Universität Bielefeld

© Universität Bielefeld

Prof. Dr. Werner Schneider

Contact Details

Name: Prof. Dr. Werner Schneider
Postal Address:

Universität Bielefeld
Fakultät für Psychologie und Sportwissenschaft
Abteilung für Psychologie
& Cognitive Interaction Technology - Excellence Center (CITEC)
Postfach 10 01 31
D-33501 Bielefeld
Unit: AE01 / Neuro-Cognitive Psychology
Room: CITEC-2.413
Phone: ++49 (0)521 106 - 4502
Fax: ++49 (0)521 106 - 156934
Email: wxs 'at' uni-bielefeld.de
Office-Hour: By agreement


Overall topic

  • Selective visual perception and memory for controlling goal-directed behavior

Central issues

  • Attention and working memory: Key mechanisms of perception-memory interactions
  • o Attention, working memory, and eye movement behavior
    o Visual-cognitive abilities (person parameters) of attention and working memory
  • Situation models: Advanced perception-memory interactions for cognitive (flexible, context-sensitive) behavior
  • Development of new research tools for visual-cognitive experimentation: Psychophysics & eye tracking


  • Experimental studies (visual-cognitive psychophysics and sensorimotor behavior; advanced eye tracking) with healthy adults and patient groups
  • Virtual reality (e.g. head-mounted displays) for visual-cognitive experimentation

New research group

The ZiF research group "Cognitive behavior of humans, animals, and machines: Situation model perspectives" will take place between October 2019 and July 2020 (summary below). The organizers are Werner Schneider (Faculty of Psychology and Sport Science, & CITEC, Bielefeld University) & Helge Ritter (Faculty of Technology, & CITEC, Bielefeld University). We are looking very much forward to exciting times at the ZiF, Bielefeld University's Center for Advanced Studies. To view a detailed example of the structure and schedule of a similar, earlier ZiF research group (Schneider & Einhäuser-Treyer; 2012/13) that was co-organized by one of us: click here.


Recent advances in cognitive neuroscience (CN, the combination of psychology and brain science) have given us new insights about likely core components of cognitive behavior that exhibits the striking flexibility and context-sensitivity that we see in humans and many animal species (e.g., rodents, monkeys). At the same time, progress in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, particularly through deep learning and its connection with other machine learning approaches, along with the availability of sophisticated robots, scenarios and datasets, have opened up new routes for synthesizing intelligent functions. These advances have created a strong basis for a converging and cross-disciplinary challenge: to understand how the emerging functional modules need to be connected in order to enable flexible context-sensitive behavior for both natural cognitive agents as well as for robots to live up to what we would expect from truly intelligent systems.
The proposed ZiF research group will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers from pertinent fields to approach this challenge of cognitive behavior from the conceptual framework of situation models. Such a model details the required processes and the computational space that together connect perception and memory in the service of the current behavioral demand. Thus, predictions and other forms of manipulating perceptual or memory-based information are considered as key processes of situation models, allowing flexible and context-sensitive forms of action decisions, planning and learning. In order to foster a productive dialogue between research fields and disciplines we will concentrate on basic non-language mediated forms of behavior (e.g., manual manipulation, navigation, search). By the establishment of the ZiF research group, we plan to pursue the following research goals: Elucidating the processing architecture (representations and operations) of situation models, clarifying of how task- and exploration-driven behavioral demands interact, advancing highly-controlled experimental paradigms for studying situation models, and spelling out the scientific and societal implications of the generated insights for medicine, philosophy and technology.
Four focus perspectives on situation models will guide and organize the research of the group: (1) Working memory as a central gateway for cognitive behavior (2) Situation models and efficient context-sensitive learning (3) Two-systems approaches to the control of cognitive behavior (4) Real and imagined flexible context-sensitive behavior by cognitive maps. Each of these focus perspectives highlights new questions and potential approach directions for answers to our key issues (goals) of the situation model framework. Crucially, we expect strong benefits by tackling these questions from the CN as well as from the AI side, especially when it comes to take to the claims of mutual inspiration of ideas seriously. Organization-wise, besides having fellows and associate group members present at the ZiF (between a few days and several months), two conferences and four workshops are planned.

Ten most important publications

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Foerster, R. M., Poth, C. H., Behler, C., Botsch, M., & Schneider, W. X. (2019, January 17). Neuropsychological Assessment of Visual Selective Attention and Processing Capacity With Head-Mounted Displays. Neuropsychology. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/neu0000517 (PDF)

Foerster, R. M., & Schneider, W. X. (2018). Involuntary top-down control by search-irrelevant features: Visual working memory biases attention in an object-based manner. Cognition, 172, 37-45. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2017.12.002. (LINK) (PDF)

Poth, C. H., & Schneider, W. X. (2018). Attentional competition across saccadic eye movements. Acta Psychologica, 190, 27-37. doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2018.06.011. (PDF)

Herwig, A., & Schneider, W. X. (2014). Predicting object features across saccades: Evidence from object recognition and visual search. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143(5), 1903-1922. (PDF)

Schneider, W.X. (2013). Selective visual processing across competition episodes: a theory of task-driven visual attention and working memory. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, 368 (1628), 1-13. (LINK)

Wischnewski, M., Belardinelli, A., Schneider, W.X. & Steil J.J. (2010) Where to Look Next? Combining Static and Dynamic Proto-objects in a TVA-based Model of Visual Attention. Cognitive Computation, 2, 326-343. (PDF)

Finke, K., Bublak, P., Dose, M.; Müller, HJ, & Schneider, W.X. (2006) Parameter-based assessment of spatial and non-spatial attentional deficits in Huntington?s disease. Brain, 129, 1137-1151. (PDF)

Schneider, W.X. & Deubel, H. (2002). Selection-for-perception and selection-for-spatial-motor-action are coupled by visual attention: A review of recent findings and new evidence from stimulus-driven saccade control (p. 609-627). In W. Prinz & B. Hommel (Eds). Attention and Performance XIX: Common Mechanisms in Perception and Action. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (PDF)

Deubel, H. & Schneider, W.X. (1996). Saccade target selection and object recognition: Evidence for a common attentional mechanism. Vision Res., 36: 12, 1827-1837. (PDF)

Schneider, W.X. (1995). VAM: A Neuro-Cognitive Model for Visual Attention Control of Segmentation, Object Recognition, and Space-based Motor Action, Visual Cognition, 2, 331-375. (PDF)

Further Selected Publications

Poth, C. H., Foerster, R. M., Behler, C., Schwanecke, U., Schneider, W. X., Botsch, M. (2018). Ultrahigh temporal resolution of visual presentation using gaming monitors and G-Sync. Behavior Research Methods. doi:10.3758/s13428-017-1003-6. (LINK) (PDF)

Foerster, R. M., Poth, C. H., Behler, C., Botsch, M., & Schneider, W. X. (2016). Using the virtual reality device Oculus Rift for neuropsychological assessment of visual processing capabilities. Scientific Reports, 6:37016. doi:10.1038/srep37016. (LINK)

Poth, C. H., & Schneider, W. X. (2016). Breaking object correspondence across saccades impairs object recognition: The role of color and luminance. Journal of Vision, 16(11):1, 1-12. doi:10.1167/16.11.1. (LINK)

Poth, C. H., & Schneider, W. X. (2016). Episodic short-term recognition requires encoding into visual working memory: Evidence from probe recognition after letter report. Frontiers in Psychology, 7:1440. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01440. (LINK)

Weiß, K., Schneider W. X., & Herwig, A. (2015). A "blanking effect" for surface features: Transsaccadic spatial frequency discrimination is improved by post-saccadic blanking. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 77, 1500-1506.

Foerster, R. M., & Schneider, W. X. (2015). Anticipatory eye movements in sensorimotor actions: on the role of guiding fixations during learning.Cognitive Processing, 16, 227-231.(LINK) (PDF)

Foerster, R. M., & Schneider, W. X. (2015). Expectation-violations in sensorimotor sequences: Shifting from LTM-based to visual search-based attentional selection. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1339, 45-59.(LINK) (PDF)

Herwig, A., Weiß, K., & Schneider, W. X. (2015). When circles become triangular: How transsaccadic predictions shape the perception of shape. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1339, 97-105. (PDF)

Poth, C. H., Herwig, A., & Schneider, W. X. (2015). Breaking object correspondence across saccadic eye movements deteriorates object recognition. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 9:176. doi:10.3389/fnsys.2015.00176.(LINK)

Schneider, W. X., Einhäuser, W., & Horstmann, G. (2015). Introduction to competitive visual processing across space and time: Attention, memory, and prediction. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1339, v-viii. (LINK)

Schneider, W. X., Einhäuser, W., & Horstmann, G. (Eds.). (2015). Competitive visual processing across space and time [Special issue]. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1339, Pages v-viii, 1-198. (LINK)

Weiß, K., Schneider, W. X., & Herwig, A. (2014). Associating peripheral and foveal visual input across saccades: A default mode of the human visual system? Journal of Vision, 14(11):7, 1-15. (LINK)

Poth, C. H., Petersen A, Bundesen C, & Schneider, W. X. (2014). Effects of monitoring for visual events on distinct components of attention. Frontiers in Psychology. 5:930. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00930 (LINK) (PDF)

Foerster, R. M., Carbone, E., & Schneider, W. X. (2014). Long-term memory-based control of attention in multi-step tasks requires working memory: evidence from domain-specific interference. Frontiers in Psychology. 5:408. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00408. (LINK) (PDF)

Foerster, R. M., & Schneider, W. X. (2013). Functionally sequenced scanpath similarity method (FuncSim): Comparing and evaluating scanpath similarity based on a task's inherent sequence of functional (action) units. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 6(5):4, 1-22. (LINK)(PDF)

Griffiths, G., Herwig, A., & Schneider, W. X. (2013). Stimulus localization interferes with stimulus recognition: Evidence from an attentional blink paradigm. Journal of Vision, 13(7):7, 1-14. (PDF)

Poth, C.H. & Schneider, W.X. (2013) Aufmerksamkeit. In A. Stephan & S. Walter (Eds.) Handbuch Kognitionswissenschaft. Stuttgart: Metzler.

Schneider, W. X., Einhäuser, W., & Horstmann, G. (Eds.). (2013). Attentional selection in visual perception, memory and action: A quest for common principles [Theme issue]. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, 368 (1628). (LINK)

Schneider, W.X., Einhäuser, W., & Horstmann, G. (2013). Attentional selection in visual perception, memory and action: a quest for cross-domain integration. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, 368 (1628), 1-7. (LINK)

Belardinelli, A., Carbone, A., & Schneider, W. X. (2013). Classification of multiscale spatiotemporal energy features for video segmentation and dynamic objects prioritisation. Pattern Recognition Letters, 34, 713-722.

Finke, K., Matthias, E., Keller, I., Muller, H.J., Schneider, W.X., Bublak, P. (2012). How does phasic alerting improve performance in patients with unilateral neglect? A systematic analysis of attentional processing capacity and spatial weighting mechanisms. Neuropsychologia, 50, 1178-1189. (PDF)

Redel, P., Bublak, P., Sorg, C., Kurz, A., Förstl, H., Müller, H. J., Schneider, W.X. & Finke, K. (2012). Deficits of spatial and task-related attentional selection in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiology of Aging, 33(1), 195-e27. (PDF)

Foerster, R.M., Carbone E., Koesling H., & Schneider W.X. (2012). Saccadic eye movements in the dark while performing an automatized sequential high-speed sensorimotor task. Journal of Vision, 12 (2):8, 1-15. (LINK) (PDF)

Bublak, P., Redel, P., Sorg, C., Kurz, A., Förstl, H., Müller, H. J., Schneider, W.X. & Finke, K. (2011). Staged decline of visual processing capacity in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiology of aging, 32(7), 1219-1230.

Foerster, R.M., Carbone E., Koesling H., & Schneider W.X. (2011). Saccadic eye movements in a high-speed bimanual stacking task: Changes of attentional control during learning and automatization. Journal of Vision, 11(7),1-16. (LINK) (PDF)

Finke, K.,Schwarzkopf, W.,Muller, U.,Frodl, T.,Muller, H.J.,Schneider, W.X., Engel, R.,Riedel, M.,Moller, H.J.,Hennig-Fast, K. (2011). Disentangling the Adult Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Endophenotype: Parametric Measurement of Attention. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 120(4), 890-901. (PDF)

Carbone, E & Schneider, W. X. (2010). The control of stimulus-driven saccades is not subject to central, but visual attention limitations. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 72, 2168-2175. (PDF)

Võ, M. L.-H., Zwickel, J. & Schneider, W. X. (2010) Has someone moved my plate? The immediate and persistent effects of object location changes on gaze allocation during natural scene viewing. Attention, Perception,& Psychophysics, 72, 1251-1255. (PDF)

Herwig, A., Beisert, M., & Schneider, W. X. (2010). On the spatial interaction of visual working memory and attention: Evidence for a global effect from memory-guided saccades. Journal of Vision, 10(5):8, 1--10. (PDF)

Matthias, E., Bublak, P, Müller, H.J., Schneider, W.X., Krummenacher, J., Finke, K. (2010) The influence of alertness on spatial and non-spatial components of visual attention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 36, 38-56. (PDF)

Võ, M. L.-H., & Schneider, W. X. (2010). A Glimpse Is Not A Glimpse: Differential Processing of Flashed Scene Previews Leads to Differential Target Search Benefits. Visual Cognition, 18, 171-200.

Matthias, E., Bublak, P., Costa, A. Müller, H.J.,; Schneider, W.X. & Finke K. (2009) Attentional and sensory effects of lowered levels of intrinsic alertness. Neuropsychologia, 47, 3255-3264.

Stein, T., Zwickel, J., Ritter, J., Kitzmantel, M., & Schneider, W.X. (2009) The effect of fearful faces on the attentional blink is task-dependent. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 16, 104-109. (PDF)

Wischnewski, M., Steil J.J., Kehrer, L., Schneider, W.X. (2009) Integrating Inhomogeneous Processing and Proto-object Formation in a Computational Model of Visual Attention. Proceedings of Human Centered Robotic Systems (HCRS), 93-102, 2009. (PDF)

Khan, A.Z., Blangero1, A., Rossetti, Y., Salemme. R,, Luaute, J., Deubel, H., Schneider, W.X., Laverdure, N., Rode, G., Boisson, D., & Pisella, L. (2008) Parietal Damage Dissociates Saccade Planning from Presaccadic Perceptual Facilitation. Cerebral Cortex (online first). (PDF)

Stein, T., Vallines, I., & Schneider, W.X. (2008) Primary visual cortex reflects behavioral performance in the attentional blink. Neuroreport, 19, 1277-1281. (PDF)

Finke, K.; Schneider, W.X., Redel, P.; Dose, J.; Kerkhoff, G.; Müller, H.J., Bublak, P. (2007) The capacity of attention and simultaneous perception of objects: A group study of Huntington's disease patients. Neuropsychologia, 45, 3272-3284. (PDF)

Schneider, W.X. (2006) Action control and its failure in clinical depression: A neuro-cognitive theory. In N. Sebanz & W. Prinz (Eds.) Disorders of Volition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (PDF)

Finke, K., Bublak, P., Krummenacher, J., Kyllingsbaek, S, Müller, H.J, & Schneider, W.X. (2005), Usability of a theory of visual attention (TVA) for the parameter-based measurement of attention I: Evidence from normal subjects. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 11, 832-842. (PDF)

Deubel, H. & Schneider, W.X. (2004). Attentional selection in sequential manual movements, movements around an obstacle and in grasping. In: G. W. Humphreys and M.J. Riddoch (Eds), Attention in Action, Hove: Psychology Press. (PDF)

Deubel, H., Bridgeman, B. & Schneider, W.X. (2004) Different effects of blinks and target blanking on saccadic suppression and displacement. Perception & Psychophysics, 66, 772-779. (PDF)

Deubel, H. & Schneider, W.X. (2003) Delayed saccades, but not delayed manual pointing movements, require visual attention shifts. Annuals of New York Academy of Sciences, 1004, 289-296. (PDF)

Schiegg, A., Deubel, H. & Schneider, W.X. (2003) Attentional selection during preparation of prehension movements. Visual Cognition, 10, 409-431. (PDF)

Hommel, B. & Schneider, W.X. (2002). Visual attention and manual response selection: Distinct mechanisms operating on the same codes. Visual Cognition, 9, 392-420. (PDF)

Kyllingsbaek, S., Schneider, W.X. & Bundesen, C. (2001): Automatic attraction of attention to former targets in visual displays of letters. Perception & Psychophysics, 63, 85-93. (PDF)

Schneider, W.X., Owen, A. & Duncan, J. (2000, Eds.) Executive Control and the Frontal Lobe: Current Issues. Experimental Brain Research, Special Issue, 133, 1-138. (Erratum, Experimental Brain Research, 134, 407 & book edition, Springer, Heidelberg).

Schneider, W.X. & Prinz, W. (2000). Kognitive Neurowissenschaft (S. 249-251). In H. Hanser (Ed.) Lexikon der Neurowissenschaft. Spektrum Akademischer Verlag. (PDF)

Deubel, H., Irwin, D.E. & Schneider, W.X. (1999). The subjective direction of gaze shifts long before the saccade (p. 65-70). In: W. Becker, H. Deubel & Th. Mergner (Ed.) Current Oculomotor Research: Physiological and Psychological Aspects. New York, London: Plenum. (PDF)

Deubel, H., Schneider, W.X., & Paprotta, I. (1998). Selective dorsal and ventral processing: Evidence for a common attentional mechanism in reaching and perception. Visual Cognition, 5, 81-107. (PDF)

Schneider, W.X. & Maasen, S. (1998; Ed.). Mechanisms of Visual Attention: A Cognitive Neuroscience Approach. Visual Cognition, Special Issue, 5, 1-320.

Deubel, H., Bridgeman, B., & Schneider, W.X. (1998). Immediate postsaccadic information mediates space constancy. Vision Research, 5, 3147-3159. (PDF)

Walker, R., Deubel, H., Schneider, W.X. & Findlay, J. (1997). The effect of remote distractors on saccade programming: Evidence for an extended fixation zone. Journal of Neurophysiology, 78, 1108-1119. (PDF)

Schneider, W.X. (1996). Neural Networks and Visual Information Processing. In W. Prinz & B. Bridgeman (Eds.). Handbook of Perception and Action (p. 103-141). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. (PDF)

Deubel, H., Schneider, W. X., & Bridgeman, B. (1996). Postsaccadic target blanking prevents saccadic suppression of image displacement. Vision research, 36(7), 985-996. (PDF)

Schneider, W.X. & Deubel, H. (1995). Visual attention and saccadic eye movements: Evidence for obligatory and selective spatial coupling. In J.M. Findlay, R.W. Kentridge & R. Walker (Eds.) Eye Movement Research: Mechanisms, Processes, and Applications (p. 317-324). Elsevier Science. 15.(PDF)

Deubel, H. & Schneider, W.X. (1994). Perceptual stability and postsaccadic visual information: Can man bridge a gap? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 17, 259-260. (PDF)

Schneider, W.X. (1993). Space-based visual attention models and object selection. Psychological Research, 56, 35-43. (PDF)

Curriculum Vitae


  • Since May 2008: Full Professor of Neuro-Cognitive Psychology (Allg. Psych. I, W3), Department Psychology, Bielefeld University, Germany
  • 2005-2008 Associate Professor of Neuro-Cognitive Psychology (W2) Department Psychology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU), München, Germany
  • 2001-2005 Temporary Professorships at the Psychology Departments of the Universities of Eichstätt/Ingolstadt & Giessen, Germany; Research Scientist at the Max-Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, München
  • 1990-2001 Researcher and Lecturer Department Psychology, LMU

  • 1997 Habilitation Degree for Psychology (Dr. phil. habil.), LMU, Germany; Habilitation Thesis on Task-dependent vision.
  • 1991 Dr. phil., Department Psychology, Bielefeld University, Germany; Doctoral thesis on Experimental Studies on Visual Attention.
  • 1982-1987 Diploma study program 'Psychology', Bielefeld University, Germany & University of Minnesota/Minneapolis, Graduate School, Psychology, USA (Fellowship of CUSANUSWERK, Foundation of German Catholic Bishops for Gifted Students)
Current administrative activities

  • Head of the Examination Committee of the Psychology Department (since January 2011)