Research interests

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder ADHD (attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder) is one of the most common childhood disorders treated in our clinic, and a major research focus of our brain mapping lab. We aim at improved diagnosis and treatments of patients with ADHD by studying brain functions (neurophysiology). To relate the neural basis of ADHD to its natural course, its familial aspects, and its successful treatment (e.g. with neurofeedback), we use advanced EEG- and MR imaging. These methods reveal how the affected networks work and change in different states, tests and treatments.

Reading and Dyslexia

We are interested in cognitive and neural aspects of reading and dyslexia. Our research focuses on developmental aspects of dyslexia and on specialization for print, which – in addition to phonological deficits – plays a major role for dyslexia. We use behavioral and functional neuroimaging techniques, such as EEG-based event-related potentials (ERP) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Learning to read and training

A major interest is to examine temporal and spatial alterations in the reading network during development (from kindergarten to adulthood) and training, by using EEG-based event-related potentials (ERP) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We aim to identify biomarkers for early prediction of reading outcome by integrating findings from neuroimaging and behavioural tests (e.g. reading, phonological, letter knowledge tests etc.).

Obsessive compulsive disorder

A new focus of research is to clarify the role of fronto-striatal circuits in pediatric obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) by using neuroimaging techniques with high temporal (EEG) and spatial (fMRI) resolution. The integration of findings from neurophysiology, brain imaging, neuropsychology, and genetics aims to determine sensitive biomarkers for improving diagnostics and treatment in juvenile OCD.

Brain state regulation

Oscillatory activity of neuronal populations transiently links brain areas into functionally coherent networks. It is of central importance for human state regulation. Brain oscillations measured by EEG change with normal development, and in clinical conditions such as ADHD and epilepsy. In the present project, we compare how thalamocortical neuronal networks control brain states in normal development and in patients with epilepsy using simultaneous EEG and fMRI. Furthermore, advanced fast MR techniques aim at improved direct and non-invasive localization of selected neuronal discharges in epileptic patients.

Biofeedback training in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

In Biofeedback uses feedback about involuntary physiological measures, such as muscle tension and brain activity (EEG-Biofeedback = Neurofeedback) to control physiological states and responses. By learning to recognize and control these states through training, biofeedback can help treat a wide range of mental and physical health problems.