Dr Paul Muhle-Karbe PhD

Dr Paul Muhle-Karbe

School of Psychology
Assistant Professor

Dr Muhle-Karbe is a computational cognitive neuroscientist with a broad interest in the building blocks of higher cognitive functions. His work combines behavioural experimentation with brain imaging and computational modelling to interrogate how the brain controls cognitive processing for adaptive learning, memory, and decision-making.


MSc (Hons) Cognitive Neuroscience 

PhD Experimental Psychology


Dr Muhle-Karbe obtained a Diploma (MSc equivalent) in Cognitive Neuroscience from the Humboldt University of Berlin and a PhD in Experimental Psychology at Ghent University under the supervision of Prof Marcel Brass. He then undertook postdoctoral research at Duke University (with Prof Tobias Egner), and Oxford University (with Prof Mark Stokes and Prof Christopher Summerfield), funded by fellowships from the Wellcome Trust, Research Foundation Flanders, and Linacre College Oxford. In 2022, he joined the School of Psychology and the CHBH as Assistant Professor.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Muhle-Karbe is looking for curious and motivated students who are interested in behavioural and neuroscientific studies of learning, memory, and decision-making. Please feel free to get in touch to discuss potential projects and funding opportunities. (p.muhle-karbe@bham.ac.uk).


Muhle-Karbe, P.S., Myers, N. E., & Stokes, M. G. (2021). A hierarchy of functional states in working memory. Journal of Neuroscience, 41, 4461-4475.

Stokes, M. G., Muhle-Karbe, P. S., Myers, N. E. (2020). Thereotical distinction between functional states in working memory and their corresponding neural states. Visual Cognition.

Muhle-Karbe, P.S. & Flesch, T. (2020). Complementary brain mechanisms for categorical decisions. Journal of Neuroscience, 40, 5706-5708.

Hall-McMaster, S., Muhle-Karbe, P. S., Myers, N. E., & Stokes, M. G. (2019). Reward boosts neural coding of task rules to optimise cognitive flexibility. Journal of Neuroscience, 39, 8549-8561.

Muhle-Karbe, P. S., Jiang, J., & Egner T. (2018). Causal evidence for learning-dependent frontal lobe contributions to cognitive control. Journal of Neuroscience, 38, 962-973.

Muhle-Karbe, P. S., Duncan, J., De Baene, W., Smith, D. & Brass, M. (2017). Neural coding for instruction-based task-sets in human frontoparietal and visual cortex. Cerebral Cortex, 27, 1891-1905.

Muhle-Karbe, P. S., Derrfuss, J., Lynn, M. T., Neubert, F. X., Fox, P. T., Brass, M., Eickhoff, S. B. (2016). Co-activation based parcellation of the lateral prefrontal cortex delineates the inferior frontal junction area. Cerebral Cortex, 26, 2225-2241.

Muhle-Karbe, P. S., Andres, M., & Brass, M. (2014). Transcranial magnetic stimulation dissociates prefrontal and parietal contributions to task preparation. Journal of Neuroscience, 34, 12481-12489.

Muhle-Karbe, P. S., De Baene, W., & Brass, M. (2014). Do tasks matter in task switching? Dissociating domain-general from context-specific brain activity. NeuroImage, 99, 332-341.

Lynn, M. T., Muhle-Karbe, P. S., & Brass, M. (2014). Controlling the self: the role of the dorsal frontomedian cortex in intentional inhibition. Neuropsychologia, 65, 247-254.

Lynn, M. T., Muhle-Karbe, P. S., Arts, H., & Brass, M. (2014). Priming determinist beliefs diminishes implicit (but not explicit) components of self-agency. Frontiers in Cognition, 5, 1483-1491.

Brass, M. & Muhle-Karbe, P. S. (2014). More than associations: an ideomotor perspective on mirror neurons. Bevavioral and Brain Sciences, 37, 195-196.

*Demanet, J., *Muhle-Karbe, P. S., Lynn, M. T., Blotenberg, I. & Brass, M. (2013). Power to the will: How exerting physical effort boosts the sense of agency. Cognition, 129, 574-578. * shared first authorship

Muhle-Karbe, P. S., & Krebs, R. M. (2012). On the influence of reward on action-effect binding. Frontiers in Cognition, 3, 450-457.

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