Peter König

The research of Peter König’s group focuses on multisensory integration and sensorimotor coupling. Embracing an enactivist point of view, the cognition is understood as a skillful activity that involves ongoing interaction with the external world. Accordingly, cognitive processes and their underlying neural activity patterns should be studied primarily with respect to their role in natural action generation. The spectrum of methods includes psychophysical/behavioral, physiological and computational techniques. Importantly, these techniques are combined and utilized in a natural context, to study the relation of action and perception.

A prominent example of his enactivist approach is Peter König’s work on sensory augmentation. He developed the feelSpace belt that introduces a new contingency of changes in sensory information on own action. That is, it establishes a new relation of changes in a tactile signal around the waist contingent on changes in orientation in space. Assuming life long neural plasticity and the ability to learn and master such a new sensorimotor contingency, the enactivist concept was tested in a series of experiments. These included behavioral, EEG, fMRI, and measurements of subjective perception.
Peter König’s academic career started studying Physics (diploma) and Medicine (MD) at the University of Bonn. Subsequently he joined the lab of Prof. Dr. Wolf Singer’s at the MPI for Brain Research. In that time he graduated in Medicine (Dr.) at the University of Würzburg. Peter König then moved abroad for a total of nine years, first working with Prof. Gerald Edelman (Neurosciences Institute, San Diego) and then with Prof. Dr. Kevan Martin and Prof. Dr. Rodney Douglas (Institute for Neuroinformatics, ETH/UZ Zurich). Peter König accepted an offer to the newly established chair of Neurobiopsychology at the Institute of Cognitive Science (University of Osnabrück).
Over the last 20 years, Prof. König and his coworkers have made key contributions to the field at the intersection of cognitive science, neuroscience and computational neuroscience. These resulted in more than 160 publications in international peer-reviewed journals and 16.000 citations. His work has brought about 2 spin-off companies: „WhiteMatter Labs GmbH“ (2009) and the „feelSpace GmbH“ (2015).