We are currently investigating neuroplasticity and behavioral neurotoxicity induced by legal and illegal substances, such as nicotine, cocaine, MDMA (“ecstasy”), GHB, opioids, and cannabis, as well as psychiatric medications. Accordingly, we characterize the total range of early information processing (e.g., pre-attentional gating) up to complex cognitive and behavioral functions (e.g., social cognition and interaction) in psychiatric diseases such as substance use disorders, schizophrenia, and depression. To achieve our research goals we employ classical neuropsychological tasks, specifically designed behavioral tests (e.g., social interaction paradigms and games), electrophysiology (ECG, EEG, EMG, SCR), molecular (positron emission tomography, NMR-spectroscopy) and functional neuroimaging (fMRI, functional connectivity), biomarker testing in blood and hair, toxicological hair analyses, and molecular genetics approaches.


Ongoing Research Projects (Selection)


  • Investigating episodic network connectivity and functional integrity in human serotonin lesion model (Principal Investigator: Prof. Boris B. Quednow; Novartis Foundation for medical-biological Research: #19C167, Duration: 2020-2021)
  • Substance use and stress in young adulthood (Principal Investigator: Prof. Lilly Shanahan [Zurich, Switzerland], Project Partner: Prof. Boris B. Quednow; Swiss National Science Foundation: 10531C_189008; Duration: 2020-2023)
  • Real risks of the online world: association of online dating addiction with mental and sexual health outcomes in sexual minorities (Principal Investigator: Prof. Jan Fehr [Zurich, Switzerland], Project Partner: Prof. Boris B. Quednow; Swiss National Science Foundation: 10001C_192814; Duration: 2020-2022)
  • Neurofilaments in substance use disorders (Principal Investigator: Prof. Prof. Boris B. Quednow; Investigator: Francesco Bavato; Duration: 2019-2022)
  • Comparative neuropsychopharmacology of methamphetamine (“Crystal Meth”) and MDMA (“Ecstasy”) on facets of cognitive control and impulsive behavior in social and non-social contexts: integrating behavior, psychophysiology, and neurochemistry (Principal Investigators: Prof. Boris B. Quednow, Prof. C. Beste [Dresden, Germany]; Swiss National Science Foundation: 320030L_179450, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft: BE 4045/34-1; Duration: 2019-2021)
  • STANDUP - Sensory processing sensitivity and drug use recovery pathways (Principal Investigators: Prof. Judith Homberg [Nijmegen, Netherlands], Prof. Fabio Fumagalli [Milan, Italy], Dr. Maria Melchior [Paris, France], Prof. Boris B. Quednow; European Area Network on Illicit Drugs [ERANID]: 60-63200-98-051; Duration: 2017-2020)
  • The effect of psychosocial and craving-induced stress on social cognition and decision-making in cocaine users: a longitudinal approach (Principal Investigator: Prof. Boris B. Quednow; Swiss National Science Foundation: 105319_162639, Duration: 2016-2019)