Research Interests: Visual neuroscience, Neuroimaging, Brain-computer interfaces
Rainer Goebel studied psychology and computer science in Marburg, Germany (1983-1988). He investigated in his master thesis how students learn to solve recursive programming problems. During his PhD at the Technical University of Braunschweig (1990-1994) he worked on artificial neural network simulations of visual processing under the supervision of Prof. Dirk Vorberg developing a large-scale oscillatory network model of scene segmentation, selective attention and shape recognition.
In 1993 he received the Heinz Maier Leibnitz Advancement award in cognitive science sponsored by the German minister of science and education for a publication on the binding problem and in 1994 he received the Heinz Billing award from the Max Planck society for developing a software package for the creation and simulation of neural network models. From 1995-1999 he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt/Main in the Dept. of Neurophysiology under Prof. Wolf Singer where he founded the functional neuroimaging group. In 1997/1998 he was a fellow at the Berlin Institute for Advanced studies ("Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin").
Since January 2000, he is a full professor for Cognitive Neuroscience in the psychology department of Maastricht University. He is the founding director of the Maastricht Brain Imaging Centre (M-BIC), which celebrated its opening in spring 2005. and the driving force of the recently established ultra-high field imaging center housing 3, 7 and 9.4 Tesla human MRI scanners. He is also team leader of the “Modeling and Neuroimaging” group at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience in Amsterdam. In both institutes he combines functional brain imaging with neural network modelling to advance our understanding of brain function at multiple levels of organization.
From 2006, he is the Research Director of the FPN Maastricht Research Institute together with Peter de Weerd and he served the faculty board as head of research and innovation. From 2006-2008, he served as chair of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping. He received funding for basic and translational neuroscience research including a prestigious Advanced Investigators Grant from the European Research Council (2011 - 2016) and several grants from the Human Brain Project (2014-2020). He is also founder of the company Brain Innovation BV that produces free and commercial software for neuroimaging data analysis and clinical applications (see brainvoyager.com). In 2014, he has been selected as member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2017, he has been selected as member of Leopoldina, the German National Academy of Science.