Tobias Elze
Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften
Inselstr. 22
04103 Leipzig



Tobias Elze

Short CV

  • since 2011: Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • since 2004: Member of the group "Complex Structures in Biology and Cognition" at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences
  • Study of Psychology and Computer Science at Leipzig University

Research interests and publications

Temporal aspects of visual processing

The time course of visual perception differs from the temporal occurence of events in the physical world and bears fascinating surprises. We investigate perceptual timing by methods of psychophysics.

  1. Elze T., Song, C., Stollhoff, R., Jost, J. (2011), Chinese characters reveal impacts of prior experience on very early stages of perception. BMC Neuroscience, 12, art. no. 14; Open Access
  2. Elze, T., Poppe, S. (2009), The time course of visual masking: A critical analysis. Perception 38 ECVP Abstr. Suppl., p. 129
  3. Elze, T., Song, C., Jost, J. (2008). Visual masking as interaction of prediction and certainty. Journal of Vision, 8(17), p. 53

Face recognition

In order to get a better understanding of human face recognition, we investigate deficits in facial processing such as congenital prospagnosia (the life long inability to recognize faces) or the other race effect (impairment of face recognition for other race faces).

  1. Stollhoff R., Kennerknecht I., Elze, T., Jost, J. (in press), A Computational Model of Dysfunctional Facial Encoding in Congenital Prosopagnosia Neural Networks, preprint
  2. Stollhoff R., Jost, J., Elze T., Kennerknecht I. (2011), Deficits in Long-Term Recognition Memory Reveal Dissociated Subtypes in Congenital Prosopagnosia PLoS ONE, 6(1), e15702; Download
  3. Wang H., Stollhoff R., Elze T. (2010), The other race effect for artificial faces Perception 39 ECVP Abstr. Suppl., p. 128
  4. Stollhoff R., Jost, J., Elze T., Kennerknecht I. (2010), The Early Time Course of Compensatory Face Processing in Congenital Prosopagnosia PLoS ONE, 5(7), e11482; Download
  5. Wang H., Stollhoff R., Elze T., Jost J., Kennerknecht I. (2009), Are we all prosopagnosics for other race faces? Perception 38 ECVP Abstr. Suppl., p. 78
  6. Stollhoff R, Jost J, Elze T, Welling B, Kennerknecht I, 2008, Face recognition at short presentation times in congenital prosopagnosia Perception 37 ECVP Abstr. Suppl., p. 162
  7. Kennerknecht I, Wang H, Elze T, Welling B, Wong V, Liu J (2008) A powerful questionnaire-based screening tool for congenital prosopagnosia. International Journal of Psychology 43 p. 403
  8. Kennerknecht I, Wang H, Elze T, Welling B, Wong V, Liu J (2008) Evaluation of a powerful screening tool for hereditary prosopagnosia. European Journal of Human Genetics 16 (Suppl. 2), p. 387-388

Methods in psychophysics

We deal with methodological aspects of psychophysics like sampling of data, data analysis, or psychophysical software.

  1. Elze, T. (2010), Misspecifications of stimulus presentation durations in experimental psychology: A systematic review of the psychophysics literature. PLoS ONE, 5(9), e12792; Download
  2. Elze, T., Poppe, S. (2010), Non-parametric adaptive visual psychometry Perception 39 ECVP Abstr. Suppl., p. 44
  3. Elze, T. (2009). FlashDot - A platform independent experiment generator for visual psychophysics Journal of Vision, 9(14), p. 58
  4. Elze T, Jost J, Poppe S. (2009), A nonparametric Bayesian approach to adaptive sampling of psychometric functions BMC Neuroscience, 10(Suppl 1), p. 353

Display technology in vision science

Which problems may occur when vision scientists need to present stimuli on display devices? We analyze display devices like CRTs or LCDs for their applicability in medical and psychological research.

  1. Elze, T. (2010). Achieving precise display timing in visual neuroscience experiments. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 191, p. 171-179, preprint
  2. Elze, T., Tanner, T. (2009). Liquid crystal display response times estimation for medical applications. Medical Physics, 36(11), p. 4984-4990 preprint
  3. Elze, T., Tanner, T., Lochmann, T., Becker, M. (2007). LCD Monitors in Vision Science. Journal of Vision, 7(15), p. 61
  4. Elze T, Lochmann T, Tanner TG (2007), Does flat mean slow? LCD monitors and their temporal precision for visual experiments Perception 36 ECVP Abstr. Suppl.
  5. Elze T (2006), Shorter than you think? Temporal precision of visual stimuli on computer monitors: Pitfalls and systematic errors Perception 35 ECVP Abstr. Suppl.

Diploma Thesis

Modeling of a Recurrent Neural Network for Principal Component Analysis (Leipzig University, 2003)

Unpublished Talks and Poster Presentations

  1. Elze, T. (2010). Temporal Properties of LCD monitors from a Vision Science Perspective, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston (talk)
  2. Song, C., Elze, T., Jost, J. (2008). Chinese characters reveal the role of feedback flow in backward masking, AAAS 2008, Bosten, MA (poster presentation)
  3. Elze, T. (2008). Frühe visuelle Verarbeitung als Bayesscher Inferenzprozess, Kolloquium Wahrnehmung, Kognition, Wissen, TU Kaiserslautern (talk)
  4. Elze, T. (2008). Mathematical Modeling in Theoretical Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, Pre-school on Basic Knowledge of Neuroscience and Mathematics, October 2008, Fudan University, Shanghai, China (lectures)
  5. Elze, T. (2007). Chinese Characters and the Role of Objects in Visual Masking, MPI for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen (talk)
  6. Elze, T. (2007). Performing Psychophysical Experiments - Technical Aspects and Exercises, Computational Neurobiology Spring School, March 2007, PICB, Shanghai, China (exercise series)



Flashdot is a program for generating and presenting visual perceptual experiments that require a high temporal precision. It is controlled by a simple experiment building language and allows experiment generation with either a text or a graphical editor.


This project collects source code and data for measuring computer monitors. We present algorithms for analyzing luminance and color data and advanced, task related signal processing. In addition, we present exemplary recorded data for training and teaching purposes of the algorithms.


wos2bt is a conversion script for transferring Web of Science references to BibTeX. Web of Science (aka Web of Knowledge) is a popular commercial reference database containing many scientific journals. BibTeX is a free reference software, commonly used in LaTeX documents.


pdfsandwich generates "sandwich" OCR pdf files, i.e. pdf files which contain only images (no text) will be processed by optical character recognition (OCR) and the text will be added to each page invisibly "behind" the images.

12.08.2019, 01:40