Ben Eppinger, Dr. phil.

Professor VCF

Ben Eppinger

Contact information

Department of Psychology
Institute of Educational and Developmental Psychology
Lifespan Developmental Neuroscience Section
Technische Universität Dresden
Zellescher Weg 17
10169, Dresden

Department of Psychology
Concordia University
Loyola Campus
7141 Sherbrooke Street W.

Phone: +1-514-848-2424

Research Statement

The primary goal of my research is to gain a better understanding of the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying changes in learning and decision-making across the human lifespan. My current work focuses on three major research questions: a) What are the neuro-computational mechanisms underlying learning in uncertain, dynamically changing environments and how do these adaptive learning processes develop across the lifespan? b) How does the ability to arbitrate between different learning strategies change as a function of age? c) How do humans learn from the behavior of other individuals and how does this ability change during lifespan development? To address these questions I use a multi-methodological approach that combines experimental paradigms, computational modeling and neuroimaging (EEG, fMRI).

Scientific Education

2008Dr. phil. (PhD-equivalent) in Psychology, Saarland University.
2004Diploma in Psychology at Saarland University
1999 - 2004Studies of Psychology at Saarland University  

Professional Experience

Since 08/2016Associate Professor of Psychology, Concordia University, Montreal.  
2013 - 2016Assistant (Junior) professor for neurocognitive development of motivational mechanisms, TU Dresden.  
2010 - 2012Research Scientist, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin  
2007 - 2010Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Princeton University
2005 - 2007PhD student SFB 378, Saarland University

Other Scientific Activities, Honors, Awards

Selected Publications

Nassar, M. R., Bruckner, R., Gold, J. I., Li, S.-C., Heekeren, H. R., & Eppinger, B. (2016). Age differences in learning emerge from an insufficient representation of uncertainty in older adults. Nature Communications, 7, 1-13.

van den Bos, W., & Eppinger, B. (2016). Developing developmental cognitive neuroscience: From agenda setting to hypothesis testing. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 17, 138-144.

Eppinger, B, Heekeren, HR, Li, S-C (2015) Age-related prefrontal impairments implicate deficient prediction of future reward. Neurobiology of Aging 36:2380-2390.

Eppinger, B., Schuck, N.W., Nystrom, L.E., Cohen, J.D. (2013) Reduced striatal responses to reward prediction errors in older compared to younger adults. Journal of Neuroscience 33:9905-9912.

Hämmerer, D., & Eppinger, B. (2012). Dopaminergic and prefrontal contributions to reward-based learning and outcome monitoring during child development and aging. Developmental Psychology, 48, 862-874.