Wertheimer Research Colloquium

Since 1994, the Institute of Psychology has organized the international Wertheimer Research Colloquium which, in line with its interdisciplinary focus, strives to link the cognitive and neurophysiological aspects of psychological concepts.

Max Wertheimer , born 1880 in Prague, began his academic career in Frankfurt am Main. From 1910 to 1916 he worked at the Psychological Institute there and conducted pioneering experiments in the perception of motion .

The roots of Gestalt psychology date back to precisely this time in Frankfurt: In 1912, Wertheimer published his famous essay on apparent and real motion. “The whole is other than the sum of its parts”: With this main tenet of Gestalt psychology Wertheimer radically questioned the theory of structuralism prevalent at that time and thus also that of behaviourism.

Apart from Gestalt theory, Wertheimer concerned himself with other scientific fields during the course of his academic life, such as law and ethics, neurobiology and medical psychology, art, education and anthropology. He died in New Rochelle, N.Y., in 1943.