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Prof. Dr.

Niels Birbaumer

Year of election: 2003
Section: Neurosciences
City: Tübingen
Country: Germany
CV Niels Birbaumer-Deutsch (PDF)
CV Niels Birbaumer-Englisch (PDF)


Niels Birbaumer's research encompasses the neurobiological basis of learning and behaviour modification in healthy people and neurological patients. The application of the neuronal principles of learning to rehabilitation of intractable chronic diseases such as epilepsy, chronic stroke, chronic pain, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and brain damage, attention deficit disorders and anxiety. Birbaumer’s Institute is the leading research institution in the field of self-regulation of the brain and its effect on behaviour and cognition.


  • Since 2016 Scientific Fellow, Wyss Center of Bio- and Neuroengineering, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 2015 Offer for a Full Professorship at the Hospital lsraelita Albert Einstein, Sao Paolo, Brazil (declined)
  • since 2008 Conseliere, IRCCS Ospedale San Camillo, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Venezia-Lido, Italien
  • 2001-2006 Professor of Neuroscience at the Faculty of Physics, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Trento, Italy
  • since 1993 Professor and Director, Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Tübingen, Faculty of Medicine. Director of the Magnetoencephalography (MEG)-Center
  • 1989-2001 Professor of Clinical Psychophysiology at the University of Padova, Italy (Professore straniero)
  • since 1986 Adjunct Full Professor of Psychology, Dept. Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, USA
  • 1986-1988 Faculty Member, The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, The Pennsylvania State University, Dept. of Behavioral Sciences, USA
  • 1986-1988 Full Professor of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Psychology, USA
  • 1975-1993 Professor (C4), Department of Clinical and Physiological Psychology, University of Tübingen, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Science
  • 1975 University docent (Privatdozent), University of Munich (venia legendi in Physiological Psychology)
  • 1970-1975 Wissenschaftlicher Angestellter (assistant professor), Institute of Psychology, University of Munich, Dept. of Clinical Psychology
  • 1969 Ph.D., University of Vienna, (Psychology)
  • 1967-1970 Research Associate, Department of Psychology, University of Vienna (Austria)
  • 1963-1969 University of Vienna, Psychology


  • 2009-present Advisory Board, Sphinx Organisation for African-American Classical Music, Detroit, USA
  • 2008-2016 Main Area Reviewer for “Fachkollegium Neurowissenschaft“ in Cognitive Neuroscience of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
  • 2004-2005 President of the Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR)
  • 2003-2009 Member of the Board (Cognitive Neuroscience): Neurowissenschaftliche Gesellschaft (Society for Neuroscience, Germany)
  • 2000-2008 Member of the Scientific Board of the Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen
  • 1993-present Board Member of the NIMH Center for the Study of Emotion and Attention, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, USA
  • 1992-1996 Fachausschussvorsitzender der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) für Psychologie (Main area reviewer of Psychology of the German Research Society DFG)
  • Since 1992 Christoph-Dornier-Stiftung für Klinische Psychologie (Scientific Board, Board of Directors)
  • 1988-1996 Elected main area reviewer (Fachgutachter) for physiological psychology and general psychology of the German Research Society (DFG)
  • 1987-1990 Board member, Experimental Division, Biofeedback Society of America, Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeed-back (AAPB)
  • 1987-1990 1995-1998 Board of directors, Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR)
  • 1984-1999 Member of the board of a special interdisciplinary research program (Sonderforschungsbereich) of the German Research Society (DFG)
  • 1984-1985 President of the European Association for Behavior Therapy (EABT)

Honours and Memberships

  • 2014 Eva Luise Köhler Forschungspreis für Seltene Erkrankungen
  • 2013 EFPA Aristotle Prize
  • 2010 Helmholtz-Award of the Berlin Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften
  • 2009 Distinguished Scientist Award of the Society of Psychophysiological Research (SPR)
  • 2001 Albert-Einstein-World-Award of Science of the World Cultural Council
  • 2000 Wilhelm-Wundt-Medal of the German Society of Psychology (DGfP, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie)
  • 2000 Sertürner Preis, Mundipharma
  • 2000 Forschungspreis für Neuromuskuläre Erkrankungen (Award for Research in Neuromuscular Diseases) of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Muskelkranke e.V.
  • 1996 Distinguished Scientist Award of the American Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback
  • 1995 Psychologie-Preis of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie (DGfP) and the Christoph-Dornier-Stiftung
  • 1995 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Award of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
  • 1994 Nordmark Neuropharmaka Award for Behavioral Research in Parkinson’s disease
  • 1993-present Full Member (Ordentliches Mitglied) of the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Mainz
  • 1992 and 1999 Award of the Deutsche Gesellschaft zum Studium des Schmerzes for Research on the Treatment of Chronic Pain (together with H. Flor) and Experiments on Neural Pain Mechanisms
  • 1992-present Fellow, APA, Divison 6: Comparative and Physiolocial Psychology
  • 1986-present Fellow, The Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research
  • 1986-present Fellow, The Society of Behavioral Medicine
  • 1985 Roemer Award for outstanding scientific achievements in Psycho-somatic Medicine (DKPM)




Emil-Abderhalden-Str. 35
06108 Halle (Saale)

Phone 0345 - 47 239 - 122
Fax 0345 - 47 239 - 139
E-Mail archiv @leopoldina.org

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