Welcome to the KnolleLab

We are using the framework of Bayesian inference and predictive processing to develop computational models for understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of cognitive processing in healthy brains, studying inter-individual differences using personality traits, and of potential cognitive alterations in psychiatric disorders, such as psychosis. The aim of the modelling is to build unifying approaches that allow translation between different cognitive domains such as decision making, language or memory processing. In our research, we therefore develop and apply computational models to novel behavioural paradigms, which combine different cognitive domains (e.g., language processing and episodic memory), and brain data (i.e., f/MRI, EEG, spectroscopy, PET). 


Franziska Knolle. Franziska is the PI of the KnolleLab, and a former Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie Fellow at the Department of Neuroradiology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technichal University of Munich. She completed her PhD at the Max Planck Institute of Cognitive and Brain Science, Leipzig, Germany, with Sonja Kotz and Erich Schroeger on subcortical contributions to predictive processing in the sensory domain. After taking a break from academia to complete her medical undergrad (Physikum) at the TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany, she took up a post-doc position with Jenny Morton on animal models for Huntington’s Disease at PDN,_University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK. She then joined the lab of Graham Murray and Paul Fletcher, both Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, to investigate dysfunctional mechanisms underlying psychotic symptoms, using fMRI and computational approaches.

Elisabeth Sterner. Elisabeth is doing her PhD, investigating the neural and temporal signatures of the use of prior knowledge during language processing in individuals with high schizotypy and autism using EEG, and fMRI.

Pritha Sen. Pritha is doing her PhD, using computational and machine learning models for exploring the risk for developing psychiatric disorders in large communal data sets.

Verena Demler. Verena is doing a medical research doctorate (MD sci.), investigating the neural signatures of the use of prior knowledge during language processing in individuals with high schizotypy using fMRI and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy.


Simiao Xu. Simiao is an NCP master student who explores the associations between altered white matter connectivity and personality traits such as psychotic-like experiences and autistic traits.

Lea Zaric. Lea is an NCP master student who investigates the temporal signature of predictive language processing and exploring associations with schizotypic personality traits.

Viola von Heyden. Viola studies Psychology at the LMU. For her bachelor thesis project she investigates reward processing in adolescents at risk for psychosis.

Alexia Pagkopoulou. Alexia studies Psychology and Informatics at the LMU. In her Bachelor project she will investigate temporal stabilities of predictions in language processing.

Join the lab?

For prospective PhD students or PostDocs: Please get in contact for open positions. Also there are several great opportunities for funding (e.g., DFG, DAAD, Marie-Curie, Leopoldina, etc).

For Master students, HiWis, interns or summer students: Please get in contact directly (franziska.knolle at tum.de) to discuss opportunities.

Former Lab Members

Clara Seifert. Clara investigated neural circuits of novelty and emotional salience processing in early early psychosis and Parkinson’s psychosis in her Master Thesis. She is now doing a PhD at the Chair of movement science supervised by Prof. J. Hermsdoerfer and PD Dr. A. Wohlschlaeger.

Madeleine Seitz. For her master thesis, Madeleine was studying cognitive and brain alterations in adolescents scoring high for prodromal psychosis using machine learning algorithms. She is now a clinical research coordinator at the LINC at the University of Pennsylvania.

Sarah Daimer. In her master’s project, she investigated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health using machine learning approaches. Sarah is now doing her training to become an approved psychotherapist.

Jolina Mueller-Chorus, Psychology, LMU, completed a master thesis in the lab

Clara Sowade, Psychology, LMU, completed a master thesis in the lab

Omar Darawasha, Biomedical Engineering, TUM, Summer Student


Dr Helen Blank (UKE Hamburg) – Prof Paul Fletcher (University of Cambridge) – Dr Andrea Greve (MRC CBU) – Dr Olaf Hauk (MRC CBU) – Prof Kathrin Koch (Technical University Munich) – Prof Sonja Kotz (Maastricht University) – Prof Chris Mathys (University of Aarhus) – Dr Lucy MacGregor (MRC CBU) – Dr Michael Moutoussis (UCL) – Dr Gemma Modinos (Kings College London) – Dr Graham Murray (University of Cambridge) – Dr Lisa Ronan (University of Cambridge) – Prof Daniel Rueckert (Technical University Munich) – Dr Christian Sorg (Technical University Munich) – Dr Afra Wohlschlaeger (Technische University Munich)