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Mehr Information in deutscher Sprache finden Sie unten.
|At the University of Groningen
|Stephan Schleim, PhD,
Theory and History of Psychology
Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences
University of Groningen
Grote Kruisstraat 2/1
9712 TS Groningen
fon: +31 (0) 50 363 62 44
fax: +31 (0) 50 363 63 04
|For a list of my academic
publications, please see my profile
|In March 2013, my meeting
"Visons for Neurophilosophy" took place at the
Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich. Find more information on the conference homepage.
|In April 2011, my conference
"Imaging the Mind – Taking Stock a Decade After the Decade of the
Brain" took place in Amsterdam. The lectures of Saturday are available
online in a good quality on the conference homepage.
|In September 2011, we had the
conference "Brain Gear" in Groningen. Please see more information on
our conference homepage.
in deutscher Sprache
Hirnforschung Recht und Moral herausfordert (2011)
||Von der Neuroethik zum
mein Blog auf
dem Portal des Spektrum Verlags
– eine Informationsseite zum Gehirndoping
changes in life occur quicker than we expect. On July 1 2010 I have
been promoted to assistant professor (tenure track). Primarily, this
means two things: First, I will be evaluated every three years whether
my teaching, research, and administrative work fulfill the university's
requirements. If they do, then I will be promoted, eventually to full
professor status. If they do not, however, then my appointment at the
university will end, unless I have already been promoted to associate
professor status. Second, my teaching requirement increased. While I
enjoy working together with students, it also has a downside to become
promoted at this early stage: As a postdoctorial researcher, one
usually has very much time for research and writing scientific
articles. My postdoc period now only lasted nine months, but at later
stages I will have to compete with other academics who had full postdoc
periods of many years.
Octocber 1 I started as a postoctorial researcher and lecturer at the University of Groningen
in The Netherlands.
However, my Ph.D. procedure is still pending. I will continue here with
a conceptual analysis of a certain strand of neuroimaging research. I
can thus benefit from my own empirical work in Frankfurt and Bonn and
will try to connect to relevant issues in psychology and philosophy. My
are specialized in the theory, sociology, and history of psychology.
While the Dutch people try to run me over with their bikes as soon as I step in front of the door, they are all very kind and supportive as soon as I meet them in person.
From April 2006 until May 2009 I have worked in Henrik Walter's group at the Department of Psychiatry, University Clinics Bonn. There I investigated brain responses during normative decision making with functional magnetic resonance imaging.
a short period, I stayed with Henrik Walter's group in Frankfurt. I did
some pilot experiments at the Brain
Imaging Center in Frankfurt. But early in 2006 the most part
of the group moved to Bonn. I joined them there in April.
On the left side you can see the
Institute of Technology (Caltech) involved in Shimojo's
Implicit Brain Function ERATO
Project. If you wish, you can play a nice game, for I tell
you the nations of the people but not who is who: Korean, Rumanian,
Austrian, Japanese, US-American (immigrated), and German. This mixture
is quite representative of the international and multicultural life in
Los Angeles and at Caltech. Did you know that LA is the only major city
in the US where Caucasians are not the majority? There are much more
Hispanics, though I haven't seen much of them on campus, besides Ernie,
who delivers the best Mexican food to Caltech.
In Shimojo's lab I planned and executed two behavioral experiment paradigms, one on visual preference and the other on gesture in human communication (together with Dr. Junghyun Park, not shown in the picture). The status of the projects is pending and I do hope I will have the opportunity to continue research in this direction, ideally again at Caltech or one of the other of Shimojo's ERATO sites, for example Japan.
On the right side you can see the building that I worked in, the Beckman Institute (BI) on the amazing Caltech campus. Please note the nice fountain, too, the so-called "gene pool", because the spurts taken together resemble the double helix. It is thus not a coincidence that the BI is one of the buildings of the biology division, though not exclusively. Unfortunately, my lab was in the basement and thus I didn't have much of the Californian sun on days on which I worked long, because the sun set already at 8pm. Dr. Shimojo's office, of course, is on the top floor with a nice view over the campus.
All in all it has been a great experience to live in California for a while and I am especially grateful for my terrific guest family, Linda Zhang, her husband Rick, and their son Robin.
For more pictures from the US, check out my page at flickr.com.
2004 I immersed for the first time into a really scientific
environment. With the aid of Axel Kohler, I read through the scientific
literature on apparent motion, a visual illusion that is thoroughly
investigated by Dr. Lars Muckli's Group and especially Axel. Besides
the interesting psychophysical project, for which I adjusted the
stimulus software and eventually ran more than ten subjects, I
participated in the vast supply of scientific events at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research
(MPI), like journal clubs, labmeetings, the weekly Kandel club, and
seminars and lectures held by the real specialists. Thus, on the one
hand the environment at the MPI is on a very high scientific level, but
on the other I can also imagine that sometimes there may be too much
going on that is not really related to your work and there may be a
risk that one gets involved in too many distracting things.
On the right side you can see the photograph of the MPI building. The lab where I worked, the so-called Tierhaus (animal house), is hidden behind the tall building. As the name suggests, this is the place where the laboratory and experimentation animals are kept. When I went through the stairway there, it always smelled like a pet shop. Personally, I do not appreciate animal experimentation but from an ethical point of view, I cannot decide whether it is justifyable or not in elementary research. Certainly, the lives of a couple of people have been safed, prolonged, or enhanced thanks to animal research. But then there is also so much experimentation that is only aimed at facilitating the researchers' careers--but who would openly admit so?
Leaving aside the scientific part of my internship, I was also very glad to share the lab with such nice people as Axel and Marcus Naumer, who recently has joined the Department of Psychological Medicine (or is it Medical Psychology?) at the University of Frankfurt. I also enjoyed the always interesting discussions with Michael Wibral, Lars, and Matthias Munk. All in all I was so astonished by their not only scientific but also philosophical knowledge, that I addressed two small presents I gave Axel and Marcus after the internship had ended to the "Deparment of Neurophilosophy", a mistake that remained unnoticed by the two.
When my internship had begun, a couple of wild roses had bloomed and everytime we went to the refactory we smelled their sweet scent. When my time at the MPI was over, the roses, covered by December's snow, were wilted and their scent was gone. But still, there were some blossoms who fought the cold climate, just as I would have liked to stay longer at the lab, found it too early to return to the dull life at university.
A couple of days later, I went again to Frankfurt and had my first brain scan in a Siemens Trio 3 Tesla scanner that you can see on the right side in Frankfurt's Brain Imaging Center, where a couple of groups measure their experimental subjects. Katharina, who worked as a Diploma student at the MPI, conducted the experiment for Lars. From what Lars told me a while later when we met in the refactory, my data has not been so clear. Maybe that was because I am left-handed? At that time I hardly remembered the task. What I won't forget, however, is the noise the machine makes while active. Good that I wore earplugs. Half a year later I would lie in another Siemens Trio, but on the other side of the Atlantic, namely, in the basement of Caltech's Broad building.
a couple of other subjects, I studied Philosophy, Computer Science, and
Psychology at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz.
Throughout the last three years there, I had all in all 18 contracts at
four different institutes as a teaching and research assistant. Most
notably, I worked for Thomas
Metzinger, chair of the
Theoretical Philosophy group, about two years and became acquainted
with up-to-date philosophical research projects. In his Nachwuchsgruppe,
an occasional meeting of young philosophers and scientists who are
engaged in studies related to philosophy of mind, I met a couple of
very intelligent poeple from Europe and some of Metzinger's
Also related with philosophy, but not with studying itself, was my work in the Fachschaft Philosophie. Together with a couple of other people, ranging from as few as four to about ten, we cared for the social life and needs of our fellow philosophical students (and beyond).
Psychology was a good subject as a minor and I profited most from Heiko Hecht's lectures and seminars. In computer science, I deliberately chose subjects which were not related to philosophy or psychology. Thus, I focused on database systems and algorithms; for the latter I even tought one exercise seminar.
The other day I had a nice discussion in the room of the Fachschaft with a young student who felt a little frustrated after I told him about some of my experiences in Mainz and what I think about them. But I had to make clear that I did not want to discourage his studies or recommend to go to another university. What I wanted to suggest to him was to restrict his studies to the (few) really interesting lectures and seminars and rather try to get some further skills and references beyond the university. In my opinion, that's what will make you individual and interesting once you start applications, not all of the time you wasted in bad courses. If you have more questions about studying in Mainz, especially one of the subjects I described here superficially, please feel free to contact me by email.