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Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development


Exchange of methods and knowledge for early career human neuroimaging researchers


The mission of our peer mentoring group “Brainfood” is to connect young UZH researchers who are investigating the human brain using various neuroimaging methods and help them expand their knowledge. To tailor the contents and the topics of Brainfood’s meetings to the needs and interests of our members, we encourage you to reach out to us with your questions and suggestions for topics and speakers. Based on our vision for a peer mentoring group, we offer the following:


Creating and providing a database of expertise.

We will create a database with contact details and fields of expertise of young experts from the local neuroimaging community (PhD and postdoc researchers) who are interested in exchange and willing to support their peers. We believe that gathering information about methods and toolboxes as well as analytical approaches and linking it to scientists who are versed in these methods will be a valuable resource for young academics. If neuroimaging researchers have a specific question on a method, toolbox, or analytical approach, they can contact us and we will connect the person seeking advice to another early career UZH researcher with more experience in the field, willing to support other peers. Occasionally, it might occur that there will be no expert in the group on a certain topic. In such cases, we as organizers will try to make suggestions about resources and experts to the best of our knowledge.

Lunch seminars “Food for Thought”

Providing a platform for networking and peer feedback.

We will provide opportunities for early career researchers in the field of neuroimaging to meet their peers and strengthen the connections in the local community. Even though we are working with similar data, we often do not know our peers from the local community, thus we are not able to profit from each other’s knowledge and practical skills. We will offer a physical and virtual (if needed) space for gathering neuroimaging researchers by organizing regular lunch seminars “Food for Thought”. During these meetings, we will encourage participants to not only get to know each other but to share their successes and struggles and contribute with potential solutions to others’ difficulties. Ideally, this will ignite discussions, where peers receive and provide advice based on own knowledge and know-how. Additionally, we see these meetings as a great opportunity for young scientists to practice important talks and presentations in front of peers on different academic levels with knowledge on the methodology.

Workshops and Talks

Learning opportunities with peers and advanced mentors.

We will expand the knowledge of our members on state-of-the-art methods in the field of non-invasive human neuroimaging research. We will organize hands-on workshops and invite guest speakers to provide insights into established techniques, new and helpful toolboxes, and cutting-edge research approaches from which the local community can profit. Ultimately our hope is that the members of the peer mentoring group will acquire or enhance their practical skills and be inspired to transfer elements of the new analytical or study conduction-related approaches to their personal projects after attending the workshops.


We are currently putting together a new program for 2024. Stay tuned!

Past Events

Past lunch seminars “Food for Thought”

  • 10.11.2023, 12:15-13:15: Supervision
  • 06.10.2023, 16:30-17:30: Getting your paper ready for publishing
  • 22.06.2023, 16h: Brainfood Pizza night
  • 25.05.2023, 12:15-13:15: Lean on me: a soft-skills seminar
  • 24.04.2023, 12:15-13:15: Troubleshooting
  • 20.03.2023, 12:15-13:15: Kickoff event

Past Talks

  • Talk by Prof. Dr. Andreas Keil - Individual differences, the human brain, and mental health
    The Brainfood peer mentoring group has welcomed Prof. Andreas Keil to give a talk on “Individual differences, the human brain, and mental health: The role of a control area in addressing the reliability paradox”. The early career neuroscientists attending learned that many classical tasks might not be able to tap into individual differences or the causes thereof. Prof. Keil proposed that computational modelling and latent variables gained from these models can be used to bridge the gap.
  • Talk by Prof. Dr. Paul Sauseng - He who controls the medial prefrontal cortex controls cognition. And frontal-midline theta is that he
    Opening our Christmas event, Prof. Paul Sauseng gave an interesting talk about the work of his lab involving the medial PFC as a hub of the multiple demand network and its corresponding EEG signal, the frontal midline theta activity.
  • Talk by Dr. Lena Dorfschmidt - Insights from analyzing large aggregated MRI datasets
    Beginning of December, the Brainfood peer mentoring group got the chance to have a lively discussion with Dr. Lena Dorfschmidt about large fMRI datasets, following her talk about her research. Lena Dorfschmidt illuminated the advantages and challenges associated  with working with extensive and diverse neuroimaging datasets. She  provided insights into the preprocessing of data, quality control  measures, and the harmonization process.

Past Workshops

  • Dynamic causal modeling workshop by Dr. David Willinger
    In September, Dr. David Willinger joined the Brainfood community for a hands-on workshop about dynamic causal imaging (DCM), a method to analyze effective connectivity within specific brain networks. The Brainfood peer mentoring group learned what DCM and specifically resting state DCM is and how it can be applied in their own data.
  • fMRI analysis for beginners
    Brainfood kicked 0ff 2023 with a two-days workshop aiming to introduce peers with limited experience in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) research to the specifics of functional data analysis. The workshop was given by Nico Ehrhardt, Nina Raduner, Plamina Dimanova, Réka Borbás, and Sarah di Pietro. The content covered experimental designs, data preprocessing, within- and between-subject analysis and included practical exercises with data and code provided by Brainfood.
  • Temporal response functions workshop by Dr. Enrico Varano and Dr. Marius Tröndle
    In November, Dr. Enrico Varano and Dr. Marius Tröndle gave a workshop about temporal response functions in EEG. In a first part, they explained how temporal response functions can be used to predict EEG responses for example evoked by continous naturalistic stimuli. In a second part, the Brainfood peer mentoring group was able to get some hands-on experience with scripts provided by Enrico Varano and Marius Tröndle.

Organizing Committee

As your Brainfood team, we are looking forward to meeting you and your peers and helping you expand your knowledge and network! For more details about us, you can check out our UZH pages:

We are immensely thankful to our advisory board members – Prof. Nora Raschle and Prof. Alexis Hervais-Adelman, who supported our application and continue contributing to our cause with priceless guidance.
We are grateful to the graduate campus for recognizing the need for such a group and the benefit for the local community that our initiative will bring.

Contact us at:

Impressions from our events

  • Workshop by Dr. David Willinger

    Workshop by Dr. David Willinger

    Dynamic causal modeling

  • Kickoff event

  • Troubleshooting

  • Workshop by Dr. Enrico Varano and Dr. Marius Tröndle

    Temporal response functions

  • Talk by Prof. Dr. Andreas Keil

    Individual differences, the human brain, and mental health

  • fMRI for beginners Workshop