Welcome to Neuroscience Center Zurich

Prof. Dr. med. Ernst Martin-Fiori


University Children's Hospital Zurich

Steinwiesstrasse 75
8032 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 266 7239
Fax +41 44 266 7153

Main Goals, Keywords

The research activities at the MR-Center of the University Children’s Hospital Zurich are in accordance with the main research topics of Neurosciences at the Medical Faculty, the Neuroscience Center and the Center for Integrative Human Physiology of the University of Zurich.

Group Members

The research group of the MR-Center consists of graduated and post-graduated scientists in the fields of medicine, physics, biochemistry, neurobiology, neurophysiology and psychology.

Previous and Current Research

As a division of the Children’s Hospital and partner of the Department of Diagnostic Imaging our research group is active in investigating various aspects of normal and deviant development of the human brain. By means of various MR modalities (structural and functional imaging as well as MR spectroscopy) different topics within the field of basic research in neurology and neuropsychology are targeted. A goal thereby is not only the description of these developmental processes but also and first of all the transfer of the acquired knowledge into the daily clinical diagnostics.

Our research does not only follow international ethics guidelines, we also try to create a pleasant and playful atmosphere for our young volunteers. Therefore, we provide audiovisual entertainment to keep the examinations as exciting as possible.

Future Projects

In close co-operation with neurosurgeons at the University Hospital Zurich, computer scientists at the ETH Zurich and industrial partners a completely new system for non-invasive intracranial neurosurgical interventions is developed based on MR-guided high-energy focused ultrasound (tcMRgFUS). The goal thereby is to thermally ablate tissue (e.g. tumors) or alter tissue by moderately heating (e.g. opening of the blood-brain barrier) via application of focused acoustic energy to a target within the brain. This new technology is neither invasiv, nor does it make use of radioactive tracer. Therefore, tcMRgFUS is a unique method for non-invasive neurosurgical interventions.

Techniques and Equipment

We use a multi-method approach to investigate the social brain, employing techniques ranging from brain imaging techniques (1.5 & 3 Tesla MRI scanner), behavioural measures (RT, questionnaires), autonomic measures (pupillary, GSR, heart rate), and hormones (oxytocin, testosterone). We will also soon use TMS to temporarily disrupt specific brain functions.

Selected Publications

Selected Lectures, Seminars, Colloquia


The different research projects are supported by the Swiss National Foundation  (SNF), the National Center for Competence in Research (NCCR Co-Me), the University Children’s Hospital,  the University of Zurich (UniZh), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) as well as by private foundations.



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© 2015 ETH Zurich | Imprint | Disclaimer | 31 May 2013