Cognitive Neurophysiology Lab

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Cognitive Neurophysiology Lab

Our research aims at central information processing in schizophrenia and other psychoses. We are especially interested in neuronal mechanisms such as repetition suppression or prediction error signalling and their utilization in social cognition paradigms. Behavioral data and cortical signatures obtained in these and other studies are examined for marker characteristics by using decoding techniques such as multivariate pattern recognition to eventually differentiate psychoses from normal states.


Diagnostic classification

We depart from the notion that current diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia are based on psychopathological descriptions dating back to the mid-20th century; laboratory markers are missing. We approach this issue by employing machine learning algorithms for diagnostic single-subject classification using well-established, schizophrenia-sensitive neurophysiological and neuropsychological parameters in collaboration with Dr. Florin Popescu at Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems, Berlin.

Selected publications

Neuhaus AH. Importance of control biotypes to distinguish psychosis biotypes. Am J Psychiatry 2016; 173: 838.
Neuhaus AH, Popescu FC, Rentzsch J, Gallinat J. Critical evaluation of auditory event-related potential deficits in schizophrenia: evidence from large-scale single-subject pattern classification. Schizophr Bull 2014; 40: 1062-1071.
Shen C, Popescu FC, Hahn E, Ta TT, Dettling M, Neuhaus AH. Neurocognitive pattern analysis reveals classificatory hierarchy of attention deficits in schizophrenia. Schizophr Bull 2014; 40: 878-885.

Predictive coding

Predictive coding refers to a hierarchically organized basic cognitive model, where mismatches resulting from comparisons of fed-forward sensory data with top-down cognitive models elicit cortical prediction errors that are then used for model adjustment. Current biocomputational models of cognition in schizophrenia increasingly incorporate cortical prediction error deficits to explain a wide range of symptoms including positive symptoms, such as delusions, hallucinations, or passivity experiences.

Selected publications

Vogel BO, Shen C, Neuhaus AH. Emotional context facilitates cortical prediction error responses. Hum Brain Mapp 2015; 36: 3641-3652.
Rentzsch J, Shen C, Jockers-Scherübl M, Gallinat, Neuhaus AH. Auditory mismatch negativity and repetition suppression deficits in schizophrenia explained by irregular computation of prediction error. PLoS One 2015; 10: e0126775.
Neuhaus AH, Brandt ESL, Goldberg TE, Bates JA, Malhotra AK. Evidence for impaired visual prediction error in schizophrenia. Schizophr Res 2013; 147: 326-330.

Social cognition

Important aspects of social interactions include sending and responding to verbal and non-verbal communicative signals. The face processing pathway and the mirror neuron system offer distinct routes into sensory and sensori-motor social cognition systems that are addressed using within-modality repetition suppression and cross-modal adaptation, respectively. In a collaboration project with Dr. Roman Liepelt (Department of Psychology, University Münster) and Dr. Christiane Montag (Department of Psychiatry, Charité Berlin), we assess motor processes during observation of movement constraints.

Selected publications

Shen C, Stasch J, Velenosi L, Madipakkam AR, Edemann-Callesen H, Neuhaus AH. Face identity is encoded in the duration of N170 adaptation. Cortex 2017; 86: 55-63.
Möhring N, Shen C, Hahn E, Ta TMT, Dettling M, Neuhaus AH. Mirror neuron deficit in schizophrenia: evidence from repetition suppression. Schizophr Res 2015; 168: 174-179.
Möhring N, Shen C, Neuhaus AH. Spatiotemporal dynamics of early cortical gesture processing. Neuroimage 2014; 99: 42-49.

Therapy

A significant proportion of patients continues to exhibit persistent positive symptoms like hearing voices arguing or commenting. We explore the efficacy of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for treatment of otherwise therapy-resistant auditory verbal hallucinations in schizophrenia in a randomized controlled trial; this project is a collaboration with Dr. Robert Lindenberg (Department of Neurology, Charité Berlin; ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01801787).