Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Grodd

Research Scientist

Main Focus

Prof. Dr. med. Dipl. Biol. Wolfgang Grodd

Abteilung Hochfeld-Magnetresonanz

Compartmentation and Connectivity of the Thalamus and Basal Ganglia
fMRI "Resting State" and DWI Examinations

The objective of this project is to examine the sub­divisions of the thalamus and determine its cortical connectivity pattern by the use of resting state fMRI (rsfMRI) and diffusion weighted imaging (DWI). First, we want to provide an in vivo segmentation of the human thalamus, which can be used for the analysis and interpretation of imaging findings in the clinical neurosciences. Secondly, this compartmentation will be analyzed in respect to its connectivity with cortical structures by means of correlation analysis and fiber tracking (FT). In addition, specific hemispheric and gender differences will be characterized in terms of the ensuing segmentations. Finally, in a third step, the functional and struc­tural segmentation of the thalamus will be compared and related to the existing anatomical atlases. Overall, we hope that this project will enhance our understanding of the role of the thalamus in con­cert with the sensory and cognitive functions of the brain.


  • Prof. Dr. Christian Beckmann, Radboud University Medical Centre Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
  • Dr. Vinod Kumar, Department of High Field MR, MPI für Biologische Kybernetik, Tübingen, Germany
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dorit Merhof, Lehrstuhl für Bildverarbeitung der RWTH Aachen.
  • Prof. Dr. Kamil Uludag und Prof. R. Goebel am Brain Imaging Centre der Universität Maastricht, Niederlande, Dep. of Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht Brain Imaging Centre

2) Compartmentation of the Basal Ganglia: Functional MRI and DWI Examinations

The aim of this projects is in an extension to our ongoing examinations on the thalamus to refine the relative uniform anatomy of the BG by investigating their structural and functional sub-divisions and their connectivity profiles, by exploiting two large data sets of the Human Connectome Project (HCP) and supplement them with own high-resolution data from our 9.4 T system. We, therefore, want to: (a) use 3 and 7 Tesla (T) task-fMRT, rs-fMRT and DWI HCP data; and b) perform high-resolution (<1 mm3) rs-fMRT and task-fMRT examinations on the 9.4 Tesla MRI scanner to determine the parcellation and connectivity of the BG in healthy controls. The analysis of these studies will functionally be performed using an improved ICA methodology and structurally using fiber tracking (FT). In addition, hemispherical and gender-specific differences will be determined. In our previous work, we were already able to show that a) functional subdivision of BG and thalamus can be achieved by the use of cortical resting state networks (cRSN), and that b) intra-thalamic, and subcortical connections can be detected using DWI.


  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Grodd, project leader, Department of High Field MR, MPI Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany
  • Dr. Vinod Kumar, scientific member, Department of High Field MR, MPI Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Scheffler, Director Department high-field magnetic resonance of the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics providing infrastructure, consulting and use of the 9.4 Tesla scanner.
  • Dr. phil. Gisela Hagberg and Dipl.-Ing. Jonas Bause scientific staff of the department of high-field magnetic resonance for the development and application of 9,4 T fMRT and QSM sequences
  • PD Dr. rer. nat. Gabriele Lohmann, research associate of the Department of Biomedical Magnetic Resonance of the Radiological Clinic of the University of Tübingen for the statistics and evaluation of fMRT and rs fMRI data.

Curriculum Vitae

1960-1963     Military Service German Federal Army (Air Force)

1964-1965     Gottlieb Daimler School for Electronics, Sindelfingen, Technician for Electronics

1965-1968     High School: Westfalen-Kolleg Bielefeld

1968-1977     Study of Biology, University of Tübingen, M.Sc. in Biology (Diplom-Biologe)

1972-1975     Scholarship German Protestant Student Association, Villigst e.V.

1974-1981     Study of Medicine, University of Tübingen

1981             State Medical Examination in Medicine, (Staatsexamen der Medizin)

1984             M.D. (Dr. med.; Doktor der Medizin), University of Tübingen


1981-1986    Internship: Dep. of Medical Radiology, University of Tübingen (Chair: Prof. Dr. W. Frommhold)

1986             Board Qualification as Radiologist (Facharzt für Radiologie)

1984-1985    DFG Scholarship MRI Contrast Media Lab Prof. RC Brasch; Dep. of Radiology, UCSF, San Francisco, USA; (Chair Prof. Dr. A. Margulis)

1987-1995   Internship: Dep. Neuroradiology, University of Tübingen (Chair Prof. Dr. K. Voigt)

1989 06-08  Hospitation Siemens MR Development, Erlangen, Germany

1990            Board Qualification as Neuroradiologist (Facharzt für Neuroradiologie)

1991-1995   Senior Resident, Department of Neuroradiology, University of Tübingen

1991            Postdoctoral Lecture Qualification (Habilitation)

1994            Offer of a full professorship in Neuroradiology at the Free University of Berlin (declined)

Previous positions:

1995 – 2010 Full professorship for Neuroradiology & Head Section “Experimental MR of the CNS,” University of Tübingen

2010 - 2014 Senior Research Scientist, Department of Psychiatry, RWTH, Aachen University

Current position:

2015 -         Neuroradiologist, Dep. of Magnetic Resonance, MPI for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany


1988          Kurt-Decker Award, German Society for Neuroradiology

1989          Award German Society Neurotraumatology

1990          Kurt-Decker Award, German Society for Neuroradiology

1992          Kurt-Decker Award, German Society for Neuroradiology

1994          Kurt-Decker Award, German Society for Neuroradiology

2000          III. Award German Society for Pain Research


since 1988  International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM)

since 1988  European Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology (ESMRMB)

since 1990  European Society of Neuroradiology (ESNR)

since 1992  Professional Association German Neuroradiologists

since 1996  Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM)

since 1998  American Society of Advancement of Science (AAAS)

since 2000  German Society of Clinical Neurophysiology (DGKN)

since 2001  Society for Neuroscience (SNS)

B) Services:


1998 – 2008 Member Research Council (ForTüne) at the Medical Faculty, University of Tübingen

2000 – 2008 Member Center Grant SFB 550 „Detecting, Locating, Acting“, University of Tübingen

2002 – 2006 Member Graduate College „Cognitive Neurobiology“, University of Tübingen

2000 – 2010 Member Graduate School of Neural and Behavioural Sciences, University of Tübingen

2007 – 2010 Member Centre for Integrative Neuroscience (CIN), University of Tübingen


2001 – 2008 Coordinator Task-Group for fMRI of the German Society of Neuroradiology (DGNR)

2003 – 2005 Consultant Scientist to establish a Neuroimaging Centre at University of Trento, Italy

2004 – 2008 Member fMRI Task Group German Society Clinical Neurophysiology (DGKN)

C) Review Work:

Grants: German Research Foundation (DFG); Austrian Research Foundation (ÖNF); Swiss National Research Foundation (SNF); German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina; Israel Science Foundation (ISF), German Israel Foundation (GIF)

Journals: Brain and Language; Brain Behavior and Science; Cerebral Cortex; Radiologe; RöFo; Journal Exp. Neurology; Journal of Morphology; Journal of Neu­rochemistry; Journal of Neuroscience (Methods); Journal of Psychiatry Research; Clinical Neuroradiology; Nature Neuroscience; Neuroimage; Neuroscience Letters; Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging; Science

Research: Diffusion and functional imaging of cerebellar and thalamic structures and connectivity, MRI and H-Spectroscopy of brain maturation; diagnostic imaging of brain malformations and metabolic diseases in children; functional brain imaging of emotional processing, humor and laughter, Alzheimer and dementia; language processing (specially speech); cortical and cerebellar organization of sensorimotor functions; cortical reorganization in chronic pain in amputees, reorganization of speech and motor function in children; brain mechanism subserving fear and sociopathic behavior; cognitive processing in chess game players.

D)  Selected publications in peer-reviewed journals

  1. Kumar, Vinod, Sarah Mang, and Wolfgang Grodd. 2014. „Direct Diffusion-Based Parcellation of the Human Thalamus.“ Brain Structure and Function, März, 1–17.
  2. Sokolov, Arseny A., Michael Erb, Wolfgang Grodd, and Marina A. Pavlova. 2014. „Structural Loop Between the Cerebellum and the Superior Temporal Sulcus: Evidence from Diffusion Tensor Imaging.“ Cerebral Cortex 24 (3): 626–32.
  3. Kipping, Judy A., Wolfgang Grodd, Vinod Kumar, Marco Taubert, Arno Villringer, and Daniel S. Margulies. 2013. „Overlapping and parallel cerebello-cerebral networks contributing to sensorimotor control: An intrinsic functional connectivity study“. NeuroImage 83 (December): 837–48.
  4. Sokolov, A. A., Erb, M., Gharabaghi, A., Grodd, W., Tatagiba, M. S., & Pavlova, M. A. 2012. Biological motion processing: The left cerebellum communicates with the right superior temporal sulcus. NeuroImage, 59(3), 2824–2830.
  5. Chassy P, Grodd W. Human Visual Processing of Quantities and Numbers. Cerebral Cortex. 2012; 22:1420-1430
  6. Bilalic M, Langner R, Ulrich R, Grodd W. Many faces of expertise: fusiform face area in chess experts and novices. J Neurosci. 2011; 31: 10206-14.
  7. Bilali?, M., Turella, L., Campitelli, G., Erb, M., & Grodd, W. 2012. Expertise modulates the neural basis of context dependent recognition of objects and their relations. Human Brain Mapping, 33 (11), 2728–2740.
  8. Heun R, Freymann K, Erb M, Leube DT, Jessen F, Kircher TT, Grodd W. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and actual retrieval performance affect cerebral activation in the elderly. Neurobiol. Aging. 2007; 28: 404-413.
  9. Anders S., Birbaumer N., B. Sadowski, M. Erb, Mader I., Grodd W., Lotze M.: Parietal somatosensory association cortex mediates affective blindsight. Nature Neuroscience 2004: 7: 339-340.
  10. Hülsmann E, Erb M, Grodd W. From will to action) sequential cerebellar contributions to voluntary movement. Neuroimage 2003; 20:1485-1492.
  11. Kourtzi Z, Bülthoff HH, Erb M, Grodd W. Object-selective responses in the human motion area MT/MST. Nature Neuroscience 2002; 5:17-18.
  12. Wildgruber D, Pihan H, Ackermann H, Erb M, Grodd W. Dynamic brain activation during processing of emotional intonation) influence of acoustic parameters, emotional valence, and sex. Neuroimage 2002; 15: 856-569.
  13. Grodd W, Hülsmann E, Lotze M, Wildgruber D, Erb M. Sensorimotor mapping of the human cerebellum: fMRI evidence of somatotopic organization. Hum Brain Mapping 2001:55-73.
  14. Lotze M., Grodd W., Birbaumer N., M. Erb, E. Huse, Flor H.: Does use of myoelectric prosthesis prevent cortical reorganization and phantom limb pain? Nature Neuro­­science 6 (1999) 501-502

E) Monographs

  1. Grodd W, Beckmann CF. Resting-State-fMRT. In: Schneider F, Fink G (Hrsg). Funktionelle MRT in Psychiatrie und Neurologie. Springer, Heidelberg, 2013: 229-257. ISBN 9783642297991.
  2. Grodd W, Wildgruber D, Kumar V: Functional Imaging of Language Competent Brain Areas. In: Language Talent and Brain Activity. Edited by Dogil, G, and Reiterer; S.M. Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin 2009
  3. Grodd W., I Krägeloh-Mann: ZNS Bildgebung bei Stoffwechselstörungen im Kindesalter. In:
    Jansen O. und Stefani U. (Hrsg.) Fehlbildungen und frühkindliche Schädigungen. 1. Auflage, Re­ferenzreihe Neurologie, Thieme Verlag Stuttgart 2007,  pp. 114-181
  4. Grodd W.: Stoffwechselerkrankungen. In: M. Forsting und O. Jansen (Hrsg.): MRT des ZNS. Thieme Verlag Stuttgart 2006 pp. 248-283
  5. Grodd W: Recent Advances in functional MRI. In: Recent Advances in MR Imaging and Spectroscopy. Edited by Jagannathan: Chap. 9, p. 186-202, Jaypee Brothers, New Delhi 2005
  6. Grodd W.: fMRI: Neuroscientific and clinical applications. In: NR Jagannathan (Editor): Biomedical Magnetic Resonance. Proceedings of the international Workshop. Chapt. 10, p.129-137, Jaypee Brothers, New Delhi 2005
  7. Grodd W, E. Hülsmann, H. Ackermann: Functional MRI Localizing in the cerebellum. In: Intraoperative MRI Developments - Edited by C. Nimsky and R. Fahlbusch: Neurosurgery Clinics of North America Vol. 16/1 2005, p. 77-99.
  8. Grodd W.: Congenital White-Matter Diseases (Leukodystrophies). In: K. Sartor: Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology. p 227-233, Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart 2002

F) Funding (2010- now):

2008-2011  DFG-EF Grodd: Architecture of Fiber Pathways of the Cerebellum: Investigations of Compartmentation and Connectivity using Diffusions-Tensor-Bildgebung (DTI)

2008-2013  DFG-EF Grodd, Ulrich: „Analyzing, deciding, acting: Functional Imaging of cognitive processing during chess game playing.

2015 -        DFG-EF Grodd: Compartmentation and Connectivity of the Thalamus: fMRI "Resting State" and DWI Examinations

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