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Neuroscience Center Zurich

Cognitive Neuroscience

Susanne Becker


PD Dr. Susanne Becker
Integrative Spinal Research Group, Department of Chiropractic Medicine, Balgrist University Hospital, University of Zurich

Research Focus: The experience of pain is more than the conscious perception of nociceptive signals. Emotional and motivational aspects accompany pain, leading to its aversiveness and motivation for escape and avoidance. Moreover, it has been proposed that a negative hedonic shift, comprising unproportionally increased emotional-motivational pain responses, plays an important role in the development and maintenance of chronic pain. Our group focuses on the investigation of psychobiological mechanisms of dissociations of emotional-motivational and sensory-discriminative components of pain in health and disease states, using psychophysical methods, pharmacological interventions, and brain imaging techniques. Specifically, we investigate the role of the neurotransmitter dopamine, functional connectivity in fronto-striatal brain networks, and supraspinal neuroinflammation in the proposed negative hedonic shift in chronic pain.

Keywords: pain modulation, emotional-motivational pain processing, dopamine, fMRI, psychophysics

Topic: Cognitive Neuroscience, Sensory Systems

Publications:Google Scholar


Daniel Brandeis


Prof. Dr. Daniel Brandeis 
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Zurich, University of Zurich

Research Focus: We focus on mapping brain functions and plasticity in typical development, neurodevelopmental disorders, and treatment with electrical and multimodal imaging (EEG-fMRI, MRS, with S. Brem). Clinical projects cover longitudinal brain mapping in common neurodevelopmental disorders like Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), aggression and Dyslexia. We characterize timing, localization and genetics (with E.  Grünblatt) of compromised networks as endophenotypes as state dependent deficits during rest, attention, inhibition, reward processing, or print tuning etc.  For clinical translation we focus on neurofeedback and biofeedback training (with R. Drechsler), and evaluate potential biomarkers using multimodal approaches.

Keywords: ADHD, dyslexia, OCD, conduct disorder, development, plasticity, functional brain mapping, EEG, ERP, fMRI, MRS,  neurofeedback, biofeedback, longitudinal studies, reading, attention, genetics, gene x environment interactions.

Topics: Disorders of the Nervous System, Development and Regeneration, Cognitive Neuroscience, Biomedical Technology and Imaging

Publications: PubMed



Silvia Brem


Dr. sc. nat. Silvia Brem
University Clinic for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (UCCAP), University of Zürich

Research Focus: Current research interests are the use of multimodal imaging techniques (EEG, MRI) to examine i) typical and atypical reading development (developmental dyslexia), ii) prediction and intervention in dyslexia and iii) dysfunctional brain networks in child psychiatric populations such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and juvenile obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Keywords: EEG, MRI, simultaneous EEG-fMRI, reading, developmental dyslexia, ADHD, OCD

Topics: Cognitive Neuroscience, Disorders of the Nervous System

Publications: PubMed



Peter Brugger


Prof. Dr. phil. Peter Brugger 
Department Neuropsychology, Rehabilitationszentrum Valens and
Dept of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Psychiatric Hospital, University of Zurich

Research Focus: One focus is on space representation in healthy individuals and patients with hemispatial neglect. The “space” we are interested in is not confined to physical space, but comprises imagined locations, number space and the spatial representation of time. A very special, private part of space is our body. We are interested in the relations between corporeal awareness and the construction and experience of the self. This experience can change after brain damage, but can also drastically deviate from the norm in a minority of apparently healthy individuals. Cognitive dysfunction in a demyelinating disorder, multiple sclerosis, represents a further focus of interest. Here we are specifically interested in the relative contributions of white matter and gray matter lesions to cognitive performance, specifically executive functions. Generally, our strengths are in behavioral methods; structural and functional neuroimaging may complement the behavioral approach.

Keywords: Processing of space and time, body and self, structural correlates of cognitive dysfunction

Topics: Cognitive Neuroscience, Disorders of the Nervous System

Publications: zora


Judith Burkart


Prof. Dr. Judith Burkart
Department of Anthropology, Evolutionary Cognition Group, University of Zurich

Research Focus: The Evolutionary Cognition Group studies human and nonhuman primates to better understand the evolutionary origin of humans’ social, motivational and cognitive processes. A particular focus is on cooperative breeding (i.e. the reproductive system where group members other than the parents significantly contribute to infant rearing) which convergently evolved in humans and marmoset monkeys. We noninvasively study marmoset monkeys in captivity and in the wild using a diverse set of approaches, including cognitive tests batteries, behavioral experiments probing their prosociality and other psychological traits, observational studies, automated behavioral monitoring, acoustic analyses, endocrinology, and thermography as noninvasive measure of emotional arousal.

Keywords: comparative psychology, endocrinology, thermography, automated behavioral and acoustic monitoring, vocal communication

Topics: Cognitive neuroscience, development and regeneration

Publications: Google Scholar




PD Dr. sc. ETH Markus Christen

Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine & UZH Digital Society Initiative, University of Zurich
Research Focus: The Neuro-Ethics-Technology research group of the Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine investigates research topics at the interfaces of ethics, neuroscience/-psychology and information technology. We use both empirical and normative methodologies in currently nine different research projects. Those research fields are: research on moral intelligence components, family life, health & moral development, brain death and transplantation, serious moral games, ethics of neuromodulation, moral decision making and autonomous systems, Big data ethics, visualizing morally loaded data, cybersecurity and ethics.

Keywords: neuroethics; deep brain stimulation; brain death; big data ethics; moral psychology; ethics of information technology
Topics: Biomedical Technology; Cognitive Neuroscience; Motor Systems




Moritz Daum


Prof. Dr. phil. Moritz M. Daum
Department of Psychology, Developmental Psychology: Infancy and Childhood, University of Zurich

Research Focus: The overarching aim of the Research Group “Developmental Psychology” is to address the roots of infants’ and young children’s perception and understanding of their social world. The understanding of others as social agents is one of the most fundamental skills in our everyday social life. It is crucial for any engagement in cooperative and communicative activities. In our research, we are particularly interested in the mechanisms that form the bedrock of infants’ action perception, the interrelation of infants’ early action perception comprehension to the control of their own actions, the selective implementation of observed actions in one’s own actions.

Current projects focus on the (neuro-)cognitive processes underlying infants’ and young children’s action understanding, the interrelation of action understanding and action performance across the whole lifespan, the interrelation of language and action in development, and the development of the self.

Keywords: developmental psychology, infancy, life span, cognitive development, action perception language, imitation, eye tracking, EEG

Topics: Development and Regeneration, Neural Basis of Behavior, Cognitive Neuroscience

Publications: PubMed




Sascha Frühholz


Prof. Dr. Sascha Frühholz
Department of Psychology, Division of Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, University of Zurich
Research Focus: Research focus in auditory and in affective neuroscience. Research projects on the cognitive and neural mechanisms of face and voice perception, on voice production, and on emotional processing. Research methods include fMRI, EEG, TMS, NIRS, machine learning, and behavioral/psychoacoustic experiments.

Keywords: Emotion, voice, vocal production, auditory system, limbic system

Topic: Cognitive Neuroscience

Publications: PubMed



Giroud Nathalie


Prof. Dr. Nathalie Giroud
Computational Neuroscience of Speech & Hearing, Department of Computational Linguistics, Phonetics and Speech Sciences, University of Zurich

Research Focus: In our group we investigate mechanisms of language processing in the brain using a variety of neuroimaging techniques (e.g. EEG, MRI) as well as psychophysical and neuropsychological testing. Our research focuses on the neural underpinnings of the highly prevalent age-related hearing loss and speech perception difficulties in older adults. We are working towards understanding its impact on the brain and its relationship with cognitive decline in healthy individuals and in older adults with neuropathology such as Alzheimer’s disease. The long-term goal of our research is to develop rehabilitation strategies for audio(-visual) speech processing difficulties in healthy older adults and individuals with mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Furthermore, we are also interested in understanding the association between hearing loss and brain atrophy, cognitive mechanisms of audiovisual speech processing, as well as bilingualism and foreign language learning in an aging population.

Keywords: hearing loss, aging, dementia, language, speech processing, neural entrainment, EEG, MRI, audiovisual processing, cognition

Topics: Cognitive Neuroscience, Sensory Systems

Publications: Google Scholar



Todd Hare


Prof. Dr. Todd Hare
Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems Research, Department of Economics, University of Zürich

Research Focus: Decision making is central to human behavior and the ability to make good choices is necessary for personal health and optimal social functioning. Our goal is to understand the neural mechanisms of decision making in healthy, typical populations as well as how these processes become dysfunctional in specific behavioral disorders and pathophysiologies.

We examine the neural networks that mediate decision making for various reward types (primary, monetary, social), and have shown that while key areas of the decision network are recruited across choice domains, the regions with which they interact differ between decision contexts. Using a combination of behavioral, neuroimaging, brain stimulation, and computational modeling techniques, current projects focus on the impact of factors such as stress, social feedback, and attention on both self-control and normative decision making.

Keywords: decision making, self-control, strategic choice

Topic: Cognitive Neuroscience




Katharina Henke


Prof. Dr. Katharina Henke
Department of Psychology and Center for Cognition, Learning and Memory, University of Bern

Research Focus: Our neuroimaging findings suggest that the human hippocampal formation specializes in the rapid establishment of new associations between items in memory. Patient studies revealed that the hippocampal formation is necessary for the rapid encoding and retrieval of new associations even when encoding and retrieval were carried out unconsciously. We found a role of sleep in the consolidation of consciously and unconsciously acquired memories. Even de-novo memory formation during daytime naps appears feasible.  We currently test for a potential advantage of unconscious over conscious information processing in situations where complex information needs to be simultaneously processed and integrated. This research informs models of information processing and models of memory systems at both the neural and mental level.

Keywords: Human memory, unconscious information processing, hippocampus, sleep, neuroimaging

Topic: Cognitive Neuroscience





Prof. Dr. Alexis Hervais-Adelman
Department of Psychology, University of Zurich
Research Focus: Our research centres on the neural basis of language. In particular we focus on speech perception, multilingualism and literacy. We employ a variety of techniques including structural and functional MRI, EEG, MEG, tES and behavioural experiments combined with novel analyses to characterise the brain networks crucial to language, and their relationships with other cognitive faculties. We are particularly interested in using our fundamental research program to contribute developing interventions that can help support speech comprehension for individuals suffering from hearing impairment.

Keywords: Speech, Language, Neuroimaging, Multilingualism, Motor System, Basal Ganglia
Topic: Cognitive Neuroscience

Publications: Google Scholar

Website:https:/ /

Karipidis Iliana


Dr. phil. Iliana I. Karipidis, Junior Group Leader
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Zurich

Research focus: We use pediatric neuroimaging techniques (MRI and EGG) to understand the neurobiological mechanisms underlying sex and gender differences in specific learning disorders and psychiatric disorders that emerge during childhood and adolescence. One of my current projects focuses on understanding the effects of sex steroids on reward processing during puberty. In collaboration with the Hong Lab at Stanford University, we examine effects of gender-affirming hormone therapy on neurodevelopment in transgender youth. The goal of this research is to increase our understanding of transgender health, promote well-being in gender minority youth, and enable the integration of evidence about sex and gender differences into clinical practice of child and adolescent psychiatry.

Keywords: pediatric neuroimaging, reading acquisition, specific learning disorders, gender identity, sex differences

Topics: Cognitive Neuroscience, Neural Basis of Behavior

Publications: Google Scholar



Karin Kucian


PD Dr. sc. nat. Karin Kucian, Junior Group Leader
Center for MR-Research, University Children's Hospital Zurich

Research Focus: Our research interests in neuroscience lie in developmental neuropsychology, in particular with emphasis on neuronal correlates of number processing and calculation in children and the effects of specific learning disorders, like developmental dyscalculia, or math anxiety on brain structure and function. Based on our own findings from behavioural and brain imaging studies (magnetic resonance imaging) and current knowledge about number processing and calculation we are also involved in the development and evaluation of special interventions for children with mathematical learning problems.

Keywords: number processing, dyscalculia, calculation, development, children, intervention, brain imaging, MRI

Topic: Cognitive Neuroscience

Publications: PubMed




Prof. Dr. Nicolas Langer
Methods of Plasticity Research, Department of Psychology, University of Zurich

Research Focus: Our lab develops and obtains new neurophysiological and neuroimaging measures in the context of human brain and behavioral plasticity. Specifically, we investigate the potential for plasticity, mechanisms for stabilization and compensation across the lifespan. In particular, we investigate the relationship between brain plasticity and cognitive functioning, such as perceptual processing, learning, (working-) memory, decision-making and processing speed.
In this context of neuroplasticity research, we are designing and implementing novel multi-modal paradigms (e.g. combined EEG eye-tracking), extracting and associate them with state of the art neuroscientific methods, such as functional network models, machine learning, longitudinal analyses and computational modeling. These paradigms can also be used to decompose the critical component processes underlying performance of the behavioral tests that are used routinely in clinical diagnosis. This multi-level, multi-modal design allows us to study cognitive performance and perception at their desired level of analysis, and to elucidate variations in performance across the continuum from healthy to pathological functioning. To investigate those research aims and objectives, we are using a variety of psychological and neuroscientific methods, such as EEG, eye-tracking, structural MRI & DTI, psychophysiology)
Keywords: EEG, eye-tracking, cognitive modeling, machine-learning, cognition, multi-modal imaging, structural MRI, DTI, development, neurophenotyping, Research Domain Criteria (RDoC).

Topics: Cognitive Neuroscience, Computation and Modeling, Neural Basis of Behavior, Development and Regeneration

Publications: PubMed Google Scholar




Dr. Caroline Lustenberger
Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zurich

Research Focus: Identifying strategies to promote healthy ageing has gained considerable interest. Sleep represents a fundamental restorative process and is essential for our health. With increasing age, sleep quality can be greatly reduced and thus restorative processes less pronounced suggesting it to be a prime target to promote healthy ageing. Yet, efficient sleep interventions that can promote recovery processes of brain and body to promote the health span are not established because scientific insights in the causal role of specific sleep processes in these recovery processes are missing. My team’s research aims at identifying the role of brain activity during sleep in recovery processes of brain and body from young to old age. To do so, we will merge cutting-edge non-invasive (closed-loop) brain stimulation techniques to modulate sleep oscillations with advanced body (e.g. cardiovascular, metabolic) and brain assessments (e.g. EEG, cognitive functions) to delineate the causal role of sleep oscillations in these functions. Our findings might proof transformative for maintaining health up until old age and open completely new opportunities for modulating regenerative processes across the brain and body.

Keywords: sleep oscillations, high-density EEG, non-invasive closed-loop stimulation, memory consolidation, cognition, ageing, cardiovascular function and health, metabolic function and health, restoration

Topic: Sleep and sleep disorders, Cognitive Neuroscience

Publications: Google Scholar


Mike Martin


Prof. Dr. Mike Martin
Dept of Psychology, Gerontopsychology, University of Zurich

Topic: Cognitive Neuroscience



Meyer Martin


Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Martin Meyer
Department of Comparative Language Science, Evolutionary Neuroscience of Language Lab, University of Zurich

Research Focus: The focus of his research is on the relationship between hearing-language-brain. In this context, his research activities touch upon basic research-oriented questions on the evolution of prosody, rhythm and syntax as well as application-oriented aspects (the relationship of age-related hearing loss, central auditory disorders and neuroanatomical plasticity as well as the neuroplasticity of tinnitus).

Keywords: Evolution of language and communication, functional neuranatomy of language and hearing, neuropsychology of language across the lifespan, neuroplasticity of tinnitus, neuromodulatory approaches in the treatment of chronic tinnitus, neurocognitive aspects of hearing loss, age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) and atrophy

Topic: Cognitive Neuroscience




Michels Lars


PD Dr. Lars Michels
Department of Neuroradiology, University Hospital of Zurich

Research Focus: My research foci are on the understanding of basic neurophysiological processes as well as structural and functional brain connectivity and plasticity during brain development, aging, and brain disorders (dementia and migraine). To address these questions, I am using a multimodal imaging (and neurostimulation) approach, including techniques such as structural MRI, spinal cord fMRI, high-density EEG, EEG-fMRI, (dynamic) ASL, MR spectroscopy, DTI, QSM, iVASO, WEPCAST, and tDCS. Currently, I am investigating the impact of real-time fMRI neurofeedback intervention on attention and visual brain processing and (tDCS) neurostimulation for reducing migraine.

Keywords: basic neurophysiology, multimodal brain imaging, aging, EEG-fMRI, neurostimulation, neurofeedback, short-term memory.

Topics: Cognitive neuroscience, Disorders of the Nervous System

Publications: PubMed

Google Scholar

Website: Neuroradiology USZ (go to “Forschende”)

Polania Rafael


Prof. Dr. Rafael Polania
Decision Neuroscience Lab, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zurich

Research Focus: Humans do not react to the environment in a reflexive manner, but can freely choose which action to perform in response to a given situation. The neural processes that enable such flexible decision making are fundamental components of human cognition and have attracted a lot of interest from researchers in many scientific disciplines such as neuroscience, psychology, economics, and medicine.

The research agenda at the Decision Neuroscience Lab bridges these multiple disciplines across theoretical and empirical domains to establish important links between the computational, psychological and neural processes controlling human decision making, by providing both correlative and causal evidence that well-defined neural signals are indeed driving both computationally defined cognitive processes and the resulting behavior. This research thus has the potential to unite conceptually separate approaches to the study of distinct types of human behavior and thereby contribute information that is crucial for the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders involving decision-making pathologies (e.g. ADHD, obesity, addiction).

Topics: Cognitive Neuroscience, Computation and Modeling, Neural Basis of Behavior

Keywords: decision-making, EEG, fMRI, non-invasive brain stimulation, reward, perception, economics.

Publications: Google Scholar

Preisig Basil


Dr. Basil Preisig

Department of Comparative Language Sciences, University of Zurich

Research Focus: Hearing loss and associated conditions such as tinnitus are the fourth highest cause of disability worldwide. A common complaint of hearing impaired individuals is the significant decline of speech comprehension in the presence of noise. This applies particularly to socially relevant situations, such as discussions with several interaction partners. Unfortunately, state of the art hearing aids cannot selectively amplify one out of several speakers. My team’s research aims to elucidate the role of brain activity during auditory selective attention. More specifically, we want to understand how the brain instantiates attentional filter mechanisms that control target amplification and distractor suppression. Indeed, neuronal processes of attention control maybe impaired in hearing loss and tinnitus. However, it is still unclear whether different subprocesses like target enhancement and distractor suppression are affected differently. We aim to identify neural makers of these subprocesses in individuals with hearing loss and tinnitus using electroencephalography. Subsequently, we will test the relevance of the identified markers using cutting-edge non-invasive electric brain stimulation and neurofeedback interventions. Our findings might provide important foundations for the development of future therapeutic brain stimulation and neurofeedback interventions. In addition, the results may stimulate the technical advances relevant for the implementation of attention control in next generation hearing aids.

Keywords: auditory, attention, speech perception, language comprehension, EEG, non-invasive brain stimulation, neurofeedback, hearing loss, tinnitus

Topic: Cognitive Neuroscience, Sensory Systems

Publications:  Google Scholar



Boris Quednow


Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Boris B. Quednow
Experimental and Clinical Pharmacopsychology, Dept of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Psychiatric Hospital, University of Zurich

Research Focus: Pharmacopsychology – today a subdiscipline of neuropsychology and biological psychology – was founded by the famous German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin (1856-1926) and aims to explore the neurochemical basis of human cognition, emotion, and behavior. Standing in Kraepelins tradition, our main research goal is a better understanding of the neuropsychopharmacological mechanisms of cognitive and emotional brain functions and their impact specifically on social behavior in humans. We are currently investigating the neuroplasticity and behavioral neurotoxicity induced by chronic use of legal and illegal drugs, such as nicotine, methylphenidate, cocaine, MDMA (“ecstasy”), GHB, opioids, and cannabis. Furthermore, we study the molecular and neuronal basis of impaired early information processing (e.g., pre-attentional gating) up to complex cognitive functions (e.g., empathy) in psychiatric diseases such as addiction, schizophrenia, and depression.

Keywords: Neuroenhancement, drug dependence, psychosis, affective disorders, endophenotype, genetics, sensorimotor gating, prepulse inhibition, neuropsychology, social cognition, decision-making, neuroeconomics, molecular imaging, PET

Topic: Cognitive Neuroscience

Publications: PubMed



Raschle Nora


Prof. Dr. Nora Maria Raschle
Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development, University of Zurich

Research Focus: In our laboratory we study typical and atypical brain development with a particular focus on socioemotional and cognitive processes. In order to assess such trajectories we employ magnetic resonance imaging techniques (f/MRI), eye-tracking, neurophysiological assessments, behavioral testing and clinical interviews. Our main goal is to contribute towards the early detection and characterization of developmental and mental health disorders. And most importantly, we always strive towards making paediatric neuroimaging child’s play, a fun and beneficial experience for all.
Our main areas of interest include:
paediatric neuroimaging, brain development, brain structure, function and connectivity, socioemotional skills (emotion processing and emotion regulation), language and reading, learning, plasticity and resilience.
Keywords: fMRI, MRI, brain development, paediatric neuroimagng, emotion, emotion regulation, conduct disorder, reading, developmental dyslexia
Topic: Cognitive Neuroscience, Disorders of the Nervous System

Michael Rufer


Prof. Dr. Michael Rufer
Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, University Hospital of Psychiatry, Zurich

Research Focus: One important focus is the emotion regulation and dysregulation in psychosomatic and psychiatric disorders. This includes the evaluation of different psychological constructs, such as alexithymia and dissociation, the development of assessment methods, and the investigation of neural correlates of emotion regulation. Further main research areas are multidisciplinary approaches on different aspects of the relationships between psychology and medicine, psychotherapeutic processes and outcomes, including neurobiological aspects, and technology-based psychological interventions (Internet-based and mobile interventions) for different disorders, such as anxiety and obsessive compulsive spectrum disorders.

Keywords: Emotion regulation, alexithymia, dissociation, psychotherapy, psychosomatics, neurobiology, internet-based therapy

Topics: Cognitive Neuroscience, Disorders of the Nervous System, Neural Basis of Behavior

Publications: PubMed





Prof. Dr. Christian Ruff
Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems Research (SNS-Lab), Dept of Economics, University of Zurich
Research Focus: Humans do not react to the environment

in a reflex-like manner, but can freely choose which action to perform in response to a given situation. We study the neural mechanisms that enable such flexible decision-making, ranging from influences of intention and motivation on sensory processing to the effects of affective and social contexts on choice behavior. A particular focus of our work is on using non-invasive brain stimulation techniques (TMS, tDCS), alone or on conjunction with neuroimaging techniques (fMRI, EEG), to identify truly causal links between activity patterns in brain networks and behavior.

Keywords: Decision-making, goal-directed behavior, social behavior, perception, reward processing, non-invasive brain stimulation
Topic: Cognitive Neuroscience
Publications: PubMed


Philippe Tobler


Prof. Dr. Philippe Tobler
Department of Economics, University of Zurich
Research Focus: Decisions pervade our daily lifes and we often base them on learned value. We investigate the neural mechanisms underlying value-based decision making and learning in social and non-social contexts. For example, we investigate how the brain processes constituents of economic value, such as risk and effort, or we ask whether social learning mechanisms differ from individual learning mechanisms. Our studies mainly employ behavioral methods as well as functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Keywords: Neuroeconomics, reward, punishment, salience, risk

Topic: Cognitive Neuroscience, Neural Basis of Behavior

Publications: Publons



Franz Vollenweider


Prof. Dr. med. Franz X. Vollenweider
University Hospital of Psychiatry Zurich, Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics
Neuropsychopharmacology and Brain Imaging Unit & Heffter Research Center Zürich

Research Focus: Our goal is to identify brain mechanisms underlying the sense of self, visual perception, social cognition and emotional processes in normal waking states and the dysfunctions of these processes in psychiatric disorders. Multiple approaches including measures of experimental psychology, information processing (e.g. PPI, p50, MMN), and brain imaging techniques (e.g. PET, fMRI, MRS) are used to identify neurocognitive markers of these functions, and to unravel predictors for novel treatment approaches. In addition, translational drug models of psychopathology (e.g. ketamine, psilocybin) are used to further elucidate the role of the glutamate and serotonin systems in psychotic symptom formation, cognition, and emotion regulation. To bridge the gap between preclinical and clinical research, we also aim further at developing new translational models to investigate clinically relevant drug effects in healthy human subjects rather than patients.

Keywords: Psychopathology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychopharmacology, Models of psychoses, Emotion processing, glutamate, serotonin, PPI, p50, MMN, EEG-ERP, PET, fMRI, MRS

Topic: Sensory Systems, Cognitive Neuroscience

Publications: PubMed



David Wolfer


Prof. Dr. David P. Wolfer
Institute of Anatomy, University of Zurich;
Institute of Human Movement Sciences and Sport, ETH Zurich

Research focus: We investigate the neural basis of cognitive function in the normal and diseased brain using mouse models. Behavioral studies are combined with histological visualization and quantification of neuronal activity, stereotactic lesions, neuropharmacology, and targeted mutations. We also study the influence of normal genetic variation, environment and life style on cognitive function and the underlying brain circuitry. We are developing new approaches to assess cognitive functions of mice more efficiently and reliably in a fully automated social home cage setting (IntelliCage).

Keywords: behavioral neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, high throughput behavioral phenotyping

Topic: Neural Basis of behavior, Cognitive Neuroscience