BrainPIE Lab

(Brain Principles of Immersion and Emergence)


“Absorption in some condition, action, interest, etc.”

Oxford English Dictionary

Immersion here is used to describe the mechanisms in a single brain for processing exogenous and endogenous information in order to perceive its environment and interact with it. In this sense, immersion serves as a wholistic concept encompassing many cognitive processes which we investigate individually, guided by central questions.

  • How does a single brain operate
    • in an exogenous, stimulus-rich environment?
    • in an endogenous, self-driven environment?
    • in an environment comprised by both exogenous and endogenous information.
  • How does processing of exogenous and endogenous information change in naturalistic conditions, as compared to laboratory conditions?


“In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence occurs when an entity is observed to have properties its parts do not have on their own. These properties or behaviors emerge only when the parts interact in a wider whole” 


Emergence here is used to describe the brain mechanisms engaged when humans operate in the presence of others, interact with others and when they act as members of a group with a common cause. Questions of interest include:

  • How is basic single brain function affected by the presence of others?
  • How do single brains operate when they interact with others?
  • What are the main brain correlates of being and acting as members of a group with a common task and/or identity.



Internationales Forscherteam identifiziert kognitive Berechnungen, die menschlichem Vorhersageverhalten zugrunde liegen.



Current Members

Georgios Michalareas

Senior Researcher,  Lab Founder

Matthias Grabenhorst


David Poeppel



Mencke I., Quiroga-Martinez D.R., Omigie D., Michalareas G., Schwarzacher F., Trusbak Haumann N., Vuust P., Brattico E.(2021). Prediction under uncertainty: Dissociating sensory from cognitive expectations in highly uncertain musical contexts. Brain Research, Volume 1773, 147664.

Sun, Y., Michalareas, G., & Poeppel, D. (2021). The impact of phase entrainment on auditory detection is highly variable: Revisiting a key finding. European Journal of Neuroscience, 1– 18.

Grabenhorst, M., Maloney, L. T., Poeppel, D.*, & Michalareas, G.* (2021). Two sources of uncertainty independently modulate temporal expectancy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(16), e2019342118. *equally contributing

Dikker, S.*, Michalareas, G.*, Oostrik, M., Serafimaki, A., Kahraman, H., Struiksma, M., Poeppel, D. (2021). Crowdsourcing neuroscience: inter-brain coupling during face-to-face interactions outside the laboratory. NeuroImage, vol 227, 117436, *equally contributing

Grabenhorst, M.*, Michalareas, G.*, Maloney, L., Poeppel, D. (2019). The anticipation of events in time. Nature Communications 2019 vol: 10 (1) pp: 5802 *equally contributing

Gehrig, J., Michalareas, G., Forster, M.-T., Lei, J., Hok, P., Laufs, H., Senft, C., Seifert, V., Schoffelen, J.-M., Hanslmayr, S., & Kell, C. A. (2019). Low-Frequency Oscillations Code Speech during Verbal Working Memory. Journal of Neuroscience, 39(33), 6498–6512.

Adrian, J., Amos, M., Baratchi, M., Beermann, M., Bode, N., Boltes, M., Corbetta, A., Dezecache, G., Drury, J., Fu, Z., Geraerts, R., Gwynne, S., Hofinger, G., Hunt, A., Kanters, T., Kneidl, A., Konya, K., Köster, G., Küpper, M.,  Michalareas, G., Neville, F., Ntontis, E., Reicher, S., Ronchi, E., Schadschneider, A., Seyfried, A., Shipman, A., Sieben, A., Spearpoint, M., Sullivan, G.B., Templeton, A., Toschi, F., van der Wal, N., van Schadewijk, F., von Krüchten, C., Wijermans, N., Yücel, Z., Zanlungo, F. and Zuriguel, I. (2019). A glossary for research on human crowd dynamics. Collective Dynamics, 4(A19), 1–13.

Rimmele, J., Sun, Y., Michalareas, G., Ghitza, O., Poeppel,D. (2019). Dynamics of functional networks for syllable and word-level processing.  bioRxiv 2019 pp: 584375

Dikker, S., Wan, L., Davidesco, I., Kaggen, L., Oostrik, M., McClintock, J., Rowland, J., Michalareas, G., Van Bavel, J., Ding, M., Poeppel, D.,(2017). Brain-to-Brain Synchrony Tracks Real-World Dynamic Group Interactions in the Classroom. Current Biology 2017 vol: 27 (9) pp: 1375-1380

Michalareas, G., Vezoli, J., van Pelt, S., Schoffelen, J., Kennedy, H., Fries, P.,(2016). Alpha-Beta and Gamma Rhythms Subserve Feedback and Feedforward Influences among Human Visual Cortical Areas. Neuron 2016 vol: 89 (2) pp: 384-397