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 collaboration, 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 (updated semi-regularly)


In general, I want to understand human behavior and experience in order to be able to enhance it in performance-critical situations.

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 (e.g., via acute stress or non-invasive brain stimulation)?

I'm open for research on other topics; don't hesitate to contact me.

For an up-to-date look at my research output please refer to GoogleScholar or ResearchGate.


Stein, A., Iyer, K. K., Dux, P. E. , Friehs, M., Riddle, J., Craven, M. P., Groom, M. J., & Barlow, K. M. (2023). Home based remotely supervised tDCS in children with aquired brain injury: a feasibility study protocol. Poster session presented at 5th Brain Stimulation Conference 2023, Lisbon, Portugal.
Mulvaney, P., Rooney, B. , & Friehs, M. (2023). The Influence of Environmental Context on Social Anxiety in Virtual Scenes: A Pilot Study. Poster session presented at 26th Annual CyberPsychology, CyberTherapy & Social Networking Conference, CYPSY 2023, Paris, France.
Avanesi, V., Rockstroh, J., Mildner, T., Zargham, N., Reicherts, L. , Friehs, M., Kontogiorgos, D., Wenig, N., & Malaka, R. (2023). From C-3PO to HAL: Opening The Discourse About The Dark Side of Multi-Modal Social Agents. In CUI '23: Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Conversational User Interfaces Article 62 Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1145/3571884.3597441
Kirsten, H., Dechant, M., Gibbons, H. , & Friehs, M. A. (2023). Tasting inhibition: A proof-of-concept study of the food stop-signal game. In F. H. Santos (Ed.), Game-Based Learning in Education and Health Part B (pp. 57-80). (Progress in Brain Research; Vol. 279). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.pbr.2022.12.002
Friehs, M. A., Siodmiak, J., Donzallaz, M. C., Matzke, D., Numssen, O., Frings, C., & Hartwigsen, G. (2023). No effects of 1 Hz offline TMS on performance in the stop-signal game. Scientific reports, 13(1), Article 11565. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-38841-z
Delaney, T., Castillo, L. , Friehs, M. A., Buttlar, B., & Greene, C. (2023). Us Versus Them: The Role of National Identity in the Formation of False Memories for Fake News. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/t86n4
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. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-022-06505-5

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Courses Academic Year  2023/2024

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Cubicus (building no. 41), room C235
De Zul 10
7522NJ  Enschede
The Netherlands

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Mailing Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Cubicus  C235
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands