General Psychology II

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Research-Goals

The Affective Neuropsychology Group studies emotional processing in humans and the underlying neural mechanisms. On the one hand, we are interested on communicative aspects of emotions as they arise in language or in face processing and which also play an important role in man-machine interaction. On the other hand, we study how emotions guide attention and modulate memory processes.

In our research, we use mainly electroencephalography (EEG), as well as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and of course behavioral measures. We study both typical processes in healthy people and disorders as they occur in neurological and psychiatric disorders to gain a comprehensive understanding of emotional processing. Currently, we have a special interest in residual brain functions in patients with severe brain injuries (unresponsive wakefulness and minimal consciousness state) and in developing ways to improve their disease-course with emotional stimulation.

We collaborate with several regional health care providers, particularly the Epilepsy Clinic Mara and House Elim within the Bethel institution. Furthermore, we collaborate with several CITEC groups, such as the Neuroinformatics group, the former Language and Cognition group, the Clinical Neuropsychology and the Computer Graphics. We also have several other national and international collaborations.

Labs and Equipment

The Affective Neuropsychology has several behavioural and EEG-labrooms at their disposal.

In our electroencephalographical (EEG) labs we conduct EEG-measurements. That is, by means of sensors the electric activity of the brain is being measured. The activity of the wake human brain generates electric fields whose intensity changes with different brain activities in the order of millionth parts of a volt. These changes are being recorded with millisecond precision. For those recordings we use sensor-nets with 32 channels up to high-density with 128 channels.

Equipment: ActiveTwo systems by Biosemi: One 128-channel EEG-device and one 32-channel EEG-device.