News 2017

Paper published in Cerebral Cortex

by Markus Junghöfer, Constantin Winker, Maimu A. Rehbein, and Dean Sabatinelli
Winker Cerebralcortex 2
© Constantin Winker


Depressive patients typically show biased attention towards unpleasant and away from pleasant emotional material. Imaging studies suggest that dysfunctions in a distributed neural network, including the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), are associated with this processing bias. Accordingly, changes in vmPFC activation should mediate changes in processing of emotional stimuli. Here, we investigated the effect of inhibitory and excitatory transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the vmPFC on emotional scene processing in two within-subject experiments using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG). Both studies showed that excitatory relative to inhibitory tDCS amplifies processing of pleasant compared to unpleasant scenes in healthy participants. This modulatory effect occurred in a distributed network including sensory and prefrontal cortex regions and was visible during very early to late processing stages. Findings are discussed with regard to neurophysiological models of emotional processing. The convergence of stimulation effects across independent groups of healthy participants and complementary neuroimaging methods (fMRI, MEG) provides a basis for further investigation of a potentially therapeutic use of this novel stimulation approach in patients with depression or other affective disorders. doi10.1093/cercor/bhx073

Talk by Dr. Anouk Keizer (Universiteit Utrecht)

A new perspective on body image disturbance in anorexia nervosa
Anouk Keizer
© Anouk Keizer

We are very happy to welcome our first speaker in the OCC Colloquium Series in the summer semester, Dr. Anouk Keizer from the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.

  • Time: May 10, 2017 (Wed), 16.15 h
  • Location: Lecture Hall, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Albert-Schweitzer-Campus 1, Building A9, 2nd Floor, Room 120.074
Patients with anorexia nervosa are generally very thin, nevertheless they experience the size of their body as bigger than it actually is. This body image disturbance is a core symptom of anorexia and difficult to treat. Traditionally body image disturbance is defined as having negative attitudes about the own body and visually perceiving the body as larger than it is. In this talk I will give an overview of the studies conducted in my group that show that body image disturbance is a multisensory disturbance. We have shown that patients for example perceive touch on their skin different from healthy females, and that they move around in space as if their body is larger, without being aware of doing so.