Research Project

How does our brain generate consciousness, i.e., the subjective phenomenal experience of what it is like to see, hear, think or feel? Recent years have seen considerable progress in the search for the neural correlates of consciousness — the minimum neural mechanisms jointly sufficient for any one specific conscious percept (Koch, Massimini, Boly, & Tononi, 2016). The contrast method, which compares neural activity when a certain constant stimulus (e.g., a face) is perceived versus not perceived, has been particularly fruitful. However, disentangling conscious perception from task-related processes that precede or follow the experience, e.g., selective attention, self-monitoring or reporting, poses a major challenge in the neuroscience of consciousness. Recent studies have primarily demonstrated activity in posterior brain structures including sensory areas as well as early event-related potentials to covary with conscious perception, whereas activation of fronto-parietal networks and later potentials like the P3 have been shown to reflect task-related stimulus processing. So far, the vast majority of consciousness research has investigated vision, while other sensory modalities, such as audition, have been neglected.
My PhD project focuses on dissociating the neural correlates of consciousness in both visual and auditory perception from those of task-related processing using electroencephalography and functional magnetic resonance imaging.


References:
Koch, C., Massimini, M., Boly, M., & Tononi, G. (2016). Neural correlates of consciousness: progress and problems. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 17.

PhD Committee

Prof. Dr. Thomas Straube
Prof. Dr. Pienie Zwitserlood
Dr. Maximilian Bruchmann

Publications

Kreuder, A., Scheele, D., Schultz, J., Hennig, J., Marsh, N., Dellert, T., Ettinger, U., Philipsen, A., Babasiza, M., Herscheid, A., Remmersmann, L., Stirnberg, R., Stoecker, T., & Hurlemann, R. (2020). Common and dissociable effects of oxytocin and lorazepam on the neurocircuitry of fear. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(21), 11781–11787. doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1920147117

Schlossmacher, I., Dellert, T., Pitts, M., Bruchmann, M., & Straube, T. (2020). Differential effects of awareness and task relevance on early and late ERPs in a no-report visual oddball paradigm. Journal of Neuroscience, 40(14), 2906–2913. doi.org/10.1523/jneurosci.2077-19.2020

Roesmann, K., Dellert, T., Junghoefer, M., Kissler, J., Zwitserlood, P., Zwanzger, P., & Dobel, C. (2019). The causal role of prefrontal hemispheric asymmetry in valence processing of words – Insights from a combined cTBS-MEG study. NeuroImage, 191, 367–379. doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.01.057

Conference Contributions

Kreuder, A., Scheele, D., Schultz, J., Hennig, J., Marsh, N., Dellert, T., Ettinger, U., Philipsen, A., Babasiza, M., Herscheid, A., Remmersmann, L., Stirnberg, R., Stoecker, T., & Hurlemann, R. (2019). Common and dissociable effects of oxytocin and lorazepam on the neurocircuitry of fear – A randomized clinical trial. Poster presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP), Orlando, Florida, USA

Dellert, T., Müller-Bardorff, M., Pitts, M., Bruchmann, M., & Straube, T. (2019). Effects of consciousness and task relevance in face processing as revealed by ERPs and fMRI. Poster presented at the 59th Annual Meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR), Washington, D.C., USA

Dellert, T., Müller-Bardorff, M., Pitts, M., Bruchmann, M., & Straube, T. (2019). Neural signatures of conscious face perception: evidence from simultaneous EEG and fMRI. Talk given at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (ASSC), London, Ontario, Canada

Dellert, T., Müller-Bardorff, M., Bruchmann, M., & Straube, T. (2019). Dissociating the neural correlates of consciousness and task relevance in face perception using simultaneous EEG and fMRI. Talk given at the 45th annual meeting “Psychologie und Gehirn”, Dresden, Germany

Dellert, T.
, Schindler, S., Bruchmann, M., & Straube, T. (2019). Nonconscious processing of fearful faces as revealed by event-related potentials. Poster presented at the 45th annual meeting “Psychologie und Gehirn”, Dresden, Germany

Mielacher, C., Kiebs, M., Dellert, T., Metzner, A., Högenauer, H., Schultz, J., Lamm, C., & Hurlemann, R. (2019). Once daily versus twice daily theta-burst stimulation in the treatment of major depressive disorder. Poster presented at the 3rd International Brain Stimulation Conference, Vancouver, Canada

Mielacher, C., Kiebs, M., Dellert, T., Metzner, A., Högenauer, H., Schultz, J., Lamm, C., & Hurlemann, R. (2019). Once daily versus twice daily theta-burst stimulation in the treatment of major depression disorder. Poster presented at the 3rd European Conference on Brain Stimulation in Psychiatry, Lyon, France

Mielacher, C., Kiebs, M., Dellert, T., Metzner, A., Högenauer, H., Schultz, J., Lamm, C., & Hurlemann, R. (2018). Once daily versus twice daily theta-burst stimulation in the treatment of major depressive disorder. Poster presented at the Congress of the German Association for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics (DGPPN), Berlin, Germany

Dellert*, T., Müller-Bardorff*, M., Bruchmann, M., & Straube, T. (2018). Neural correlates of face perception in an inattentional blindness paradigm—A simultaneous EEG-fMRI study. Poster presented at the 60th Conference of Experimental Psychologists, Marburg, Germany

Dellert, T. & Nagel, J. (2016). Affective priming in judgments of social norm violations. Talk given at the 58th Conference of Experimental Psychologists, Heidelberg, Germany

Dellert, T., Schacht, A., Waldmann, M. (2015). Yuck, that’s wrong! Specifying the spatiotemporal dynamics of cognition-emotion interactions in moral judgment. Poster presented at the Leibniz Science Campus summer school “Emotion expressions in human and non-human communication”, Göttingen, Germany

Dellert, T
., Keuper, K., Dobel., C., Zwanzger, P. (2015). How the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex influences the visual processing of emotional words—A combined cTBS and MEG study. Poster presented at the U4 University Network workshop “Extra-retinal influences on vision”, Göttingen, Germany

Keuper, K., Dobel., C., Dellert, T., Eden, A., Laeger, I., Zwanzger, P. (2013). Asymmetries in prefrontal control over emotional stimulus processing—Effects of targeted cortical inhibition by continuous theta burst stimulation on event-related potentials and fields. Poster presented at the annual conference of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco, USA

Dellert, T., Keuper, K., Dobel., C., Zwanzger, P. (2011). Differential effects of right versus left prefrontal cTBS on emotional word processing—Magnetoencephalographic correlates. Poster presented at the annual conference of the German Society for Brain Stimulation in Psychiatry, Münster, Germany

CV

2009-2012 Bachelor of Science in psychology, University of Münster
2012–2014 Master of Science in psychology (focus on clinical psychology, cognitive neuroscience and cognitive science), University of Göttingen
2015-2016 Research assistant, University of Göttingen
2016-2017 Research assistant, University Hospital of Bonn
Since 2017 PhD student, Institute of Medical Psychology and Systems Neuroscience, University of Münster

Honors and Awards

2019  Poster Award at the 59th Annual Meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR), Washington, D.C., USA

2010–2011  Scholarship from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung)