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Ulrike Halsband

Last name
Prof. Dr.
English, German

I was born in Hamburg (Germany) in May 1955. Both of my parents had a PhD in Biological Sciences, and they stimulated my interest in human and animal behaviour already during my childhood. After I finished High School in North Germany I went to England for further education. I graduated with a BSc Honours Degree in Experimental Psychology in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Sussex in 1979. I finished my D.Phil. degree at the University of Oxford, Department of Experimental Psychology in 1982. After my PhD I returned to my home-country Germany. I was active in research and teaching in several German Universities, including Bielefeld, Kiel, Düsseldorf and Tübingen. In addition I worked for two years as a visiting professor at Okazaki National Research Institute for Physiological Sciences and at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan (1991-1993). I also carried out brain imaging studies at Turku University (Finland) and in Maastricht (Netherlands).

I completed my postdoctoral degree („Habilitation“) in the Medical School, Department of Neurology at the University of Düsseldorf (Germany). In 1999 I was offered a full-time professorship (tenured track) at the Department of Psychology, University of Freiburg (Germany) as head of the Neuropsychology Unit.

My research interests include motor learning, brain mechanisms of hypnosis and meditation, clinical lesion studies (with special reference to apraxia and neglect), memory, multi-lingual processing, neurorehabilitation and animal behaviour. My current research focus is on modern brain imaging techniques to disentangle what happens in the brain after hypnosis in normal subjects and in patients with anxiety disorders and specific phobias and to study the efficiacy of hypnotherapeutic interventions. We used different methods to examine the brain mechanisms of hypnosis including EEG, fMRI and PET. We are also interested to study the link between physiological parameters (like heart rate variability) and neuroimaging studies in correlations with cognitive, somatic and behavioural symptoms. We believe that drawing on evidence from several technological modalities, neuroimaging, physiological and behavioural studies pave the road to a better scientific understanding of the mechanisms of hypnosis and hypnotherapy. In addition I am devoted to study the intelligence and social behaviour of dogs, human-dogs relationships and the use of animals as a „co-therapist“.

My most important mentor in the field of hypnosis has been Prof. Dr. Dirk Revenstorf, University of Tübingen. He stimulated me to participate in the training of hypnosis and hypnotherapy; the curriculum was organized by the Milton Erickson Society in Germany (M.E.G, Germany). Since 2000 I am acting as a president of the Scientific Advisory Board of the German speaking Hypnotic Societies (Austria, Germany, Switzerland, WBdH, „Wissenschaftlicher Beirat deutschsprachiger Hypnosegesellschaften“). Since then (2000) I have also been regularly teaching Psychology students at the University of Freiburg (graduates and undergraduates) critical issues on hypnosis and hypnotherapy. 

I obtained several research rewards, such as Alexander-von Humboldt Forschungspreis (1997),  Milton Erickson Prize (Germany, 2004) and most recently "Wissenschaftspreis 2017" from the German Dental Society of Hypnosis, DGZH (Deutsche Gesellschaft für zahnärztliche Hypnose).


Freiburg, Germany
Member of ISH


List of Publications           

Books/ Monographies/Special Editions


1982             Halsband  U (1982) Higher Movement Disorders in Monkeys. University of Oxford


1999             Halsband U (1999) Neuropsychologische und neurophysiologische Studien zum

                     motorischen Lernen. Pabst Scientific Publishers, Lengerich, Berlin


2004             Halsband U (2004). Hirn und Hypnose. Guest Editor,

                     Hypnose und Kognition (HyKog),  Zeitschrift für Hypnose und Hypnotherapie,

                     21st October 2004. Milton Erickson Gesellschaft für klinische Hypnose (M.E.G.),

                     Deutsche Gesellschaft für zahnärztliche Hypnose (DGZH).


2006             Halsband U (2006) Brain Imaging in Neuroscience - An Interdisciplinary Approach,

                     Guest Editor:, Journal of Physiology Paris, Volume 99, Issues 4-6


2014             Halsband  U (2014) Gehirn, Intelligenz und soziales Verhalten von Hunden

                     (Canis lupus familiaris). Neuropsychologiy-interdisciplinary, Volume 1, Lit Verlag,



2015              Halsband U (2015) Comparative Neuropsychology and Brain Imaging,

                      Serienbandherausgeberin, Emmans, D, Laihinen A (Eds), Neuropsychology

                      An Interdisciplinary Approach, Volume 2, Lit Verlag, Berlin


2015              Halsband  U (2015) SI Altered States of Mind. Guest Editor: Journal of  Physiology Paris     Volume 109, Issues 4-6 (2015)


Peer-reviewed Publications


1982 Halsband U, Passingham RE (1982) The role of premotor  and parietal cortex in the

direction of action. Brain Research, 240: 368-37


1985 Halsband U, Passingham R.E. (1985). Premotor cortex and the conditions for

movement in monkeys (Macaca fascicularis). Behavioural Brain Research, 18: 269-277.


1985 Halsband, U, Gruhn, S., Ettlinger, G. (1985). Unilateral spatial neglect and defective

performance in one half of space. International Journal of Neuroscience, 28: 173-195.


1987 Bahns, E, Halsband, UP, Jänig, W. (1987). Responses of sacral visceral afferents

from the lower urinary tract, colon and anus to mechanical stimulation. Pflügers Archives,

410: 296-303.


1989 Hennerici M, Halsband U., Kuwert T, Steinmetz H, Herzog Aulich A,

Feinendegen L.E. (1989). PET and neuropsychology in thalamic infarction: Evidence

for associated cortical dysfunction. Psychiatry Research, 29: 363-365.


1990 Halsband U, Freund H.-J. (1990). Premotor cortex and conditional motor learning in man.

Brain, 113: 207-222.


1992 Halsband U. (1992). Left hemisphere preponderance in trajectorial learning. Neuroreport,

3: 397-400.


1993 Halsband Ulto, N, Tanji, J, Freund, H.-J. (1993). The role of premotor cortex and the supplementary motor area in the temporal control of movement in man. Brain, 116:  243-266.


1994 Halsband U, Freund H.-J. (1993). Motor learning. Current Opinions in Neurobiology, 3,

Issue 6: 940-949.


1994  Halsband U, , Binkofski F, Camp M. (1994). The role of the perception of

the rhythmic grouping in musical performance: Evidence from motor skill development in piano playing. Music Perception, 11, No 3: 265-288


1994 Halsband U., Matsuzaka Y., Tanji  J. (1994). Neuronal activity in the primate

supplementary, pre-supplementary and premotor cortex during externally- and

internally instructed sequential movements. Neuroscience Research, 20, No 2: 149-155.


1996 Thut G., Cook N.D., Regard M., Leenders K.L., Halsband U, Landis T (1996).

Intermanual  transfer of proximal and distal motor engrams in humans, Experimental

Brain Research, 108: 321-327.


1997 Thut  G, Halsband U, Regard M, Leenders K.L., Landis T (1997). What is the role of the corpus callosum in intermanual transfer of motor skills? A study of three cases with callosal damage. Experimental Brain Research, 113: 365-370


1997 Thut G,  Halsband, U, Nienhsmeier M., Roelcke U, Missimer J, Maguire P, Regard M,  Landis T., Leenders K.L. (1997). Intermanual transfer of training: blood flow correlates in the human brain. Behavioural Brain Research, 89: 129-134.


1998 Krause, B.J., Schmidt, D., Mottaghy, F.M., Halsband, U., Tellmann, L., Müller-Gärtner, H.W. (1998). O-15-butanol PET activation study on the cerebral representation of declarative memory. Nuklearmedizin, 37 (8): 257-261.


1998 Halsband, U., Krause, B.J., Schmidt, D., Müller-Gärtner, H.W. (1998). Encoding and retrieval in declarative learning: a positron emission tomography study. Behavioural Brain Research, 97: 69-78.


1999 Krause, B.J., Schmidt, D., Mottaghy, F.M., Taylor, J., Halsband, U., Herzog, H., Tellmann, L., Müller-Gärtner, H.W. (1999). Episodic retrieval activates the precuneus irrespective of the imagery content of word pair associates. A PET study. Brain, 122: 255-306.


1999 Mottaghy, F.M., Shah, N.J., Krause, B.J., Schmidt, D., Halsband, U., Jäncke, L., Müller-Gärtner, H.W (1999). Neuronal correlates of encoding and retrieval in episodic memory during a paired-word association learning task: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Experimental Brain Research, 128(3): 332-342.


1999 Krause B.J., Horwitz B., Taylor J, Schmidt, D, Mottaghy F.M,  Halsband U, Herzog H, Tellmann L, Müller-Gärtner H.W. (1999). Network analysis in episodic encoding and retrieval of word-pair associates: a PET study. European Journal of Neuroscience 11: 3293-3301.


1999 Stephan K.M, Binkofski F, Halsband U,  Schnitzler A, Wunderlich G,  Tass P et al. (1999). Cingulate gyrus subserves bimanual synchrony: Kinematic and functional imaging data. Brain, 122: 351-368.


2000 Schumann G, Halsband U, Kassubek J, Gustin S, Heinks T, Jüngling F.D, Hüll M. (2000). Combined semantic dementia and apraxia in a patient with frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Psychiatric Research 100 (1): 21-29.


2000 Mottaghy F.M, Krause B.J, Schmidt D, Hautzel H, Herzog H,  Shah N.J,  Halsband U, Müller-Gärtner H.W (2000). Comparison of PET and fMRI activation patterns during declarative memory processes. Nuklearmedizin 39 (7): 196-203.


2001 Halsband U (2001). Können wir unsere Leistungen durch Hypnose verbessern? Skeptiker, 6: 165-171.


2001 Halsband U, Weyers H.M,  Schmitt J, Binkofski F, Grützner G, Freund H.-J (2001). Recognition and imitation of pantomimed motor acts after unilateral parietal and premotor lesions: A perspective on apraxia. Neuropsychologia, 39 (2): 200-216.


2001 Halsband U. (2001) Neuropsychologie. Gegenwärtiger Stand und zukünftige Entwicklungen. Hypnose und Kognition: Zeitschrift für die Grundlagen und klinische Anwendung von Hypnose und kognitiver Psychologie, 18: 69-88.


2002 Halsband U, Krause B.J, Sipilä H, Teräs M, Laihinen A (2002). PET-studies on the memory

processing of word pairs in bilingual Finnish-English subjects. Behavioural Brain Research, 132: 47-57.


2002 Schmidt  D, Krause B.J, Mottaghy F.M, Halsband U, Herzog H, Tellmann L, Müller-Gärtner W

(2002). Brain systems engaged in encoding and retrieval of word-pair associates independent of their imagery content or presentation modalities. Neuropsychologia, 40: 457-470.


2003 Unterrainer J. M, Rahm B, Leonard R, Ruff C.C, Halsband U (2003). The Tower of London: The impact of instructions, cueing, and learning on planning abilities. Cognitive Brain Research, 17 (3): 675-683.


2004 Halsband U. (2004) Mechanismen des Lernens in Trance: funktionelle Bildgebung und Neuropsychologie. Hirn und Hypnose. Hypnose und Kognition (HyKog), Zeitschrift für Hypnose und Hypnotherapie, 21 (1+2): 11-39. Milton Erickson Gesellschaft für klinische Hypnose (M.E.G.), Deutsche Gesellschaft für zahnärztliche Hypnose (DGZH).


2004 Unterrainer J.M, Rahm B, Kaller C, Quiske K, Hoppe-Seyler K, Meier C,  Müller C, Leonhart R, Halsband U (2004b). Planning abilities and the Tower of London: Is this task measuring a discrete cognitive function? Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 26(6): 846-856.


2004 Kaller C.P, Unterrainer J.M, Rahm B, Halsband U (2004) The impact of problem structure on planning: insights from the Tower of London task. Cognitive Brain Research, 20(3): 462-472.


2004 Unterrainer J.M, Rahm B, Kaller C.P, Ruff C.C, Spreer J, Krause B.J, Schwarzwald R, Hautzel H, Halsband U (2004a). When planning fails: Individual differences and error related brain activity in problem solving. Cerebral Cortex, 14(12): 1390-1397.


2005 Unterrainer J.M, Ruff C.C, Rahm B, Kaller C.P, Spreer J, Schwarzwald R, Halsband U (2005) The influence of sex differences and individual task performance on brain activation during planning. Neuroimage, 24(2): 586-590


2005 Unterrainer J.M, Rahm B, Halsband U, Kaller C.P (2005) What is in a name: The Tower of London and its variants. Brain Research: Cognitive Brain Research, 23(2-3): 418-428


2005 Germann J, Robbins S, Halsband U, Petrides, M. (2005). The precentral sulcal complex of the human brain: Morphology and statistical probability maps. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 493(3): 334-356


2005 Wagner K, Frings L, Quiske A, Unterrainer J.M, Schwarzwald R, Spreer J, Halsband U, Schulze-Bonhage A (2005) The reliability of fMRI activations in the medical temporal lobes in a verbal episodic memory task. Neuroimage, 28(1): 122-131


2006 Frings L, Wagner K, Unterrainer J, Spreer, J, Halsband U, Schulze-Bonhage A (2006) Gender-related differences in lateralisation of hippocampal activation and cognitive strategy. Neuroreport, 17(4): 417-421


2006 Halsband U (2006) Learning in trance: functional brain imaging studies and neuropsychology. In: Brain Imaging in Neurosciences - an Interdisciplinary Approach. Journal of Physiology Paris, 99 (4-6): 470- 82


2006 Halsband U. (2006) Bilingual and multilingual language processing. In: Brain Imaging in Neurosciences - an Interdisciplinary Approach. Journal of Physiology Paris, 99 (4-6): 355-369


2006 Laihinen A. & Halsband U (2006). PET Imaging of the basal ganglia. In: Brain Imaging in Neurosciences - an Interdisciplinary Approach. Journal of Physiology Paris, (99) (4-6): 406-413


2006 Halsband U. & Lange R.K (2006) Motor learning in man: A review of Functional and Clinical Studies. In: Brain Imaging in Neurosciences - an Interdisciplinary Approach. Journal of Physiology Paris, 99 (4-6): 414-424


2006 Otte A, Halsband U (2006). Brain Imaging tools in neurosciences. In: Brain Imaging in Neurosciences - an Interdisciplinary Approach.  Journal of Physiology Paris, 99 (4-6): 281-292


2006 Krause B. J, Hautzel H, Schmidt D, Fluss MO, Poeppel TD, Müller HW, Halsband U, Mottaghy, FM 2006). Learning related interactions among neuronal systems involved in memory processes assessed with functional neuroimaging. In: Brain Imaging in Neurosciences - an Interdisciplinary Approach. Journal of Physiology Paris, 99 (4-6): 318-332


2006 Lotze M. & Halsband U (2006). Motor imagery. In: Brain Imaging in Neurosciences - an Interdisciplinary Approach. Journal of Physiology Paris, 99 (4-6): 386-395


2006 Lotze M, Heymans M.D, Birbaumer N, Reimold, M, Veith R, Erb M, Laihinen A., Flor H, Halsband, U.(2006) Differential cerebral activation during observation of expressive gestures and motor acts. Neuropsychologia, 44(10):1787-1795


2006 Frings  L, Wagner K, Quiske A, Schulze-Bonhage A, Schwarzwald R, Spreer J, Halsband U.(2006) Precuneus is involved in allocentric object location encoding and recognition. Experimental Brain Research,173(4):661-672


2006 Unterrainer J.M, Kaller C.P, Halsband U, Rahm B (2006) Planning abilities and chess: A comparison of chess and non-chess players on the Tower of London task. British Journal of Psychology, 97 (Pt 3):299-311


2006 Germann J, Robbins S, Halsband U, Petrides M. (2006) Precental sulcal complex of the human brain: morphology and statistical probability maps J. Comp Neurol 493: 334-356


2006 Kuelz K, Riemann D, Halsband U,Vielhaber K, Unterrainer J, Kordon A, Voderholzer U (2006) Neuropsychological impairment in obsessive-compulsive disorder-improvement over the course of cognitive behavioral treatment. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 28(8):1273-1287


2007 Weber P, Jourdan-Moser S, Halsband U. (2007) Differences between subtypes of children with ADHD and simple attentional difficulties during an initial assessment. Acta Paediatr. 96(10):15


2007 Wagner K, Frings L, Halsband U, Everts R, Buller A, Spreer J, Zentner J, Schulze-Bonhage A. (2007) Hippocampal functional connectivity reflects verbal episodic memory network integrity. Neuroreport. 29;18(16):1719-1723


2008 Frings L, Wagner K, Halsband U, Schwarzwald R, Zentner J, Schulze-Bonhage A.(2008) Lateralization of  hippocampal activation differs between left and right temporal lobe epilepsy patients and correlates with postsurgical verbal learning decrement. Epilepsy Res. 2008 Feb;78(2-3):161-70. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2007.11.006. Epub 2008 Jan 3.


2008 Wagner K, Frings L, Spreer J, Buller A, Everts R, Halsband U, Schulze-Bonhage A (2008) Differential effect of side of temporal lobe epilepsy on lateralization of hippocampal temporo-lateral and inferior

frontal activation patterns during a verbal episodic memory task. Epilepsy Behav. 2008 Apr;12(3):382-7. Epub 2007 Dec 26.


2008 Halsband U (2008) Hypnose und Meditation: Was passiert in unserem Gehirn?  Suggestionen, Au Volume No.1, 6-24


2009 Lotze M, Reimold M, Heymans U, Laihinen A, Patt M, Halsband U. (2009) Reduced ventrolateral fMRI response during observation of emotional gestures related to the degree of dopaminergic impairment in Parkinson disease.  J Cogn Neurosci. Jul;21(7):1321-31. doi 10.1162/jocn.2009.21087


2009 Halsband U, Müller S, Hinterberger, T, Strickner S (2009) Plasticity changes in the brain in hypnosis and meditation. Contemporary Hypnosis  26: 185-268


2010 Halsband U, Hinterberger T (2010) Veränderungen der Plastizität im Gehirn unter Hypnose. Zeitschrift für Hypnose und Hypnotherapie, 5 (1+2):33-50


2010 Saevarsson S, Kristjansson A, Halsband U. (2010) Strength in numbers: combining neck vibration and prism adaptation produces additive therapeutic effects in unilateral neglect.  Neuropsychol Rehabil. Oct;20(5):704-24. doi: 10.1080/09602011003737087. Epub 2010 May 1.


2010 Strickner S, Halsband U. (2010) Hypnose und hypnotherapeutischer Therapieeffekt bei Patienten. DZzH, 1:  39-45


2011 Halsband U. (2011) Dentalphobien und Kurzhypnose: Neuro-wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse und  Implikationen für die gesell-schaftliche und gesundheitspolitische Akzeptanz. DZzH, 1:  24-29


2011 Hinterberger T, Schöner J, Halsband U (2011) Analysis of  electrophysiological state patterns and changes  during hypnotic induction. Int J Clin Hypn 46: 109-128


2011 Saevarsson S, Halsband U, Kristjansson A. (2011) Designing rehabilitation programs for neglect: could 2 be more than 1+1?  Appl Neuropsychol.  Apr;18(2):95-106. doi10.1080/09084282.2010.547774


2015 Konok V,  Kosztolányi A,  Mutschler B Halsband U, Miklosi A (2015) Influence of owners' attachment style an personality on their dogs' (Canis familiaris) separation-related disorder, PLoS One,10(2):e0118375. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118375. eCollection


2015 Halsband U (2015) Wie intelligent sind unsere Hunde?  Hundeschau, Ausgabe 6: 38-41


2015 Halsband U (2015 ) Editorial. J Physiol Paris. Dec;109(4-6):129-130. doi: 10.1016/j.jphysparis.2016.10.00


2015 Halsband U, Wolf TG (2015) Functional changes in brain activity after hypnosis in patients with dental phobia. Journal of Physiology Paris. 109: 131-142


2017 Halsband U, Wolf TG (2017) What happens in the brain in dental phobics after hypnosis? Medical Research Archives  Vol. 5, issue 10, October issue, 2017


2017 Halsband  U,  Wolf TG (2017) Kopfkino gegen die Dental-Angst, ZM, 107, Nr. 15-16, 16.8.2017, (1806)


2018 Kotchoubey B, Mueller F, Vogel D, Lang S, Halsband U, Yu T, Sitaram R, Birbaumer N (2018, under review) Spatial characteristics of spontaneous and task-induced individual functional connectivity networks in severe disorders of consciousness. Brain and Cognition, under review


2018 Halsband U (2018, in preparation) Functional changes in brain activity after hypnosis: Neurobiological  mechanisms and appilcations to patients with dental phobia- Limitations and suggestions for future research, Invited paper by the  Pre-Congress Scientific Meeting in Montreal 2018 for a Special Issue of the IJCEH.


Book Chapters


Hömberg V, Halsband U. (1987). Die Problematik der Interpretation von Trainingsverläufen bei computer-gestützter kognitiver Rehabilitation. In: Tagungsbericht: Symposium "Computer helfen heilen". Keppnerdruck,  pages 67-74


Halsband  U. (1987). Higher disturbances of movement in monkeys. In: Motor Control. Edited by G.N. Gantchev, B. Dimitrov and P. Gatev. New York: Plenum Press, S. 79-85.


Halsband  U, Aldefeld  B, Laihinen  A. (1990). Buchbesprechung: Neurotraining-Therapeutische Arbeit mit hirngeschädigten Erwachsenen im kognitiven Bereich. V. Schweizer: Rehabilitation und Prävention, 23, (1989), Springer Verlag: Berlin. Quartalsschrift der Huntington Selbsthilfegruppe, page 12.


Halsband, U., Lange, H.W., Hömberg, V. (1990). Slowing of voluntary movements in extrapyramidal diseases: Fitts' law and ideographic handwriting. In: Motor Disturbances II. Edited by A. Berardelli, R. Benecke, M. Manfredi, and C.D. Marsden. London: Academic Press, S. 181-190.


Tanji J, Shima, K Matsuzaka Y Halsband U. (1995). Neuronal activity  in the supplementary, pre-supplementary and premotor cortex of monkey. In: Functions of the Cortico-Basal Ganglia Loop.

Edited by M. Kimura and A. Graybiel. Springer Verlag: Berlin, pages 154-165.


Halsband, U. (1998). Brain mechanisms of apraxia. In: Comparative Neuropsychology. Hrsg.: AD Milner. Oxford University Press, § 11, pages  184-212.


Halsband, U., Unterrainer, J. (2001). Neuropsychologische Funktionsdiagnostik.  In: Psychodiagnostik in Klinischer Psychologie, Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie. Editor: R-D Stieglitz, U Baumann and HJ Freyberger. Stuttgart: Georg Thieme Verlag, pages 159 – 162.


Halsband, U., Kaller, C., Lange, R., Unterrainer, J. (2003). Neuronale Mechanismen impliziten und expliziten Lernens. In: Bildgebung des  Gehirns und Kognition. Hrsg.: B.J. Krause & H.W. Müller-Gärrtner, München: EcoMed Verlag


Halsband, U. (2004) Aspekte bilingualer und multilingualer Sprachverarbeitung. In: Sprache – Interdisziplinäre Beiträge zur kognitiven Linguistik, Neurolinguistik und Neuropsychologie. Editor: G. Kochendörfer. Frankfurt: Lang Academic Publishers


Halsband, U., Herfort, A. (2006). Neurobiologische Grundlagen der medizinischen Hypnose. In: Medizinische Hypnose von A bis Z. Editors:  Sebastian Schulz-Stübner. Stuttgart: Schattauer Verlag, pages  7 – 38


Halsband, U. (2008) Motorisches Lernen. In: Handbuch der Psychologie, Band: Handbuch der Neuro- und Biopsychologie. Editors:  S. Gauggel & M. Hermann. Göttingen: Hogrefe Verlag,: 254-264


Halsband, U. (2008) Motorik. In: Handbuch der Psychologie; Band:  Handbuch der Neuro- und Biopsychologie.Editors:  S. Gauggel & M. Hermann. Göttingen: Hogrefe Verlag: 265-273     

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