M.A. Friehs (Max)

Assistant Professor

About Me

Before joining UT, I've worked at the Max-Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (GER), the University of Saskatchewan (CAN), University College Dublin (IRE) as well as Trier University (GER), where I also got my PhD. Over the last years I've collaborated with researchers around the globe on a multitude of projects ranging from fundamental research on the neurophysiological underpinnings of cognitive control to investigating how motivation can shape gameplay and how in turn games can shape motivation.

If you are interested in my research, a thesis project for your degree or an internship feel free to contact me.

For a copy of my CV, please refer to: https://tinyurl.com/CV-Friehs


Currently, two major research topics for me are: (1) Human-Virtual Agent-Interactions. How do certain aspects of virtual agents influence human experiences and behavior? Can we elicit “realistic” behaviors and experiences in a game? What design features can be most motivating? (2) Shaping Cognitive Control: How can we optimize processing of and reaction to stimuli (e.g., warning signals)? What are the constraints in which lab research can be translated to the real world? Can we enhance performance reliably? What is the impact of altered neurophysiological states?


Friehs, M. A., Stegemann, M. J., Merz, S., Geißler, C., Meyerhoff, H. S., & Frings, C. (2023). The influence of tDCS on perceived bouncing/streaming. Experimental brain research, 241, 59-66. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-022-06505-5
Friehs, M. A., Whelan, E., Güldenpenning, I., Krause, D., & Weigelt, M. (2022). Stimulating performance: A scoping review on transcranial electrical stimulation effects on olympic sports. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 59, [102130]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2021.102130
Friehs, M. A., Dechant, M., Schäfer, S., & Mandryk, R. L. (2022). More than skin deep: about the influence of self-relevant avatars on inhibitory control. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 7, [31]. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41235-022-00384-8
Friehs, M. A., Dechant, M., Vedress, S., Frings, C., & Mandryk, R. L. (2021). Shocking advantage! Improving digital game performance using non-invasive brain stimulation. International journal of human-computer studies, 148, [102582]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhcs.2020.102582
Friehs, M. A., Güldenpenning, I., Frings, C., & Weigelt, M. (2020). Electrify your Game! Anodal tDCS Increases the Resistance to Head Fakes in Basketball. Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, 4, 62-70. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41465-019-00133-8

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University of Twente
Drienerlolaan 5
7522 NB Enschede
The Netherlands

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University of Twente
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands