Hypertension, emotions, and stress

We study mind-brain-body interactions at rest and when they are altered, for example with aging and related bodily changes (e.g., hypertension) or when experiencing emotions and stress.

Leipzig study for mind-body-emotion interactions
For the “Leipzig study for mind-body-emotion interactions” (LEMON), healthy younger and older participants were psychometrically characterized with respect to cognitive capacities and emotional or stress reactivity. In task-free (i.e., resting-state) and task-based measurements, the central nervous system of participants was comprehensively assessed using functional and structural neuroimaging (DWI, f/MRI, EEG). At the same time, activity in the autonomic nervous system was recorded (electrocardiogram and pulse, respiration, blood pressure) and endocrine markers in blood and hair were analysed.
The data are openly available via GWDG, OpenNEURO, and fcon1000.

Key publications:
Babayan et al. (2019). A mind-brain-body dataset of MRI, EEG, cognition, emotion, and peripheral physiology in young and old adults. Scientific Data, 6, 180308.

Mendes et al. (2019). A functional connectome phenotyping dataset including cognitive state and personality measures. Scientific Data, 6, 180307.

Schaare et al. (2019). Association of peripheral blood pressure with gray matter volume in 19- to 40-year-old adults. Neurology, 92(8), e758–e773. more
Neural consequences of stress

Neural consequences of stress

The "neural consequences of stress" (NECOS) project is an extension of the LEMON study, in which 67 young healthy males completed a psychosocial stress intervention (Trier Social Stress Test, TSST) or a control condition without a stressor (Placebo-TSST). Throughout the study, autonomic (ECG), endocrine (saliva, blood, plasma), and subjective stress measures were acquired (at 14 time points, T). Before and after the intervention, they completed MRI scans (anatomical MRI and resting-state fMRI).

Key publications:
Bae, Reinelt et al. (2018). Salivary cortisone, as a biomarker for psychosocial stress, is associated with state anxiety and heart rate. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 101(35–41).

Reinelt, Uhlig et al. (2019). Acute psychosocial stress alters thalamic network centrality. NeuroImage, 199, 680–690.

Ambulatory assessment of real-world emotions and stress

Using smartphone-based experience sampling ("ecological momentary assessment"), we collect emotion and stress ratings in the daily lives of participants. We then link the subjective experience to activity in the brain (Grosse Rueschkamp et al., 2019) and the heart (Rohner, 2018).

Key publications:
Grosse Rueschkamp et al. (2019). Neural correlates of up-regulating positive emotions in fMRI and their link to affect in daily life. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 14(10), 1049–1059.

Rohner (2018). Effects of chronic and acute stress on heart rate variability in men and postmenopausal women of the same age group. MD thesis, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
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