Group leaders

Stephan de la Rosa
Phone: +49 7071 601 606
Fax: +49 7071 601 616
Opens window for sending emaildelarosa[at]
Tobias Meilinger
Phone: +49 7071 601 615
Fax: +49 7071 601 616
Opens window for sending emailtobias.meilinger[at]



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Five most recent Publications

23. Weller M, Takahashi K, Watanabe K, Bülthoff HH und Meilinger T (August-2018) The Object Orientation Effect in Exocentric Distances Frontiers in Psychology 9(1374) 1-7.
22. de la Rosa S, Fademrecht L, Bülthoff HH, Giese MA und Curio C (August-2018) Two Ways to Facial Expression Recognition? Motor and Visual Information Have Different Effects on Facial Expression Recognition Psychological Science 29(8) 1257-1269.
21. Hinterecker T, Pretto P, de Winkel KN, Karnath H-O, Bülthoff HH und Meilinger T (Juli-2018) Body-relative horizontal–vertical anisotropy in human representations of traveled distances Experimental Brain Research Epub ahead.
20. Wiener JM und Meilinger T: Spatial Biases in Wayfinding and Navigation, 324-335. In: Spatial Biases in Perception and Cognition, (Ed) T. Hubbard, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, (Juli-2018).
19. Hinterecker T, Leroy C, Zhao M, Butz MV, Bülthoff HH und Meilinger T (Januar-2018) No advantage for remembering horizontal over vertical spatial locations learned from a single viewpoint Memory & Cognition 46(1) 158–171.

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13.6.2016 Manuscript accepted "Meilinger, T.,* Strickrodt, M.,* & Bülthoff, H.H. (accepted). Qualitative differences between environmental and vista space memory are caused by the separation of space, not by movement or successive perception. Cognition [*equal contributions]"
21.4.2016 Manuscript published Opens external link in new window"Meilinger, T. & Watanabe, K. (2016). Multiple Strategies for Spatial Integration of 2D Layouts within Working Memory. PLoS ONE, 11, 1-22."
20.4.2016 Tobi finished his Habilitation.
31.3.2016 Our manuscript Opens external link in new window"Visual adaptation dominates bimodal visual-motor action adaptation." got published in Scientific Reports.
8.2.2016 Manuscript published: Opens external link in new windowde la Rosa, S., Schillinger, F., Bülthoff, H., Schultz, J., Uludag, K. (accepted). fMRI adaptation between action observation and action execution reveals cortical areas with mirror neuron properties in human BA 44/45. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
1.2.2016 Manuscript published: Opens external link in new windowde la Rosa, S. , Ekramnia M., Bülthoff H.H. (accepted). Action recognition and movement direction discrimination tasks are associated with different adaptation patterns. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
1.2.2016 Paper published: Meilinger, T., Schulte-Pelkum, J., Frankenstein, J., Hardiess, G. Mallot, H.A., Bülthoff, H.H. (2016). How to best name a place? Facilitation and inhibition of route learning due to descriptive and arbitrary location labels. Frontiers in Psychology,7, 1-7.
29.1.2016 Paper published: Opens external link in new windowJung, E., Takahashi, K., Watanabe, K, de la Rosa, S. Butz, M.V., Bülthoff, H.H. & Meilinger, T. (accepted). The Influence of Human Body Orientation on Distance Judgments. Frontiers in Psychology
8.1-2016 Manuscript published: Opens external link in new windowFademrecht L.,Bülthoff I., de la Rosa, S.. Action recognition in the visual periphery. Journal of Vision
24.1.2016 Manuscript accepted: Hinterecker, T., Knauff, M., Johnson-Laird, P. N. (accepted). Modality, probability, and mental models. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition.
6.1.2016 Paper published: Saulton, A., Longo, M. R., Wong, H. Y., Bülthoff, H. H., & de la Rosa, S. (2016). Opens external link in new windowThe role of visual similarity and memory in body model distortions. Acta Psychologica, 164, 103–111.
24.12.2015 Paper published: Strickrodt, M., O'Malley, M., & Wiener, J. M. (2015). This Place Looks Familiar—How Navigators Distinguish Places with Ambiguous Landmark Objects When Learning Novel Routes. Frontiers in Psychology, 6.
1.12.15 Paper published: Chang D-S., Burger F., Bülthoff H.H., (2015). The Perception of Cooperativeness Without Any Visual or Auditory Communication. i-Perception 6(6) 1-6, doi: 10.1177/2041669515619508
01.06.15: Manuscript accepted: Meilinger, T., * Frankenstein, J., * Simon, N., Bülthoff, H.H., & Bresciani, J.-P. (accepted). Not all memories are the same: situational context influences spatial recall within ones city of residency. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review. [*equal contributions]
01.02.2015: Manuscript 'Objects exhibit body model like shape distortions' of Aurelie Saulton got accepted.
02.12.2014: Symposium at ECVP 2015 on 'Interactive Social Perception and Action' accepted (organizers: de la Rosa, Canal-Bruland, Bülthoff)
02.12.2014: Opens external link in new windowDong-Seon Chang gave his science slam in front of the German Minister of Education and Research.
01.12.2014: Opens external link in new windowDong-Seon Chang won the National German Science Slam competition.

21.11.2014: Manuscript about 'Categorization of social interactions' accepted in Visual Cognition.
19.11.2014: Opens external link in new windowDong-Seon Chang won the 10th Science Slam in Stuttgart (on national TV).
10.11.14 Manuscript "Reference frames in learning from maps and navigation" accepted in Psychological Research

08.11.14 Manuscript "When in doubt follow your nose: a wayfinding strategy" accepted in Frontiers in Psychology
01.10.2014: Stephan de la Rosa organized a Symposium on Social Interaction at KogWis

28.9.2014: Dong-Seon Chang organized Doctoral symposium at KogWis

20.9.2014: Aurelie Saulton won 2nd price in Science Slam at Visions in Science meeting

31.3.2014: Interview with Stephan and Tobi in ORF Radiokolleg


Social-spatial interaction

Humas often tap into the processes of social and spatial cognition at the same time, for example, when regulating their spatial distance to each other based on sympathy, or when imagining a spatial perspective based on another person’s viewpoint. This temporal and functional proximity could lead to an partial overlap of spatial and social cognitive processes. We examine the social and spatial character of bodies and body parts, how social cues influence perceived distance and environments, and whether object orientation exhibits a social aspect as well.

Body space

Bodies are physical and social entities. Distinguishing one’s body from the world is probably the most basic form of self-representation. Humans use visual and somatosensory cues for estimating location and shape of their body and body parts. Our results showed that prior methods used to distinguish between visual and somatosensory representations are not specific for body parts as assumed before, but also apply to spatial objects and parallel findings in memory for spatial object arrangements. Another line of research is concerned with the full body illusion in which participants can feel that a virtual body in front of them is actually their body. Our results show that contrary to earlier conceptions this feeling of body identity and the subjective body location go hand in hand and are not separated. In the further course of this project we aim at examining effects of the visual full-body illusion on somatosensory body-part estimation.
Aurelie Saulton, Martin Dobriki, Stephan de la Rosa
B.J. Mohler
- Saulton, A.  & de la Rosa, S. (accepted). Conceptual biases explain distortion differences between hand and objects in localization tasks. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance .
- Saulton, A., Longo, M. R., Wong, H. Y., Bülthoff, H. H., & de la Rosa, S. (2016). The role of visual similarity and memory in body model distortions. Acta Psychologica, 164, 103–111.
- Saulton, A., Dodds, T. J., Bülthoff, H. H., & Rosa, S. de la. (2015). Objects exhibit body model like shape distortions. Experimental Brain Research, 1–9.
- Dobricki, M. & de la Rosa, S. (2013). The structure of conscious bodily self-perception during full-body illusions. PLoS ONE, 8, 1-9.

Collaborative spatial problem solving

Almost all human-made objects involved collaborative spatial problem solving in the process of their construction or production. We aim to examine the underlying cognitive processes targeting at strategies, memory requirements, shared representations, and spatial transformations. First results on the case of collaborative search (e.g., firefighters searching a building for victims) indicate that collaborative in comparison to individual search might result in qualitative better, but not necessarily more efficient performance. We currently examine the interaction of working memory and search strategy and extend the problem to a collaborative 3D puzzle task.
Franziska Keilmann, Stephan de la Rosa, Tobias Meilinger
B.J. Mohler, M. Bues (Fraunhofer IAO), S.Schwan (IWM), U. Cress (IWM)
- Keilmann, F., de la Rosa, S., Cress, & Meilinger, T. (2017). How do individual and collaborative spatial problem solving differ? The case of environmental search. 59th Conference of Experimental Psychologists.
- Keilmann, F., de la Rosa, S., Schwan, S., Cress, U., Mohler, B.J., Bülthoff, H.H. & Meilinger, T. (submitted). Comparing Individual and Collaborative Problem Solving in Environmental Search. Cognitive Science Conference.
- MPG-FhG project “CoAvatar” (PI: M. Bues, T. Meilinger, B. Mohler)

Social influences on spatial perception

Within this project we examine potential social influences on room and distance perception. Results show cultural differences on the estimation of rooms. Participants also estimate virtual characters and objects facing them as closer than when they face away from them. Most humans and animals perceive and interact with their front. We currently examining whether social processes indicated by perceived animacy, relation to attention and social distances, or non-social object processing are responsible for the observed asymmetries.
Aurelie Saulton, Celia Foster, Stephan de la Rosa, Tobias Meilinger
K. Takahashi, K. Watanabe, T. Dodds, B.J. Mohler, Martin Butz
- Jung, E., Takahashi, K., Watanabe, K, de la Rosa, S. Butz, M.V., Bülthoff, H.H. & Meilinger, T. (2016). The Influence of Human Body Orientation on Distance Judgments. Frontiers in Psychology
- Takahashi, K.*, Meilinger, T.*, Watanabe, K., Bülthoff, H.H. (2013). Psychological influences on distance estimation in a virtual reality environment. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 1-7. [* equal contributions]
- Saulton, A., Dodds, T.J., Tesch, J., Mohler, B.J. & Bülthoff, H.H. (2013). The influence of shape and culture on visual volume perception of virtual rooms. ACM Symposium on Applied Perception.
- Foster, C., Takahashi, K., Watanabe, K., Bülthoff, H.H. & Meilinger, T. (submitted). Looking at me? Observers underestimate the position of objects facing towards them, independent of these objects being aversive or animate.
Last updated: Freitag, 23.02.2018