Human-Technology Interaction Lab

The Human-Technology Interaction Lab (AG Kellmeyer; from 2019-2022: Neuroethics and AI Ethics Lab) is headed by Dr Philipp Kellmeyer and part of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University Medical Center Freiburg.

Description of research approach

The Human-Technology Interaction Lab performs innovative research at the frontier of interactional, ethical, legal and social aspects of new and emerging technologies in medicine and other health-related contexts. A special focus is the intersection of neuroscience, neurology, artificial intelligence and neurotechnology.

The Lab covers three main areas of research:

I. Human-technology interaction in medicine and other health-related contexts

We investigate human-technology interaction (HTI) in medicine and other health-related contexts with a transdisciplinary mixed methods approach. Besides the interdisciplinary exploration of conceptual foundations of HTI (e.g., agency, trust, relationality), we use qualitative research methods (e.g., phenomenological interviews, ethnographic methods, methods from design research) for investigating specific contexts of HTI in clinical medicine, such as social robots in rehabilitation or virtual reality in neurological therapy, but also consumer health technologies.

II. Ethical, legal, societal and political aspects of human-technology interaction

In highly transdisciplinary teams, we also investigate ethical, legal, societal and politcal aspects of HTI in medicine and a consumer health context. In recent years, a special focus has been the interaction between humans and neurotechnologies as well as AI systems in medicine. In our work, we place special emphasis on understanding structural aspects and conditions that shape HTIs in medicine, particularly structrual injustice, responsibility, and vulnerability. We also develop innovative methods for ethics/responsibility-by-design of medical and consumer health technologies.

III. Participatory action research for outreach, communication and co-design of medical technologies

Together with the platform Nexus Experiments of the University of Freiburg, which is co-led by Philipp Kellmeyer, we co-create innovative outreach projects at the intersection of science, art and society. Together, citizens, artists and scientists co-create events that offer opportunities for mutual learning and bidirectional knowledge transfer. With methods from participatory action research, we evaluate these projects and use the results to offer concepts and approaches for co-designing medical and consumer health technologies.


Dr Philipp Kellmeyer – Neurologist, Head of Research Group

Vera Borrmann – PhD Student (Philosophy) – Project(s): Human Agency and Brain Computer Interfaces

Christina Davril – Student Research Assistant (Computer Science, Linguistics) – Project(s): DaDuHealth

Luisa Gerstgrasser – Student Research Assistant (Liberal Arts & Sciences) – Project(s): Agency and neurotechnology

Patricia Gleim – Student Research Assistant (Gender Studies) – Project(s): Responsible AI

Luc Lülf – Student Research Assistant (Political Science) – Project(s): Responsible AI

Sekina Mandelartz – PhD Student (Psychology, Health Economics) – Project(s): KIDELIR

Helena Scholl – Student Research Assistant (Medicine, Philosophy) – Project(s): Agency and neurotechnology

Dr Reto Schölly – Postdoctoral Researcher (Computer Science, Philosophy) – Project(s): DaDuHealth

Ines Schröder – PhD Student (Philosophy) – Project(s): AI-TRUST

Projects & Research Topics (selection)

Selected Publications

Ienca M, Fins JJ, Jox RJ, Jotterand F, Voeneky S, Andorno R, Ball T, Castelluccia C, Chavarriaga R, Chneiweiss H, Ferretti A, Friedrich O, Hurst S, Merkel G, Molnar-Gabor F, Rickli JM, Scheibner J, Vayena E, Yuste R, Kellmeyer P. Towards a Governance Framework for Brain Data. Neuroethics. 2022.

Herzog L., Kellmeyer P, Wild V. Digital behavioral technology, vulnerability and justice: towards an integrated approach. Review of Social Economy 80, 7–28. 2021.

Ligthart S, Koojmans T, Biller-Andorno N, Meynen G, Kellmeyer P. Is Virtually Everything Possible? The Relevance of Ethics and Human Rights for Introducing Extended Reality in Forensic Psychiatry. AJOB Neuroscience. 2021.

Langer A, Feingold-Polak R, Mueller, O, Kellmeyer P, Levy-Tzedek S. Trust in Socially Assistive Robots: Considerations for use in Rehabilitation. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2019.

Kellmeyer P, Biller-Andorno N, Meynen G. Ethical Tensions in Virtual Reality Treatment in Vulnerable Patients. Nature Medicine. 2019.

Kellmeyer P. Artificial intelligence in basic and clinical neuroscience: scientific opportunities and ethical challenges. Neuroforum. 2019.

Kellmeyer P, Chandler, J, Cabrera, L, Carter, A, Kreitmair K, Weiss A, Illes J. Neuroethics at 15: The Current and Future Environment for Neuroethics. AJOB Neuroscience. 2019. Online first.

Kellmeyer P,Mueller O, Feingold-Polak R and Levy-Tzedek S. Social robots in rehabilitation: A question of trust. Science Robotics. 2018 Aug 15 3(21).

Kellmeyer P. Neurophilosophical and ethical aspects of virtual reality therapy in neurology and psychiatry. Camb Q Healthc Ethics. 2018 Oct;27(4):610-627.

Kellmeyer P. Big Brain Data: On the Responsible Use of Brain Data from Clinical and Consumer-Directed Neurotechnological Devices. Neuroethics. Online First, May 19th 2018.

Yuste, R., […], Kellmeyer P, […] et al. Four ethical priorities for neurotechnologies and AI. Nature 551, 159 (2017).

Kellmeyer P. Ethical and Legal Implications of the Methodological Crisis in Neuroimaging. Camb Q Healthc Ethics. 2017 Oct;26(4):530-554. https://www.doi,org/10.1017/S0963180116000359

Kellmeyer P, Cochrane T, Müller O, Mitchell C, Ball T, Fins JJ, Biller-Andorno N.The Effects of Closed-Loop Medical Devices on the Autonomy and Accountability of Persons and Systems. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. 2016 Oct; 25(4): pp. 623-33.

Funding by