Exploring cognition in psychiatric disorders


Franziska Knolle. I am a junior group leader and former Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie Fellow at the Department of Neuroradiology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technichal University of Munich. I am using the framework of predictive processing to understanding mental disorders, especially psychosis. I am investigating how potentially dysfunctional predictive processing links to psychiatric symptoms. I am particularly interested in the interaction between subcortical and cortical regions. In my research, I am using computational and machine learning approaches on fMRI and MEG/EEG as well as behavioural data to explore these topics.

I completed my 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 active science to complete my medical undergrad (Physikum) at the TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany, I took up a post-doc position with Jenny Morton on animal models for Huntington’s Disease at PDN, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK. I then proceeded to work with Graham Murray and Paul Fletcher (both Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK) on understanding dysfunctional mechanisms underlying psychotic symptoms, using fMRI and computational approaches.

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.

Current Master and Doctoral Students

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 is investigating the associations between altered white matter connectivity and personality traits such as psychotic-like experiences and autistic traits.

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)