Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich
Department of Social Psychiatry and General Psychiatry
Tel.: +41 44 384 2630
Main topic: negative and cognitive symptoms in psychotic disorders
Concepts: goal-directed behavior, reward processing, executive functions
Methods: psychopathology, behavioral experiments, functional magnetic resonance imaging
1 group leader, 2 PhD students, 1 psychologist, 2 resident psychiatrists
Negative and cognitive symptoms determine functional outcome in patients with psychotic disorders to a large extent. The group employs an experimental-psychopathologic approach, which encompasses all levels from the development of psychopathological scales to the investigation of neural mechanisms underlying these symptoms. We understand symptoms mainly as impairments in the processes subserving goal-directed behavior. Our focus is on reward processing, executive functions and option generation.
Current projects focus on the processes underlying value coding, effort-based decision making and option generation in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. These studies mainly employ behavioral methods as well as functional magnetic resonance imaging.
The long-term goal of our research is to improve treatment for negative symptoms. Two research tracks will serve this purpose. First, we will develop and test methods for training the processes mentioned above. Second, we are currently establishing cooperations with preclinical laboratories to develop a translational framework for addressing negative symptoms, which is a condition for targeted drug development.
Methodological competence exists for neuropsychological and psychopathological assessment, electroencephalography and event-related potentials, functional magnetic resonance imaging and conduct of clinical trials.
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF), Volkswagen Foundation
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