Bertram Opitz

Professor in Neuroimaging and Cognitive Neuroscience
+44 (0)1483 309449
28 AC 04


Areas of specialism

Neuroscience/Neurocognition; Feedback Processing in Educational Contexts; Learning and Memory; Second Language Aqcuisition; Neuroimaging - fMRI/EEG/Neurostimulation

University roles and responsibilities

  • Chair of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Ethics Committee
Media Contacts

Contact the press team


Phone: +44 (0)1483 684380 / 688914 / 684378
Out-of-hours: +44 (0)7773 479911
Senate House, University of Surrey
Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH


Research interests

Courses I teach on


Postgraduate research supervision

My publications


Learning & Memory

Some publications highlighting the neural underpinnings of successful learning. While the hippocampus seems to be involved in learning the relationship between elements of the same learning event (e.g., a single lecture)  the prefrontal cortex is capable of generalising the commonalities across multiple such events to generate a long-lasting memory of this newly learned knowledge. 

Opitz, B. (2010) Neural binding mechanisms in learning and memory. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 34, 1036-1046 doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2009.11.001

Spitzer, B.J., Hanslmayr, S., Opitz, B., Mecklinger, A. & Bäuml, K.-H. (2009) Oscillatory Correlates of Retrieval-Induced Forgetting in Recognition Memory. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 21, 976-990. doi:10.1162/jocn.2009.21072

Doeller, C. F., Opitz, B., Krick,C. M., Mecklinger, A. & Reith, W. (2005) Prefrontal-hippocampal dynamics involved in learning regularities across episodes. Cerebral Cortex 15, 1123-1133. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhh211

Feedback Processing & Cognitive Training

A few papers looking into possibilities to enhance learning. An important aspect that should be looked at is how the information provided by feedback is actually processed in the brain. Here the timing seems of special importance. In addition, training of some cognitive abilities like working memory seems to be beneficial for a broad variety of learning scenarios like second language acquisition

Opitz, B., Ferdinand, N.K. & Mecklinger, A. (2011) Timing matters: The impact of immediate and delayed feedback on artificial language learning. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 5:8, doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2011.00008

Ferdinand, N. K. & Opitz, B. (2014) Different aspects of performance feedback engage different brain areas: Disentangling the neural correlates of valence and expectancy in feedback processing. Scientific Reports 4, Article number: 5986 doi:10.1038/srep05986.

Opitz, B., Schneiders, J. A., Krick, C. & Mecklinger, A. (2014) Selective Transfer of Visual Working Memory Training on Chinese Character Learning. Neuropsychologia 53, 1-11 doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2013.10.017


Artificial Language Learning

Two papers highlighting that two distinct learning mechanisms concur during the acquisition of a second (artificial) language. Initially, people learn the grammar of a language by judging the similarity of novel sentence in reference to known sentences previously encountered. During the course of learning grammatical rules are abstracted and used more and more effectively.

Opitz, B. & Hofmann, J. (2015) Concurrence of rule- and similarity-based mechanisms in artificial grammar learning. Cognitive Psychology 77, 77–99. doi:10.1016/j.cogpsych.2015.02.003

Opitz, B. & Friederici, A.D. (2003) Interactions of the hippocampal system and the prefrontal cortex in learning language like-rules. NeuroImage 19, 1730-1737. doi: 10.1016/S1053-8119(03)00170-8

The publications feed from the University repository is currently unavailable. Please check again later.

Additional publications