Helen Blank

I am interested in how prior expectations influence our perception during human communication. How does the human brain integrate prior evidence from different sensory sources to make sense of new incoming information? I combine behavioural, neuroimaging, and computational methods to investigate how priors influence speech and person recognition.

I have just started my group on Prediction in Communication at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. Before that I was a Marie Curie fellow with Christian Büchel (also at the UKE). During my post-doc with Matt Davis at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, UK, I combined computational modelling and multivariate fMRI measurements to investigate how prior expectations improve perception of degraded speech. During my PhD with Katharina von Kriegstein at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, I investigated multisensory integration of faces and voices during human communication.

Julius Krumbiegel

I am interested in the question how closely our perception reflects what is going on in the real world. What does the brain add or remove when it processes and represents physical stimuli? This is directly tied to the influence that our beliefs and predictions exert on the interpretation of raw sensory input. In my PhD, I am looking into the effects of cross-modal priors on speech perception and their computational mechanisms.

I obtained my Master’s degree in the Mind & Brain program at Humboldt University of Berlin, with a thesis in the lab of Prof Martin Rolfs about the perceptual mechanisms of combined eye and head movements. Before that, I received a Bachelor’s degree in psychology at University of Göttingen where I wrote my thesis about microsaccades and visual attention under Prof Stefan Treue at the German Primate Center. In my spare time, I develop open-source data visualization software for the Julia language.


  • Arjen Alink at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
  • Janine Bayer at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
  • Christian Büchel at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
  • Matt Davis at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, UK
  • Franziska Knolle at the Technical University Munich