He studied Physics at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany, and the University of Sussex, England. During his doctoral training at the Institut für Neuroinformatik in Bochum, he studied biologically inspired architectures for computer vision. During a 2 year stay as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Rochester, US, he also began to conduct psychological experiments on visual perception. In 2001, he joined the Department of Cognitive Science at UC San Diego as an Assistant Professor. In 2005 he moved to the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, where he became a Senior Fellow (Full Professor) in 2007.
In 2006 he obtained a Marie Curie Excellence Center Award from the European Union. Currently, he is one of the coordinators of the BMBF-funded Berstein Focus for Neurotechnology Frankfurt (http://www.izn-frankfurt.de). He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Interdisciplinary Center for Neuroscience Frankfurt (http://www.izn-frankfurt.de).
His latent interest in entrepreneurship dates back to a fondly remembered course at the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester (http://www.simon.rochester.edu/).