CBBM Lecture "Intrinsic coupling modes and cognition"

by Andreas K. Engel, M.D., Ph.D.

Dept. of Neurophysiology and Pathophysiology,

University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf

will take place on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 from 17:15 to 18:15 hours in CBBM Research Building, EG, Room 50/51.

Host: Prof. Thomas Münte

Department of Neurology
Universität zu Lübeck


Intrinsic coupling constitutes a key feature of ongoing brain activity, which exhibits rich spatiotemporal patterning and contains information that influences cognitive processing. I will discuss evidence for two distinct types of intrinsic coupling modes which seem to reflect the operation of different coupling mechanisms. One type arises from phase coupling of band-limited oscillatory signals, whereas the other results from coupled aperiodic fluctuations of signal envelopes. The two coupling modes differ in their dynamics, their origins, their putative functions and with respect to their alteration in neuropsychiatric disorders. I will propose that the concept of intrinsic coupling modes can provide a framework for capturing the dynamics of intrinsically generated neuronal interactions at multiple spatial and temporal scales.


Andreas K. Engel studied medicine and philosophy at Saarland University, Homburg, at the Technical University of Munich, and at the Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany. Having completed his medical exams, he obtained his doctorate (Dr. med.) from the Technical University Munich in 1987. Between 1987-1995 he worked as a post-doctoral fellow with Wolf Singer at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt, Germany. From 1996-2000, Engel headed a research group at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research which was funded by the Heisenberg Program of the German Research Foundation (DFG). Between fall 1997 and summer 1998, he also was affiliated as a Daimler-Benz Fellow to the Berlin Institute for Advanced Study. From 2000-2002, he worked at the Jülich Research Centre as head of the Cellular Neurobiology Group at the Institute for Medicine. In 2002, he was appointed to the Chair of Neurophysiology at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. Engel is a member of the Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg. Since 2011, he is the coordinator of Collaborative Research Centre SFB 936 „Multi-Site Communication in the Brain“ (with C. Gerloff, Dept. of Neurology, UKE).