Clinical and Experimental Psychopathology
The group’s research focus is on the negative symptoms of schizophrenia and other severe mental disorders. Negative symptoms include apathy (a reduction of motivation) and diminished expression. These symptoms have a strong negative impact on everyday functioning, while the options for treatment remain very limited.
The research objective is to arrive at a better understanding of the motivational and cognitive processes causing these symptoms. For this goal, we use behavioral experiments and functional magnetic resonance imaging. An important line of research concerns dysfunctions of the reward system that are studied with experiments adapted from fundamental neuroscience. We emphasize the combination of these approaches with the development of instruments for clinical psychopathology aiming at better measurement of negative symptoms.
The results of this research are used for developing treatment options for negative symptoms based on the modulation of the underlying processes with psychotherapeutic and biological approaches.