Brainwaves_picture
Photo: 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 (e.g., HR, EDA) 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 (e.g., 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).

 

News

Paper of the Month Juli & August 2021 awarded by the UFSKW

Ventura-Bort, C., Wirkner, J., Wendt, J., Hamm, A.O., & Weymar, M. (2021). Establishment of emotional memories is mediated by vagal nerve activation: Evidence from non-invasive taVNS. The Journal of Neuroscience, 41, 7636-7648.
31.08.2021

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Giulio successfully defended his master thesis on "Effects of taVNS on episodic memory for trustworthy and untrustworthy faces: an ERP study". Congratulations Giulio!
30.08.2021

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D’Agostini, M., Burger, A.M., Franssen, M., Claes, N., Weymar, M., Von Leupoldt, A., & Van Diest, I. (in press). Effects of transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation on reversal learning, tonic pupil size, salivary alpha-amylase, and cortisol. Psychophysiology
25.05.2021

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Weymar, M. & Zaehle, T. (2021): Editorial: New Frontiers in Noninvasive Brain Stimulation: Cognitive, Affective and Neurobiological Effects of Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation. Frontiers in Psychology, 12:694723. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.694723. 
24.05.2021

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Berenike successfully defended her master thesis on "Acute effects of heart rate variability biofeedback-induced slow breathing on cognitive flexibility". Congratulations Berenike!
15.04.2021

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Szeska, C., Richter, J., Wendt, J., Weymar, M., & Hamm, A.O. (2021). Attentive immobility in the face of inevitable distal threat – startle potentiation and fear bradycardia as an index of emotion and attention. Psychophysiology, 58: e13812.
24.03.2021

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Bertonatti, M., Weymar, M., Sommer, W., & Fischer, H. F. (2021). Reaching out for food: How food incentives modulate peripersonal space perception. Journal of Cognition4, 21. https://doi. org/10.5334/joc.148
10.03.2021

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Ricarda successfully defended her master thesis on "Umgang mit den Kontaktbeschränkungen während der Pandemie des SARS-CoV-2-Virus und psychische Belastung von Studierenden". Congratulations Ricarda!
18.02.2021

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