Psychology of Information Processing


Our group works on understanding how humans use their perceptual systems, especially vision, actively during natural extended behavior to guide decisions and actions with their bodies. This leads to the study of how the visual system uses sensory input, forms beliefs about the world by carrying out computations on the basis of its representations, and then carries out actions in goal directed behavior. Both experimental evidence from the area of active vision as well as theoretical advances in control theory and machine learning show that perception, action, and learning can only be separated under very restricted circumstances demonstrating the importance of the behavioral goal i.e. the current task. Our work therefore emphasizes the necessity to consider perception, cognition, decision making and actions jointly and investigates their interplay.

To make progress in this area we use an integrated approach requiring us to apply different methodological techniques. Our current focus is on:

  • behavioral studies involving eye tracking of human eye and body movements during complex naturalistic tasks in natural and virtual environments,
  • building models of tasks and developing algorithms that learn how to solve these tasks in virtual agents,
  • developing models for the representation and quantification of extended sequential human behavior,
  • simulation of learning algorithms in naturalistic virtual environments,
  • developing learning algorithms with an emphasis on the learning of sensory representations for actions.

News 2019

1 November 2019 – the book “Wie Maschinen lernen- Künstliche Intelligenz verständlich erklärt” edited by Kristian Kersting, Christoph Lampert, and Constantin Rothkopf was just published
23 October 2019
– the TV channel ARTE released a miniseries on recent developments in AI. One episode features our joint work on the moral-choice-machine with Kristian Kersting, Patrick Schramowski, and Sophie Jentzsch
01 October 2019
- Dominik Straub has joined the lab as PhD student: welcome!
27 September 2019
– invited talk in the Computational Cognitive Science Group, MIT, Boston, USA
23 September 2019
– invited colloquium talk at the Center for Perceptual Systems, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, USA
20 September 2019 – invited talk at the department of psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
13-16 September 2019 – we are presenting recent work with Nils Neupärtl at CCN in Berlin
04 – 10 September 2019 - Florian Kadner and Susanne Trick are participating in the Barcelona summer school of advanced modeling of behavior BAMB!
25 June 2019
– invited talk by Constantin at the department of psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA
June 2019
– two papers on a collaboration with Jan Peters accepted at IROS
01 May 2019
– Florian Kadner has joined the lab as PhD student: welcome!
28 February – 05 March 2019
– we are presenting a poster at COSYNE together with David Hoppe: 'Multi-step planning of eye movements in visual search' in Lisbon, Portugal
21 February 2019 – departmental colloquium in the Department of Cognition and Development, University of Barcelona, Spain
20 February 2019 – 'Lunchh & learn' talk at alpha, Barcelona, Spain
07 February 2019 – our collaborative publication at the AAAI/ACM conference on AI, ethics, and society with Kristian Kersting has been featured by the German federal ministry for science and education
15 January 2019 – new paper out in Scientific Reports: Multi-step planning of eye movements in visual search
08 January 2019 – the German Research Council DFG has approved our grant: Active vision: control of eye-movements and probabilistic planning
01 January 2019 – Susanne Trick has joined the lab as PhD student: welcome!

News 2018

News 2017

News 2016

News 2015

News 2014

News 2013