Christian Steinberg (name at birth: Putsche)

Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis
Malmedyweg 15
D-48149 Münster

Phone: +49 (0) 251/83 59402
Fax.: +49 (0) 251/83

Joined OCC in 2008

Research Project

Facial emotional processing

Faces convey several important kinds of information which are of high social and motivational significance. Among features such as identity, sex or age, faces also provide information related to emotion, trustworthiness, attractiveness, lip speech, as well as gaze direction. Although considerable effort has been made to elucidate brain mechanisms devoted to (facial) emotional processing, however, the temporal dynamics are still not well understood. Electroencephalography (EEG) and Magnetoencephalography (MEG) are ideal to investigate this issue as they provide excellent temporal resolution (in the order of milliseconds). Especially MEG can add substantial knowledge about when and where emotional processing takes place in the human brain, as it offers higher spatial resolution as compared to EEG, and hence, more advanced source localization methods can be applied. Using these techniques my current focus is on facial emotional processing, especially in the context of classical conditioning using various methods such as EEG, MEG, EEG/fMRI as well as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. 

PhD Committee

Prof. Dr. C. Pantev
PD Dr. M. Junghöfer
Prof. Dr. N. Sachser


Steinberg, C., Bröckelmann, A-K., Rehbein, M., Dobel, C. & Junghöfer, M. (in press). Rapid and highly resolving associative affective learning: convergent electro- and magnetoencephalographic evidence from vision and audition. Biological Psychology.

Steinberg, C.
, Bröckelmann, A-K., Dobel, C., Elling, L., Zwanzger, P., Pantev, C., Junghöfer, M. (in press). Preferential responses to extinguished face stimuli are preserved in frontal and occipito-temporal cortex at initial but not later stages of processing. Psychophysiology.

Steinberg, C., Dobel, C., Schupp, H.T., Kissler, J., Elling, L., Pantev, C. & Junghöfer, M. (2012). Rapid and highly resolving: affective evaluation of olfactorily conditioned faces. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 24 (1), 17-27.

Elling, L., Putsche, C., Bröckelmann, A., Dobel, C., Bölte & J. & Junghöfer, M. (in press)
Acute Stress Alters Auditory Selective Attention in Humans Independent of HPA. A
Study on Evoked Potentials. PLoS One.

Junghöfer, M., Kissler, J., Schupp, H.T., Putsche, C., Elling, L. & Dobel, C. (2010). A fast neural signature of motivated attention to consumer goods separates the sexes. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 4, 1-11.

Dobel, C., Geiger, L., Bruchmann, M., Putsche, C., Schweinberger, S.R., & Junghöfer, M. (2008). On the interplay between familiarity and emotional expression in face perception. Psychological Research, 72(5), 580-586.

Dobel, C., Putsche, C., Zwitserlood, P., & Junghöfer, M. (2008). Early left-hemispheric dysfunction of face processing in congenital prosopagnosia: an MEG study. PLoS One, 3(6), e2326. (equally participated)

Conference Contributions

Steinberg, C., Junghöfer, M., Bröckelmann, A.K., Zavorotnyy, M., Domschke, K. & Zwanzger, P.
Inhibitory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex modulates early affective processing.
Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the German Society for Anxiety Research, Berlin, Germany, 2010 (poster presentation)

Putsche, C., Dobel, C., Zwanzger, P., Pantev, C. & Junghöfer, M.
Short-term reorganization in emotional face processing.
Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the German Society for Anxiety Research, Münster, Germany, 2009.

Putsche, C., Dobel, C., Schupp, H., Kissler, J., Elling, L. & Junghöfer, M.
Rapid prefrontal cortex activation during emotional evaluation of olfactory conditioned faces: A MEG study.
Poster presented at the Symposium “Fusing brain states and mental domains”, Münster, Germany, 2008.

Putsche, C., Dobel, C., Zwitserlood, P., Pantev, C. & Junghöfer, M. (2007).
Congenital prosopagnosia – neuromagnetic correlates.
Poster presented at the Münster Neuroscience Symposium, Münster, Germany, 2007.

Putsche, C., Dobel, C., Pantev, C., Johnen, A. & Junghöfer, M.
“Ich kann Dich nicht riechen” oder Wie Gerüche die initiale visuelle Verarbeitung neutraler Gesichter beeinflussen.
In Wender, K.F., Mecklenbräuker, S., Rey, G.D., Wehr, T.H. (Ed.), Beiträge zur 49. Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen, 166. Pabst Science Publishers, Lengerich, Germany, 2007.
Oral presentation at the TEAP, Trier, Germany 2007.


*1976 Born in Hanau, Hessen, Germany
1998-2001 Study of Psychology, University of Marburg, Germany
2002-2006 Study of Psychology (cont.), University of Münster, Germany
2006 Diploma thesis, Face recognition in individuals with congenital Prosopagnosia and controls: a MEG study, Institute of Psychology, University of Münster,Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Pienie Zwitserlood
Since 2007 PHD-program of the Otto-Creutzfeldt-Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience (OCC)
Since 2009 PHD-student of the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB/TRR 58) “Fear, Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders”


2010 Posterprize of the German Society for Anxiety Research