Ulrike Toepel

Ulrike.jpgResearch Scientist

Department of Radiology
University Hospital Center and University of Lausanne
Radiology Research Center, RC7
Rue du Bugnon 46, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland


Lemanic Neuroscience Doctoral Program
LN Doctoral School
Amphipôle, room 316
Unil-Sorge, University of Lausanne
1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

email: ulrike.toepel@chuv.ch OR ulrike.toepel@unil.ch



Research Interests

As might be evident from the photo, my main research topic at the LINE has to do with food. In particular, my student(s) and I investigate brain dynamics mostly during the visual perception of various food classes and how these are influenced by factors like gender, weight and food preferences. We mainly use non-invasive electroencephalography to address the aforementioned issues. However, we are currently also studying the relationship of motivation towards food intake on brain dynamics and gastric hormone fluctuations as well as correlations between the latter.

My Ph.D. training was at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, where I explored electrophysiological brain markers to the differentiation of relevant from irrelevant information in spoken dialogs. Although language processing is not my main topic at the moment, I am happy to still be involved in projects on adolescent and aphasic speech perception abilities taking place at the CHUV Lausanne and in collaboration with the Humboldt University of Berlin.

More details can be found here.


  1. Toepel U, Murray MM (2015) Human Gustation: When the Brain Has Taste. Current Biology, in press
  2. Toepel U, Bielser ML, Forde CG, Martin N, Voirin A, le Coutre J, Murray MM, Huldry J (2015) How much to eat? Meal size selection for expected satiety is mediated by brain regions involved in attentional and self-regulation processes. Neuroimage, in press [DOI]
  3. De Giorgi S, Campos V, Egli L, Toepel U, Carrel G, Cariou B, Rainteau D, Schneiter P, Tappy L, Giusti V. (2014) Long-term effects of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass on postprandial plasma lipid and bile acids kinetics in female non diabetic subjects: A cross-sectional pilot study. Clin Nutr. pii: S0261-5614(14)00246-5. [PubMed] [DOI].
  4. Toepel U, Ohla K, Hudry J, le Coutre J, Murray MM. (2014). Verbal labels selectively bias brain responses to high-energy foods. Neuroimage 87:154-63. [PubMed] [DOI].
  5. Laganaro, M., Python, G., Toepel, U. (2013). Dynamics of phonological-phonetic encoding in word production: Evidence from diverging ERPs between stroke patients and controls. Brain and Language 126, 123-32.
  6. Ohla K, Toepel U, Hudry J, Le Coutre J (212) Visual-gustatory interaction: Orbitofrontal and insular cortices mediate the effect of high-calorie visual food cues on taste pleasantness. PLOS One, 7(3):e32434..
  7. Cocchi L, Zalesky A, Toepel U, Whitford TJ, De Lucia M, Murray MM, Carter O. (2011) Dynamic changes in brain functional connectivity during concurrent dual-task performance. Plos One 6(11):e28301
  8. Lietti CV, Murray MM, Hudry J, Coutre Jl, Toepel U. (2012) The role of energetic value in dynamic brain response adaptation during repeated food image viewing. Appetite 58(1):11-18.
  9. Harrar V, Toepel U, Murray MM & Spence C. Food’s visually-perceived fat content affects discrimination speed in an orthogonal spatial task. Experimental Brain Research 214(3):351-6.
  10. Pannekamp A., van der Meer E. & Toepel U. (2011). Context- and Prosody-Driven ERP Markers for Dialog Focus Perception in Children. Brain Topography 24(3-4):229-42.
  11. Zellin M, Pannekamp A, Toepel U, van der Meer E In the eye of the listener: Pupil dilation elucidates discourse processing. Int J Psychophysiol. DOI:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2011.05.009
  12. Ohla K, Toepel U, Le Coutre J, Hudry J. (2010) Electrical neuroimaging reveals intensity-dependent activation of human cortical gustatory and somatosensory areas by electrical taste. Biol Psychol 85: 446-55
  13. Cocchi L, Toepel U, De Lucia M, Martuzzi R, Wood SJ, Carter O, Murray MM (2011) Working memory load improves early stages of independent visual processing. Neuropsychologia. 49(1):92-102.
  14. Toepel U, Knebel JF, Hudry J, le Coutre J, Murray MM (2009). The brain tracks the energetic value in food images. Neuroimage, 44, 967-974.
  15. Toepel U, Pannekamp A, van der Meer, E. (2009). Fishing for information: The interpretation of focus in dialogs. in: Horne, M., von Koss Torkildsen, J, Lindgren, M., Alter, K. (Eds.): Brain talk: Discourse with and in the brain. Lund University.
  16. Knebel JF, Toepel U, Hudry J, le Coutre J, Murray MM (2008). Generating Controlled Image Sets in Cognitive Neuroscience Research. Brain Topogr, 20, 284-289.
  17. Mietz A, Toepel U, Ischebeck A,  Alter K. (2008). Inadequate and infrequent are not alike: ERPs to deviant prosodic patterns in spoken sentence comprehension. Brain Lang, 104, 159-169.
  18. Toepel U, Pannekamp A, Alter K. (2007). Catching the news – Processing strategies in listening to dialogs as measured by ERPs. Behav Brain Funct, 3:53.
  19. Meyer M, Toepel U, Keller J, Nussbaumer D, Zysset S, Friederici A.D. (2007). Neuroplasticity of sign language: Implications from structural and functional brain imaging. Restor Neurol Neurosci, 25, 335-351.
  20. Pannekamp A, Toepel U, Hahne A, Friederici AD (2005). Prosody-driven sentence processing. J Cognitive Neurosci., 17, 3, 407-421.
  21. Alter K, Rank E, Kotz SA, Toepel U, Besson M, Schirmer A, Friederici AD (2003). Affective encoding in the speech signal and in event-related brain potentials. Speech and Communication, 40, 61-70.

(Book Chapter)

  1. Toepel U, Knebel JF, Hudry J, le Coutre J, Murray MM (2010) Advantageous Object Recognition for High-Fat Food Images. In: Montmayeur JP, le Coutre J, editors. Fat Detection: Taste, Texture, and Post Ingestive Effects. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press.




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