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Systems Neuroscience in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

We want to elucidate the reasons and mechanisms why some people suffer from mental disorders. We do this by studying large, longitudinal cohorts of healthy subjects, those at risk and with past or current mental disorders, mainly depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. We investigate them on multiple levels, from genetics, childhood environment, current stress and resilience, psychosocial factors, brain structure and function (using MRI), and multi-omics approaches (cytokines, microbiome, epigenetics, etc.). A related field of work is our systems neuroscience approaches that encompasses cognitive neuroscience. Its goal is to further our understanding of the relationship between cognitive-emotional phenomena and the physical matter of the brain. Using a combination of behavioral testing, advanced brain imaging, and theoretical modeling, our cognitive neuroscience research endeavors seek to elucidate how high-level functions, such as psychopathological phenomena, language, social behavior, emotions, expectations and motivational states relate to specific neural networks in the brain. We focus on the vast space that exists between molecular and cellular approaches to the brain and the study of high-level mental functions. Our ability to synthesize cross-disciplinary areas of investigation in fields such as cognitive neuroscience is a result of the unique research environment at the University of Marburg.