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PD Dr. Peter Heil
PD Dr. Peter Heil

Department Systemphysiology
Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology
Brenneckestraße 6
39118 Magdeburg
Germany
Phone: +49-391-6263-94441
Fax: +49-391-6263-328
E-mail:

Career
1998–present: Senior Scientist and Group Leader in the Departments of Systems Physiology of Learning and Auditory Learning & Speech at the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, Magdeburg, Germany; 1995–1998: Chief Investigator at the Department of Psychology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia; 1994–1995: Deputy professor of Zoology in the Department of Biology, Technical University (TU) Darmstadt; 1994: Appointment as a University Lecturer in the Department of Biology, TU Darmstadt; 1993: Habilitation in Zoology at the TU Darmstadt; 1990–1991: Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Psychology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia (Feodor-Lynen scholarship of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation); 1989: Ph.D. in Biology at the TU Darmstadt, Germany; 1976–1983: Studies of biology and physics at the TU Darmstadt, Germany

International Research Visits
1990–1991, 1995–1998, 2001, 2002: Department of Psychology, Monash University, Australia; 1993, 1994: Low Temperature Laboratory, Helsinki Univ. Techn., Finland; 1989, 1992: Department of Zoology, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel; 1983: Ponce School of Medicine, Ponce, P.R., USA

Scholarships and Grants
2016–2018: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (He1721/11-2); 2015–2016: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (with M. Brosch and R. König; He1721/10-2); 2013–2017: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB/TRR 31 A6); 2012–2015: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (He1721/11-1); 2014: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (He1721/12-1) (with co-applicants): Support for hosting the 5th International Conference on Auditory Cortex—Towards a Synthesis of Human and Animal Research in Magdeburg; 2014: Center for Behavioral Brain Sciences (with co-applicants): Support for hosting the 5th International Conference on Auditory Cortex—Towards a Synthesis of Human and Animal Research in Magdeburg; 2012–2014: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (with M. Brosch and R. König; He1721/10-1); 2011–2013: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (with R. König; Ko1713/10-1); 2009–2013: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB/TRR 31 A6); 2009–2010: LIN-Special Project (with R. König and M. Brosch); 2005–2009: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB/TRR 31 A6); 2005–2006: GEERS Foundation (S30-10.016); 2004–2006: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (He1721/7-1); 2003: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (4851/167/03) (with H. Scheich): Support for hosting the International Conference on Auditory Cortex—Towards a Synthesis of Human and Animal Research in Magdeburg; 2001–2004: Volkswagenstiftung (VW I/77 356) (with H. Schulze, G. Langner, G. Palm, B. Gaschler-Markefski and H. Scheich); 2002–2004: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (He1721/4-2); 2001: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (He1721/5-2); 2000: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (He1721/5-1); 2000–2002: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (He1721/4-1); 1995–1998: National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) of Australia (950740 with D.R.F. Irvine and R.Rajan); 1990–1991: Feodor-Lynen Scholarship of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation for a one-year research visit at the Monash University in Melbourne, Australia; 1972–1973: ASSIST (American Secondary Schools for International Students) scholarship for education at the New Hampton School, New Hampshire, USA

Grant Reviewer for
Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation; Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; Kultusministerium des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt; National Science Foundation, USA; Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium; BBSRC, United Kingdom; Research Foundation Flanders, Belgium

Ad hoc Reviewer for
Acoustics Australia; Acta Acustica united with Acustica; Audiology & Neurootology; BMC Neuroscience; Brain Research; Cerebral Cortex; Developmental Brain Research; Ear and Hearing; European Journal of Neuroscience; Experimental Brain Research; Frontiers in Neuroscience; Hearing Research; Journal of the Acoustical Society of America; Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology; Journal of Comparative Physiology; Journal of Neurophysiology; Journal of Neuroscience; Journal of Neuroscience Methods; Neuroscience; Psychophysiology; Trends in Neurosciences; Zeitschrift für Audiologie (Audiological Acoustics)

Member of the Organizing Committee
5th International Conference on Auditory Cortex—Towards a Synthesis of Human and Animal Research, Magdeburg 2014; 3rd International Conference on Auditory Cortex—Current Concepts in Human and Animal Research, Magdeburg 2009; The Auditory Brain—A Tribute to Dexter Irvine; Lorne, Australia 2007; XI Magdeburg International Conference on Learning and Memory: Cellular and Systemic Views 2005; International Conference on Auditory Cortex—Towards a Synthesis of Human and Animal Research, Magdeburg 2003

Peer-reviewed Publications

Deike, S., Heil, P., Böckmann-Barthel, M., and Brechmann, A. (2015) Decision making and ambiguity in auditory stream segregation. Frontiers in Psychology 9:266. DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2015.00266

Heil, P. and Peterson A.J. (2015) Basic response properties of auditory-nerve fibers. Cell Tissue Research 361: 129–158 (invited review)

König,R., Matysiak, A., Kordecki, W., Sieluzycki,C., Zacharias, N., and Heil, P. (2015) Averaging auditory evoked MEG and EEG responses: A critical discussion. European Journal of Neuroscience 41: 631–640

Budinger, E., Brechmann, A., Brosch, M., Heil, P., König, R., Ohl, F.W., and Scheich, H. (2015) Auditory Cortex – towards a synthesis of human and animal research. European Journal of Neuroscience 41: 515-517 (Editorial)

Peterson, A.J., Irvine, D.R.F., and Heil, P. (2014) A model of synaptic-vesicle-pool depletion and replenishment can account for the inter-spike-interval distributions and non-renewal properties of spontaneous spike trains of auditory-nerve fibers. Journal of Neuroscience 34:15097–15109

Heil, P. (2014) Towards a unifying basis of auditory thresholds: binaural summation. Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology 15:219–234

Heil, P. (2013) Auditory nerve response, afferent signals. In: Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience (Eds. Jaeger D, Jung, R) Springer, Berlin, Article ID 348489, Chapter ID 424

Zoefel, B., Heil, P. (2013) Detection of near-threshold sounds is independent of EEG phase. Frontiers in Psychology 4:262. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.0026

Matysiak, A., Kordecki, W., Sieluzycki, C., Zacharias, N., Heil, P., and König, R. (2013) Variance stabilization for computing grand means in MEG and EEG. Psychophysiology 50:627–639.

Heil, P., Neubauer, H., Tetschke, M., and Irvine, D.R.F (2013) A probabilistic model of absolute auditory thresholds and its possible physiological basis. In: Basic Aspects of Hearing: Physiology and Perception (Eds. Moore BCJ, Patterson RD, Winter IM, Carlyon RP, Gockel HE) Springer, New York, pp. 21–29

Heil, P., Verhey, J.L., and Zoefel, B. (2013) Modelling detection thresholds for sounds repeated at different delays. Hearing Research 296: 83–95.

Pohl, N.U., Slabbekorn, H., Neubauer, H., Heil, P., Klump, G.M., and Langemann, U. (2013) Why longer song elements are easier to detect: threshold level-duration functions in the great tit and comparison with human data. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 199:239–252.

Zacharias, N., König, R. and Heil, P. (2012) Stimulation-history effects on the M100 revealed by its differential dependence on the stimulus onset interval Psychophysiology 49:909–919.

Deike, S., Heil, P., Böckmann-Barthel, M., and Brechmann, A. (2012) The build-up of auditory stream segregation: a different perspective. Frontiers in Psychology 3:461. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00461.

Brechmann, A., Brosch, M., Budinger, E., Heil, P., König, R., Ohl, F.W., Scheich, H. (2011) Auditory Cortex—Current concepts in human and animal research. Hearing Research 271: 1–2 (Editorial).

Zacharias, N. Sieluzycki, C., Kordecki, W., König, R. and Heil, P. (2011) The M100 component of evoked magnetic fields differs by scaling factors: implications for signal averaging. Psychophysiology 48: 1069–1082.

Heil, P., Neubauer, H., and Irvine, D.R.F. (2011) An improved model for the rate-level functions of auditory-nerve fibers. Journal of Neuroscience 31:15424–15347.

Zacharias, N. Sieluzycki, C., Matysiak, A., König, R. and Heil, P. (2010) Relevant observations for averaging stimulus evoked magnetic fields across trials and across subjects. IFBME Proceedings 28: 179–182.

Heil, P., Neubauer, H., and Irvine, D.R.F. (2010) A new model for the shapes of rate-level functions of auditory-nerve fibers. Proceedings of the 20th International Congress on Acoustics4: 3156–3163.

Heil, P. and Neubauer, H. (2010) Summing across different active zones can explain the quasi-linear Ca2+-dependencies of exocytosis by receptor cells. Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience 2: 148. doi: 10.3389/fnsyn.2010.00148 (featured in Faculty1000 by Paul Fuchs).

Neubauer, H., Köppl, C. and Heil, P. (2009) Spontaneous Activity of Auditory Nerve Fibers in the Barn Owl (Tyto alba): Analyses of Interspike Interval Distributions. Journal of Neurophysiology 101: 3169–3191.

König, R., Sieluzycki, C., Simserides, C., Heil, P., Scheich, H. (2008) Effects of the task of categorizing FM direction on auditory evoked magnetic fields in the human auditory cortex. Brain Research 1220: 102–117

Neubauer, H. and Heil, P. (2008) A physiological model for the stimulus-dependence of first-spike latency of auditory-nerve fibers. Brain Research 1220: 208–223.

Heil, P., Neubauer, H., Brown, M. and Irvine, D.R.F. (2008) Towards a unifying basis of auditory thresholds: distributions of the first-spike latencies of auditory-nerve fibers. Hearing Research 238: 25–38.

Heil, P., Neubauer, H., Irvine, D.R.F. and Brown, M. (2007) Spontaneous activity of auditory-nerve fibers: insights into stochastic processes at ribbon synapses. Journal of Neuroscience 27:8457–8474 (see also Editorial: From Ribbon Synapses to Spike Trains).

Heil, P., Neubauer, H., Tiefenau, A., and von Specht, H. (2006) Comparison of absolute thresholds derived from an adaptive forced-choice procedure and from reaction probabilities and reaction times in a simple reaction time paradigm. Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology 7:279–298

Tiefenau, A., Neubauer, H., von Specht, H. and Heil, P. (2006) Correcting for false alarms in a simple reaction time task. Brain Research 1122:99–115.

Budinger, E., Heil, P., Hess, A. and Scheich, H. (2006) Multisensory processing via early cortical stages—Connections of the primary auditory cortical field with other sensory systems. Neuroscience 143:1065–1083 (featured in Faculty1000 by Alan Palmer).

Heil, P. and Neubauer, H. (2005) Auditory thresholds re-visited. In: Auditory Signal Processing: Physiology, Psychoacoustics, and Models (Eds. D. Pressnitzer, A. de Cheveigne, S. McAdams and L. Collet), Springer, New York, pp. 454–470.

Heil, P. and Neubauer, H. (2005) Towards a unifying basis of auditory thresholds. In: The Auditory Cortex–A Synthesis of Human and Animal Research. (Eds. R. König, P. Heil, E. Budinger, H. Scheich) Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc. Oxford, pp. 207–224

Budinger, E. and Heil, P. (2005) Anatomy of the auditory cortex. In: Listening to Speech (Eds. S. Greenberg and W. Ainsworth) Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc., Mahwah, New Jersey, pp. 91–113 (invited review)

Heil, P. (2004) First-spike latency of auditory neurons revisited. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 14: 461–467.

Neubauer, H. and Heil, P. (2004) Towards a unifying basis of auditory thresholds: the effects of hearing loss on temporal integration reconsidered. Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology 5: 436–458

Heil, P. and Neubauer, H. (2004) Detection thresholds for tones in quiet re-examined. In: Proceedings of the 18th International Congress on Acoustics, Kyoto, IV, pp. 2643–2646.

Heil, P. and Neubauer, H. (2004) New insights into absolute thresholds of normal and hearing-impaired ears. Audiological Acoustics(Zeitschrift für Audiologie) 43:188–195

Heil, P. (2003) Coding of temporal onset envelope in the auditory system. Speech Communication41: 123–134.

Heil, P. and Neubauer, H. (2003) A unifying basis of auditory thresholds based on temporal summation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 100: 6151–6156.

Bronchti, G., Heil, P., Sadka, R., Hess, A., Scheich, H. and Wollberg, Z. (2002) Auditory activation of "visual" cortical areas in the blind mole rat (Spalax ehrenbergi). European Journal of Neuroscience16: 311–329.

Heil, P. (2001) Representation of sound onsets in the auditory system. Audiology & Neurootology 6:167–172.

Heil, P. (2001) Aspects of envelope coding in the auditory system In: Computational Models of the Auditory System (Eds. S. Greenberg and M. Slaney). NATO-Advanced Study Institute, IOS, 189–203.

Heil, P. and Neubauer, H. (2001) Temporal integration of sound pressure determines thresholds of auditory-nerve fibers. Journal of Neuroscience 21:7404–7415 (featured in Faculty1000).

Hess, A., Stiller, D., Kaulisch, T., Heil, P., and Scheich, H. (2000) New Insights into the Hemodynamic Blood Oxygenation Level-Dependent Response through Combination of Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Optical Recording in Gerbil Barrel Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience 20: 3328–3338

Budinger, E., Heil, P., and Scheich, H. (2000) Functional organization of auditory cortex in the Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus). III. Anatomical subdivisions and corticocortical connections. European Journal of Neuroscience 12: 2425–2451

Budinger, E., Heil, P., and Scheich, H. (2000) Functional organization of auditory cortex in the Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus). IV. Connections to anatomically characterized subcortical structures. European Journal of Neuroscience 12: 2452–2474

Biermann, S. and Heil, P. (2000) Parallels between timing of onset responses of single neurons in cat and of evoked magnetic fields in human auditory cortex. Journal of Neurophysiology 84: 2426–2439.

Heil, P. and Irvine, D.R.F. (1998) The posterior field P of cat auditory cortex: coding of envelope transients. Cerebral Cortex 8: 125–141

Heil, P. and Irvine, D.R.F. (1998) Functional specialization in auditory cortex: responses to frequency-modulated stimuli in the cat’s posterior auditory field. Journal of Neurophysiology 79: 3041–3059

Heil, P. (1998) Neural coding of interaural transient envelope disparities. European Journal of Neuroscience 10: 2831–2847

Heil, P. (1998) Further observations on the threshold model of latency for auditory neurons. Behavioural Brain Research 95: 233–236

Heil, P. (1998) Some new ideas on envelope coding in the auditory system. In: Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Study Institute on Computational Hearing. (Eds. S. Greenberg and M. Slaney), pp. 101–106.

Heil, P. (1997) Aspects of temporal processing of FM stimuli in primary auditory cortex. Acta Otolaryngologica (Stockholm) Suppl. 532: 99–102

Heil, P. (1997) Auditory cortical onset responses revisited: I. First-spike timing. Journal of Neurophysiology 77: 2616–2641

Heil, P. (1997) Auditory cortical onset responses revisited: II. Response strength. Journal of Neurophysiology 77: 2642–2660

Heil, P. and Irvine, D.R.F. (1997) First-spike timing of auditory-nerve fibers and comparison with auditory cortex. Journal of Neurophysiology 78: 2438–2454

Schulze, H., Ohl, F., Heil, P., and Scheich, H. (1997) Field-specific responses in the auditory cortex of the unanaesthetized Mongolian gerbil to tones and slow frequency modulations. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 181: 573–589

Langner, G., Sams, M., Heil, P., and Schulze, H. (1997) Frequency and periodicity are represented in orthogonal maps in the human auditory cortex: evidence from magnetoencephalography. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 181: 665–676

Heil, P. and Irvine, D.R.F. (1996) On determinants of first-spike latency in auditory cortex. NeuroReport  7: 3073–3076

Langner, G., Schulze, H., Sams, M., and Heil, P. (1996) The topographic representation of periodicity pitch in the auditory cortex. In: Proceedings of 5:34 PM 4/5/2013the Workshop on the Auditory Basis of Speech Perception. (Eds. W. Ainsworth and S. Greenberg), Keele University, UK, pp. 91–97.

Heil, P., Schulze, H., and Langner, G. (1995) Ontogenetic development of periodicity coding in the inferior colliculus of the Mongolian gerbil. Auditory Neuroscience 1: 363–383

Heil, P., Rajan, R., and Irvine, D.R.F. (1994) Topographic representation of tone intensity along the isofrequency axis of cat primary auditory cortex. Hearing Research 76: 188–202

Thomas, H., Tillein, J., Heil, P., and Scheich, H. (1993) Functional organization of auditory cortex in the Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus): I. Electrophysiological mapping of frequency representation and distinction of fields. European Journal of Neuroscience 5: 882–897

Scheich, H., Heil, P. and Langner, G. (1993) Functional organization of auditory cortex in the Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus): II. 2-Deoxyglucose mapping of tonotopic organization. European Journal of Neuroscience 5: 898–914

Rajan, R., Irvine, D.R.F., Wise, L.Z., and Heil, P. (1993) Effect of unilateral partial lesions in adult cats on the representation of lesioned and unlesioned cochleas in primary auditory cortex. Journal of Comparative Neurology 338: 17–49

Heil, P. and Scheich, H. (1992) Spatial representation of frequency-modulated signals in the tonotopically organized auditory cortex analogue of the chick. Journal of Comparative Neurology 322: 548–565

Heil, P. and Scheich, H. (1992) Postnatal shift of tonotopic organization in chick auditory cortex analogue. NeuroReport 3: 381–384

Heil, P., Rajan, R., and Irvine, D.R.F. (1992) Sensitivity of neurons in cat primary auditory cortex to tones and frequency-modulated stimuli. I. Effects of variation of stimulus parameters. Hearing Research 63: 108–134

Heil, P., Rajan, R., and Irvine, D.R.F. (1992) Sensitivity of neurons in cat primary auditory cortex to tones and frequency-modulated stimuli. II. Topographic representation along the "isofrequency" dimension. Hearing Research 63: 135–156

Heil, P., Langner, G. and Scheich, H. (1992) Processing of frequency-modulated stimuli in the chick auditory cortex analogue: evidence for topographic representations and possible mechanisms of rate and directional sensitivity. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 171: 583–600

Heil, P., Bronchti, G., Wollberg, Z. and Scheich, H. (1991) Invasion of visual cortex by the auditory system in the naturally blind mole rat. NeuroReport 2: 735–738

Heil, P. and Scheich, H. (1991) Functional organization of the avian auditory cortex analogue. I. Topographic representation of isointensity bandwidth. Brain Research 539: 110–120

Heil, P. and Scheich, H. (1991) Functional organization of the avian auditory cortex analogue. II. Topographic distribution of latency. Brain Research 539: 121–125

Bronchti, G., Heil, P., Scheich, H. and Wollberg, Z. (1989) Auditory pathway and auditory activation of primary visual targets in the blind mole rat (Spalax ehrenbergi): I. A 2-deoxyglucose study of subcortical centers. Journal of Comparative Neurology 284: 253–274

Heil, P. and Scheich, H. (1988) Different binaural inputs subdividing isofrequency planes in chick inferior colliculus: evidence from 2-deoxyglucose. In: Auditory Pathway-Structure and Function. (Eds. J. Syka and R.B. Masterton) Plenum Publishing Corporation, New York, pp. 185–190.

Heil, P. and Scheich, H. (1986) Effects of unilateral and bilateral cochlea removal on 2-deoxy-glucose patterns in the chick auditory system. Journal of Comparative Neurology 252: 279–301

Heil, P. and Scheich, H. (1985) Quantitative analysis and two-dimensional reconstruction of the tonotopic organization of the auditory field L in the chick from 2-deoxyglucose data. Experimental Brain Research 58: 532–543

Books Edited

The Auditory Cortex—A Synthesis of Human and Animal Research.
Editors: R. König, P. Heil, E. Budinger, H. Scheich. Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc. Oxford, 2005.



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