Neural processes of social interaction in subjects with genetic and environmental risk factors for schizophrenia

Funding: DFG

Interpersonal collaboration, perspective taking (theory of mind) and empathy are affected by the social identification with our interaction partner. In this project, the influence of environmental and genetic risk factors for schizophrenia on processing in the “mirror neuron” and “Theory of Mind” (ToM) networks are being investigated.

Social interactions are set up between existing ethnic groups (Germans and immigrants from Turkey), with half of the subjects being at an increased genetic risk for schizophrenia due to an affected relative. We expect to detect neural correlates of these interactions in the mirror neuron and ToM systems via the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Results of this project will not only provide insight into the neural basis of social categorization, but also reveal the interaction of environmental and genetic risk factors that may contribute to an increased vulnerability for schizophrenia among immigrants.

Who’s working on GUI?

Principal investigators: Benjamin StraubeTilo Kircher 

PhD students: Miriam Steines, Gizem Neziroğlu

Associated physician: Johannes Krautheim

Student assistant: Raphaela Hettich

Related publications

Steines, M., Krautheim, J.T., Neziroğlu, G., Kircher, T. & Straube, B. (2020).  Conflicting group memberships modulate neural activation in an emotional production-perception network. Cortex, Special issue: Understanding others, 126, 153-172.

Krautheim, J.T., Steines, M., Dannlowski, U., Neziroğlu, G., Acosta, H., Sommer, J., Straube, B.* & Kircher, T.* (2020). Emotion specific neural activation for the production and perception of facial expressions. Cortex, Special issue: Understanding others (accepted) *contributed equally

Krautheim, J., Dannlowski, U., Steines, M., Neziroğlu, G., Acosta, H., Sommer, J., Straube, B.*, & Kircher, T.* (2019). Intergroup empathy: enhanced neural resonance for ingroup facial emotion in a shared neural production-perception network. NeuroImage. IF: 5.429 * contributed equally

Krautheim, J.*, Straube, B.*, et al., (2018). Outgroup emotion processing in the vACC is modulated by childhood trauma and CACNA1C risk variant. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 13(3), 341-8. IF=3.937 *contributed equally

Schneider-Hassloff, H., Straube, B., Nuscheler, B., Wemken, G., & Kircher, T. (2015). Adult attachment style modulates neural responses in a mentalizing task. Neuroscience, 303, 462–473.

Schneider-Hassloff, H., Straube, B., Jansen, A., Nuscheler, B., Wemken, G., Witt, S. H., … Kircher, T. (2016). Oxytocin receptor polymorphism and childhood social experiences shape adult personality, brain structure and neural correlates of mentalizing. NeuroImage, 134, 671–684.

Acosta, H., Straube, B., & Kircher, T. (2018). Schizotypy and mentalizing: an fMRI study. Neuropsychologia. doi: IF: 2.888

Probanden gesucht!!

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