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Prof. Dr. Dr. Hans-Otto Karnath

Organization: Hertie Institute of Clinical Brain Research


Otfried-Müller-Str. 27
72076 Tübingen

Phone number: +49 (0)7071 29 80476

Department: Dept. of Cognitive Neurology, Section Neuropsychology

Area: CIN Members

Scientific topic: Neuropsychology and Systems Neuroscience

Field of Research

The Section Neuropsychology focusses on the investigation of spatial cognition and object recognition in humans. The current issues of our work comprise the perception of body orientation, spatial attention and exploration, and visuomotor coordination in grasping and pointing movements. We investigate patients with brain lesions as well as healthy subjects using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and eye- and hand movement recordings. These approaches aim to elucidate the integration processes of perceptual information from different modalities and their use in the control of action. To accomplish the initiation and execution of adequate motor behavior, e.g. during exploration of space or grasping an object, a continuous updating and alignment of incoming sensory information is required as this information is coded in different coordinate systems and changes fast in our environment. A better understanding of these processes not only allows us new insights into normal brain functions, but also enables us to develop new approaches for the treatment of patients with brain lesions and their functional disorders.


Psychophysics and psychometry in neurological patients and healthy humans including state-of-the-art hand and eye motion tracking, structural magnetic resonance imaging, functional magnetic resonance imaging, transcranial magnetic stimulation.


brain imaging; cognitive neuroscience; motor system; neuro-psychology; spatial cognition / orientation; visual perception

  1. Karnath HO (2009). A right perisylvian neural network for human spatial orienting. In: Gazzaniga MS, editor. The Cognitive Neurosciences IV. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. 259-68.  
  2. Karnath HO, Rüter J, Mandler A, Himmelbach M (2009). The anatomy of object recognition - visual form agnosia caused by medial occipitotemporal stroke. J Neurosci. 29(18):5854-62.
  3. Rorden C, Karnath HO (2004). Using human brain lesions to infer function: a relic from a past era in the fMRI age? Nat Rev Neurosci. 5(10):813-9.