IRTG Activities

The PhD program includes seminars and courses on cognitive research. Each semester, IRTG offers a wide range of lectures and workshops. The curriculum is complemented by external lectures, seminars and summer schools led by world-leading experts who come to Magdeburg to discuss the latest scientific trends.

Since theory is followed by practice, we organize technical workshops including experimental training, where the students are given the opportunity to gain hands-on experience. Our students also have the opportunity to take soft skills courses to advance their professional future – such as project management, professional presentations and conflict resolution.

Technical Workshops

Practical trainings to acquire new methods and novel technologies are organised by CRC 1436 project leaders.

If you want to register for the upcoming workshops, please send an email to

Date: 29. February 2024  I  09:00 a.m. – 13:00 p.m.

Instructors: Dr. Michael Kreutz, Dr. Anna Karpova, Dr. Prof. Alexander Dityatev, Prof. Dr. Magdalena Sauvage, Prof. Dr. Oliver Stork.

Location: IBIO – Room 001Detailed information and the schedule of the workshop can be found here

Detailed information and the schedule of the workshop can be found here. 

Theoretical Sessions

9.10 – 9.50Functional circuit analysis with engram technologies.Dr. Michael Kreutz
9.50 – 10.30From mGRASP to SynapShot: exploring basic principles of molecular tools and applicability for defined questions.Dr. Anna Karpova
10.50 – 11.30Imaging engrams using two-photon calcium imaging.Prof. Dr. Alexander Dityatev
11.30 – 12.10Emergence and fate of memories: engram mapping based on Immediate-Early Gene (IEG) expression.Prof. Dr. Magdalena Sauvage
12.10 – 12.50Implementation of engram labelling in behavioral research using the robust activity marking (RAM) technologyProf. Dr. Oliver Stork and Sara Enrile

Practical Sessions

Practical sessions will take place within two weeks from the lectures date. Instructors will provide more information after their lectures.

Tools and paradigms for probing cognition across species

Date: 04 – 05. May 2023  I  09:00 a.m. – 05:00 p.m.

Instructor: Prof. Dr. Anne Albrecht, Prof. Dr. Frank Angenstein, Prof. Dr. Markus Fendt, Prof. Dr. Kristine Krug, Dr. Janelle Pakan, Prof. Dr. Thomas Wolbers

Location: IBIO – Room 203

Detailed information and the schedule of the workshop can be found here. 

Advanced MRI Methods

Practical Sessions

Workshop: “Multimodal neuroimaging data analysis: an example for a fMRI-PET study”

Date: 22 February 2023  I  10:00 a.m. – 02:00 p.m.

Instructor: Dr. Anne Maass

Location:  DZNE – Room 121

Workshop: “7 Tesla MRI visit”

Date: 12 January 2023  I  9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
16 January 2023  I  3:30 p.m. – 05:00 p.m.

Instructor: Prof. Dr. Oliver Speck

Location:   Haus 92 – 7 Tesla MRI

Workshop: “Software and tools to infer brain-behaviour correlations based on structural MRI data”

Date: 3 November 2022  I  1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Instructor: Dr. Nico Lehmann

Location: PC pool in OvGU building 40 D – Room 08

Workshop: “Perivascular Spaces Segmentation (PVS)”

Date: 28 October 2022  I  10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Instructor: Jose Bernal Moyano 

Location: IBIO – Seminar room: 001 

Theoretical Sessions

Date: 04 October 2022

12:00 – 13:00Introduction to MRIOliver Speck
13:00 – 14:00 fMRI and PETAnne Maass
14:15 – 15:15 Structural MRIMarco Taubert 
15:15 – 16:15 Vascular MRIStefanie Schreiber


Foundations of Bayesian Inference

Date: 05-07 October 2022 – Dirk Ostwald

(0) Introduction  
(1) Foundations
(2) Conjugate inference
(3) Numerical inference
(4) Variational inference


State-of-the-art – EEG/MEG Analysis Workshop

Date: 13-17 June 2022

Introduction to FieldTrip, EEGlab – Preprocessing I Max Stenner, Christian Merkel, Korka
Preprocessing II & IIIMax Stenner, Christian Merkel
 Spectral analysisStefan Dürschmid
 SSVEPChristian Merkel
StatisticsMax Stenner
 Source analysisMax Hopf
 Multivariate analysesRadoslaw Martin Cichy, Reichert
 Connectivity analysesStefan Dürschmid
 Visit to MEG labsNönnig, Knape
 What to keep in mind when designing EEG/MEG researchMandy Bartsch


Neuro-image Modelling Workshop

Date: 21-24 March 2022

21-22 March 2022Introduction to fMRI Analysis (GLM)Dirk Ostwald
23-24 March 2022Basics on Predictive ModellingGabriel Ziegler

IRTG Lecture Series

These lectures are mainly aimed at our PhD students and postdocs. They serve as an educational module for them to develop a deep understanding of the theoretical concepts of cognition and to connect the basic micro, meso and macro levels of the research area.

Students are highly encouraged to attend lectures on CRC 1436 relevant topics as concepts of cognition, cellular & molecular mechanisms of aging and super-aging, transferable enhancement of cognitive functions, systemic imaging technologies on brain aging, sleep deprivation, vascular reserve, and cognitive adaptations to acquire a common basic knowledge and learn state-of-the-art methods and techniques. Our young researchers are also regularly informed about the lectures of other graduate programs.

CRC 1436 – IRTG Lecture Series / Biweekly Thursdays, 12:00 – 13:30

IRTG Lectures 2023

Proteastasis and cellular senescence

Date: 22.06.2023

Instructor: Daniela C. Dieterich

Cognitive Neurology

Date: 08.06.2023

Instructor: Emrah Düzel

Coordination dynamics in neural systems

Date: 25.05.2023

Instructor: Frank Ohl

Causal interventions in brain circuits for cognition in primates

Date: 11.05.2023

Instructor: Kristine Krug

Noradrenergic system – why relevant in dementia?

Date: 20.04.2023

Instructor: Dorothea Hämmerer

Cellular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in the medial prefrontal cortex of rodents

Date: 30.03.2023

Instructor: Volkmar Lessmann

The role of sensory cortex in sensory-guided decision making

Date: 16.03.2023

Instructor: Max Happel

MR-Methods for structural and functional brain imaging

Date: 02.03.2023

Instructor: Oliver Speck

Cognitive flexibility in laboratory rodents: experimental paradigms and neural basis

Date: 16.02.2023

Instructor: Markus Fendt

Ethical aspects of research with humans

Date: 02.02.2023

Instructor: Björn Schott

Functional neuroanatomy of temporal attention

Date: 19.01.2023

Instructor: Toemme Noesselt

IRTG Lectures 2022

Using sMRI Pattern Analysis in Ageing and Neurodegeneration

Date: 27.10.2022

Instructor: Gabriel Ziegler

Testing cognition and probing neural circuits in rodents

Date: 03.11.2022

Instructor: Oliver Stork

Beyond Peaks and Troughs: Multiplexed Performance Monitoring Signals in the EEG

Date: 17.11.2022

Instructor: Markus Ullsperger

Beyond Peaks and Troughs: Multiplexed Performance Monitoring Signals in the EEG

Date: 17.11.2022

Instructor: Markus Ullsperger

Functional neuroanatomy of attention control

Date: 01.12.2022

Instructor: Stefan Pollmann

Previous IRTG Lectures (2021-2022)

Loosen the corset – brain ECM dynamics and cognitive flexibility

Date: 04.11.2021

Instructor: Constanze Seidenbecher

Spatial Cognition – a unique window into mechanisms of ageing and dementia

Date: 18.11.2021

Instructor: Thomas Wolbers

Cognitive Reserve

Date: 02.12.2021

Instructor: Gabriel Ziegler

Excitation-transcription coupling: An unexplored neural resource

Date: 20.01.2022

Instructor: Michael Kreutz

Mechanisms and emerging concepts of vascular cognitive impairment

Date: 03.02.2022

Instructor: Stefanie Schreiber

Neuropeptides controlling emotion and cognition

Date: 17.02.2022

Instructor: Anne Albrecht

Neural resources for spatial, temporal and event memories

Date: 03.03.2022

Instructor: Magdalena Sauvage

Training-induced plasticity in the human brain

Date: 17.03.2022

Instructor: Marco Taubert

Effects of Alzheimer’s Pathology on memory dysfunction in ageing

Date: 31.03.2022

Instructor: Anne Maass

Molecular mechanisms of neuroplasticity

Date: 14.04.2022

Instructor: Alexander Dityatev

External Courses & Workshops

Professionalism training courses serve to acquire key competences in scientific management and soft skills, e. g. in scientific writing, grant application, good scientific practice, data management, oral presentation, conflict management, animal handling.

Additionally, transferable skills training courses are offered to students for various future career paths. These courses enable integration into a multidisciplinary and collaborative research field and successfully overcome the boundaries between academic and industrial paths.


Mental Strategies – Stress Management Seminar for Doctoral Students (in cooperation with TK)

5 sessions: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm 

25.05.2023 Stress and its effects | in person 

01.06.2023 Protect yourself from stress | ZOOM 

08.06.2023 It’s all in the mind | ZOOM 

15.06.2023 Manage stress successfully | ZOOM 

29.06.2023 My doctoral journey | in person

Workshop “Advanced Python – Analysis and Visualization of Scientific Data”

Date: 13.-15.03.2023

Instructor: Dr. Alexander Britz

Workshop “Solving Conflicts in the Lab”

Date: 01.03.2023

Instructor: Dr. Imke Lode

Workshop “Oral Presentation Skills”

Date: 15.-16.02.2023

Instructor: Dr. Imke Lode


Workshop “Advanced Python – Analysis and Visualization of Scientific Data”

Date: 19.-21.11.2022

Instructor: Dr. Alexander Britz

Workshop “Writing Scientific Publications”

Date: 24.-25.11.2022

Instructor: Dr. Anne Wolfes

Workshop “Writing Scientific Publications”

Date: 10.-11.11.2022

Instructor: Dr. Anne Wolfes

Workshop “Time Management”

Date: 24.08.2022

Instructor: Dr. Anne Wolfes

Workshop “Entrepreneurship”

Date: 24.08.2022

Instructor: Dr. Gerald Böhm – TUGZ

Workshop “Designing Skills for Papers”

Date: 24.08.2022

Instructor: Philipp Jordan

Workshop “Mental Health during PhD”

Date: 23.08.2022

Instructor: Suzanne Maureen Jones

Workshop “Poster Design”

Date: 23.08.2022

Instructor: Philipp Jordan

Workshop “Research Data Management”

Date: 21.-22.02.2022

Instructor: Katarzyna Biernacka

German Language Courses

Date: 25.10-31.12.2022

Workshop “Research Data Management”

Date: 24.-25.01.2022

Instructor: Katarzyna Biernacka


Workshop “Good Scientific Practice”

Date: 22.11.2021

Instructor: Dr. Andrea Kliewer

Workshop “Good Scientific Practice”

Date: 19.11.2021

Instructor: Dr. Andrea Kliewer

Workshop “Research Data Management”

Date: 26.10.2021

Instructor: Katarzyna Biernacka

Workshop “Good Scientific Practice”

Date: 08.10.2021

Instructor: Barbara Witter

German Conversation Clubs

Date: 01.10.-31.12.2021

IRTG Neuroscience Summer School

Our first summer school, organized by our PhD students, took place from August 22nd to 24th, 2022 in Festung Mark and enabled more than 60 young researchers to expand their knowledge in neuroscience and to network with their peers.  

We hosted Prof. Dr. Martin Fuhrmann (DZNE Bonn – Germany), Prof. Dr. Marloes Henckens (Donders Institute – Netherlands), Dr. Christian Schnell (Cell Press-UK), Dr. Chiara de Lucia (King’s College London – UK), Dr. Nahid Zokaei (University of Oxford – UK), Dr. Eider Arenaza Urquijo (Barcelona Beta Brain Research Center – Spain), six high-profile scientists from across Europe.  We appreciate their exciting lectures and the opportunity to expand our knowledge at all levels of neuroscience!

Moreover, we had great highlight workshops on Poster Design, Open Data & BIDSMental Health during PhD, Design Skills for Scientific PapersTime management and Entrepreneurship.

In our panel discussion „Growing up in Science“, Prof. Dr. Anne Albrecht, Dr. Chiara de Lucia and Dr. Philipp Jordan gave valuable insights into their experiences inside and outside of academy and exchanged perspectives on future career opportunities for young scientists.

We thank all our invited guests for sharing their valuable research experiences and for the inspiring career tips they gave to the young researchers. Finally, we would like to thank our organising committee for the great success, who stayed motivated from start to finish and took care of every detail individually.

For more information check our flyer and the schedule.


Keynote Lectures:

  • How AD affects the brain from sub cellular to network level – lessons from animal experiments” – Prof Dr Martin Fuhrmann DZNE Bonn – Germany
  • “Inter-individual differences in stress susceptibility: what can we learn from animal models?”Prof Dr Marloes Henckens – Donders Institute – Netherlands
  • “Negative results” Dr Christian Schnell – Cell Press
  • “Adult neurogenesis across time” – Dr Chiara de Lucia – King’s College London – UK
  • “Memory and Attention” – Dr Nahid Zokaei – University of Oxford – UK
  • “Cognitive Reserve” – Dr Eider Arenaza Urquijo – Barcelona Beta Brain Research Center (BBRC) – Spain

Panel Discussions:


  • Poster designDr Philipp Jordan
  • Open Data & BIDS Prof Dr Dirk Ostwald
  • Mental Health during PhD- Suzanne Jones
  • Designing skills for scientific papersDr Philipp Jordan
  • EntrepreneurshipDr Gerald Böhm
  • Time managementDr Anne Wolfes

IRTG Retreats

IRTG retreats take place annually outside of Magdeburg. We use this opportunity to review the current status of our educational activities and the research results of the students. The students of each project present and discuss their recent research outcomes, as well as technical challenges and possible collaborations.

IRTG Retreat / 01.-03. June 2022

Hotel Wasserschloss Westerburg

This year our IRTG Retreat took place in the Hotel Wasserschloss Westerburg. We took opportunity to review the current status of our educational activities and the research results of our members. The PhD students, MD fellows and postdocs of each project presented and discussed their recent research outcomes, as well as technical challenges and possible collaborations.

IRTG Kick-Off Meeting / 01.-03. September 2021

K6 Seminar Hotel, Halberstadt

We welcomed our new PhD students and postdocs of CRC 1436 at our Kick-Off Meeting. We took the opportunity to get to know each other and introduce the IRTG graduate program. In addition, students gave presentations on their research topics and made initial contacts for future collaborations.

IRTG Coding Club

The IRTG Coding Club, organised by students for students, gathers every 3rd Wednesday of the month (with occasional exceptions) to offer support with coding challenges in an easygoing environment. Whether someone is new to coding or familiar with it, everyone is welcome to join for a relaxed, question-friendly space to collaboratively address coding issues.

Participants are also welcomed to invite speakers to address specific topics and learn new methods

No registration required.

Brainhack Magdeburg 2024

The IRTG is the organiser of the 2024 edition of Brainhack Magdeburg!

The event is an opportunity to learn and practice analysing block-design human fMRI , neuronal recording or protein expression datasets in a collaborative environment. Three IRTG students (Avinash Kalyani, Anwesha Das, Aditya Nemali) will lead the working groups and present the results on the last day of the event.

During the two days, Dr. Gabriel Ziegler will introduce participants to the basics of fMRI analysis on the first day, while on the second day, Dr. Davide Ciliberti will discuss real-time detection of hippocampal replay patterns for closed-loop experiments. IRTG Activities

The organisation team: Anwesha Das, Martin Matke, Avinash Kalyani, Aditya Nemali, Margarita Darna – graphics