Welcome to Neuroscience Center Zurich

Prof. Dr. med. Franz X. Vollenweider



University Hospital of Psychiatry Zurich
Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics
Neuropsychopharmacology and Brain Imaging Unit & Heffter Reserach Center Zürich

Lenggstrasse 31
8032 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 384 2404 (Secretariate)
Fax +41 44 384 3396

Main Goals, Keywords

Neuropsychopharmacology and cognitive neuroscience of affective and psychotic disorders. Developing pathopysiological models of neuropsychiatric symptoms, identifying predictors of treatment responses, and testing novel therapeutic interventions.

Psychopathology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychopharmacology, Models of psychoses, Emotion processing, glutamate, serotonin, PPI, p50, MMN, EEG-ERP, PET, fMRI, MRS

Group Members

1 professor, 2 physicians, 2 postdoctoral fellows, 1 technician, 2 PhD students, 1 administrator, master students

Previous and Current Research

Our goal is to identify brain mechanisms underlying the sense of self, visual perception, social cognition and emotional processes in normal waking states and the dysfunctions of these processes in psychiatric disorders. Multiple approaches including measures of experimental psychology, information processing (e.g. PPI, p50, MMN), and brain imaging techniques (e.g. PET, fMRI, MRS) are used to identify neurocognitive markers of these functions, and to unravel predictors for novel treatment approaches.

In addition, translational drug models of psychopathology (e.g. ketamine, psilocybin) are used to further elucidate the role of the glutamate and serotonin systems in psychotic symptom formation, cognition, and emotion regulation.To bridge the gap between preclinical and clinical research, we also aim further at developing new translational models to investigate clinically relevant drug effects in healthy human subjects rather than patients.

Future Projects

Behavioral and neuroimaging studies into the effect of specific serotonergic manipulations on neuroplasticity in depression. Brain mapping studies of self-monitoring and emotion regulation in normal subjects and long-term meditators.

Techniques and Equipment

Techniques: EEG-ERP, fMRI, MRS, EMG, ANALYSE, LORETA, statistical parametric mapping (SPM), dynamic causal modeling.

Equipment: 3T fMRI scanner, 2 EEG labs, 2 neuropychological and neurophysiolgical labs (CANTAB and other test batteries, PPI, startle), clinical lab for pharmacological challenge studies.

Selected Publications

Selected Lectures, Seminars, Colloquia


Swiss Neuromatrix Foundation, Heffter Research Institute USA, NARSAD, J & J Research Foundation USA.



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© 2015 ETH Zurich | Imprint | Disclaimer | 15 October 2014