PhD position available from July 1st 2022

We are excited to announce that the lab has an open PhD position starting from july 1st 2022. The position is part of the brand new research training group “Emotional Learning and Memory” funded by the German Research Foundatation (DFG). More information can be found here.

The project aims to investigate how childhood adversity gets ‚under the skin‘ by investigating the neuro-physiological mechanisms underlying response differences to signals of threat and safety in individuals exposed and not exposed to early life adversity. To this end, we use state of the art functional and structural imaging in combination with defensive startle responding, freezing-like behavior in humans and measures of physiological arousal and endocrine stress responding (cortisol in hair and saliva) in a fear conditionig and generalization paradigm.

Applications open until april 1st! Looking forward!

New preprint: Systematically investigating the role of context on effect replicability in reinstatement of fear in humans

New preprint and fawewell present from and for Rachel! A paper that has been in the making for nearly as long as she was in the lab (5 years!). We ystematically investigate the role of context on reinstatement-induced return of fear in a human differential fear conditioning paradigm using subjective and psychophysiological measures in a largesample (N=212) including reinstatement and control groups using Bayesian mixed models. Preprint here

All good things come in threes – new preprint III/21

The COVID 19 pandemia has slowed down our research substiantially. Now, we finally finished the third preprint in a series of manuscripts focusing on multiverse-type of analyses.

Here we focus on within-approach heterogeneity in SCR quantification through the so called “baseline-correction appraoch”. We extracted different specifications used from the literature and applied 150 different pipelines to a single data set to find out how different parameter impact the results and effect sizes. Check it out

New preprint I

New preprint on different skin conductance response quantification approaches.

Happy to announce a new pre-print with former post-doc Manuel Kuhn and collaborator Anna Gerlicher looking into the question how much different skin conductance response quantification approaches used impact on replicability. Tina recently presented a virtual poster on the results which you can watch here or have a look at the preprint

New work out on procedural considerations in human reinstatement

Experimental paradigms used to study reinstatement of fear in humans are characterized by procedural heterogeneity. Reinstatement protocols involve unexpected (re)presentations of the unconditioned stimulus (USs)after fear extinction training. Here, we address the number ofreinstatement USs administered as a potential boundary condition that may explain divergent findings in the field. A sample of 171 participants is exposed to a fear acquisition training, immediate
extinction training, and reinstatement test experiment. Three groups
differing in the number of reinstatement US are employed: one (n = 57)
or four (n = 55) in experimental groups and zero (n = 59) in the control
group. We adopt Bayesian statistical approaches beyond classical null
hypothesis significance testing (NHST) to qualify evidence for or
against this potential methodological boundary condition in
reinstatement-induced return of fear. Startle potentiation to the
reinstatement administration context was increased for the RI–USone
compared to the RI–USzero group, supporting the role of context
conditioning in reinstatement. This effect was weaker in the RI–USfour
group. This, however, did not transfer to responding to conditioned
stimuli during the return of fear-test: no evidence for an effect of the
number of reinstatement USs (zero, one, four) was observed in
behavioral or physiological measures. In sum, our results speak against the number of reinstatement USs as a potential boundary condition in experimentally induced return of fear in humans. This may challenge what we think we know about the reinstatement phenomenon in humans and call for critical reconsideration of paradigms as well as mechanisms that may underlie some reinstatement effects in the literature.

Welcome (back) Janne

We are very happy to welcome Janne Nold as a full time research intern to the group. Janne worked as a student assistant in the lab 2 yrs ago when doing her BA degree in Psychology in Hamburg. She is now a master student at the university of Oldenburg. Welcome back Janne.