Prof. Dr. Heinrich Bülthoff

Prof. Dr. Heinrich Bülthoff


Main Focus

The superior performance of natural over artificial intelligence rests on the ability of the human brain to integrate and process complex sensory information for useful actions. Future advances in our understanding of the human brain will need integrating approaches across disciplines, including psychology, computer science, robotics, and neuroimaging.

In Bülthoff´s department a group of about 70 biologists, computer scientists, mathematicians, physicists and psychologists study cognitive processes including , , and , computer graphics and computer vision. Traditional psychophysical methods emphasize the analysis of perception using simple stimuli; however, computer vision studies have made it clear that further advances in our understanding of perception and cognition will rely on the use of realistic stimuli and tasks.

In our new building we use methods developed from computer graphics and virtual reality to build simulated naturalistic environments under precise experimental control in order to investigate cognition in a closed perception-action loop. In psychophysical studies we could show that humans can integrate multimodal sensory information in a statistically optimal way, in which cues are weighted according to their reliability.

Many of our results from basic research in perception and cognition are further developed into useful application. Our group led or participated in several of the European Research projects: , , , .  


Research fields in my department are:

 A list of all finished projects funded by the European Commission can be found

Curriculum Vitae

Heinrich Bülthoff is scientific member of the Max Planck Society and Emeritus Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen. He holds a Ph.D. degree in the natural sciences from the Eberhard Karls Universität in Tübingen. From 1980 to 1988 he worked as a research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was Assistant, Associate and Full Professor of Cognitive Science at Brown University in Providence from 1988-1993 before becoming director at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics. He is Honorary Professor at the Eberhard Karls Universität in Tübingen and at the Korea University in Seoul. Heinrich Bülthoff was editor of several international journals and is involved in many international collaborations as well as being a member of many national and international University boards. He is initiator of the European Projects and and member of several European research networks.


Organizational Unit (Department, Group, Facility):

  • Department Human Perception, Cognition & Action
  • Emeriti
  • Group Cybernetics Approach to Perception & Action
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