Prof. Dr. Dr. Dominik R. Bach

Hertz Chair for Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience
University of Bonn

Research professorship of the Transdisciplinary Research Area "Life and Health" of the University of Bonn.

Understanding the brain with artificial intelligence

How do people behave in extreme situations? 

Dominik Bach uses models and methods from theoretical neuroscience and artificial intelligence to decipher the function of the human brain. The brain uses mathematical operations to control actions. Bach's research aim is to characterize these operations. He and his team analyze human behavior in extreme situations to investigate the limitations - and thus the functioning - of these mechanisms. The research team simulates such situations and uses virtual realities in which the players move freely, allowing them to record and reconstruct the players' behavior. The results can help to better understand mental illnesses and also enable new therapeutic approaches in the future.

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Prof. Dr. Dr. Dominik Bach

Hertz Chair for Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience, Transdisciplinary Research Area "Life and Health" of the University of Bonn

Am Propsthof 49

53121 Bonn

Curriculum Vitae

Dominik Bach studied psychology, medicine and mathematics in Berlin, Milton Keynes (UK) and Hagen. He received his doctorate in both medicine and psychology and completed his training in psychiatry and psychotherapy at the Charité Hospital in Berlin. A specialist in computational and clinical neuroscience, Bach has been a professor at University College London and the University of Zurich before joining the University of Bonn.

He is currently the recipient of a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant and a ESRC Research Grant from the national funding agency UK Research and Innovation. His work has received international recognition through various awards and high-level scientific publications.


  • Threat-related human behaviour, learning and memory
  • Theoretical and computational neuroscience
  • Virtual reality
  • Movement analysis



  • Biological intelligence (MA-INF 4329 - Seminar Biological Intelligence)
  • Theoretical Neuroscience, tba

2002: Dipl.-Psych. (MSc) in Psychologie, TU Berlin
2005: Dr. med., Charité, HU Berlin
2008: Dr. phil. (PhD), Psychologisches Institut, TU Berlin
2012: Board certification in Psychiatry (Facharzt), Ärztekammer Berlin
2014: BSc Maths, Open University, Milton Keynes UK
2021: MSc Mathematik, FernUniversität Hagen

Third-Party Funded Projects

Action selection under threat: the complex control of human defense (ActionContraThreat)


since October 2019


Prof. Dr. Dr. Dominik Bach


European Research Council (Grant agreement ID: 816564)

Research Network "iBehave" (Co-PI)


since August 2022


Federal State of NRW (project website)


Pfizer Research Prize



Prize for

excellent research at a swiss research institution or hospital

Robert Bing Prize



Prize for

for his pioneering work on the neurobiological mechanisms of anxiety and fear memory


Inhibiting human aversive memory by transcranial theta-burst stimulation to primary sensory cortex.

Ojala KE*, Staib M*, Gerster S, Ruff CC, Bach DR.

Biological Psychiatry, 92, 149-157 (2022). 

Representation of probabilistic outcomes during risky decision-making.

Castegnetti G, Tzovara A, Khemka S, Melinščak F, Barnes GR, Dolan RJ, Bach DR.

Nature Communications, 11, 2419 (2020).

Calibrating the experimental measurement of psychological attributes.

Bach DR, Melinščak F, Fleming SM, Voelkle M.

Nature Human Behaviour, 4, 1229-1235 (2020).

Minimizing threat via heuristic and optimal policies recruits hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex.

Korn CW & Bach DR

Nature Human Behaviour, 3, 733-745 (2019).

Algorithms for survival: a comparative perspective on emotions

Bach DR & Dayan, P.

Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 18, 311-319 (2017).

Further Information

TRA Life and Health

Understanding the complexity of life - developing new strategies for health.

High Profile Professorships

What is a Hertz Chair? 

Research profile

The University of Bonn has stood for top-level research for over 200 years.

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