Selective information processing

Principal investigators:

Dr. Daniel Schneider, Laura-Isabelle Klatt

Further employees: Nathalie Liegl, Melinda Sabo, Ceren Arslan

In many situations in today’s work environments, we are faced with high demands on our information processing abilities. For example, driving a vehicle or working with a computer requires simultaneous analysis of a variety of perceptual stimuli. These high demands are met by a processing system that is limited in its capacity. In the field of visual-spatial information processing, previous studies have shown that only 3-4 units of information can be stored simultaneously in working memory
Cognitive psychological theories describe working memory as a mechanism that allows for the active maintenance of transient information for higher cognitive operations. Therefore, the representation of relevant information in working memory is a prerequisite for intentional interaction with our environment. We are investigating the neural mechanisms that guarantee the persistent representation of action-relevant information in working memory. Thus, in the first place, the selection of perceptual information (visual, auditory, and audiovisual) is investigated. However, attention can also be directed towards mental representations in working memory. This serves to align the contents of working memory in favor of relevant information and enables adaptation of behavior to a dynamic environment. In this context, we investigate the neurocognitive mechanisms responsible for the reorganization of contents in working memory. In another research project (, we further look into the the role of cognitive control processes for the selective retrieval of information from episodic memory.

An essential part of this research is data collection based on electroencephalography (EEG) and (in the near future) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Recent publications

Klatt L-I, Begau A, Schneider D, Wascher E, Getzmann S: Cross-modal interactions at the audiovisual cocktail-party revealed by behavior, ERPs, and neural oscillations. NeuroImage 271: 120022 (2023) (17 pp)

Getzmann S, Schneider D, Wascher E: Selective spatial attention in lateralized multi-talker speech perception: EEG correlates and the role of age. Neurobiol Aging 126: 1-13 (2023)

Begau A, Arnau S, Klatt L-I, Wascher E, Getzmann S: Using visual speech at the cocktail-party: CNV evidence for early speech extraction in younger and older adults. Hear Res 426: 108636 (2022) (14 pp)

Begau A, Klatt L-I, Schneider D, Wascher E, Getzmann S: The role of informational content of visual speech in an audiovisual cocktail party: Evidence from cortical oscillations in young and old participants. Eur J Neurosci 58: 5215-5234 (2022)

Liegel N, Schneider D, Wascher E, Arnau S: Task prioritization modulates alpha, theta and beta EEG dynamics reflecting proactive cognitive control. Sci Rep 12 (1): 15072 (2022) (15 pp)

Rösner M, Sabo M, Klatt L-I, Wascher E, Schneider D: Preparing for the unknown: How working memory provides a link between perception and anticipated action. NeuroImage 260: 119466 (2022) (16 pp)

Klatt L-I, Getzmann S, Schneider D: Attentional modulations of alpha power are sensitive to the task-relevance of auditory spatial information. Cortex 153: 1-20 (2022)

Sabo M, Schneider D: Pattern reinstatement and attentional control overlap during episodic long-term memory retrieval. Sci Rep 12(1): 10739 (2022) (17 pp)

Schneider D, Herbst SK, Klatt L-I, Wöstmann M: Target enhancement or distractor suppression? Functionally distinct alpha oscillations form the basis of attention. Eur J Neurosci 55: 3256–3265 (2022)