Workshop Organizers:

Dr. Kai Essig

Kai Essig graduated 1998 in Computer Science and Chemistry (M.Sc.) at Bielefeld University, Germany. He joined the Neuroinformatics Group at Bielefeld University (Germany) in 1998 and received a Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2007, working on a vision-based image retrieval system. His fields of research include eye tracking, visual perception, image processing, computer vision and eye-hand coordination. From 2008 on he joined the Neurocognition and Action-Biomechanics Group at the Faculty of Psychology and Sport Sciences at Bielefeld University.  He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Excellence Cluster “Cognitive Interaction Technology” (CITEC) doing research on the influence of movement expertise on visual perception during the observation and/or interaction with objects and ongoing events in the environment and the implementation of (multi-modal) software solutions in the field of eye-tracking.

Dr. Thies PfeifferDr. Thies Pfeiffer

Thies Pfeiffer is Akademischer Rat/Assistant Professor at the Excellence Cluster “Cognitive Interaction Technology” (CITEC) of Bielefeld University, Germany. His research focus is on multimodal interaction in 3D worlds, with a special focus on gaze and gestures. Further research interests are interaction techniques for virtual reality, virtual agents, scientific visualization and social networks. In 2006, Thies Pfeiffer co-founded the Mediablix IIT GmbH, a usability consultancy, bridging the gap between science and business. He received his Doctor rer. nat./PhD from Bielefeld University in 2010 on the interaction of gaze and gestures in deictic reference.

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Pia Knoeferle

Pia Knoeferle graduated in English Philology, Romance Studies, Philosophy (M.A.), and in English, French, and Sports (“1. Staatsexamen”, a teaching degree) from the University  of Regensburg, Germany. She received a PhD from Saarland University Germany in 2005 (summa cum laude). In her PhD thesis, which was awarded the “Eduard-Martin Prize for outstanding dissertations”, she examined the effects of scene information on language comprehension by monitoring where people look in a scene as they listen to related speech. After a two-year postdoc position at Saarland University (2005-2007), she spent two years at the University of California, San Diego (2007-2008) before joining Bielefeld University as Assistant Professor. Her research focus is real-time language processing and the effects of non-verbal context on language understanding. She has examined this issue using eye tracking and event-related brain potentials.

Prof. Dr. Helge Ritter

Helge Ritter is head of the Neuroinformatics Group at the Faculty of Technology, Bielefeld University. His main interests are principles of neural computation and intelligent systems, in particular cognitive robots with “manual intelligence”. In 1999, Helge Ritter was awarded the SEL Alcatel Research Prize and in 2001 the Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation DFG. He is co-founder and Director of the Bielefeld Cognitive Robotics Laboratory (CoR-Lab) and coordinator of the Bielefeld Excellence Cluster “Cognitive Interaction Technology” (CITEC).

Prof. Dr. Thomas Schack

Thomas Schack is the head of the Neurocognition and Action – Research Group at Bielefeld University (Germany). Dr. Schack’s main research interest concerns the basic building blocks and the cognitive architecture of motor action of manual action and complex movements.  Especially he is interested in research topics like mental movement representation, mental imagery, the neurocognitive basis of motor control and cognitive robotics. He received many excellence certificates in the field of cognitive motor control research for instance the Bernstein-Scientific Award in 1996 and the TOYOTA-Scientific Award in 2002. Since 2007 he is a Principal Investigator and Head of the Graduate School in the Center of Excellence “Cognitive Interaction Technology” and he is a Principal Investigator in the Research Institute for Cognition and Robotics (CoR-Lab)at Bielefeld University. Since 2009 he is a managing council member of the International Society of Sportpsychology (ISSP). An important component in Thomas Schack’s research laboratories (Cognition and Action-Labs: COALA) is the combination of experimental and modelling methods from Psychology, Biomechanics, Cognitive Science and Robotics to learn about the cognitive construction and principles of human actions.


  • Dr. Kai Essig
  • Dr. Peter Kiefer
  • Jun.-Prof. Dr. Pia Knoeferle
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Meißner
  • Prof. Dr. Jacob Lund Orquin
  • DI Dr. Lucas Paletta
  • Dr. Thies Pfeiffer
  • Prof. Dr. Marc Pomplun
  • Dr. Maria Staudte

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