UNIVERSITAT KONSTANZ

Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology of the University of Konstanz, Germany, offers one of Europe’s most exceptional possibilities for carrying out new projects in the fields of clinical psychology and behavioural neuroscience. Located at the Centre for Psychiatry, Reichenau, different patient groups are treated as out-patients and in-patients at a research ward, depending on the particular research projects. This research ward and its neurophysiology and neuroimaging laboratories offer a basis for various projects that explore epidemiological, etiological, psychopathological, and therapeutic questions. Patient groups include elderly people with particular challenges like those after stroke, early dementia and schizophrenia. The geriatric ward of the hospital is located in the house next to this centre that is used for educational purposes as well as for research projects.

The experience of the members of this interdisciplinary group in Clinical Psychology, Psychophysiology and Brain Imaging is documented by 20 years of continuing publications in the field, including text and research books and publication in specific journals such as Biological Psychiatry, BMC Psychiatry etc., and in high-wire journals including Nature, Science, PNAS and PloS Medicine. A 128-, a 256-channel EEG-amplifier and a Whole-Head 148-channel MEG are routinely operated. Functional MRI is available with a 1.5 Tesla Magnet.

At the University of Konstanz, Clinical Psychology is based on the development and application of modern neuroscience with the purpose of understanding and treating disorders of cognition, affect, and behaviour. Our approach focuses on mental illness and dementia as the result of a malfunctioning brain, an aberration that appears first in the dynamics of the brain's activity and its functional organization before macroscopic structural deviations may become obvious. The emphasis of our projects is, thus, the imaging of processes related to behaviourally defined psychological function and dysfunction. Temporal and spatial patterns of neuronal mass discharges can provide access to the rapidly varying neurophysiological substrate of the psychological events under investigation. Insights into patterns and sequences of temporo-spatial brain activation as a function of psychological processes is at the very centre of understanding deviant behavioural and cognitive responses – the research domain of clinical psychology.

In LLM, Konstanz will focus on the evaluation of treatment success and therapy-related changes in the brain using cutting-edge technology and methods of neuroscience, particularly neuroimaging with MEG and fMRI, using standard techniques in which they have longstanding experience as well as new techniques pioneered in Konstanz. Their expertise in neuropsychological assessment will form the core on which the evaluations of this project will be built, and they will also greatly contribute to the design of the training exercises, based on their vast experience and world-class expertise with clinical neurorehabilitation and the investigation of neuroplasticity.