Biological Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
The group's research focuses on emotions as an important trigger for normal and pathological behavior. Emotional responses are measured with state of the art biopsychological methods registering autonomic and neural responses. Emotions are triggered in the laboratory also with virtual reality as a tool simulating ecological valid environments and allowing overt behavioral responses which can be registered with high precision. The developed paradigms are used to assess the interplay between environmental stimuli and emotional responses with the goal to understand how pathological emotions may develop and to identify possibilities to change pathological emotional responses.
Experimental Clinical Psychology
Our research primarily focuses on how social and affective signals are processed in the brain, how they are perceived and evaluated in mental disorders and how these processes can be modulated by cognitive interventions (such as psychotherapy) or exogenously administered substances (e.g., neuropeptides). We use a multimodal approach consisting of behavioural studies involving a measurement of eye movements and autonomic responses, as well as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) techniques. We are especially interested in translational research bridging the gap from rodent studies to human behaviour as well as in methodological advancements that allow for increasing the ecological validity of experimental studies (e.g., virtual reality techniques, mobile recording tools).