Prof. Dr. Roman Liepelt

Roman Liepelt Foto: Hardy Welsch

E-Mail: roman.liepelt

Telefon: +49 2331 987-2180

Sprechzeiten: nach Vereinbarung

Raum: Geb. 5, C013

Research areas

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  • Interaction of perception, decision, and action
  • Joint Action and task sharing
  • Bodily self and multisensory integration
  • Embodied Cognition in multitasking

Academic and Research Positions

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2020 – now University of Hagen (FernUniversität Hagen), Hagen (Germany)

Professor of General Psychology at the Faculty of Psychology

2016 – 2019 German Sport University, Cologne (Germany)

Assistant Professor equivalent (permanent) at the Institute of Psychology

2010 – 2016 University of Muenster, Muenster (Germany)

Akademischer Rat/Oberrat (Assistant Professor equivalent) at the Department of Psychology

2007 – 2010 Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig (Germany)

Senior Researcher at the Department of Psychology

2007 University College London, London (United Kingdom)

Fellow at the Department of Psychology (Aug-Sep)

2005 – 2007 Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig (Germany)

Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Cognitive Neurology

2002 – 2005 Humboldt University Berlin, Berlin (Germany)

Research Scientist at the Institute of Psychology


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  1. Liepelt, R. & Raab, M. (in press). Metacontrol and joint action: How shared goals transfer from one task to another. Psychological Research.
  2. Fischer, R., Liepelt, R. (2020). Embodied cognition in multitasking: increased hand-specific task shielding when stimuli are presented near the hand. Psychological Research, 84, 1668–1682.
  3. Liepelt, R., Porcu, E., Stenzel, A., & Lappe, M. (2019). Saccadic eye movements do not trigger a joint Simon effect. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 26, 1896-1904. doi: 10.3758/s13423-019-01639-0
  4. Peterburs, J., Liepelt, R., Voegler, R., Ocklenburg, S., & Straube, T. (2019). It’s not me, it’s you - Differential neural processing of social and non-social nogo cues in joint action. Social Neuroscience, 14, 114–124. doi: 10.1080/17470919.2017.1403374
  5. van der Weiden, A., Liepelt, R., & van Haren, N. E. M. (2019). A matter of you versus me? Experiences of control in a joint go/no-go task. Psychological Research, 83, 842–851. doi: 10.1007/s00426-017-0903-5
  6. Klempova, B. & Liepelt, R. (2018). Barriers to success: physical separation optimizes event-file retrieval in shared workspaces. Psychological Research, 82, 1158–1176. doi: 10.1007/s00426-017-0886-2
  7. Dolk, T. & Liepelt, R. (2018). The Multimodal Go-Nogo Simon Effect: Signifying the Relevance of Stimulus Features in the Go-Nogo Simon Paradigm Impacts Event Representations and Task Performance. Frontiers in Psychology, 9:2011. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02011
  8. Hosang, T. J., Fischer, R., Pomp, J., & Liepelt, R. (2018). Dual-Tasking in the Near-Hand Space: Effects of Stimulus-Hand Proximity on Between-Task Shifts in the Psychological Refractory Period Paradigm. Frontiers in Psychology, 9:1942. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01942
  9. Michel, R., Bölte, J., & Liepelt, R. (2018). When a Social Experimenter Overwrites Effects of Salient Objects in an Individual Go/No-Go Simon Task – An ERP Study. Frontiers in Psychology, 9:674. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00674
  10. Bröker, L., Liepelt, R., Poljac, E., Künzell, S., Ewolds, H., de Oliveira, R. F., & Raab, M. (2018). Multitasking as a choice: a perspective. Psychological Research, 82, 12-23. doi: 10.1007/s00426-017-0938-7
  11. Hoffmann, S., Borges, U., Broeker, L., Laborde, S., Liepelt, R., Lobinger, B. H., Loeffler, J., Musculus, L, & Raab, M. (2018). The Psychophysiology of Action: A Multidisciplinary Endeavor for Integrating Action and Cognition. Frontiers in Psychology, 9:1423. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01423
  12. Voegler, R., Peterburs, J., Lemke, H., Ocklenburg, S., Liepelt, R., Straube, T. (2018). Electrophysiological correlates of performance monitoring under social observation in patients with social anxiety disorder and healthy controls. Biological Psychology,132, 71-80. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2017.11.003
  13. Schubert, T., Liepelt, R., Kübler, S., & Strobach, T. (2017). Transferability of Dual-Task Coordination Skills after Practice with Changing Component Tasks. Frontiers in Psychology, 8:956. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00956
  14. Liepelt, R., Dolk, T., & Hommel, B. (2017). Self-perception beyond the body: The role of past agency. Psychological Research, 81, 549-559. doi: 10.1007/s00426-016-0766-1
  15. Peterburs, J., Voegler, R., Liepelt, R., Schulze, A., Wilhelm, S., Ocklenburg, S., & Straube, T. (2017). Processing of fair and unfair offers in the ultimatum game under social observation. Nature Scientific Reports, 7, 44062. doi: 10.1038/srep44062
  16. Ettinger, U., Faiola, E., Kasparbauer, A. M., Petrovsky, N., Chan, R. C. K., Liepelt R., Kumari, V. (2017). Effects of Nicotine on Response Inhibition and Interference Control. Psychopharmacology, 234, 1093-1111. doi: 10.1007/s00213-017-4542-8
  17. Porcu, E., Bölling, L., Lappe, M., & Liepelt, R. (2016). Pointing out mechanisms underlying Joint Action. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 78, 972-977. doi: 10.3758/s13414-016-1093-8
  18. Liepelt, R., Klempova, B., Dolk, T., Colzato, L. S., Ragert, P., Nitsche, M., & Hommel, B. (2016). The medial frontal cortex mediates self-other discrimination in the Joint Simon task: a tDCS study. Journal of Psychophysiology, 30, 87-101. doi: 10.1027/0269-8803/a000158
  19. Stenzel, A., & Liepelt, R. (2016). Joint action changes valence-based action coding in an implicit attitude task. Psychological Research, 80, 889-903. doi: 10.1007/s00426-015-0684-7
  20. Stenzel, A., & Liepelt, R. (2016). Joint Simon effects for non-human co-actors. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 78, 143-158. doi: 10.3758/s13414-015-0994-2
  21. Klempova, B., & Liepelt, R. (2016). Do you really represent my task? Sequential adaptation effects to unexpected events support referential coding for the Joint Simon effect. Psychological Research, 80, 449-463. doi: 10.1007/s00426-015-0664-y
  22. Liepelt, R., & Fischer, R. (2016). Task demands determine hand posture bias on conflict processing in a Simon task. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23, 579-586. doi: 10.3758/s13423-015-0901-9
  23. Cross, E. S., Ramsey, R., Liepelt, R., Prinz, W., & Hamilton A. F. de C. (2016). The Shaping of Social Perception by Stimulus and Knowledge Cues to Human Animacy. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 371 (1686). doi: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0075
  24. Sellaro, R., Dolk, T., Colzato, L., Liepelt, R., & Hommel, B. (2015). Referential coding does not rely on location features: Evidence for a non-spatial joint Simon effect. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 41, 186-195. doi: 10.1037/a0038548
  25. Liepelt, R. (2014). Interacting hands: The role of attention for the joint Simon effect. Frontiers in Psychology, 5:1462. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01462
  26. Dolk, T., Hommel, B., Colzato, L. S., Schütz-Bosbach, S., Prinz, W., & Liepelt, R. (2014). The joint Simon effect: A review and theoretical integration. Frontiers in Psychology, 5:974. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00974
  27. Dolk, T., Hommel, B., Prinz, W., & Liepelt, R. (2014). The joint Flanker effect: less social than previously thought. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21, 1224-1230. doi: 10.3758/s13423-014-0583-8
  28. Stenzel, A., Dolk, T., Colzato, L. S., Sellaro, R., Hommel, B., & Liepelt, R. (2014). The joint Simon effect depends on perceived agency, but not intentionality, of the alternative action. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8:595. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00595
  29. Colzato, L.S., Steenbergen, L., de Kwaadsteniet, E.W., Sellaro, R., Liepelt, R., & Hommel, B. (2013). Tryptophan promotes interpersonal trust. Psychological Science, 24, 2575-2577. doi: 10.1177/0956797613500795
  30. Liepelt, R., Wenke, D., & Fischer, R. (2013). Effects of Feature Integration in a Hands-Crossed Version of the Social Simon Paradigm. Psychological Research, 77, 240-248. doi: 10.1007/s00426-012-0425-0
  31. Dolk, T., Hommel, B., Prinz, W., & Liepelt, R. (2013). The (not so) Social Simon effect: A referential coding account. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 39, 1248-1260. doi: 10.1037/a0031031
  32. Stenzel, A., Chinellato, E., del Pobil, Á. P., Lappe, M., & Liepelt, R. (2013). How deeply do we include robotic agents in the self? International Journal of Humanoid Robotics, 10, 1-13. doi: 10.1142/S0219843613500151
  33. Dolk, T., Liepelt, R., Prinz, W., & Fiehler, K. (2013). Visual experience determines the use of external reference frames in joint action control. PLoS ONE 8(3): e59008. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059008
  34. Strobach, T., Liepelt, R., Frensch, P. A., Pashler, H., & Schubert, T. (2013). Effects of Extensive Dual-Task Practice on Processing Stages in Simultaneous Choice Tasks. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 75, 900-920. doi: 10.3758/s13414-013-0451-z
  35. Liepelt, R., Schneider, J. C., Aichert, D., Wöstmann, N., Dehning, S., Möller, H. J., Riedel, M., Dolk, D., & Ettinger, U. (2012). Action Blind: Disturbed Self-other Integration in Schizophrenia. Neuropsychologia, 50, 3775-3780. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.10.027
  36. Stenzel, A., Chinellato, E., Tirado Bou, M. A., del Pobil, Á. P., Lappe, M., & Liepelt, R. (2012). When humanoid robots become human-like interaction partners: co-representation of robotic actions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 38, 1073-1077. doi: 10.1037/a0029493
  37. Liepelt, R., Stenzel, A., & Lappe, M. (2012). Specifying social cognitive processes with a social dual-task paradigm. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6:86. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00086
  38. Dolk, T., Liepelt, R., Villringer, A., Prinz, W., & Ragert, P. (2012). Morphometric gray matter differences of the medial frontal cortex influence the social Simon effect. NeuroImage, 61, 1249–1254. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.03.061
  39. Cross, E. S., Liepelt, R., Hamilton, A. F., Parkinson, J., Ramsey, R., Stadler, W., & Prinz, W. (2012). Robotic movement preferentially engages the action observation network. Human Brain Mapping, 33, 2238–2254. doi: 10.1002/hbm.21361
  40. Beisert, M., Zmyj, N., Liepelt, R., Jung, F., Prinz, W., & Daum, M. (2012). Rethinking ‘Rational Imitation’ in 14-Month-Old Infants: A Perceptual Distraction Approach. PLoS One, 7(3): e32563. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032563
  41. Liepelt, R., Dolk, T., & Prinz, W. (2012). Bidirectional semantic interference between action and speech. Psychological Research, 76, 446-455. doi: 10.1007/s00426-011-0390-z
  42. Strobach, T., Liepelt, R., Schubert, T., Kiesel A. (2012). Task Switching: Effects of Practice on Switch and Mixing Costs. Psychological Research, 76, 74-83. doi: 10.1007/s00426-011-0323-x
  43. Liepelt, R., & Prinz, W. (2011). How two share two tasks: evidence of a Social Psychological Refractory Period effect. Experimental Brain Research, 211, 387-396. doi: 10.1007/s00221-011-2703-2
  44. Dolk, T., Hommel, B., Colzato, L. S., Schütz-Bosbach, S., Prinz, W., & Liepelt, R. (2011). How ‘social’ is the social Simon effect? Frontiers in Psychology, 2, 1-9. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00084
  45. Wenke, D., Atmaca, S., Holländer, A., Liepelt, R., Baess, P., & Prinz, W. (2011). What is shared in joint action? Issues of Co-representation, Response Conflict, and Agent Identification. The Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 2, 147-172. doi: 10.1007/s13164-011-0057-0
  46. Liepelt, R., Wenke, D., Fischer, R., & Prinz, W. (2011). Trial-to-trial sequential dependencies in a social and non-social Simon task. Psychological Research, 75, 366-­375. doi: 10.1007/s00426-010-0314-3
  47. Springer, A., Brandstädter, S., Liepelt, R., Birngruber, T., Giese M., Mechsner, F., & Prinz, W. (2011). Motor execution affects action prediction. Brain and Cognition, 76, 26-­36. doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2011.03.007
  48. Liepelt, R., Fischer, R., Frensch, P. A., & Schubert, T. (2011). Practice-related reduction of dual-task costs under conditions of a manual-pedal response combination. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 23, 29-44. doi: 10.1080/20445911.2011.448025
  49. Liepelt, R., Strobach, T., Frensch, P., & Schubert, T. (2011). Improved Inter-task Coordination Skills after extensive Dual-task Practice. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64, 1251.1272. doi: 10.1080/17470218.2010.543284
  50. Vlainic, E., Liepelt, R., Colzato, L. S., Prinz, W., & Hommel, B. (2010). The virtual co-actor: the Social Simon effect does not rely on online feedback from the other. Frontiers in Psychology, 1, 208. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2010.00208
  51. Liepelt, R., Prinz, W., Brass, M. (2010). When do we simulate non-human agents? Dissociating communicative and non-communicative actions. Cognition, 115, 426-434. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2010.03.003
  52. Liepelt, R., & Brass, M. (2010). Automatic imitation of physically impossible movements. Social Cognition, 28, 59-74. doi: 10.1521/soco.2010.28.1.59
  53. Liepelt, R., & Brass, M. (2010). Top-down modulation of motor priming by belief about animacy. Experimental Psychology, 57, 221-227. doi: 10.1027/1618-3169/a000028
  54. Liepelt, R., Ullsperger, M., Obst, K., Spengler, S., von Cramon, D. Y., Brass, M. (2009). Contextual movement constraints of others modulate motor preparation in the observer. Neuropsychologia, 47, 268-275. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.07.008
  55. Liepelt, R., von Cramon, D. Y., Brass, M. (2008). How do we infer Others’ Goals from Non-stereotypic Actions? The Outcome of Context-Sensitive Inferential Processing in Right Inferior Parietal and Posterior Temporal Cortex. Neuroimage, 43, 784-792. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.08.007
  56. Catmur, C., Gillmeister, H., Bird, G., Liepelt, R., Brass, M., & Heyes, C. M. (2008). Through the looking glass: counter‐mirror activation following incompatible sensorimotor learning. European Journal of Neuroscience, 28, 1208–1215. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2008.06419.x
  57. Gillmeister, H., Catmur, C., Liepelt, R., Brass, M., & Heyes, C. M. (2008). Experience-based priming of body parts: A study of action imitation. Brain Research, 1217, 157-170. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2007.12.076
  58. Liepelt, R., von Cramon, D. Y., Brass, M. (2008). What is matched in direct matching? Intention attribution modulates motor priming. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 34, 578-591. doi: 10.1037/0096-1523.34.3.578
  59. Fischer, R., Schubert, T., & Liepelt, R. (2007). Accessory stimuli modulate effects of nonconscious priming. Perception & Psychophysics, 69, 9-22. doi: 10.3758/BF03194449


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Research Grant LI 2115/6-1: "Increased perception-action coupling through embodied cognition: How the human body improves the simultaneous performance of two tasks in basic and applied task contexts" (Co-PI Rico Fischer) by the German Research Foundation (DFG), 2020-2023.

Increased perception-action coupling through embodied cognition: How the human body improves the simultaneous performance of two tasks in basic and applied task contexts

This project aims at filling the gap between basic cognitive research on multiple task performance on the one hand and current developments of applied dual-tasking demands in technical environments on the other. Recent research in cognitive psychology has substantiated the assumption of a strong connection between action components directly affecting perception and attentional control. Such action-perception interactions are increasingly prevalent in high-demanding complex cognitive tasks, which require the simultaneous processing and coordination of multiple stimuli and responses. Especially in real-life and applied contexts, task control is often implemented via handheld devices or touch screens and thus, the visual-manual interaction focus is shifted into a shared visuo-spatial attentional region. This project builds on recent findings in our labs that stimulus-hand nearness indeed improves dual tasking performance. This near-hand benefit was expressed in improved shielding of the prioritized task against interference by additional task processing (i.e., reduced between-task interference) when hands were located close to the stimuli compared to when they were located far from the stimuli. This is a highly important step in this new research area, as it offers possibilities for optimizing dual tasking in conditions of stimulus-hand nearness. At the same time, however, the cognitive mechanisms underlying these findings of improved dual tasking are to date highly underspecified. We reason that traditional theoretical assumptions about mechanisms underlying the action-perception interactions cannot be easily transferred to situations of multiple task performance. Instead, we propose that in dual-task conditions, in which each task-specific stimulus is operated with the respective task-specific response hand, the nearness of the hand to the stimulus will facilitate perception-action coupling in each task and will thus, facilitate the conceptual separation of two tasks. As a consequence, we propose that presenting stimuli close to the hands will help to reduce unwanted information-transmission between tasks (between-task interference). The present project aims at testing and confirming this assumption in three work-packages that include the investigation of the type of interference that can be reduced, the identification of the underlying mechanisms, the modality-specificity and the transfer of the near-hand-benefit effect to applied and real-life dual-task scenarios using hand-held devices, tool-based and hand-movement responses. The present approach of addressing action-perception interactions in dual tasking will therefore not only provide important theoretical scientific information on how stimulus-hand proximity affects dual-task performance costs, but promises also important knowledge for transfer into applied cognitive sciences and technical developments.

Research Grant LI 2115/2-1: "Embodied Cognition in Multitasking: Stimulus-Hand Proximity and Cognitive Control in Dual-Task Performance" (Co-PI Rico Fischer) within the Priority Program "Multitasking" (SPP 1771) of the German Research Foundation (DFG), 2015-2020.

Embodied Cognition in Multitasking: Stimulus-Hand Proximity and Cognitive Control in Dual-Task Performance

Multiple task performance has become an increasing prevalent phenomenon of the modern world, as we face a constantly growing demand on multitasking abilities in everyday and work life. For example, the development of modern technical devices more and more demand visual-manual interactions within a shared visuo-spatial region (e.g., hand-held devices, tablet control), which are continuously implemented in complex real life multitasking environments, such as in cockpits of trains and aircrafts. From research in embodied cognition, however, it is known, that cognitive processing is not independent of the body. Recent research demonstrated that the presence of hands close to a visual stimulus (e.g., within the visuo-spatial attentional focus) biases the allocation of attention to the area near the hand and enhances the engagement of cognitive control for stimuli in near hand space. In the special context of dual tasks, with multiple stimuli being presented in near hand space, we aim at specifying which control parameters are affected in proximal stimulus conditions. We therefore ask, whether altered visuo-spatial attention targets S1 and S2 equally within left- and right-hand space and how hand position determines cognitive control parameters relating to central switching operations, i.e., task set shifts at the bottleneck. A more thorough and in-depth processing of the currently relevant stimulus under proximal stimulus conditions might delay disengagement and shifts to secondary task component processing. Furthermore, we assess the impact of privileged stimulus processing in near hand space on priorization of task order and the flexibility of reconfiguration of task order switches. By measuring hand proximity effects on dual-task performance, we aim to provide a new research perspective on human multitasking behavior by emphasizing the role of action-perception interaction for determining cognitive control in dual-task situations. An embodied cognition approach to multitasking will, therefore, not only provide important theoretical scientific information concerning the flexibility of cognitive control for the coordination and scheduling of task sets in dual-task situations but might provide fertile grounds for transfer into applied cognitive sciences and technical developments. Finally, we think that this project will provide a valuable asset to the SPP 1772 in furthering the understanding of flexible priorization and shifting between component processing of multiple task sets.

Research Grant LI 2115/1-3: "Investigating the role of attention and actor similarity for joint action" by the German Research Foundation (DFG), 2014-2017.

Investigating the role of attention and actor similarity for joint action:

Human information processing often occurs when we act together with others to achieve common goals (joint action). One of the most prominent paradigms to test joint action is the social Simon paradigm in which two people share a Simon task. When two participants perform this version of the Simon task together, a (social) Simon effect occurs (i.e., performance is better with spatial stimulus-response S-R correspondence), but no Simon effect is usually observed when participants perform the task alone. Accordingly, joint action has been proposed to be fundamentally different to individual action where one person acts alone to achieve his/her own goals. During the first project phase we found evidence that Simon-like effects can be induced when an individual person interacts with a robot or an event-producing object. The aim of the second project phase is to answer the question if joint action is mediated by dedicated social mechanisms or by domain-general processes. Using behavioral methods this project aims to specify the role of attention for joint action. Further, this project is aimed to specify the role of actor similarity and spatial, body and agency information for joint action. By applying real joint action scenarios we plan to test and extend various aspects of the cognitive model of referential coding for joint action that we have developed during the first project phase. By specifying the cognitive mechanisms underlying joint action control, the planned work is aimed to provide important answers to one of the most central questions of our time: What are the cognitive mechanisms underlying joint action that may have paved the way for our cultural development and all modern societies?

Research Grant LI 2115/1-1: "Cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying the social Simon effect" by the German Research Foundation (DFG), 2011-2014.

Cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying the social Simon effect:

The ability to coordinate our actions with those of others is crucial for our success as individuals and in social interactions. One of the biggest mysteries in cognitive neuroscience of the current decade is how joint action differs from individual task processing. One of the most prominent examples of joint action is the social Simon effect. When two participants perform this version of the Simon task together, a Simon effect occurs (i.e., performance is better with spatial stimulus-response S-R correspondence), but no effect is observed when participants perform the task alone. The social Simon effect is typically considered as a good index for action co-representation. Based on recent experimental data we assume that dimensional overlap with respect to spatial and non-spatial task features plays an important role for the formation of the social Simon effect. The applied research is aimed to test and extend this assumption investigating the role of attention and dimensional overlap in mediating the social Simon effect. Further, we will test how participants can effectively separate events for self and other reducing dimensional overlap and how this is achieved in the human brain.

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Hannah Kuster | 24.11.2020