Ernst Pöppel was born in 1940 in Schwessin, Germany. He studied psychology and biology in Germany and Austria, and obtained a Ph.D. degree in psychology from Innsbruck University in 1968. He then went to the US where he successively worked as a research associate at the Department of Psychology and Brain Science and as a staff scientist for a neuroscience research programme at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Back in Europe, he completed two Habilitationen (postdoctoral lecture qualifications), one in Sensory Physiology at the Medical Faculty of Munich University, the other in Psychology at the Science Faculty in Innsbruck. In parallel, he worked as a fellow and research associate for several Max-Planck-Institutes.
In 1976 he became Professor (Ordinarius) in Medical Psychology at the Munich University, a position he has held since. From 1968, he has been teaching lectures and seminars in Medical Psychology, Neuropsychology, Psychophysics, Sensory Physiology and Special Areas of Philosophy at the Faculty of Medicine of Jena and Munich, as well as the Faculty of Natural Sciences of Innsbruck.
Prof. Dr. Pöppel has been the head of the Institute of Medical Psychology since 1977, and of the Human Science Centre since 1997, both at Munich University.
Between 1992 and 1997, he was on the board of directors of the ’Forschungszentrum Jülich’ (medicine, biotechnology, and environmental research), where he founded a brain imaging centre.
His main fields of research are neuropsychology of perception of the visual modality, restitution of functions after brain injuries, and neuropsychological rehabilitation, as well as temporal perception in neural systems and behaviour. His involvement in research has gained him many distinctions, including membership of the European Academy of Sciences and Art, the J.E. Purkinje Medal of the Czech Medical Society and the Award of the Association of German Medical Journalists.
He has also been offered membership by well established societies such as the International Brain Research Organisation (IBRO), the European Brain and Behaviour Society (EBBS), the European Neuroscience Association (ENA) and the Society for Neuroscience.
He has published some 350 scientific articles, on visual perception, temporal control, and on general neuroscientific problems, and more than 20 books, some for the general public. He has delivered approximately 1,000 lectures worldwide. He has overseen some 30 co-workers’ Habilitationen and about 250 students’ M.D.s and Ph.D.s.
In recognition of his exceptional achievements and his leadership in neurosciences as well as in research and teaching, Prof. Dr. Ernst Pöppel will present the Inaugural Lecture ‘Images in the brain – pictures in the eyes’ at ECR 2008.