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Our research activities are centered around two main topics: Performance monitoring and cognitive control. Performance monitoring refers to the ability to monitor and detect conflicts and errors in internal brain states and overt behavior. Cognitive control comprises processes that serve to attain goals by means of reconfiguration of mental sets, selective enhancement of goal-relevant information and inhibition of goal-irrelevant information. Performance monitoring and cognitive control are not only strongly interrelated (e.g., the output of monitoring processes are assumed to guide the allocation of control). Both are also connected to a multitude of basic brain functions, such as attention, memory, and learning. Exemplary questions that we are currently addressing are:

  • Which cognitive and neural mechanisms are involved in the conscious and unconscious detection of self-committed errors?

  • How does the brain initiate adjustments of cognitive control based on an evaluation of the source and type of errors?

  • Is learning from errors and feedback influenced by explicit expectancies and knowledge?

  • What are causes and consequences of errors in multitasking and task switching?

  • Which control processes are involved in multitasking and task switching?

Our research is based on three methodological approaches:

  • Behavioral experiments (response times, error rates, distributional data, eye tracking)

  • EEG experiments (event-related potentials, single-trial analysis using multivariate pattern classification and independent component analysis)

  • Computational modeling (neural networks, drift diffusion models, formal models of reinforcement)

To this end, we are running an EEG lab equipped with a 64-channel BIOSEMI ActiveTwo system and a SMI RED250mobile eyetracker, and a behavioral lab that allows for simultaneous testing of multiple subjects.

Currently funded projects

Adaptive control of working memory. (2018 – 2021; PI: Prof. Dr. Marco Steinhauser, Prof. Dr. Miriam Gade; funded by DFG, German Research Foundation) --> more information

menschINbewegung – Teilvorhaben: Akzeptanz automatisierten Fahrens/Subproject: Acceptance of automated driving. (2018 – 2021; PI: Prof. Dr. Andreas Riener, Prof. Dr. Marco Steinhauser; funded by BMBF, Federal Ministry of Education and Research) --> more information

Interplay of cognitive control in behavioral and neurophysiological correlates: Towards an understanding of control in human behavior. (2016 – 2019; PI: Dr. Alodie Rey-Mermet; funded by SNF, Swiss National Science Foundation) --> more information

Causes and consequences of errors in dual-tasking. (2015 – 2018; PI: Prof. Dr. Marco Steinhauser; funded by DFG, German Research Foundation) --> more information

Completed projects

The influence of top-down control on feedback processing and reinforcement learning in decision tasks. (2014 – 2017; PI: Prof. Dr. Marco Steinhauser; funded by DFG, German Research Foundation)  --> more information

Evaluation of error source in human performance monitoring: Validating a model using behavioral, electrophysiological and patient studies (2014 – 2017; PI: Dr. Martin Maier; funded by DFG, German Research Foundation --> more information

INEMAS - Grundlagen interaktions- und emotionssensitiver Assistenzsysteme/Basics of interaction- and emotion-sensitive assistance systems. (2015 – 2018; PI: Prof. Dr. Marco Steinhauser; funded by BMBF, Federal Ministry of Education and Research) --> more Information

Verbal and non-verbal control settings in action control: Configuring the cognitive system for present and future task performance. (2016 – 2018; PI: PD Dr. Miriam Gade; funded by DFG, German Research Foundation; continued at the Medical School Berlin) --> more information


2018/in press

Steinhauser, R. & Steinhauser, M. (in press). Preparatory brain activity in dual-tasking. Neuropsychologia.

Ernst, B. & Steinhauser, M. (in press). Effects of feedback reliability on feedback-related brain activity: A feedback valuation account. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience.

Wirth, R., Steinhauser, R., Janczyk, M., Steinhauser, M., & Kunde, W. (in press). Long-term and short-term action-effect links and their impact on effect monitoring. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance.

Di Gregorio, F., Maier, M. E., & Steinhauser, M. (2018). Errors can elicit an error positivity in the absence of an error negativity: Evidence for independent systems of human error monitoring. Neuroimage, 172, 427-436.


Steinhauser, M., Maier, M. E., & Ernst, B. (2017). Neural correlates of reconfiguration failure reveal the time course of task-set reconfiguration. Neuropsychologia, 106, 100-111.

Rey-Mermet, A., & Meier, B. (2017). How long-lasting is the post-conflict slowing after incongruent trials? Evidence from the Stroop, Simon, and flanker tasks. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 79(7), 1945-1967.

Ernst, B., Reichard, S. M., Riepl, R. F., Steinhauser, R., Zimmermann, S. F., & Steinhauser, M. (2017). The P3 and the subjective experience of time. Neuropsychologia, 103, 12-19.

Maier, M. E., & Steinhauser, M. (2017). Working memory load impairs the evaluation of behavioral errors in the medial frontal cortex. Psychophysiology, 54, 1472-1482.

Ernst, B. & Steinhauser, M. (2017). Top-down control over feedback processing: The probability of valid feedback affects feedback-related brain activity. Brain & Cognition, 115, 33-40.

Steinhauser, M., Ernst, B., & Ibald, K. W. (2017). Isolating component processes of post-error slowing with the psychological refractory period paradigm. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 43, 653-659.

Garofalo, S., Timmermann, C., Battaglia, S., Maier, M. E., & di Pellegrino, G. (2017). Mediofrontal negativity signals unexpected timing of salient outcomes. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 29, 718-727.

Steinhauser, R., Maier, M. E., & Steinhauser, M. (2017). Neural signatures of adaptive post-error adjustments in visual search, Neuroimage, 150, 270-278.

Rey-Mermet, A., & Gade, M. (2017). Inhibition in aging: What is preserved? What declines? A meta-analysis. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

Rey-Mermet, A., Gade, M., & Oberauer, K. (2017). Should We Stop Thinking About Inhibition? Searching for Individual and Age Differences in Inhibition Ability. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition.


Bastian, C. C. von, Souza, A. S., & Gade, M. (2016). No Evidence for Bilingual Cognitive Advantages: A Test of Four Hypotheses. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. doi: 10.1037/xge0000120.

Di Gregorio, F., Steinhauser, M., & Maier, M.E. (2016). Error-related brain activity and error awareness in an error classification paradigm. Neuroimage, 139, 202-210.

Flaisch, T., Steinhauser, M., & Schupp, H.T. (2016). Emotional aftereffects: When emotion impairs subsequent picture recognition. Emotion, 16, 987-996.

Gbadeyan, O., McMahon, K., Steinhauser*, M., & Meinzer*, M. (2016). Stimulation of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex enhances adaptive cognitive control: A high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation study. Journal of Neuroscience, 36, 12530-12536. (*shared senior authorship)

Gbadeyan, O., Steinhauser, M., McMahon, K., & Meinzer, M. (2016). Safety, tolerability, blinding efficacy and behavioural effects of a novel MRI-compatible high-definition tDCS set-up. Brain Stimulation, 9, 545-552.

Maier, M. E., & Steinhauser, M. (2016). Error significance but not error expectancy predicts error-related negativities for different error types. Behavioral Brain Research, 297, 259-267.

Maier, M. E., Scarpazza, C., Starita, F., Filogamo, R., & Làdavas, E. (2016). Error monitoring is related to processing internal affective states. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 16, 1050-1062.

Pfister R., Wirth R., Schwarz K., Förster, A., Steinhauser, M., & Kunde, W. (2016). The electrophysiological signature of deliberate rule violations. Psychophysiology, 53, 1870-1877.

Pfister, R., Wirth, R., Schwarz, K., Steinhauser, M., & Kunde, W. (2016). Burdens of non-conformity: Motor execution reveals cognitive conflict during deliberate rule violations. Cognition, 147, 93-99.

Rey-Mermet, A., & Gade, M. (2016). Contextual within-trial adaption of cognitive control: Evidence from the combination of conflict tasks. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 42, 1505-1532.

Steinhauser*, M., Flaisch*, T., Meinzer, M., & Schupp, H. T. (2016). Cognitive control modulates preferential processing of affective stimuli. Neuropsychologia, 91, 435-443. (*shared first authorship)


Dundon, N., Làdavas, E., Maier, M. E., & Bertini, C. (2015). Multisensory stimulation in hemianopic patients boosts orienting responses to the hemianopic field and reduces attentional resources to the intact field. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, 33, 405-419.

Achtziger, A., Alos-Ferrer, C., Hügelschäfer, S., & Steinhauser, M. (2015). Higher incentives can impair performance: Neural evidence on reinforcement and rationality. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience,10, 1477–1483.

Borhani, K., Làdavas, E., Maier, M. E., Avenanti, A. & Bertini, C. (2015). Emotional and movement-related body postures modulate visual processing. Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience, 10, 1092-1101. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsu167. 

Ernst, B., & Steinhauser, M. (2015). Effects of invalid feedback on learning and feedback-related brain activity in decision-making. Brain and Cognition, 99, 78–86.

Gade, M. (2015). On tasks and cognitive constructs for the bilingual (non-) advantage. Cortex.

Maier, M. E., Di Gregorio, F., Muricchio, T., Di Pellegrino, G. (2015). Impaired rapid error monitoring but intact error signaling following rostral anterior cingulate cortex lesions in humans. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9, 339, doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00339.

Steinhauser, M., Gade, M. (2015). Distractor onset but not preparation time affects the frequency of task confusions in task switching. Frontiers in Psychology, 6:1671. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01671


Achtziger, A., Alos-Ferrer, C., Hügelschäfer, S., & Steinhauser, M. (2014). The neural basis of belief updating and rational decision making. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 9, 55-62.

Cecere, R., Bertini, C., Maier, M. E., & Làdavas, E. (2014). Unseen fearful faces influence face encoding: Evidence from event-related potentials in hemianopic patients. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 26, 2564-2577.

Gade, M., Druey, M. D., Souza, A. S., & Oberauer, K. (2014). Interference within and between declarative and procedural representations in working memory. Journal of Memory and Language, 76, 174–194. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2014.07.002

Gade, M., & Koch, I. (2014). Cue type affects preparatory influences on task inhibition. Acta Psychologica, 148, 12–18. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2013.12.009

Gade, M., Schuch, S., Druey, M.,  & Koch, I. (2014). Inhibitory control in task switching. Grange, J. & Houghton, G. (Eds). Task Switching and Cognitive Control. Oxford University Press.

Garofalo, S., Maier, M. E., & Di Pellegrino, G. (2014). Mediofrontal negativity signals unexpected omission of aversive events. Scientific Reports, 4816. doi:10.1038/srep04816


Danek, A.H., Gade, M., Lunardelli, A., & Rumiati, R.I. (2013). Tomato and Tuna. A test for language free assessment of action understanding. Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, 26, 208-217.

Maier, M. E. & Steinhauser, M. (2013). Updating expected action outcome in the medial frontal cortex involves an evaluation of error type. Journal of Neuroscience, 33, 15705-15709.

Oberauer, K., Souza, A., Druey, M. D. & Gade, M. (2013). Analogous mechanisms of selection and updating in declarative and procedural working memory. Cognitive Psychology, 66, 157-211.


Ernst, B. & Steinhauser, M. (2012). Feedback-related brain activity predicts learning from feedback in multiple-choice testing. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 12, 323-336.

Gade, M. & Koch, I. (2012). Inhibitory processes for critical situations – the role of n-2 task repetition costs for human multitasking situations. Frontiers in Fractal Physiology, 3, 159.

Maier, M. E., & di Pellegrino, G. (2012). Impaired Conflict Adaptation in an Emotional Task Context following Rostral Anterior Cingulate Cortex Lesions in Humans. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24, 2070-2079.

Maier, M. E., Di Pellegrino, G., & Steinhauser, M. (2012). Enhanced error-related negativity on flanker errors: Error expectancy or error significance? Psychophysiology, 49, 899-908.

Souza, A., Oberauer, K., Gade, M., & Druey, M. D. (2012). Processing of representations in declarative and procedural Working Memory. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 65, 1006-1033.

Steinhauser, M. & Yeung, N. (2012). Error awareness as evidence accumulation: Effects of speed-accuracy trade-off on error signaling. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6:240. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00240.

Steinhauser, M., Eichele, H., Juvodden, H. T., Huster, R. J., Ullsperger, M., & Eichele, T. (2012). Error-preceding brain activity reflects (mal-)adaptive adjustments of cognitive control: A modeling study. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6:97. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00097.

2011 and earlier

Maier, M. E., Yeung, N., & Steinhauser, M. (2011). Error-related brain activity and adjustments of selective attention following errors. Neuroimage, 56, 2339-2347.

Steinhauser, M. & Kiesel, A. (2011). Performance monitoring and the causal attribution of errors. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 11, 309-320.

Hübner, R., Steinhauser, M., & Lehle, C. (2010). A dual-stage two-phase model of selective attention. Psychological Review, 117, 759-784.

Kiesel, A., Steinhauser, M., Wendt, M., Falkenstein, M., Jost, K., Philipp, A.M., & Koch, I. (2010). Control and interference in task switching - A review. Psychological Bulletin, 136, 849-874.

Koch, I., Gade, M., Schuch, S., & Philipp, A.M. (2010) Task inhibition in task switching – A review. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 17, 1-14.

Maier, M., Steinhauser, M., & Hübner, R. (2010). Effects of response-set size on error-related brain activity. Experimental Brain Research, 202, 571-581.

Steinhauser, M. (2010). How to correct a task error: Task-switch effects following different types of error correction. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 36, 1028-1035.

Steinhauser, M. & Yeung, N. (2010). Decision processes in human performance monitoring. Journal of Neuroscience, 30, 15643-15653.

Danielmeier, C., Wessel, J., Steinhauser, M., & Ullsperger, M. (2009). Modulation of the error-related negativity by response conflict. Psychophysiology, 46, 1288-1298.

Lehle, C., Steinhauser, M., & Hübner, R. (2009). Serial or parallel processing in dual tasks: What is more effortful? Psychophysiology, 46, 502-509.

Steinhauser, M., & Hübner, R. (2009). Distinguishing response conflict and task conflict in the Stroop task: Evidence from ex-Gaussian distribution analysis. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 35, 1398-1412.

Steinhauser, M., Hübner, R., & Druey, M. (2009). Adaptive control of response preparedness in task switching. Neuropsychologia, 47, 1826-1835.

Gade, M. & Koch, I. (2008). Dissociating cue-related and task-related processes in task-inhibition: Evidence from using a 2:1 cue-to-task mapping. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 62:51-55

Maier, M.*, Steinhauser, M.*, & Hübner, R. (2008). Is the Error-related Negativity amplitude related to error detectability? Evidence from effects of different error types. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20, 2263-2273. (*= shared first authors)

Steinhauser, M. & Hübner, R. (2008). How task errors affect subsequent behavior: Further evidence from distributional analyses of task switching effects. Memory & Cognition, 36, 979-990.

Steinhauser, M., Maier, M. & Hübner, R. (2008). Modeling behavioral measures of error detection in choice tasks: Response monitoring versus conflict monitoring. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 34, 158-176.

Gade, M. & Koch, I. (2007b). The influence of overlapping response sets on task inhibition. Memory & Cognition, 35, 603-609.

Gade, M. & Koch, I. (2007a). Cue-task associations in task switching. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 60, 762-769.

Philipp, A.M., Gade M., & Koch I. (2007). Inhibitory processes in language switching? Evidence from switching language-defined response-sets. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 19, 395-416.

Steinhauser, M. & Hübner, R. (2007). Automatic activation of task-related representations in task-shifting. Memory & Cognition, 35, 138-155.

Steinhauser, M., Maier, M., & Hübner, R. (2007). Cognitive control under stress: How stress affects strategies of task-set reconfiguration. Psychological Science, 18, 540-545.

Koch, I. Philipp, A.M., & Gade, M. (2006). Chunking in task sequences modulates task inhibition. Psychological Science, 17, 346-350.

Steinhauser, M. & Hübner, R. (2006). Response-based strengthening in task-shifting: Evidence from shift effects produced by errors. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 32, 517-534.

Gade, M., & Koch, I. (2005). Linking activation to inhibition in the control of task sequences. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 12, 530-534.

Steinhauser, M. & Hübner, R. (2005). Mixing costs in task-shifting reflect sequential processing stages in a multicomponent task. Memory & Cognition, 33, 1484-1494.

Koch, I., Gade, M. & Philipp, A. M. (2004). Inhibition of response mode in task switching. Experimental Psychology, 51, 52-58.

Hübner, R., Futterer, T. & Steinhauser, M. (2001). On attentional control as source of residual shift costs: Evidence from two-component task shifts. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition , 27, 640-653.