Experimental Psychiatry

The working group "Experimental Psychiatry" focuses on the measurement of brain functions and peripheral-physiological variables in psychiatric patients (e.g. schizophrenia, affective diseases, anxiety disorders, ADHD, dementia) and healthy controls. To conduct these studies, the group uses a wide variety of techniques such as EMG, EEG, TMS and tDCS.

Main research focus:

  • factors contributing to mental resilience
  • internalizing disorders (depression) and their therapy with brain stimulation methods
  • reward system and its relation to ADHD

Selection of current projects:

  • Z03 project of the CRC 1193: Longitudinal determination of resilience in humans to identify mechanisms of resilience to modern- life stressors
  • error-related brainactivity in depression before and after rTMS-therapy
  • effects of the nitrergic system on behavorial phenotypes and neuronal activity
  • tDCS of the frontopolar cortex for increasing cognitive functions

Funding sources:

  • CRC 1193: Neurobiology of resilience to stress-related mental dysfunction:
    from understanding mechanisms to promoting prevention

Group members:

  • Michael Plichta (group leader)
  • Heike Althen (senior scientist, head of the psychophysiological laboratory)
  • Chaymae Arrouj (MD student)
  • Kim Falk (MD student)
  • Bengican Gülegen (MD student)
  • Rebecca Horstmann (PhD student)
  • Kira Ahrens (PhD student)
  • Krystyna Kotthus (student assistant)


Selected publications: