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Prof. Dr.
Josef Unterrainer

Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology
Phone: 0049-761-203-5513


  • 1997 Doctorate as Doktor rerum naturalium, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Salzburg
  • 2000-2008 Temporary professorship, Department of Biological and Differential Psychology, Institute of Psychology and beforehand Assistant Professor (C1), Department of Neuropsychology, University Freiburg
  • 2008-2009 PI of the BMBF-funded grant “Cognitive development and related neurophysiological and -anatomical changes from early to late childhood.”
  • 2009-2016 Professor of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology (W2), University of Mainz
  • Since 2016 Full Professor of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology (W3), University of Freiburg

Focus of research

  • Planning and Problem Solving
  • Neuro-cognitive Development

Selected publications

  • Unterrainer JM, Rauh R, Rahm B, Hardt J, Kaller CP, Klein C, Paschke-Müller M, Biscaldi M. Development of Planning in Children with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders and/or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Autism Res. 2016; 9(7):739-51.
  • Unterrainer JM, Kaller CP, Loosli SV, Heinze K, Ruh N, Paschke-Müller M, Rauh R, Biscaldi M, Rahm B. Looking ahead from age 6 to 13: a deeper insight into the development of planning ability. Br J Psychol. 2015; 106(1):46-67.
  • Kaller CP, Rahm B, Spreer J, Weiller C, Unterrainer JM. Dissociable contributions of left and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in planning. Cereb Cortex. 2011; 21(2):307-17.
  • Unterrainer JM, Owen AM. Planning and problem solving: from neuropsychology to functional neuroimaging. J Physiol Paris. 2006; 99(4-6):308-17.
  • Unterrainer JM, Rahm B, Kaller CP, Ruff CC, Spreer J, Krause BJ, Schwarzwald R, Hautzel H, Halsband U. When planning fails: individual differences and error-related brain activity in problem solving. Cereb Cortex. 2004; 14(12):1390-7.

Research methods

  • Behavioral studies (experimental and observational)
  • Neuroimaging studies (fMRI, fNIRS)