The Reach & Touch Lab is setting up in Bielefeld…

Tobias Heed moved from Hamburg to Bielefeld University in September of 2016 as the head of the Biopsychology & Cognitive Neuroscience Unit at the Psychology Department within the Faculty for Psychology and Sports Science.

Since the beginning of 2017, the new team is now complete, with Postdocs Christian Seegelke, Marie Martel, Xaver Fuchs, and Boukje Habets, and PhD student Kenan Suljic (info on all of them to follow).

Janina Brandes and José Ossandón remain at Hamburg University, but continue as long distance lab members of the Reach & Touch Lab. 

We’re also working on our University webpage, see here.

Welcome to the Reach & Touch Lab

Our research focuses on how humans perceive touch, construct an understanding of the body, plan actions in response to touch, and choose the body part with which we perform this action. We use a variety of methods to advance our projects, and have committed to Open Science. The group started as an Emmy Noether group at Hamburg University, funded by the German Research Foundation, and has since transitioned into a regular professorship at Bielefeld University.

Get an overview over our work

We’ve summarized our work in several reviews. If you’d like to get an overview over what we do, take a look at these papers:
Towards explaining spatial touch perception: weighted integration of multiple location codes (Badde & Heed, 2016, Cognitive Neuropsychology, open access)
Tactile remapping: from coordinate transformation to integration in sensorimotor processing (Heed et al., 2015, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, request pdf)
Using time to investigate space: a review of tactile temporal order judgments as a window onto spatial processing in touch (Heed & Azañón, 2014, Frontiers in Psychology, open access)

What’s with the crossed hands and feet?

One of our research questions is how our brain knows where we were touched. When you cross the hands or feet, then your right body part is located on your left side. This creates a conflict that the brain must resolve. As a consequence, we make errors when we judge where a touch was that we felt while our hands were crossed. It is a common strategy in psychology to find out what kind of situations make it harder for the brain to do the right thing. Hand and foot crossing is therefore an important tool in our experiments about touch. Find out more about our research!

R&TL member Jonathan Schubert has defended his PhD thesis

September 1, 2016

Jonathan Schubert successfully defended his PhD thesis last Thursday (Aug 25) at the University of Hamburg. The topic of his thesis was “Spatial processing of touch in sighted and congenitally blind humans” and involved several EEG and behavioral experiments. Congratulations, Jona!

(expired) Application deadline for PhD position in the Reach & Touch Lab extended until July 30

July 14, 2016

I’ve extended the deadline for the sensorimotor / tactile decision making PhD position (see details here) until July 30. Please spread the word to promising MSc students!

(expired) Interdisciplinary Postdoc position in the Reach & Touch Lab (Bielefeld Biopsychology)

July 14, 2016

We are looking for a Postdoc to join the large-scale project ICSPACE (intelligent coaching space) in the excellence cluster Citec. The project brings together VR technology and computer graphics, language research, and psychology, aiming to develop VR-based training. The role of the Postdoc will be to develop, coordinate, and run studies that asssess and evaluate … Read more

New paper on the anchors of external reference frames in touch (Plos One)

July 9, 2016

New paper: Heed T., Backhaus J., Röder B., Badde S. (2016). Disentangling the External Reference Frames Relevant to Tactile Localization. PLoS ONE 11(7):e0158829. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0158829 [ open access pdf ] [ data & scripts ] In this paper, we’ve published work begun by Jenny Backhaus during her time in our lab several years ago. It took … Read more

(expired) 2 Postdoc positions in the Reach & Touch Lab (in the new Bielefeld-based Biopsychology group)

July 4, 2016

I am looking for 2 Postdocs to join my new lab in Bielefeld, the Biopsychology & Cognitive Neuroscience group of the Psychology Department. I will be interviewing as soon as possible after the deadline (July 29, 2016). The group investigates sensorimotor and multisensory transformation and integration, with a focus on tactile processing and its relationship with … Read more

(expired) PhD position in the Reach & Touch Lab (in the new Bielefeld-based Biopsychology group)

June 23, 2016

Deadline extended until July 30! I am looking for a PhD student to join my new lab in Bielefeld, the Biopsychology & Cognitive Neuroscience group in the Psychology Department. I will be interviewing as soon as possible after the deadline (July 30, 2016). The group investigates sensorimotor and multisensory transformation and integration, with a focus on tactile processing … Read more

Looking for help: assembling a list of neuroscience methods intro papers

June 14, 2016

I’ve not yet found a satisfying neuroscience methods book to use as an introduction for students. I’ve therefore started a list of introductory papers. My goal is to have a complete list with good-to-read papers that introduce each method, show examples of their use in research, and discuss their weaknesses. Optimally, there will be a … Read more

The Reach & Touch Lab commits to Open Science

January 19, 2016

We’ve just published a commitment to Open Science as a disclaimer about how we intend to publish our work, starting today. It has been becoming increasingly clear that scientific practices in Psychology and Neuroscience will have to undergo important changes towards “Open Science”. Maybe inspired most by the Science publication on the difficulty to replicate … Read more