1) affective learning processes (Pavlovian conditioning and extinction)
2) stress (acute and chronic) and coping
3) emotional and cognitive processes, e.g. attentional biases, as indexed by dot-probe and approach-avoidance tasks, etc.
Affective learning and stress
A hallmark of our research is a strong commitment to experimental designs and the integration of a variety of approaches and research methods.
Regarding the fields of affective learning and stress research, we employ a broad range of psychological and neurobiological measures, such as:
(1) psychophysiological methods (EDA, ECG/heart rate, respiration, EMG, startle eyeblink, etc.)
(2) neuroimaging techniques (fMRT, DTI, etc.)
(3) assessment of eye-movements (eye-tracking) and pupillometry
(4) olfactory and gustatory stimulation
(5) neuroendocrine markers of chronic as well as acute stress (e.g., salivary cortisol and hair cortisol)
Our state-of-art laboratories are equipped with two Biopac and eye-tracking systems (Eyelink) as well as olfactometry and gustatometry devices.
Emotional and cognitive processes
An additional research focus of our lab is the experimental investigation of emotional and cognitive processes. To this end, approach-avoidance tasks, dot-probe paradigms and further methods for assessing cognitive biases are applied. In addition to lab experiments and virtual reality exposure further cutting-edge treatment approaches are explored (e.g., software-based training aimed at assessment and modification of cognitive biases). This includes both basic and applied clinical research.