Research methods

Our group mainly focuses on studying neurodegenerative disorders with a special emphasis on neuroimaging and other non-invasive methods. Currently, we apply the following methods:

Magnetic Resonance Imaging allow a detailed display of processes in the brain.

Many apps for cognitive training are available (sometimes referred to as apps for “brain fitness”) and mirroring a strong interest in improving cognitive abilities. But many of these apps are designed to engage a young to middle aged audience with a lack of evidence for their efficacy. Additionally, the type and amount of recorded data in such apps is often not suited for the use in research.

Because of these shortcomings our research group developed an app for cognitive training especially for elderly people with no or beginning cognitive impairment. This app targets episodic and semantic memory and spatial abilities. These domains are most affected from dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease.

Additionally, the app includes games to train working memory because an improvement in working memory is expected to be beneficial for several cognitive domains (i.e., transfer effects).

In an ongoing study, participants meet weekly in small groups to discuss new games in the app and potential problems which occurred using the app.

Currently, the app is available upon request only.

For further questions please contact:

Esther Brill


Phone: +41 31 930 96 34

tDCS training
process imaging center
Klöppel et al. Neuroimage (2012)

In the future, images used by radiologists to diagnose structural changes in the brain should be processed with machine learning techniques more frequently. We apply statistical methods to analyse structural changes in the brain of individuals as well as groups to both investigate natural aging in the brain and to detect abberant structural brain changes as early as possible.