Dr. Katharina Dobs - Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prizewinner 2024

Cognitive Psychology and Neurosciences, University of Giessen

One fascinating example of the brain’s capabilities is the reliability with which we are able to recognise and distinguish faces, even from different angles and when they show different emotional expressions. Katharina Dobs researches the mechanisms of human visual perception, in particular the functional specialisation in the brain, for example the fact that certain regions of the brain process special visual perception processes such as facial recognition. 

With an academic background in psychology and computer science and with a doctorate in neuroscience, she develops neural network models at the interface between these various disciplines. In order to do so, she draws on the latest methods of artificial intelligence. For example, she has already been able to demonstrate the role of dynamic stimuli rather than static images in the process of facial recognition and how training an artificial neural network leads to functional specialisation which is analogous to that of the human brain.