I am head of the Research Group Psychopathology of the Social Brain at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Department of Social Neuroscience, in Leipzig, Germany.

This website provides information on me and my research interests. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about my work.

Emotions have fascinated me from early on – how we experience them, how they influence our perceptions, interpretations and decisions regarding the world around us, how, in turn, we manage to regulate our emotions and how we share and understand the emotions of others. My research so far has aimed at shedding light on these questions with behavioral, peripheral and neurophysiological measures and by using neuroimaging techniques. Because of their relevance for a number of mental disorders, I also turned to studying emotional processing in patient populations and gained a personally much deeper understanding of aberrant affect during my training as cognitive behavioral psychotherapist. The clinical studies clearly showed the need for very thorough exploration of the potential for plasticity of these mechanisms and I am currently involved in a large longitudinal intervention study that differentiates the effects of more affective as well as more cognitive training modules.
In the future I want to continue exploring the nature of emotions and further strengthen my current focus on the role of emotions in social contexts, the related alterations in psychopathology and plasticity of the processes through training. In the long run, I would like to use the gained knowledge to improve our understanding of the etiology of mental disorders and their optimal treatment.