The International Research Training Group “Brain-behavior relationship of emotion and social cognition in schizophrenia and autism” (IRTG 1328) is formed by German and American scientists of the RWTH Aachen University with the University Hospital Aachen, the Research Center Jülich (all within the Jülich Aachen Research Alliance, JARA) and the University of Pennsylvania and is funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; DFG). The major aims of the German-American IRTG are interdisciplinary and international scientific co-operation and the support of young scientists with aspiration to cutting-edge research. Three basic principles shape the profile of the IRTG: excellence, innovation and international co-operation. To make allowance for the various aspects of the complex clinical disorders of schizophrenia and autism, scientists from a widespread area of disciplines are involved, including medicine, psychology, biology, physics and computer science, among them some of the world’s leading experts in the respective fields. The excellence of faculty and trainees and the international character of the enterprise combine to provide a uniquely inspiring research environment. The IRTG offers a study program that structures an internationally collaborative doctoral process under joint mentorship of a German and an American supervisor. The participants of the IRTG apply advanced brain imaging techniques, including structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI and fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET), magnetoencephalography (MEG), computational modeling of brain dysfunction, receptor distribution and microstructural, architectonic brain mapping, to study the neurobiological basis of emotion processing in schizophrenia and autism.

The IRTG 1328 represents the only structured doctoral program in Germany that is explicitly focused to the neural basis of two clinically and socio-economically highly relevant psychiatric disorders, schizophrenia and autism.

Computer game violence: Beyond public policy

On 31 October, Professor Craig Anderson (Iowa State University), a leading scientist in computer game reserach, gave an IRTG workshop entitled Video Game Violence: Theory, Research, and public policy. He presented absorbing and influential new results from his own work, crossing the borders between research and political and social consequences. Afterwards, each of the students presented own ideas for a study including virtual reality which was then discussed. A general discussion over coffe and cake in a warm and friendly atmosphere concluded the workshop.

Umbrella Symposium

Brain-behavior relationship of emotion and cognition: From gene to pathology.

This German-Israeli scientific meeting was held at the Research Center Jülich from 4-7th September 2006. Participants from the RWTH Aachen University, Research Center Jülich, and the Technion in Haifa discussed a number of relevant issues. The IRTG Schizophrenia and Autism was one of the organizers.

Please find a copy of the progam here.


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