|Awards||Pater Leander Fischer Award, German Society of Laser Medicine (2005), endowed professorship (by Deutsche Forschungs Gemeinschaft) at Charité – Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (1996), Gerhard Hess Award, DFG (1993), DFG foreign exchange scholarship (1986)|
|Fields||medicine, neurology, stroke research, brain plasticity|
Arno Villringer (born 1958, Schopfheim, Germany) is a director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany; director of the Department of Cognitive Neurology at University Hospital Leipzig; and Academic Director of the Berlin School of Mind and Brain and the Mind&Brain Institute, Berlin. He holds a full professorship at University of Leipzig and an honorary professorship at Charité, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
Academic Career and Achievements
Arno Villringer studied medicine at The University of Freiburg (German: Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg) from 1977 to 1984, graduating with a Doctor of Medicine (summa cum laude) higher degree in 1984. After a fellowship at the magnetic resonance imaging unit at Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard Medical School in 1985, he worked in Munich, Germany, becoming a board certified neurologist in 1992, and gaining his professorial degree (Habilitation) at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in 1994. From 1993 to 2007, he worked at the Department of Neurology at the Charité, Berlin, first as a consultant, and later as head of the Department of Neurology at the Benjamin Franklin Campus. Since 2006 he has been Academic Director of the Berlin School of Mind and Brain and the Mind&Brain institute (since 2010), since 2007 he has been director of the Department of Neurology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany and director of the Department of Cognitive Neurology at University hospital Leipzig.
Arno Villringer pioneered magnetic resonance perfusion imaging of the brain by demonstrating that susceptibility contrast agents such as GdDTPA may be employed in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (Villringer et al. 1988). The susceptibility-based contrast mechanism later became relevant for the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) signal in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
In 1993, Villringer showed feasibility of noninvasive functional near-infrared spectroscopy and imaging (fNIRS, fNIRI) of the human brain (Villringer al. 1993, Villringer and Chance 1997) followed by >50 publications establishing /validating fNIRS. Physiology empowered brain imaging: Since 1992 his research focus has been on neurophysiological mechanisms underlying brain function and plasticity, using multimodal brain imaging, e.g., signatures of neuronal inhibition in functional brain imaging (Wenzel et al. 2000, Blankenburg et al. 2003), combined fNIRS / fMRI to establish relationship between BOLD and deoxy-Hb concentration in fMRI (Kleinschmidt et al. 1996), combined EEG / fMRI to show fMRI correlates of background rhythms (Moosmann et al. 2003, Ritter et al. 2009) and simultaneously assess neuronal spiking and fMRI (Ritter et al. 2008).
Brain plasticity, development of vascular risk factors, stroke:
Villringer currently pursues the hypothesis that (maladaptive) brain plasticity is crucial for the development of vascular risk factors leading to stroke and for the (lack of) recovery after stroke, and that brain plasticity can be beneficially modified. For this purpose, he employs multimodal brain imaging to understand basic neurophysiological mechanisms underlying human brain plasticity in cortical and subcortical brain areas, and their interaction. Behavioral correlates include sensorimotor function, reaction to stress, and emotions. The clinical applications are (i) prevention of vascular risk factors (obesity, hypertension) and subsequent stroke, and (ii) recovery after stroke.
Arno Villringer is the author of approximately 250 academic articles (as of 2012). Citations >10000, H-Factor 58 (ISI as of 2012) Expert activities for the following scientific organizations:
- Coordinator of German Competence Net Stroke since 1999
- Advisory Board – Germany Stroke Foundation
- Board of Directors, Center for AdiposityDiseases, Leipzig
- Board of Directors, LIFE Study, Leipzig
- Coordinator of Berlin NeuroImaging Center from 2001–2007
- Member of Council of International Organization for Human Brain Mapping 2005-2008
- Chair of Scientific Programme Committee of the International Organization for Human Brain Mapping, Brighton 2001
- Chair of Local Organizing Committee of the International Organization for Human Brain Mapping, Berlin, 2014
Memberships in Scientific Organizations (present)
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurologie
- Deutsche Neurowissenschaftliche Gesellschaft (Founding Member)
- Deutsche Schlaganfall Gesellschaft (Founding Member)
- International Organization for Human Brain Mapping (Founding Member)
- International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
- Society for Neuroscience
- Pater Leander Fischer Award, German Society of Laser Medicine (2005)
- Gerhard Hess Award, DFG (1993)
- DFG foreign exchange scholarship (1986)
- Becker, R., Reinacher, M., Freyer, F., Villringer, A., Ritter, P. (2011). How ongoing neuronal oscillations account for evoked fMRI variability. Journal of Neuroscience 31(30):11016-27
- Taubert, M., Draganski, B., Anwander, A., Mueller, K., Horstmann, A., Villringer, A., Ragert, P. (2010). Dynamic properties of human brain structure: learning-related changes in cortical areas and associated fiber connections. Journal of Neuroscience 30(35):11670-7
- Ritter, P., Moosmann, M., Villringer, A. (2009). Rolandic alpha and beta EEG rhythms' strengths are inversely related to fMRI-BOLD signal in primary somatosensory and motor cortex. Human Brain Mapping 30(4):1168-87
- Ritter P, Freyer F, Curio G, Villringer A. (2008). High-frequency (600 Hz) population spikes in human EEG delineate thalamic and cortical fMRI activation sites. Neuroimage. 42(2):483-90.
- Koch, SP., Steinbrink, J., Villringer, A., & Obrig, H. (2006). Synchronization between background activity and visually evoked potential is not mirrored by focal hyperoxygenation. Implications for the interpretation of vascular brain imaging. Journal of Neuroscience, 26(18), 4940-4948.
- Preuschhof, C., Heekeren, H. R., Taskin, B., Schubert, T., & Villringer, A. (2006). Neural correlates of vibrotactile working memory in the human brain. Journal of Neuroscience, 26(51), 13231-13239.
- Taskin, B., Jungehulsing, GJ., Ruben, J., Brunecker, P., Krause, T., Blankenburg, F., et al. (2006). Preserved responsiveness of secondary somatosensory cortex in patients with thalamic stroke. Cerebral Cortex, 16(10), 1431-1439.
- Blankenburg, F., Taskin, B., Ruben, J., Moosmann, M., Ritter, P., Curio, G., et al. (2003). Imperceptible stimuli and sensory processing impediment. Science, 299(5614), 1864.
- Moosmann, M., Ritter, P., Krastel, I., Brink, A., Thees, S., Blankenburg, F., Taskin, B., Obrig, H., Villringer, A. (2003). Correlates of alpha rhythm in functional magnetic resonance imaging and near infrared spectroscopy. Neuroimage. 20(1):145-58
- Müller, N. G., Bartelt, O., Donner, TH., Villringer, A., & Brandt, SA. (2003). A physiological correlate of the ‘zoom lens’ of visual attention. Journal of Neuroscience, 23(9), 3561-3565.
- Wartenburger, I., Heekeren, H. R., Abutalebi, J., Cappa, S. F., Villringer, A., & Perani, D. (2003). Early setting of grammatical processing in the bilingual brain. Neuron, 37(1), 159-170.
- Ruben, J., Schwiemann, J., Deuchert, M., Meyer, R., Krause, T., Curio, G., et al. (2001). Somatotopic organization of human secondary somatosensory cortex. Cerebral Cortex, 11(5), 463-473.
- Wenzel, R., Wobst, P., Heekeren, H.H., Kwong, K.K., Brandt, S.A., Kohl, M., Obrig, H., Dirnagl, U., Villringer, A. (2000). Saccadic suppression induces focal hypooxygenation in the occipital cortex. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 20(7):1103-10
- Villringer, A., & Chance, B. (1997). Noninvasive optical spectroscopy and imaging of human brain function. Trends in Neurosciences, 20(10), 435-442.
- Kleinschmidt, A., Obrig, H., Requardt, M., Merboldt, K.D., Dirnagl, U., Villringer, A., Frahm, J. (1996). Simultaneous recording of cerebral blood oxygenation changes during human brain activation by magnetic resonance imaging and near-infrared spectroscopy. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 16(5):817-26.
- Einhaeupl, KM., Villringer, A., Meister, W., Mehraein, S., Garner, C., Pellkofer, M., et al. (1991). Heparin treatment in sinus venous thrombosis. Lancet, 338(8767), 597-600.
- Villringer, A., Planck, J., Hock, C., Schleinkofer, L., Dirnagl, U. (1993). Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS): a new tool to study hemodynamic changes during activation of brain function in human adults. Neurosci Lett. 154(1-2):101-4
- Villringer, A., Rosen, B. R., Belliveau, J. W., Ackerman, JL., Lauffer, RB., Buxton, RB., et al. (1988). Dynamic imaging with Lanthanide chelates in normal brain: contrast due to magnetic susceptibility effects. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 6(2), 164-174.