charité University Berlin and joined the lab in December 2020. She is currently working on her medical doctoral project investigating long-term cognitive outcomes in patients after Sars-CoV-2 infection via neuropsychological testing and magnetic resonance imaging.

Nina von Schwanenflug

PhD student

Nina studied Psychology and Neuroscience at the universities of Saarbrücken and Dresden. For her dissertation, she applies time-resolved functional connectivity analysis to explore the temporal variability of large-scale brain network activity in autoimmune encephalitis and multiple sclerosis.

Selina Yogeshwar

PhD student

Selina studied Neuroscience at University College London and joined the lab for her PhD in 2020. Her research predominantly focuses on the pathophysiology of anti-IgLON5 disease, studying how functional autoimmunity is genetically predisposed and mediated, as well as how the brains of patients pathologically change over the course of this disease.

Wei Zhao

Medical PhD student

Wei completed his masters degree in Neurology at Anhui Medical University (China). He joined the lab in December 2020. His research interests lie in using multiple neuroimaging techniques to explore pathophysiological mechanisms of nervous system diseases. His current doctoral projects focus on fractal dimension and quantitative multi-parameter mapping.


Graham Cooper

Graham studied Psychology and Neuropsychology at the Universities of Bath and Edinburgh. He joined the lab in October 2017 and his PhD research project involved applying quantitative magnetic resonance imaging techniques to improve diagnosis and better understand pathological processes in multiple sclerosis.

Hariharan Hallock

Harry completed his PhD at the University of Sydney in 2017. He joined the lab soon after, continuing his research on cognitive interventions, specifically developing and testing remote cognitive assessments and training for MS and concussion. In 2020 Harry joined DNV GL in Oslo and is exploring the need for governance for AI in healthcare.

Anna Pajkert

Anna studied psychology at HU Berlin and UAM Poznan (Poland). She joined the lab in February 2016 and completed her PhD in summer 2020. Her research focused on human memory and plasticity processes.