Clinical Neurophysiology

Our group investigates the neural mechanisms of perception and evaluation of visual information in healthy volunteers and patients with lesions in the central nervous system that lead to disorders of perception, attention and learning. The focus of our research is on basic scientific as well as clinical-pathological aspects.

In the field of basic science, we investigate attention processes in the visual system as a function of many factors, such as expectations or rewards.

In the clinical-scientific field we analyze neuroplastic processes due to limited lesions such as stroke, as well as disseminated consecutive lesions in neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson's, ALS). For this purpose we use non-invasive neuroimaging techniques (structural MRI, diffusion-weighted MRI in combination with fiber-tracking, functional MRI, as well as temporally high-resolution EEG and MEG). We also use invasive methods in cooperation with external partners.

  • Head


    Ariel Schoenfeld studied human medicine in France and Magdeburg and received his doctorate in 2000 on the topic: "Amantadine influences cognitive processes in patients with multiple sclerosis".

    Further stations in his career are:

    • 2001: Full Approbation and Scientific Assistant, Clinic for Neurology II, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg
    • 2003: Head of the working group "Motion processing and object-oriented attention" at the Clinic for Neurology II, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg
    • since 2007: W2-Professor for Experimental Neurology and Functional Imaging, Medical Faculty of the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg 
    • since 2009: Deputy Head of the Department of Behavioural Neurology and Programme Budget Coordinator at LIN
    • since 2017: Medical Managing Director of the Schmieder Clinics in Heidelberg

    Specialist in Neurology

    Cognitive neurology, development of innovative therapy concepts, clinical neurophysiology

    One focus is basic science in the field of visual systems, especially visual attention. Another focus is the investigation of plastic processes that occur after lesions of the central nervous system, such as ischemic or traumatic lesions such as stroke or craniocerebral trauma, but also in degenerative lesions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer's disease. The spatial-temporal neurophysiological correlates of compensation and reorganization processes are investigated using multimodal structural and functional imaging.

    Member of the Society for Neuroscience, member of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. Editorial Board of the journals BMC Neuroscience and Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience.

  • Members


    Prof. Dr. Ariel
    Dr. Christian
    Dr. Judith Wesenberg (Gast)
  • Projects


    We are currently working on these projects:


    • Neural correlates of the tracking of multiple objects (together with Dr. Merkel)
    • Feature selection for object-based attention processes (together with Dr. Merkel)
    • Structural and Functional Changes in ALS (together with Dr. Wesenberg)


    In CRC 779 we are involved in these projects:

    • TP A1: The spatio-temporal dynamics of reward-related and attention-dependent selection in the human visual cortex (together with Prof. Hopf)
    • TP A14N: From reward to addiction: The neuronal correlates of craving (together with Dr. Donohue and Dr. Harris)
  • Current Third Party Funds

    Current Third Party Funds

    DFG Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) 779 “Neurobiology of Motivated Behavior”
    Project A1: „The spatio-temporal dynamic of reward- and attention-related selection in human visual cortex”


    DFG Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) 779 “Neurobiology of Motivated Behavior”
    Project A14N: „From reward to addiction: the neural correlates of ´craving´“

  • Teaching


    We are actively involved in the education of students of the Master's program "Integrative Neuroscience" and Medicine.


    Members of our department teach Neurology (Medicine), Cognitive Neuroscience, Neuroethology (Integrative Neuroscience) at the OVGU.

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