Gerald Hüther

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Gerald Hüther (2016)

Gerald Hüther (born February 15, 1951 in Emleben ) is a German neurobiologist and author of popular science books and other publications.


Hüther studied biology at the University of Leipzig and received his doctorate there in 1976 while working as a scientific assistant at the University of Jena . At the end of the 1970s he fled the GDR : with the help of forged visa stamps in his passport, he traveled through several Eastern European countries to Yugoslavia and from there to the western part of Germany. From 1979 to 1989 he conducted research in Göttingen at the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine in the field of brain development disorders. In 1988 he completed his habilitation in medicine at the Georg-August University in Göttingen and received a license to teach neurobiology . His cumulative habilitation thesis from 1987 is entitled Brain Development in Hyperphenylalaninaemia (Phenylketonuria) .

From 1990 to 1995 he was a fellow in the Heisenberg program of the DFG and worked in this context in the department for basic neurobiological research at the Psychiatric Clinic of the University Medical Center Göttingen . Hüther then worked as a research assistant at this clinic. In 2016 he finished his university career.

Hüther is a second married and has a son and two daughters.

Fields of activity

Scientific activity

Hüther worked and published in the field of experimental brain research until 2005. The focus of his scientific work was:

Gerald Hüther calls for a realignment of biology in the 21st century. Assumptions such as that of competition as the driving force behind evolution should be questioned. Breaking down organisms into their individual parts does not lead to an understanding of what life is. It is not enough to see living beings only as objects, but also as subjects with intentions and needs. It is important to put yourself in the shoes of living beings, to see that which connects all life. Common to all life is the ability to organize itself, autopoiesis .

Media activities

Hüther is known to the public for lectures and interviews on brain research and its application to everyday life.


Hüther has been running the WIN-Future information network in collaboration with the educator Karl Gebauer since 2002 . He initiated the Göttingen Congress for Education , which has taken place annually since November 2000, and was chairman of the scientific advisory board of the Sinn Foundation until May 10, 2013, which, among other things, aims to develop alternative concepts for the treatment of attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD ) to develop. In 2010, together with the Swiss social worker Tibor Beregszaszy, he initiated a project in which children with ADHD lived in seclusion on a mountain pasture for two months in order to get rid of the drug Ritalin . So far, no information or studies have been published that can prove the medium or long-term success of this completely drug-free approach.

In February 2013, the sect representative of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising warned of Hüther and the Sinn Foundation “Development. Learn. Future ” with the note that their points of view are simplistic and would make generalities absolute. Furthermore, doubts about the alleged neuroscientific evidence are mentioned and, among other things, a critical examination of the philosophical requirements with regard to neuroscientific explanatory models of an alleged existence of God is required. As a consequence, the archdiocese forbids all institutions under its control to collaborate with the Sinn Foundation. In 2013, Hüther separated from the Sinn Foundation. Hüther commented on his resignation as follows: “On one of the Alm projects for ADHD children, a boy was sexually assaulted by a pedophile supervisor in 2010. [...] As President of the Sinn Foundation, I had to take responsibility for it. I did that as well as I could. But I don't want to get into such a situation again. ”The supervisor was the Swiss school social worker Tibor B.

Hüther is also a founding member of the following networks:

  • School on the move
  • Archive of the future - network for school development
  • Scientific interdisciplinary network for upbringing and educational issues
  • Network for humanitarian questions in the economy Forum Humanum

Consulting activities

Hüther works as a scientific consultant for several companies, including

  • Com-Unic
  • Institute for Mind-Body Medicine
  • Fürstenberg Institute

Scientific controversy

In a study, Hüther, as a member of a psychiatric study group at the University of Göttingen, investigated the effects of SSRIs and methylphenidate (Ritalin) on brain development on rats . In 2002 he expressed the fear that the use of methylphenidate in children with ADHD could trigger “movement disorders similar to those in Parkinson's disease ” as a long-term consequence . This hypothesis was rejected by research colleagues directly involved in the study, such as Aribert Rothenberger , and received with skepticism in 2002 at a congress of the German Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy . In 2006, the German Medical Association saw no support for Huether's fears in its guideline recommendations on ADHD based on evidence-based medicine .

A more recent work by Veit Rößner with the participation of international ADHD experts, such as Terje Sagvolden , Stephen Faraone and Aribert Rothenberger, was even able to demonstrate rather positive long-term changes due to the use of methylphenidate using an identical method on rats, which are considered model animals for ADHD.

Publications (selection)

  • with Helmut Bonney: News from the Zappelphilipp. Understand, prevent and treat ADD / ADHD. 2002; 11th edition. New edition Walter, Mannheim 2010, ISBN 978-3-530-50635-8 .
  • with Yvonne Brandl, Marianne Leuzinger-Bohleber (eds.): ADHD - early prevention instead of medicalization. Theory, research, controversy. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2006. (Writings of the Sigmund Freud Institute: Series 2, Psychoanalysis in Interdisciplinary Dialog; Vol. 4) ISBN 3-525-45178-4 .
  • Instruction manual for a human brain. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2006, ISBN 3-525-01464-3 .
  • The evolution of love. What Darwin already suspected and the Darwinists do not want to admit . 5th edition. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-525-01452-3 .
  • Men. The weaker sex and its brain . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2009, ISBN 978-3-525-40420-1 .
  • with Inge Krens: The secret of the first nine months. Our earliest coins. New edition Beltz, Weinheim 2010, ISBN 978-3-407-22907-6 .
  • The power of inner images. How visions change the brain, people and the world. 6th, unchanged. Edition Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2010, ISBN 978-3-525-46213-3 .
  • Biology of fear. How stress turns into feelings. 10th edition. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2011, ISBN 978-3-525-01439-4 .
  • What we are and what we could be: a neurobiological encourager. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2011, ISBN 978-3-10-032405-4 .
  • with Uli Hauser: Every child is gifted: The innate talents of our children and what we make of them. Knaus, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-8135-0448-4
  • with Herbert Renz-Polster : How children grow today: nature as a space for development. A new look at child learning, thinking and feeling. Beltz, Weinheim / Basel 2013, ISBN 978-3-407-85953-2 .
  • Communal intelligence. edition Körber Foundation, Hamburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-89684-098-1 .
  • It cannot go on as before! In: Matthias Eckoldt : Can the brain understand the brain? 2nd Edition. Carl-Auer-Verlag, Heidelberg 2014, ISBN 978-3-8497-0002-7 .
  • with Peter M. Endres : Lust to learn. What really matters in life. Murmann Verlag, Hamburg 2014, ISBN 978-3-86774-290-0 .
  • with Christoph Quarch : Save the game! Because living is more than functioning. Hanser Verlag, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-446-44701-1 .
  • A little more brain, please: An invitation to rediscover the joy of your own thinking and the joy of creating together. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Verlag, Göttingen 2016, ISBN 978-3-525-40464-5 .
  • Get out of the dementia trap! How to activate the brain's self-healing powers in good time. Arkana Verlag, Munich 2017, ISBN 978-3-641-20242-2 .
  • Dignity: What makes us strong - as individuals and as a society. Knaus 2018, ISBN 978-3-8135-0783-6 .
  • with Sven Ole Müller, Nicole Bauer: How dreams come true. The secret of the development of potential. Wilhelm Goldmann Verlag, Munich 2018, ISBN 978-3-446-44701-1 | ISBN 978-3-442-31481-2 .


  • The futile search of the brain researchers for the place where the soul lives , Auditorium-Netzwerk, 2008.

Online resource:


  • Gerald Hüther. In: Kürschner's German Scholars Calendar 2003. 19th edition. Volume I: A - J. Bio-bibliographical directory of contemporary German-speaking scientists. KG Saur, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-598-23607-7 , p. 1422.
  • Roger von Wartburg: In the age of charlatans. Have a look at Hüther, Precht, Fratton & Co. by Lichte . In: lvb.inform (magazine of the teachers' association Baselland), issue 2013 / 14-02, pp. 13-27 ( PDF )

Web links

Commons : Gerald Hüther  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. Leipzig University Library: Start. Retrieved October 28, 2017 .
  2. ^ Catalog of the DNB.
  3. Huether, Gerald. In: Online catalog of the Karl Thomas Library at the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine. Retrieved August 27, 2019 .
  4. ^ Worldcat catalog.
  5. ^ Catalog of the DNB.
  6. ^ Research report 93/94: Department of Medicine. Retrieved October 28, 2017 .
  7. Research ( Memento from May 22, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) In:
  8. Prof. Dr. Gerald Hüther - Curriculum Vitae ( Memento from February 2, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) In:
  9. Team ( Memento from May 22, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) In:
  10. Gerald Hüther: Tabular curriculum vitae. Retrieved June 7, 2020 .
  11. Prof. Dr. Gerald Hüther - Publications ( Memento from November 19, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) In:
  12. Gerald Hüther | Official website | Vita. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016 ; accessed on October 28, 2017 .
  13. a b Gerald Hüther: What does that mean: To be alive? Biology on the threshold of a new self-image. In: Tattva Viveka , Vol. 19, No. 53, 2012, pp. 18-27 ( [1] ).
  14. Prof. Dr. Gerald Hüther on the capital city congress 2011 (video) ( Memento from June 15, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) In:
  16. Hüther, Prof. Gerald (neurobiologist and brain researcher. Investigated the self-healing powers of the brain in the fight against dementia) | Program | SWR1 Baden-Württemberg . In: . ( [accessed December 10, 2017]).
  17. Gerald Hüther: The Super Nanny has questionable methods , interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung, April 26, 2010
  18. ( Memento from February 13, 2013 in the web archive )
  19. Winfried Kurth: "In the vicious circle of self-centeredness" - a congress about children with developmental disorders. (PDF) Retrieved August 27, 2019 .
  20. ^ Georg-August-Universität Göttingen - Public Relations: Calendar of Events - Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. Retrieved October 28, 2017 .
  21. ^ President of the Foundation Advisory Board: Declaration on changes in the Sinn Foundation ( Memento from June 21, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Sinn Foundation
  22. "Children need tasks" - also as therapy. In: Göttinger Tageblatt . January 6, 2011, accessed June 25, 2020 .
  23. ZDF report on ADHD: Alm therapy or tablets? In: ÄrzteZeitung . March 5, 2010, accessed August 17, 2019 .
  24. Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, Department of Weltanschauungsfragen: , Section: “A first summary”
  25. Archbishop's Ordinariate Munich, Department of Weltanschauung, Axel Seegers: Department of Weltanschauung, Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. Retrieved February 1, 2018 .
  26. Adelheid Tlach-Eickhoff, Prof. Dr. Gerald Hüther, Christian Rauschenfels: Press release on changes in the Sinn Foundation (May 13, 2013). May 13, 2013, accessed August 20, 2016 .
  27. My separation from the Sinn Foundation. Retrieved June 28, 2020 .
  28. Abuse in Alm therapy. Retrieved June 30, 2020 .
  29. Who we are. In: School on the move - Germany. Accessed April 23, 2020 (German).
  30. ^ Structures and people - The founding members ( Memento from September 4, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) In: (former member)
  31. ^ Profile: Gerald Huether. Archived from the original on January 11, 2012 ; accessed on October 26, 2019 .
  32. Com-Unic Corporate Group: Our Team - Com-Unic Corporate Group , accessed on November 10, 2014.
  33. Scientific advice ( Memento from November 19, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) In:
  34. Scientific Advisory Board | Fürstenberg Institute. Archived from the original on December 20, 2017 ; accessed December 10, 2017 .
  35. GH Moll, S. heim u. a .: Early methylphenidate administration to young rats causes a persistent reduction in the density of striatal dopamine transporters. In: Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology . Vol. 11, No. 1, 2001, doi: 10.1089 / 104454601750143366 . PMID 11322741 , pp. 15-24.
  36. Does Ritalin have long-term effects? In: Berliner Zeitung , April 23, 2002.
  37. PDF at ( Memento from October 17, 2004 in the Internet Archive )
  38. Kinderaerzte-im-Netz. Retrieved October 28, 2017 .
  39. Statement on 'Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)' - long version ( Memento from April 29, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Federal Medical Association . July 12, 2006
  40. V. Roessner, T. Sagvolden a. a .: Methylphenidate normalizes elevated dopamine transporter densities in an animal model of the attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder combined type, but not to the same extent in one of the attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder inattentive type. In: Neuroscience. Vol. 167, No. 4, June 2010, doi: 10.1016 / j.neuroscience.2010.02.073 , PMID 20211696 , pp. 1183-1191.