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Christian Frings

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christian Frings

Psychologie , Universität Trier

Universitätsring 15, 54296 Trier, Raum: D 402

  • 0651/201-2958

Auszeichnungen, Preise & Ehrungen

2008 Forschungspreis der Universität des Saarlandes 2008 für die Ersteinwerbung von DFG-Mitteln

2005 Dissertationswettbewerb FG Allgemeine Psychologie, Berlin
2005, Fachgruppe Allgemeine Psychologie


Editor in Chief:
Experimental Psychology (2018-2021)

Associate Editor:
Experimental Psychology (2011-2014)

Consulting Reviewer:
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Performance & Perception (since 2013)

- Acta Psychologica
- Advances in Cognitive Psychology
- Appetite
- Applied Cognitive Psychology
- Applied Neuropsychology: Adult
- Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics
- Behavior Research Methods
- Behavioral and Brain Functions
- Biological Psychiatry: Global Open Science
- Biological Psychology
- Brain and Cognition
- Brain & Language
- Brain Research
- British Journal of Psychology
- Cerebral Cortex
- Child Development
- Cognition
- Cognition & Emotion
- Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience
- Cognitive Processing
- Cognitve Psychology
- Communications Biology
- Consciousness & Cognition
- Cortex
- Emotion
- European Journal of Cognitive Psychology
- European Journal of Neuroscience
- European Journal of Social Psychology
- Experimental Psychology
- Frontiers in Cognition
- Human Brain Mapping
- IEEE Access
- International Journal of Psychophysiology
- Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
- Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
- Journal of Experimental Psychology: General
- Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Performance & Perception
- Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition
- Journal of Memory & Language
- Journal of Neurophysiology
- Journal of Neuroscience
- Journal of Neuroscience Research
- Journal of Psychology / Zeitschrift für Psychologie
- Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
- KI – Künstliche Intelligenz
- Learning and Individual Differences
- Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
- Memory
- Memory & Cognition
- Mindfulness
- Motivation & Emotion
- Multisensory Research
- Neuropsychologia
- Neuroscience
- Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews
- Neuroscience Letters
- Perception
- Perception & Psychophysics
- Perceptual & Motor Skills
- Psychological Bulletin
- Psychological Reports
- Psychological Research
- Psychological Research and Behavior Management
- Psychological Science
- Psychology and Aging
- Psychology and Behaviour
- Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
- Psychophysiology
- Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
- Scandinavian Journal of Psychology
- Social Cognition
- The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
- Transaction on haptics
- Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behavior
- Visual Cognition

- Cusanuswerk
- Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
- European Research Council
- Fulbright Foreign Student Program
- FWF Austrian Science Fund
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
- Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes
- The Dutch Research Council (NWO)


• Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie
• FG Allgemeine Psychologie
• European Society for Cognitive Psychology

DFG Fachgebiet

110-1 - Allgemeine, Biologische und Mathematische Psychologie


Mitarbeiter/in (Psychologie )


  • Main research My main research focuses on the processing of distractors. In a world full of possibly distracting stimuli we must selectively attend to goal-relevant information and selectively ignore the currently goal-irrelevant information. How can we achieve this? One idea is that humans can actively suppress the cognitive representations of distrating stimuli a process called distractor inhibition. Distractor inhibition is typically analyzed in experimental tasks in which participants have to respond to a target stimulus while ignoring a distractor object or distracting feature (the Stroop task the Eriksen flanker task the Negative Priming task and so on)
  • note that inhibtion has been chosen by the APA as one of the 15 core concepts in cognitive psychology. Another idea is that distractors can be encoded and retrieved together with the target stimuli and the responses given to these targets a phenomenon called distractor-response binding. Stimulus (and sometimes distractor)-response binding makes our behavior efficient by establishing nearly automatic SR retrieval routines that can emerge without much effort. Measurements of reaction times error rates and the electroencephalogram (EEG) are used to tap the processes of inhibition and binding in established computer-based experiments. What about multisensory interference? Imagine you are focused on a visual task (say reading) while something non-visual disturbs you (say your ringing and vibrating mobile phone). Are distractors presented to several senses and additionally presented to currently inattended senses ignored in the same way than distracors in unisensory selection? Is distractor processing comparable in vision and for example in touch? These questions are currently under research and first evidence from blind participants suggests that distractor processing in vision and touch may differ between these modalities. And what about distractors of emotional content? Yes that might be quite a different story. In fact there is a long standing debate in cognitive psychology whether emotional stimuli are processed in a different manner as compared to non-emotional stimuli (e.g. they might allocate attention in a near to automatic fashion). Thus I analyze in various established paradigms how selection of targets is influenced if the distractors do have emotional content. So far it seems likely that the different mechanisms of distractor processing also differ in the way they are affected by emotional distractors. Is there any link to applied research? Yes there is. Selection and interference are concepts that are important whenever humans interact with their environment. As a result my research has clear impact on applied research in ergonomics
  • for example recent experiments transfer binding effects to modern car driving-assistance systems. In addition I collaborate with the local department of applied sciences (mechanical and automotive engineering) for optimizing usage of electric cars. Further interests Despite theoretical research on inhibition and binding I am particulary interested in understanding what is going on in the established cognitive priming paradigms that is I am generally interested in the methodic/experimental approach. To be sure whether a specific paradigm taps validly the cognitive process one wishes to analyze we need paradigm-driven research just to validate the task/paradigm. I am also interested in decision making particulary the efficiency of very simple decision rules i.e. heuristics as suggested by the ABC research group from the Max Plank Institute in Berlin. Here I have analyzed the efficiency of the recognition heuristc in predicting sports or stocks performance.


  • Cognition Perception and Attention Experimental design and analysis Scientific project work