Image: Janine Wirkner

Welcome to the Division of Biological Psychology and Affective Science

Our research focuses on the interplay between emotion, attention, and memory. We are particularly interested in the mechanisms underlying formation and retrieval of emotional memories and emotional associates (e.g., neutral cues associated with emotional events) using peripherphysiological and neuroscience measures (ERPs and fMRI). Furthermore, this research also involves the study of factors mediating these processes, such as stress, anticipatory anxiety, retrieval context (i.e., intentional or spontaneous remembering) and inter-individual differences (e.g., aging). We recently started studies on neurostimulation (transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation) to change already existing memory representations.

We are also interested in visual attention to social and phobic stimuli and in the dynamics of the emotional defensive (and appetitive) system in the face of proximate threat (or reward).

Overarching goal is to translate basic findings on neural mechanisms associated with emotional and contextual stimuli processing and memories to clinical populations (e.g., anxiety disorders, trauma- and stressor-related disorders and mood disorders).