Research Project

In the project, “'Alternative facts' - The impact of experiential quality and mnemonic solidity on how the brain warrants stable and flexible predictions from faithful and modified memories of a person's true past”, we aim to distinguish sequential expectations from non-sequential expectations that are driven by a cued episodic retrieval. From the perspective of a ‘predictive brain’, memory is not autotelic, but should be optimized to serve the anticipation of upcoming events and the planning of action. In the current project, we trigger the recall of and modify episodic memories either with regard to sequential expectations (based on the episodic memory trace) or with regard to non-sequential expectations (based on semantic information). We conduct a series of behavioral and BOLD-sensitive functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) experiments to assess the cerebral basis of episodic expectation, surprise, and reconsolidation during the presentation of previously observed or performed actions. We test the impact of experiential quality and mnemonic solidity on sequential and object-semantic surprise. This experimental approach is motivated by the question as to which conditions render the memory of a truly experienced episode more or less susceptible to later modification of its spatiotemporal structure or its object-semantic content.

PhD Committee

Prof. Dr. Ricarda Schubotz
Prof. Dr. Pienie Zwitserlood
Prof. Dr. Sen Cheng


Viktoria Krakenberg, Sophie Siestrup, Rupert Palme, Sylvia Kaiser, Norbert Sachser & S. Helene Richter (2020) Effects of different social experiences on emotional state in mice. Scientific Reports volume 10, Article number: 15255

Bodden, C; Siestrup, S; Palme, R; Kaiser, S; Sachser, N; Richter, SH (2018): Evidence-based severity assessment: Impact of repeated versus single open-field testing on welfare in C57BL/6J mice. Behavioural Brain Research 336: 261-268.


2019 Beginning of PhD research project at the Institute of Psychology, University of Münster, Germany
2019 Research associate at the Institute for Neuro- and Behavioural Biology, University of Münster, Germany
2016-2019 Master of Science in Biosciences, University of Münster, Germany
2013-2016 Bachelor of Science in Biosciences, University of Münster, Germany
*1994 Steinfurt, Germany