Dr Dietmar Heinke PhD

Dr Dietmar Heinke

School of Psychology
Associate Professor
MSc CNCR Programme Lead

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr. Dietmar Heinke teaches statistics at the School of Psychology. His research focuses on interdisciplinary brain research integrating experimental work in psychology with theoretical/computational modeling work. for more information see his personal webpages.

He also is a member of the Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Robotics (CNCR).


Before joining the School of Psychology Dietmar Heinke completed an MSc in electrical engineering (Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany) and a PhD in Neuroinformatics (Technical University of Ilmenau, Germany).

Postgraduate supervision

Dietmar is always looking for Intern students, Masters students, PhD students and Postdocs and is also interested in collaborations with industrial partners to adapt his computational models for technical solutions, e.g. image processing, automation, robotics, etc.


Formal modeling (mathematical models, connectionist approaches and agent-based models) and experimental research in the area of visual attention, visual affordances and social interactions.


Highlight publications

Heinke, D, Wachman, P, van Zoest, W & Leek, EC 2021, 'A failure to learn object shape geometry: implications for convolutional neural networks as plausible models of biological vision', Vision Research, vol. 189, pp. 81-92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.visres.2021.09.004

Deakin, JT, Porat, L, van Zoest, W & Heinke, D 2021, Behavioral research, overt performance. in Reference Module in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology. vol. 1-3, Elsevier, pp. 197-203. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-819641-0.00162-6

Abu-Akel, A, Allison, C, Baron-Cohen, S & Heinke, D 2019, 'The distribution of autistic traits across the autism spectrum: evidence for discontinuous dimensional subpopulations underlying the autism continuum', Molecular Autism, vol. 10, no. 1, 24 . https://doi.org/10.1186/s13229-019-0275-3

Standage, D, Areshenkoff, C, Nashed, J, Hutchison, M, Hutchison, M, Heinke, D, Menon, R, Everling, S & Gallivan, J 2020, 'Dynamic reconfiguration, fragmentation and integration of whole-brain modular structure across depths of unconsciousness', Cerebral Cortex, vol. 30, no. 10, pp. 5229-5241. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhaa085

Abadi, A, Yahya, K, Amini, M, Friston, KJ & Heinke, D 2019, 'Excitatory versus inhibitory feedback in Bayesian formulations of scene construction', Journal of The Royal Society Interface, vol. 16, no. 154, 20180344. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2018.0344

Recent publications


Robinson, J, George, D & Heinke, D 2019, 'Computational implementation of a Hebbian learning network and its application to configural forms of acquired equivalence', Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition, vol. 45, no. 3, pp. 356-371. https://doi.org/10.1037/xan0000203

Osiurak, F & Heinke, D 2018, 'Looking for Intoolligence: A Unified Framework for the Cognitive Study of Human Tool Use and Technology', American Psychologist, vol. 73, no. 2, pp. 169-185. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000162

Orghian, D, Smith, A, Garcia-Marquesa, L & Heinke, D 2017, 'Capturing spontaneous trait inference with the modified free association paradigm', Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2017.07.004

Xu, S & Heinke, D 2017, 'Implied between-object actions affect response selection without knowledge about object functionality', Visual Cognition, vol. 25, no. 1-3, pp. 152-168. https://doi.org/10.1080/13506285.2017.1330792

Narbutas, V, Lin, Y, Kristan, M & Heinke, D 2017, 'Serial versus parallel search: A model comparison approach based on reaction time distributions', Visual Cognition, vol. 25, no. 1-3, pp. 306-325. https://doi.org/10.1080/13506285.2017.1352055

Xu, S, Humphreys, GW, Mevorach, C & Heinke, D 2017, 'The involvement of the dorsal stream in processing implied actions between paired objects: A TMS study', Neuropsychologia, vol. 95, no. 27, pp. 240-249. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.12.021


Orghian, D, Garcia-Marquesa, L, Uleman, J & Heinke, D 2015, 'A Connectionist Model of Spontaneous Trait Inference and Spontaneous Trait Transference', Social Cognition, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 20-66. https://doi.org/10.1521/soco.2015.33.1.20

Strauss, S, Woodgate, P, Sami, S & Heinke, D 2015, 'Choice reaching with a LEGO arm robot (CoRLEGO): The motor system guides visual attention to movement-relevant information', Neural Networks, vol. 72, pp. 3–12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neunet.2015.10.005

Xu, S, Humphreys, G & Heinke, D 2015, 'Implied actions between paired objects lead to affordance selection by inhibition', Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, vol. 41, no. 4. https://doi.org/10.1037/xhp0000059

Abu-Akel, A, Heinke, D, Gillespie, SM, Mitchell, I & Bo, S 2015, 'Metacognitive impairments in schizophrenia are arrested at extreme levels of psychopathy: The cut-off effect', Journal of Abnormal Psychology, vol. 124, no. 4, pp. 1102-1109. https://doi.org/10.1037/abn0000096

Lin, Y-S, Heinke, D & Humphreys, G 2015, 'Modeling visual search using three-parameter probability functions in a hierarchical Bayesian framework', Attention, perception & psychophysics, vol. 77, no. 3, pp. 985-1010. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13414-014-0825-x

Woodgate, P, Strauss, S, Sami, S & Heinke, D 2015, 'Motor cortex guides selection of predictable movement targets', Behavioural Brain Research, vol. 287, pp. 238-246. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2015.03.057


Deakin, JT & Heinke, D 2020, 'Evidence for the involvement of perceptual grouping in flanker effects through random dot kinematograms (RDKs).'. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.666

Deakin, JT & Heinke, D 2019, 'Noise and motion: A new visual search paradigm with multiple random dot kinematograms (RDKs)'. https://doi.org/10.1167/19.10.233a

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