Welcome to the BPCN!



The Department of Biological Psychology and Cognitive Neurosciences (BPCN) is a part of the Institute of Psychology in Jena.

The department covers the teaching of BSc-level courses from the fields of biological psychology and MSc courses from the broader field of cognitive neurosciences for students of psychology. Biological psychology covers the topic of interactions of mental activities with the brain and the body. As cognitive neurosciences is an inherently multi and interdisciplinary field the unit also welcomes undergraduate and graduate students from different backgrounds, such as medical and biological sciences.

The major research topic of the BPCN is to study the neural backgrounds of perceptual and cognitive functions. Specifically, we study visual perception by combining modern electrophysiological and neuroimaging methods as well as stimulating the healthy brain by transcranial magnetic stimulation with subtle psychological tools to analyse behaviour.

We are specially interested in how we recognise and identify and object/person?

Where and how perception interacts with memory?

How predictive processing can explain neural and perceptual phenomena?


ATTENTION! We have an open PhD position. Under Career, you can find the respective advertisement.


ATTENTION! We have an open tutor position. Under Career, you can find the respective advertisement.


AMPPP - The First Annual Meeting of Psychology Postgraduates and Postdocs

10.02.23. 09:00-17:30. Auditorium Zur Rosen (Johannis strasse 3, Jena); DOWNLOAD PROGRAM BOOK HERE: booklet_amppp2023




Participate in our latest Experiment about face familiarity HERE

Recent Publications and News

Künstlerische Tatsachen.

Open call… 








feature of  "Getting to know you: Emerging neural representations during face familiarization" in nature research highlights

Datei:Nature journal logo.svg – Wikipedia

LINK to nature article


"Getting to know you: Emerging neural representations during face familiarization" got featured in CNN health:

"Why face-to-face gatherings still matter",

by Matt Villano

CNN Logo | Logo, zeichen, emblem, symbol. Geschichte und Bedeutung

Click HERE to read the full article

HERE you find a list of all press releases regarding this study

New Publication 2022

Research Report
A neural measure of the degree of face familiarity
ChenglinLi / A. MikeBurton / Géza Gergely Ambrus / Gyula Kovács

Recognizing a face as familiar is essential in our everyday life. However, ‘familiarity’ covers a wide range – from people we see every day to those we barely know. Although face recognition is studied extensively, little is known about how the degree of familiarity affects neural face processing, despite the critical social importance of this dimension. Here we report the results of a multivariate cross-classification EEG experiment, where we study the temporal representational dynamics of the degree of familiarity. Participants viewed highly variable face images of 20 identities. Importantly, we measured face familiarity using subjective familiarity ratings in addition to testing explicit knowledge and reaction times in a face matching task. A machine learning algorithm, trained to discriminate familiar and unfamiliar faces from a separate study, was used to predict the degree of face familiarity from the pattern of the EEG data. We found that...

Read the full article here:





Rostalski SM, Robinson J, Ambrus GA, Johnston P, Kovács G (in press) Person identity-specific adaptation effects in the ventral occipito-temporal cortex. Eur. J. Neurosci.

European Journal of Neuroscience

Repetition Probability Effects for Chinese Characters and German Words in the Visual Word Form Area

Li, C., Kovács, G.

Brain Research (in press)Go to journal home page - Brain Research

Publication 2021

"Evidence for a general neural signature of face familiarity"

Dalski, A., Kovács, G., Ambrus, G. G.

Cerebral Cortex (2021) bhab366


Publication 2021

"Visual short-term memory load modulates repetition related fMRI signal adaptation"

Li, C., Kovács, G., Trapp, S.

Biological Psychology (2021) 166:108199

Publication 2021

"Getting to know you: Emerging neural representations during face familiarization"

Ambrus, G., Eick, C., Kaiser, D., Kovács, G.

Journal of Neuroscience (2021)