Effects of a humor intervention on the neural correlates of social-cognitive abilites in patients with schizophrenia – a randomized controlled fMRI study

Funding: Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung

In this project we investigate the neural plasticity effects of a standardized seven week humor training (Falkenberg, McGhee, and Wild, 2012) on social cognitive abilities in patients with schizophrenia.

Humor is associated with emotional and cognitive components, two domains which can be impaired in psychiatric disorders.Throughout the program, we use positive emotions, like mirth and laughter, to improve the patients emotional experience . Furthermore, we focus on cognitive aspects of humor to facilitate social cognitive functioning.

With the help of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and behavioral measures, we want to investigate the therapy outcome, in order to improve the treatment approaches for patients with schizophrenia.

Who’s working on EKFS?

Principal investigators: Irina Falkenberg, Benjamin Straube, Arne Nagels

PhD students: Philipp BergerFlorian Bitsch

Related Publications

Bitsch, F., Berger, P., Fink, A., Nagels, A., Straube, B., & Falkenberg, I. (2021). Antagonism Between Brain Regions Relevant for Cognitive Control and Emotional Memory Facilitates the Generation of Humorous Ideas. Scientific Reports IF: 3.998

Bitsch, F., Berger, P., Nagels, A., Falkenberg, I., & Straube, B. (2018). Impaired right temporo-parietal junction – hippocampus connectivity in schizophrenia and its relevance for representing other minds. Schizophrenia Bulletin IF: 6.944

Bitsch, F., Berger, P., Nagels, A., Falkenberg, I., Straube, B. (accepted). The role of the right temporo-parietal junction in social decision-making. Human Brain Mapping. IF: 4.530

Berger, P., Bitsch, F., Nagels, A., Straube, B., & Falkenberg, I. (2017). Personality modulates amygdala and insula connectivity during humor appreciation: an event-related fMRI study. Social Neuroscience. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17470919.2017.1403375.

Berger, P., Bitsch, F., Bröhl, H., & Falkenberg, I. (2017). Play and playfulness in psychiatry: a selective review. International Journal of Play, 1-16. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21594937.2017.1383341.

Further information

Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung

EKFS-Flyer (german)