Cognitive Neuroscience M. Brand

The research group of Prof. Dr. Matthias Brand focusses on neural correlates of cognitive and emotive processes using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).The interdisciplinary team, consisting of psychologists, cognitive and media scientists, physicists, and computer scientists, examines neural mechanisms of decision making and their interactions with monitoring and control processes. The ability to influence decisions by emotion processing and human-robot interaction are also explored. Another research area focusses on the neurobiological and neuropsychological bases of behavioral addictions, such as Internet addiction or pathological buying. Primarily, brain responses to addiction-related stimuli and their relevance for subjective desire are examined.

Focus of interest concerning the brain regions are the ventral striatum, the lateral frontal lobe, and the amygdala. The ultra-high field MRI technology at the Erwin L. Hahn Institute provides a very high spatial resolution, enabling an internal differentiation of single brain structures (e.g. amygdala or ventral striatum). Additionally, we work on improvements of MRI-sequences for the enhancement of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in prefrontal cortex regions, especially in the orbitofrontal cortex, and the limbic structures.

Selected publications:

Brand, M., Snagowski, J., Laier, C. & Maderwald, S. (2016). Ventral striatum activity when watching preferred pornographic pictures is correlated with symptoms of Internet pornography addiction. NeuroImage, in press, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.01.033.

Gathmann, B., Schulte, F.P., Maderwald, S., Pawlikowski, M., Starcke, K., Schäfer, L.C., Schöler, T., Wolf, O.T. & Brand, M. (2014). Stress and decision making: Neural correlates of the interaction of stress, executive functions, and decision making under risk. Experimental Brain Research, 232, 957-973, DOI: 10.1007/s00221-013-3808-6.

Grabenhorst, F., Schulte, F.P., Maderwald, S. & Brand, M. (2013). Food labels promote healthy choices by a decision bias in the amygdala. NeuroImage, 74, 152-163, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.02.012.

Risius, U.M., Staniloiu, A., Piefke, M., Maderwald, S., Schulte, F.P. Brand, M. & Markowitsch, H.J. (2013). Retrieval, monitoring and control processes: A 7 Tesla fMRI approach to memory accuracy. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 7, Art. 24, 1-21, DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2013.00024.

Rosenthal-von der Pütten, A.M., Schulte, F.P., Sobieraj, S., Eimler, S.C., Hoffmann, L., Maderwald, S., Brand, M., Krämer, N.C. (2014). Investigations on empathy towards humans and robots using fMRI. Computers in Human Behavior, 33, 201-212, DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2014.01.004.

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