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CBBS Research Group 
Psychological Methodology

Project leader: Dr. Michael Hanke


forschergruppe hankeResearch in this lab is focused on the interface of computer and information sciences, neuroscience, and psychology. In a number of international collaborations we develop tools and strategies to employ inter-disciplinary expertise in psychological and neuroimaging research in order to find new ways of evaluating and organizing an ever-expanding body of knowledge. To this end the lab is equally involved in development projects for research software, as well as a number of original research projects.

The focus of the original research in the lab lies on the investigation of distributed multivariate brain activation patterns, and, in particular, their commonalities and idiosyncrasies across groups of individuals. Through a number of collaboration we are aiming to develop a reference space for brain activity dynamics that will enabled researchers to characterize and compare activation patterns elicited by high-level cognitive processes, in patients and healthy individuals, well beyond the scope of identifying associated brain areas.

Our software projects range from tailored solutions to specific problems all the way up to versatile research platforms. One example is PyMVPA, a toolbox for multivariate pattern analysis of neuroscientific data. It is a platform-independent, and open-source solution that aids the application of algorithms from machine learning research to data from various neuroscientific data modalities. Since it's first publication in 2009, PyMVPA has been employed in studies performed by numerous research groups around the world. For more information visit

Another examples is NeuroDebian, by far the biggest project the lab is helping to push forward. This is a complete software platform for neuroscientific research (MRI-based neuroimaging in particular). NeuroDebian achieves its unique combination of versatility and stability by integrating all relevant software components with the Debian operating system. At the same time, NeuroDebian can be used with all popular operating systems such as MS Windows, Mac OS X, as well as Linux-based computers. NeuroDebian is used on thousands of machines world-wide on a daily basis.

For more information visit


Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg

LIN Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology Magdeburg

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