Niels Birbaumer, PhD

Senior Research Fellow | Wyss Center Researchers

Professor Niels Birbaumer is a pioneer in the use of brain computer interfaces for patients with neurological disorders.

His research encompasses the neurobiological basis of learning and behavior modification in healthy people and in neurological patients. He has applied the neuronal principles of learning to rehabilitation of intractable chronic diseases such as epilepsy, stroke, pain, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, attention deficit disorders, anxiety and psychopathy.


Professor Birbaumer has been awarded numerous international prizes including the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, the Albert Einstein World Award of Science and the Helmholtz Medal of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and many other honors such as honorary doctorates, including from Complutense University, Madrid, Spain.

In 2013 he received the Aristotle Prize of the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations for bridging the gap between basic science and applied research in cortical psychophysiology.

In 2014 he was awarded the Eva Luise Köhler Research Prize for Rare Diseases from the former President of Germany, and in 2015 the best-selling book he co-authored with Jörg Zittlau, ‘Dein Gehirn weiß mehr, als Du denkst’ (Your mind knows more than you think), was chosen for the Austrian Science book of the year.

Professor Birbaumer is member of the National German Academy and the Academy of Science and Literature, Mainz.