Our group focuses on cognition in elderly individuals as well as in clinical populations. We primarily concentrate on investigating memory processes but also consider other cognitive functions (e.g., verbal fluency - see projects). At the moment, we apply the following methods:
Non-invasive brain stimulation
Non-invasive brain stimulation is a group of techniques that allow the stimulation (or inhibition) of certain brain areas. We use transcranial direct current stimulation, a non-invasive method to increase (or decrease) cortical excitability with limited side effects.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is a class of imaging methods developed to demonstrate regional, time-varying changes in brain metabolism. These metabolic changes can be consequent to task-induced cognitive state changes or the result of unregulated processes in the resting brain.
Neurofeedback (based on real-time fMRI)
During real-time fMRI based neurofeedback, participants are instructed to regulate their brain activity in a given brain area. The current brain activity is measured in real-time and data pre-processing as well as data analysis is performed with dedicated software. Feedback is provided to the participant in the scanner via a projector in the form of a thermometer icon, with the temperature reading indicating the current level of brain activity. The participants perform several training runs, which are composed of baseline blocks and up- or down-regulation blocks. During the regulation blocks, the target-level indicator of the thermometer display moves up or down, indicating that the participants should in- or decrease activity in the targeted brain region. With the help of feedback information, participants can learn to voluntarily control their brain activity in the targeted brain area.