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Clinical Psychology II


Univ. Prof. Dr. Anna Buchheim


Assoz.-Prof. Roberto Viviani, PhD
Ass.-Prof. Karin Labek, PhD
Ass.-Prof. Dr. Alexander Karabatsiakis
Ass.-Prof. Dr. Matthias Schurz

Priv. Doz. Manuela Gander, PhD
Dr. Karin de Punder
Jeff Maerz, BSc MSc
Mag. Raphaela Banzer

Prof. Dr. Nicole von Steinbüchel (Adjunct Professor)

Dr. Katrin Cunitz

Dr.  Marina Zeldovich

Philipp Schöch, MSc

Laura Hölzle, MA

  • Identification of of risk and resilience factors for psychological development over the life span (children, adolescents and adults) (cooperation project with the MUI)

  • Examining neural correlates of attachment, social cognition, grief, theory-of-mind and decision-making processes using functional neuroimaging (fMRI) 

  • Development of intermediate phenotypes of affective disorders (inter-individual differences in risk factors) using structural and functional neuroimaging (big data) 

  • Effective learning of social affordances for human-robot interaction (together with the Digital Science Center, LFUI)

  • Psychotherapy research: clinical, neuroendocrine and neural changes during psychodynamic treatment (cooperation project with the MUI)

  • Attachment-based intervention for adolescents (cooperation project with the MUI)

  • Identify biological changes in chronic and traumatic stress and the potential reversibility of these changes through clinical interventions

  • Identification of clinically applicable biomarkers (cooperation projects with the Faculty of Biology at the LFUI and with the MUI)

  • Investigation of psychobiological reactions to a virtual reality (VR) based exposure in the context of high-risk sports.

Prevention and Health Aspects across the Lifespan
  • Transgenerational and clinical attachment research across the lifespan (childhood, adolescence and adulthood): Identification of protective and risk factors with implications for the development of prevention and intervention programs for adolescents, adults and parents (cooperation projects with the MUI)

Externally Funded Projects
  • Functional imaging of decision making in emotional and social tasks. As a strategy to make explicit the information that the brain must compute to execute the task at hand, decision making elicits brain activity that co-localizes with the heteromodal association areas of the default mode network, a core set of cortical areas characterized by intense long-range connectivity. Decision making settings are used to identify individual differences in motivational and schematic activity in affective disorders. Funding: FWF (ERA-PERMED)

  • Functional imaging of sustained attention at different reward levels. In this project, reactivity to reward motivation and neural correlates of sustained efforts to obtain rewards are used to explore individual differences that are relevant to affective disorders, such as self-regulation capacity in mounting efforts to attain rewards, and response to antidepressant medication. Funding: DGF (NEURON-ERANET), BfArM (Germany)

  • Empirical assessment and functional imaging of cognitions associated with psychopathology. Main target cognitions concern the negative cognitions of depression, of social phobia, and of psychopathy. Funding: FWF (ERA-PERMED), TWF

  • Neuroimaging evaluation of CNS effects of paracetamol. Funding: BfArM (Germany)

  • Multivariate approaches and dimensionality reduction in functional imaging. Methods are investigated here to improve the definition of multimodal assays that span across functional and structural imaging, molecular markers, and behaviour/lifestyle/symptoms. Funding: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung; FWF (ERA-PERMED)

  • NeuroCloud, Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (101.000 Euro, 2020-2024) 

  • Artificial intelligence for personalized medicine in depression, FWF / ERA-PERMED (287.000 Euro, 2022-2024) 

  • Cognitions in psychopathic personality (TWF, 12.000 Euro, 2022-2023)

  • Projekt EMO: Neuronale Korrelate der emotionalen und kognitiven Verarbeitung von Priming-Aufgaben bei PatientInnen mit Major Depression, Posttraumatischer Belastungsstörung (PTBS) und Autismus im Vergleich zu gesunden Kontrollprobanden. Im Rahmen des Projekts erfolgt auch die Charakterisierung mitochondrialer Stoffwechselveränderungen bei PatientInnen mit Major Depression und deren Reversibilität durch antidepressive Intervention (Kooperationsprojekt mit der Universität Ulm, Deutschland).

  • Projekt CCO-NIRS: Brain cytochrome-c-oxidase assessed by Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) as a mitochondrial biomarker in depression (Kooperationsprojekt mir der Psychiatrischen Universitätsklinik Zürich).

  • "Pathomechanismen der Emotionsregulation bei der Borderline-Persönlichkeitstörung (BPD): Ergänzende Untersuchungen der psychoneuroimmunologischen Konsequenzen der BPD auf biomolekularer und pathophysiologischer Ebene" (Kooperationsprojekt mit dem Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit in Mannheim und der Universität Ulm). Für weiterführende Informationen zum Projekt siehe [].

  • Projekt "Meine Kindheit - Deine Kindheit": Eine Studie zum Einfluss von Kindheitserfahrungen von Müttern auf Ihre Kinder von der Geburt bis zum Schulalter. Für weiterführende Informationen zum Projekt siehe [Meine Kindheit - Deine Kindheit].

  • Projekt StressVR: Untersuchungen der psychobiologischen Reaktionen auf die Exposition eines simulierten Wing-suit Fluges mittels Virtual Reality.

  • EEG

  • fMRI, connectivity analyses

  • Psychophysiology (e.g. heart rate variability, skin conductance)

  • Neuroendocrinology

  • Psychoneuroimmunology

  • Molecular biology

  • Mitochondrial bioenergetics

  • Telomere biology

  • Virtual reality

  • Standardized qualitative measures

  • Omics analysis in biofluids and solid matrices

Publication Highlights
  • Buchheim A, Ziegenhain U, Kindler H, Waller C, Gündel H, Karabatsiakis A, Fegert JM  (in press) Identifying risk and resilience factors in the intergenerational cycle of maltreatment: Results from the TRANS-GEN study investigating the effects of maternal attachment and social support on child biological susceptibility focusing attachment and cardiovascular stress physiology. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

  • Bertele N, Karabatsiakis A, Talmon A, Buss C (2022) Biochemical clusters predict mortality and reported inability to work 10 years later. Brain Behav Immun Health. 2022 Feb 25;21:100432. doi: 10.1016/j.bbih.2022.100432. PMID: 35252892; PMCID: PMC8892089.

  • Gander M, Karabatsiakis A, Nuderscher K, Bernheim D, Doyen-Waldecker C, Buchheim A (2022): Secure attachment representation in adolescence buffers heart-rate reactivity in response to attachment-related stressors.
    In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

  • Beschoner P, von Wietersheim J, Jarczok MN, Braun M, Schönfeldt-Lecuona C, Viviani R, Jerg-Bretzke L, Kempf M and Brück A (2021) Effort-Reward-Imbalance, Burnout, and Depression Among Psychiatrists 2006 and 2016-Changes After a Legislative Intervention. Front. Psychiatry 12:641912. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.641912

  • Bürgin D, Kind N, Schröder M, Clemens V, Fegert JM, Eckert  A, Buchheim A O'Donovan A, Boonmann C, Schmid M (2020) The Stress of Caring – Resilience and HPA-axis activity in hair samples of youth residential caregivers. Frontiers in Psychiatry 11,

  • Müller LE, Bertsch K, Bülau K, Herpertz SC, Buchheim A (2019). Emotional neglect in childhood shapes social dysfunctioning in adults by influencing the oxytocin and the attachment system: Results from a population-based study. Int J Psychophysiol.136: 73-80. [Epub ahead of print, 2018 Jun 1. pii: S0167-8760(17)30713-4. Online: doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2018.05.011. PMID:29859994]

  • Sosic-Vasic Z, Eberhardt J, Bosch JE, Dommes L, Labek K, Buchheim A, Viviani R (2019) Mirror neuron activations in encoding of psychic pain in borderline personality disorder, Neuroimage Clin. 22:101737 [Epub ahead of print, online Feb 28, 2019]. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2019.101737. PMID: 30844640

  • Buchheim A, Labek K, Taubner S, Kessler H, Pokorny D, Kächele H, Cierpka M, Roth G, Pogarell O, Karch S. (2018). Modulation of Gamma Band Activity and Late Positive Potential in Patients with Chronic Depression after Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. Psychother Psychosom 87(4):252-254. [Epub 2018 May 16. Online: doi: 10.1159/000488090. PMID:29768272]

  • Labek K, Berger S, Buchheim A, Bosch J, Spohrs J, Dommes L, Beschoner P, Stingl JC, Viviani R (2017) The iconography of mourning and its neural correlates: a functional neuroimaging study Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci 12(8): 1303-1313 [Published online first 25 April 2017, published 1 August 2017: doi: 10.1093/scan/nsx058]

  • Karabatsiakis, A.*, Störkel, L. M.*, Hepp, J., Kolassa, -T., Schmahl, C., Niedtfeld, I. (2021) Salivary beta-endorphin in non-suicidal self-injury: an ambulatory assessment study. Neuropsychopharmacology 46 (7), 1357–1363 (2021). (* equal contribution)24784.  

  • Karabatsiakis, A., Todt, M., Salinas-Manrique, J., Buchheim, A., Dietrich, D., 2020. Comparison of hair cortisol concentrations between depressed patients, suicide completers, and control subjects: A predictive biochemical indicator for suicide risk in depression? Journal of Psychosomatic Research Volume 133, DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2020.110093

  • Hitzler, M., Karrasch, S., Gumpp, A. M., Karabatsiakis, A., Kolassa, I.-T., 2020. Molekulartoxische Folgen von chronischem und traumatischem Stress für die psychosomatische Gesundheit und deren Reversibilität durch Entspannungsverfahren. Verhaltenstherapie; 30(1): 29-43. DOI:10.1159/000505380

  • Schurz, M., Radua, J., Tholen, M. G., Maliske, L., Margulies, D. S., Mars, R. B., ... & Kanske, P. (2021). Toward a hierarchical model of social cognition: A neuroimaging meta-analysis and integrative review of empathy and theory of mind. Psychological Bulletin, 147, 293-327.

  • Schurz, M., Uddin, L. Q., Kanske, P., Lamm, C., Sallet, J., Bernhardt, B. C., Mars, R.B., & Bzdok, D. (2021). Variability in brain structure and function reflects lack of peer support. Cerebral Cortex, advanced online publication. 

  • Brem, S., Maurer, U., Kronbichler, M., Schurz, M., Richlan, F., Blau, V., ... & Moll, K. (2020). Visual word form processing deficits driven by severity of reading impairments in children with developmental dyslexia. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 1-14. Impact Factor: 4.0

  • Dammering F, Martins J, Dittrich K, Czamara D, Rex-Haffner M, Overfeld J, de Punder K, Buss C, Entringer S, Winter SM, Binder EB, Heim C. (2021) The pediatric buccal epigenetic clock identifies significant ageing acceleration in children with internalizing disorder and maltreatment exposure. Neurobiol Stress. 2021 Sep 11;15:100394. doi: 10.1016/j.ynstr.2021.100394.

  • Demeulemeester F, de Punder K, van Heijningen M, van Doesburg F. (2021) Obesity as a Risk Factor for Severe COVID-19 and Complications: A Review. Cells. 2021 Apr 17;10(4):933. doi: 10.3390/cells10040933.

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