Dr Christoph Teufel

Lecturer

Research group:
Neuroscience
Email:
TeufelC@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44(0)29 2087 5372
Location:
Tower Building, Park Place

Research summary

Perceptual organisation
Neurons in the eye and early visual system respond to small, local patches of images. My research focuses on how our brain organises this patchwork of local neural activity to turn it into global and coherent percepts. I am particularly interested in the role of top-down influences from higher onto lower levels of visual processing in perceptual organisation. I work with healthy observers and clinical populations, integrating techniques from psychophysics, neuroimaging, and computational modelling.

Perception and learning
In order to guide successful and adaptive behaviour, an organism needs appropriate information about the states of the world. This information is typically learned and organised in the form of internal models. I am interested in how humans and animals learn to acquire internal models of their environment in the face of perceptual uncertainty. This work combines psychophysics and techniques from machine learning.

Face perception and social neuroscience
Facial information is important in guiding successful social behaviour. Face perception can therefore provide a useful model for how the brain processes biologically meaningful information. My work in this area focuses on the integration of information from multiple social cues and top-down effects. To address these questions, I work with healthy observers and clinical populations, using psychophysics and neuroimaging.

Teaching summary

I teach early vision on the Year 2 course Perception, Attention, and Action (PS2021).

Selected publications (2008 onwards)

2016

Teufel, C. and Nanay, B. (2016). How to (and how not to) think about top-down influences on visual perceptionConsciousness and Cognition (10.1016/j.concog.2016.05.008)

Teufel, C. and Fletcher, P. (2016). The promises and pitfalls of applying computational models to neurological and psychiatric disordersBrain

2015

Teufel, C., Subramaniam, N., Dobler, V., Perez, J., Finnemann, J., Mehta, P. R., Goodyer, I. M. and Fletcher, P. C. (2015). Shift toward prior knowledge confers a perceptual advantage in early psychosis and psychosis-prone healthy individualsProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(43), 13401-13406. (10.1073/pnas.1503916112) pdf

2013

Moore, J. W., Teufel, C., Subramaniam, N., Davis, G. and Fletcher, P. C. (2013). Attribution of intentional causation influences the perception of observed movements: Behavioral evidence and neural correlatesFrontiers in Psychology, 4 (10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00023)

Teufel, C., Subramaniam, N. and Fletcher, P. C. (2013). The role of priors in Bayesian models of perceptionFrontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 7 (10.3389/fncom.2013.00025) pdf

Teufel, C., Clayton, N. S. and Russell, J. (2013). Two-year-old children's understanding of visual perception and knowledge formationJournal of Cognition and Development, 14(2), 203-228. (10.1080/15248372.2012.664591)

Teufel, C., Von Dem Hagen, E., Plaisted-Grant, K. C., Edmonds, J. J., Ayorinde, J. O., Fletcher, P. C. and Davis, G. (2013). What is social about social perception research?Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 6 (10.3389/fnint.2012.00128) pdf

2011

Silk, B. J., Jensen, K., Andrews, K., Bshary, R., Cheney, L. D., Emery, M., Hemelrijk, K. C., Holekamp, K., Penn, C. D., Perner, J. and Teufel, C. (2011). Social knowledge. In: Menzel, R. and Fischer, J. eds. Animal Thinking: Contemporary Issues in Comparative Cognition. MIT Press, pp. 267-291.

2010

Teufel, C., Kingdon, A., Ingram, J. N., Wolpert, D. M. and Fletcher, P. C. (2010). Deficits in sensory prediction are related to delusional ideation in healthy individualsNeuropsychologia, 48(14), 4169-4172. (10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.10.024)

Teufel, C., Gutmann, A., Pirow, R. and Fischer, J. (2010). Facial expressions modulate the ontogenetic trajectory of gaze-following among monkeysDevelopmental Science, 13(6), 913-922. (10.1111/j.1467-7687.2010.00956.x)

Teufel, C., Alexis, D. M., Clayton, N. S. and Davis, G. (2010). Mental-state attribution drives rapid, reflexive gaze followingAttention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 72(3), 695-705. (10.3758/APP.72.3.695)

Teufel, C., Ghazanfar, A. A. and Fischer, J. (2010). On the relationship between lateralized brain function and orienting asymmetriesBehavioral Neuroscience, 124(4), 437-445. (10.1037/a0019925)

Teufel, C., Fletcher, P. C. and Davis, G. (2010). Seeing other minds: attributed mental states influence perceptionTrends in Cognitive Sciences, 14(8), 376-382. (10.1016/j.tics.2010.05.005)

2009

Fischer, J., Teufel, C., Drolet, M., Patzelt, A., Rübsamen, R., von Cramon, D. Y. and Schubotz, R. I. (2009). Orienting asymmetries and lateralized processing of sounds in humansBMC Neuroscience, 10(1) (10.1186/1471-2202-10-14) pdf

Teufel, C., Dean, A. S., Davis, G. and Clayton, N. S. (2009). Gaze-following in human and non-human primates: insights from the cueing paradigm. In: Watanabe, S. et al. eds. Rational Animals, Irrational Humans. Keio University Press, pp. 305-315.

Teufel, C., Alexis, D. M., Todd, H., Lawrance-Owen, A. J., Clayton, N. S. and Davis, G. (2009). Social cognition modulates the sensory coding of observed gaze directionCurrent Biology, 19(15), 1274-1277. (10.1016/j.cub.2009.05.069)

Full list of publications

2016

Teufel, C. and Nanay, B. (2016). How to (and how not to) think about top-down influences on visual perceptionConsciousness and Cognition (10.1016/j.concog.2016.05.008)

Teufel, C. and Fletcher, P. (2016). The promises and pitfalls of applying computational models to neurological and psychiatric disordersBrain

2015

Teufel, C., Subramaniam, N., Dobler, V., Perez, J., Finnemann, J., Mehta, P. R., Goodyer, I. M. and Fletcher, P. C. (2015). Shift toward prior knowledge confers a perceptual advantage in early psychosis and psychosis-prone healthy individualsProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(43), 13401-13406. (10.1073/pnas.1503916112) pdf

2013

Moore, J. W., Teufel, C., Subramaniam, N., Davis, G. and Fletcher, P. C. (2013). Attribution of intentional causation influences the perception of observed movements: Behavioral evidence and neural correlatesFrontiers in Psychology, 4 (10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00023)

Teufel, C., Subramaniam, N. and Fletcher, P. C. (2013). The role of priors in Bayesian models of perceptionFrontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 7 (10.3389/fncom.2013.00025) pdf

Teufel, C., Clayton, N. S. and Russell, J. (2013). Two-year-old children's understanding of visual perception and knowledge formationJournal of Cognition and Development, 14(2), 203-228. (10.1080/15248372.2012.664591)

Teufel, C., Von Dem Hagen, E., Plaisted-Grant, K. C., Edmonds, J. J., Ayorinde, J. O., Fletcher, P. C. and Davis, G. (2013). What is social about social perception research?Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 6 (10.3389/fnint.2012.00128) pdf

2011

Silk, B. J., Jensen, K., Andrews, K., Bshary, R., Cheney, L. D., Emery, M., Hemelrijk, K. C., Holekamp, K., Penn, C. D., Perner, J. and Teufel, C. (2011). Social knowledge. In: Menzel, R. and Fischer, J. eds. Animal Thinking: Contemporary Issues in Comparative Cognition. MIT Press, pp. 267-291.

2010

Teufel, C., Kingdon, A., Ingram, J. N., Wolpert, D. M. and Fletcher, P. C. (2010). Deficits in sensory prediction are related to delusional ideation in healthy individualsNeuropsychologia, 48(14), 4169-4172. (10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.10.024)

Teufel, C., Gutmann, A., Pirow, R. and Fischer, J. (2010). Facial expressions modulate the ontogenetic trajectory of gaze-following among monkeysDevelopmental Science, 13(6), 913-922. (10.1111/j.1467-7687.2010.00956.x)

Teufel, C., Alexis, D. M., Clayton, N. S. and Davis, G. (2010). Mental-state attribution drives rapid, reflexive gaze followingAttention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 72(3), 695-705. (10.3758/APP.72.3.695)

Teufel, C., Ghazanfar, A. A. and Fischer, J. (2010). On the relationship between lateralized brain function and orienting asymmetriesBehavioral Neuroscience, 124(4), 437-445. (10.1037/a0019925)

Teufel, C., Fletcher, P. C. and Davis, G. (2010). Seeing other minds: attributed mental states influence perceptionTrends in Cognitive Sciences, 14(8), 376-382. (10.1016/j.tics.2010.05.005)

2009

Fischer, J., Teufel, C., Drolet, M., Patzelt, A., Rübsamen, R., von Cramon, D. Y. and Schubotz, R. I. (2009). Orienting asymmetries and lateralized processing of sounds in humansBMC Neuroscience, 10(1) (10.1186/1471-2202-10-14) pdf

Teufel, C., Dean, A. S., Davis, G. and Clayton, N. S. (2009). Gaze-following in human and non-human primates: insights from the cueing paradigm. In: Watanabe, S. et al. eds. Rational Animals, Irrational Humans. Keio University Press, pp. 305-315.

Teufel, C., Alexis, D. M., Todd, H., Lawrance-Owen, A. J., Clayton, N. S. and Davis, G. (2009). Social cognition modulates the sensory coding of observed gaze directionCurrent Biology, 19(15), 1274-1277. (10.1016/j.cub.2009.05.069)

2007

Teufel, C., Hammerschmidt, K. and Fischer, J. (2007). Lack of orienting asymmetries in Barbary macaques: implications for studies of lateralized auditory processingAnimal Behaviour, 73(2), 249-255. (10.1016/j.anbehav.2006.04.011)

Media activities

Research from this lab has been featured in international news outlets such as BBC News, The Independent, The Atlantic, The New York Magazine, Discovery News, Bild der Wissenschaft, Die Welt and others.

Research topics and related papers

Perceptual organisation
Neurons in the eye and early visual system respond to small, local patches of images. My research focuses on how our brain organises this patchwork of local neural activity to turn it into global and coherent percepts. I am particularly interested in the role of top-down influences from higher onto lower levels of visual processing in perceptual organisation. I work with healthy observers and clinical populations, integrating techniques from psychophysics, neuroimaging, and computational modelling.

Perception and learning
In order to guide successful and adaptive behaviour, an organism needs appropriate information about the states of the world. This information is typically learned and organised in the form of internal models. I am interested in how humans and animals learn to acquire internal models of their environment in the face of perceptual uncertainty. This work combines psychophysics and techniques from machine learning.

Face perception and social neuroscience
Facial information is important in guiding successful social behaviour. Face perception can therefore provide a useful model for how the brain processes biologically meaningful information. My work in this area focuses on the integration of information from multiple social cues and top-down effects. To address these questions, I work with healthy observers and clinical populations, using psychophysics and neuroimaging.

Funding

Award from the KU Leuven/ Cardiff University Staff Mobility scheme (2016) (covers international travel and accommodation in Leuven, Belgium)

Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (2015), Mobility Scheme, £650

VW Foundation Research grant The Interplay of Pre-reflective and Reflective Processes (2010-2014) £82 600

Travel Fellowship from the Centre for Visual Science (2012), Rochester, USA ($1200)

Isaac Newton Trust Research grant Neural Correlates of Social Perception: An fMRI Study (2009-2010), ₤17 890

Research collaborators

Internal
Jeremy Hall (Neurosciences & Mental Health Research Institute, Cardiff, UK)
Elisabeth von dem Hagen (School of Psychology, Cardiff, UK)
Stanley Zammit (MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics, Cardiff, UK)

External
Bruce Christensen (School of Psychology, Australian National University, AU)
Steven Dakin (Optometry & Vision Science, University of Auckland, NZ)
Paul Fletcher (Brain Mapping Unit, University of Cambridge, UK)
Peter Scarfe (Vision and Haptics Lab, University of Reading, UK)

Postgraduate research interests

If you are interested in applying for a PhD, or for further information regarding my postgraduate research, please contact me directly (contact details available on the 'Overview' page), or submit a formal application here.

Current students

Daniel Davies (University of Cambridge, co-supervised with Paul Fletcher)
Johanna Finnemann (University of Cambridge, co-supervised with Paul Fletcher)
Alex O’Bryan-Tear (University of Cambridge, co-supervised with Paul Fletcher)

Undergraduate education

2004 German equivalent of BSc and MPhil in Biology, Free University of Berlin and Max-Planck-Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany

Postgraduate education

2006 MPhil Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, UK

2009 PhD Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, UK

Awards/external committees

College Research Associate (elected), Clare College, University of Cambridge, UK (2009-2014)

Member of the European Platform for Life Sciences, Mind Sciences, and the Humanities (elected) at the VW Foundation (2010-2014)

Katharina-Heinroth-Award (2005)

Other duties

Grant reviewing: Leverhulme Trust, UK; FWO, Belgium

Journal reviewing for 21 different journals (including Current Biology, Journal of Vision, American Journal of Psychiatry)

Invited talks (e.g., Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, Paris, France; University of Bochum, Germany; Goldsmiths University of London, UK; University of Bergen, Norway)

Employment

2015-present Lecturer, School of Psychology, Cardiff University, UK

2009-2014 Posdoctoral research associate, Brain Mapping Unit, University of Cambridge, UK