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Learning, Development, and Neuro-Plasticity

What makes a great teacher? Do individual differences affect the way students learn? Does the structure and function of synapses, neurons and brain regions change as function of learning? How does the brain change over developmental time? Or when an individual suffers from a loss of smell or hearing? How do stress, anxiety and coping mechanisms influence the psychophysiology of students? How can learning in the human mind and brain be optimized?

The inter- and multidisciplinary research group “Learning, development and neural plasticity” addresses these and other questions by using a variety of methodological approaches—such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The acquisition and development of cognitive and emotional skills is crucial in this ever-changing, global and technological world. Not only does it have a sever influence on the lives of individuals and their family, but it also deeply impacts the economic growth and social integration of nations at large. A better understanding of how the human mind and brain changes as a function of learning and development is, therefore, crucial to develop new approaches that aim to foster the development and skill acquisition of individuals.


Current funded projects


Representative publications

  • Benedek, M., Nordtvedt, N., Jauk, E., Koschmieder, C., Pretsch, J., Krammer, G., & Neubauer, A.C. (2016). Assessment of creativity evaluation skills: A psychometric investigation in prospective teachers. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 21, 75-84.
  • Fink, A., Benedek, M., Koschutnig, K., Pirker, E., Berger, E., Meister, S., Neubauer, A.C., Papousek, I., Weiss, E.M. (2015). Training of verbal creativity modulates brain activity in regions associated with language- and memory-related demands. Human Brain Mapping, 36, 4104-4115.
  • Grabner, R.H. & Vogel, S. (2015). Special Issue ”Facets of the mathematical brain – from number processing to mathematical problem solving” in Mind, Brain, and Education, 9(4), 187-245.
  • Neubauer, A.C. (2015). „Begabungsentwicklung und Kreativität aus Sicht der Neurowissenschaften“. In G. Mehlhorn, K. Schöppe & F. Schulz (ed.) Begabungen entwickeln & Kreativität fördern. Kopaed: München.
  • Kollndorfer, K., Fischmeister, F. P. S., Kowalczyk, K., Hoche, E., Mueller, C. A., Trattnig, S., and Schöpf, V. (2015). Olfactory training induces changes in regional functional connectivity in patients with longterm smell loss. NeuroImage. Clin. 9, 401–10.
  • Schöpf, V., Schlegl, T., Jakab, A., Kasprian, G., Woitek, R., Prayer, D., and Langs, G. (2014). The relationship between eye movement and vision develops before birth. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 8, 775.
  • Vogel, S. E., Goffin, C., & Ansari, D. (2015). Developmental specialization of the left parietal cortex for the semantic representation of Arabic numerals: An fMR-Adaptaton study. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 12, 61–73.


Assoz. Prof. Mag.rer.nat. PhD

Stephan Vogel

Assoz. Prof. Mag.rer.nat. PhD Stephan Vogel Institut für Psychologie
Phone:+43 316 380 - 8478

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