Research

We are currently investigating the neuroplasticity and behavioral neurotoxicity induced by legal and illegal drugs, such as nicotine, cocaine, MDMA (“ecstasy”), GHB, and cannabis, the behavioral genetics of sensorimotor gating and higher cognition, and the neuronal and neurochemical basis of impaired early information processing (e.g., pre-attentional gating) up to complex cognitive functions (e.g., social cognition) in psychiatric diseases such as drug addiction, schizophrenia, and depression. To achieve this we are using specifically designed behavioral tests, classical neuropsychological tasks, startle response paradigms (prepulse inhibition and affective startle modulation), positron emission tomography (18F-2-FDG, 18F-altanserin PET, 11C-ABP688), NMR-spectroscopy, functional imaging, and molecular genetics.