ZiF Research Group

Cognitive Behavior of Humans, Animals, and Machines:

Situation Model Perspectives

October 2019 – July 2020

Convenors: Werner Schneider (Bielefeld, GER), Helge Ritter (Bielefeld, GER)

Jacob Engelmann

Associate Fellow

Foto Active Sensing Group, Faculty of Biology, &
Center for Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC),
Bielefeld University, Germany
E-Mail: jacob.engelmann@uni-bielefeld.de


Jacob Engelmann studied biology at the University of Bonn, where he also got his PhD in biology in 2002. From 2003 to 2004, he was a Marie-Curie Fellow at the CRNS Gif-sur-Yvette in France followed by a research visit at the University of Tokyo, Japan in the Department of Physiology. From 2004 to 2010, Jacob Engelmann was a research assistant at the Institute of Zoology in the Department of Neuroethology in Bonn, Germany. In 2010, he was appointed a tenure-tracked Junior-Professor of Active Sensing in the Faculty of Biology at the Bielefeld University, Germany where he is a Full Professor since 2016.

Current Main Research Interests

Jacob Engelmann's Active Sensing Lab was established to understand how the challenges faced by organisms in real-time interactions shape sensorimotor behaviour. Using weakly electric fish as a model, he researches the tight interactions between sensory physics, neuronal processing and behaviour. This sensory system makes it possible to address how resourceful allocation of spatiotemporally patterned attention results in adaptive on-time behaviour. Jacob Engelmann's work is highly interdisciplinary and bridges basic neurobiological approaches to research on neuromorphic chips and the development of novel technological sensors. Using novel computational tools he recently started to investigate how skill acquisition and learning are supported by changes in electromotor behaviour.

Five selected publications with particular relevance to the Research Group
  • Pedraja, F., Hofmann, V., Lucas, K. M., Young, C., Engelmann, J. and Lewis, J. E. (2018). Motion parallax in electric sensing. PNAS, 115, 573-577.
  • Hofmann, V., Sanguinetti-Scheck, J., Gómez-Sena, L., & Engelmann, J. (2017). Sensory flow as a basis for a novel distance cue in freely behaving electric fish. Journal of Neuroscience, 37, 302-312. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.136116.2017
  • Hofmann, V., Guerten, B., Sanguinetti-Scheck, J., Gomez-Senna, L., & Engelmann, J. (2014). Motor patterns during active electrosensory acquisition. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8, 186. doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00186
  • Hofmann, V., Sanguinetti-Scheck, J., Künzel, J., Geurten, B., Gómez-Sena, L., & Engelmann, J. (2013). Sensory flow shaped by active sensing: sensormotor strategies in electric fish. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 216, 2487-2500. doi:10.1242/jeb.082420
  • Engelmann, J., Bacelo, J., Metzen, M., Pusch, R., Bouton, B., Migliaro, A., Caputi, A., Budelli, R., Grant, K. & von der Emde, G. (2008). Electric imaging through active electrolocation: Implication for the analysis of complex scenes. Biological Cybernetics, 98, 519-539. doi:10.1007/s00422-008-0213-5