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.

Winter School 2012
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 16:23

The 7thWinter School was held from the 31st of October until the 4th of November in Aachen, Germany.

Since Hurricane Sandy kept us tense until the very start, we were especially happy to nevertheless finally  welcome most of our colleagues from UPenn in Aachen.  Our program for the four days included short presentations of ongoing studies and finished dissertation projects from 30 students. A discussion of the projects followed in thesis committee meetings, which gave new, valuable impulses and will strengthen the students in their progress. Also new PhD and MD students from Aachen took part in the annual winter school. These students will be the last cohort to take part in the IRTG 1328, which will terminate in 2015.

Highly interesting invited talks were held from Beate Herpertz-Dahlmann and Kerstin Konrad on “Adolescence and adolescence motherhood” or from Sonja Gruen on “Dynamics and interaction in the cortical network”. The stimulating symposia on “Diffusion-MEG multimodal imaging” from Tim Roberts and Bill Gaetz as well as „The neuroscience of relational thinking“ by Anjan Chatterjee completed the rich scientific program.

Since the Winter School also included social events like an excursion to Maastricht and several joint evenings, new contacts were made and existing friendships were deepened. We are now looking forward to another year of fruitful, common work and to our next Winter School, which will be held in Philadelphia.

Eliza Alawi and Vanessa Pütz received Poster Awards

Eliza Alawi and Vanessa Pütz received Poster Awards on the conference NeuroVisionen 8, which took place the 26th October in Aachen.

NeuroVisionen is a conference for young academics, organized by the NeuroNRW, a network from different universities. The aim of this network is the promotion and encouragement of interdisciplinary and application-oriented research projects for junior scientists.

Karla Schneider received her PhD

Karla Schneider held her defense on the 28th of September and received her PhD with summa cum laude.

The title of her dissertation was "Neuronale Korrelate der Beeinträchtigung der Empathiefähigkeit bei psychiatrischen Patienten" [Neural correlates of empathy impairments in psychopaths]

We congratulate Karla on this great success and wish her all the best for her future.

Tanja Kellermann received PhD

Tanja Kellermann held her defense on the 8th of August and received her PhD with cum laude.

The title of her dissertation was "Modulation von emotionaler Verarbeitung bei kognitiver Anforderung" [Modulation of emotional processing by cognitive demand]

We congratulate Tanja on this success and wish her all the best for her future.

Dr. Christina Regenbogen received the GK Best Paper Award

Christina Regenbogen received for her work on "Multimodal Human Communication - Targeting Facial Expression, Speech Content and Prosody" (NeuroImage) the GK Best Paper Award from the German Society for Cognitive Science (GK).

Her research focused on social communication situations investigated through naturalistic dynamic stimulus material on behavioral and psychophysiological level (functional magnetic resonance imaging).

DFG-research stipend for Dr. Katharina Sass


Dr. Katharina Sass received a research stipend from the German Research Foundation (DFG).

She will work on the topic of the neurobiology of emotion-cognition interaction of speech production. The research stipend covers a 12 month stay at the lab of Greig de Zubicaray, University of Queensland (Australia).


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