Visual Universitätsmedizin Mainz

Tüscher group

Functional imaging

Group Leader

Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Tüscher
Oliver Tüscher, Univ.-Prof. Dr. med.
Position: Deputy director and Senior physician
Head of the group "Functional imaging"
Qualifications: Specialist in neurology
Specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy

06131 17 7336 (secretariat of the management)
06131 229974
Further Information


Alexandra Sebastian, Dr. phil. Dipl.-Psych.
Co-Leader of the group "Functional imaging"

Group members

  • Julius Grenz
  • Dr. phil. Bianca Kollmann, M.Sc.
  • Dr. med. Dr. biol. hum. Dipl.-Psych. Daniel Turner
  • cand. med. Theresa Bulheller
  • cand. med. Karla Kerber
  • cand. med. Anne M. Konken
  • cand. med. Johannes Seiler
  • cand. med. Magdalena Schober
  • cand. med. Ruth M. Werzlau

Brief description of the research group

The research group ERIC is concerned with the study of the cognitive domains of emotion regulation (ER) and impulse control (IC) and their interaction as core components of self-regulation. Compared to classical, disease-based research approaches, the investigation of cognitive domains provides the basis for cross-species modelling (translational research). Of particular interest here are, on the one hand, the neuronal structures or networks underlying the corresponding cognitive domains. Here, the focus is on the relationship of these domains to resilience (maintenance or restoration of mental health during or after stressful life events) as well as to the symptoms of mental illness with disturbed emotional regulation and/or impaired impulse control. The most important of these are borderline personality disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but also affective and anxiety disorders and addictions. For several years now, we have also been working in close cooperation with the AG Retz on the neurobiological basis of aggression and forensic questions.

For the functional-anatomical characterization of self-regulation we mainly use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetic encephalography (MEG). To gain a deeper understanding of emotion regulation and impulse control, however, a multimodal approach is crucial for us. This includes simultaneous EEG/fMRI data acquisition (e.g. EEG-informed fMRI), the influence of genetic variation (Imaging Genetics) and pharmacological modulation (Pharmaco-fMRI) and methods of neurostimulation (TMS, TMS-EEG). We also use an integrative model-based cognitive neuroscience approach to gain a deeper understanding of cognitive domains and their neural architecture.




  • Prof. Dr. Michael Wibral, Department of Data-driven Analysis of Biological Networks, Georg-August University Göttingen, Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Humboldt University, Charité, Berlin, Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Andres Joos, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Freiburg, Germany


  • Prof. Dr. Birte Forstmann, Intergrative Model-based Cognitive Neuroscience (IMCN) research unit, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Dr. Dora Matzke, Associate Professor, Psychological Methods, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Prof. Dr. David Silbersweig, Brigham & Woman's Hospital, Harvard University, Boston, USA


  • European Union/ Horizon 2020 (DynaMORE-personalised in-silico model of mental health in the face of adversity, e.g., stress resilience, WP09, funding period: 04/2018-03/2023)
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation (Neurobehavioral mechanisms of stress inoculation – a translational approach, funding period: 06/2017-04/2021)
  • German Research Foundation (SFB 1193 „Neurobiology of resilience“, subproject C04 “Goal pursuit despite emotional distraction: Neural-network mechanisms of emotional interference inhibition and their role for resilience”, funding period: 06/2017-06/2021)
  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Collaborative project „Transfer of cognitive training gains in cognitively healthy aging: Mechanisms and Modulators“ 01GQ1425A, funding period: 07/2015-03/2020)

Key publications

  • Ahrens KF, Neumann RJ, Kollmann B, Plichta MM, Lieb K*, Tüscher O*, Reif A* (in press). Differential impact of COVID-related lockdown on mental health in Germany, Letter to the editor (peer-reviewed, original data). World Psychiat. (*shared last au-thors). 
  • Sebastian A, Schick A, Sandner M, Werzlau RM, Chmitorz A, Lieb K, Tüscher O. (2020). Perceived threat modulates inhibitory performance. Emotion. doi: 10.1037/emo0000746
  • Barra S, Turner D, Müller M, Hertz PG, Retz-Junginger P, Tüscher O, Huss M, Retz W. (2020). ADHD symptom profiles, intermittent explosive disorder, adverse childhood experiences, and internalizing/externalizing problems in young offenders. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. doi: 10.1007/s00406-020-01181-4
  • Sebastian A, Retz W, Tüscher O, Turner D. (2019). Violent offending in borderline personality disorder and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Neuropharmacology,156:107565. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2019.03.008
  • Kollmann B, Yuen K, Scholz V, Wessa M. (2019). Cognitive variability in bipolar I disorder: A cluster-analytic approach informed by resting-state data. Neuropharmacology, 156:107585. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2019.03.028
  • van Zutphen L, Siep N, Jacob GA, Domes G, Sprenger A, Willenborg B, Goebel R, Tüscher O*, Arntz A*. (2019). Impulse control under emotion processing: an fMRI investigation in borderline personality disorder compared to non-patients and cluster-C personality disorder patients. Brain Imaging Behav. doi: 10.1007/s11682-019-00161-0.
  • Sebastian A, Forstmann BU, Matzke D. (2018). Towards a model-based cognitive neuroscience of stopping - a neuroimaging perspective. Neurosci Biobehav Rev, 90:130-136. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2018.04.011
  • Maier S, Schneider K, Stark C, Zeeck A, Tebartz van Elst L, Holovics L, Hartmann A, Lahmann C, Domschke K, Nickel K, Feige B, Glauche V, Fleischhaker C, Tüscher O*, Joos A*. (2019). Fear Network Unresponsiveness in Women with Anorexia Nervosa. Psychother Psychosom, 88(4):238-240. doi: 10.1159/000495367.
  • Wolf D, Tüscher O, Teipel S, Mierau A, Strüder H, Drzezga A, Baier B, Binder H, Fellgiebel A; German AgeGain study group (2018). Mechanisms and modulators of cognitive training gain transfer in cognitively healthy aging: study protocol of the AgeGain study. Trials, 19(1):337. doi: 10.1186/s13063-018-2688-2.23
  • Gerlicher AMV, Tüscher O, Kalisch R. (2018). Dopamine-dependent prefrontal reactivations explain long-term benefit of fear extinction. Nat Commun, 16;9(1):4294. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06785-y.
  • Sebastian A, Rössler K, Wibral M, Mobascher A, Lieb K, Jung P, Tüscher O. (2017). Neural Architecture of Selective Stopping Strategies: Distinct Brain Activity Patterns Are Associated with Attentional Capture But Not with Outright Stopping. J Neurosci, 37(40):9785-9794. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1476-17.2017
  • Kalisch R, Baker DG, Basten U, Boks MP, Bonanno GA, Brummelman E, Chmitorz A, Fernàndez G, Fiebach CJ, Galatzer-Levy I, Geuze E, Groppa S, Helmreich I, Hendler T, Hermans EJ, Jovanovic T, Kubiak T, Lieb K, Lutz B, Müller MB, Murray RJ, Nievergelt CM, Reif A, Roelofs K, Rutten BPF, Sander D, Schick A, Tüscher O, Diest IV, Harmelen AV, Veer IM, Vermetten E, Vinkers CH, Wager TD, Walter H, Wessa M, Wibral M, Kleim B (2017). The resilience framework as a strategy to combat stress-related disorders. Nat Hum Behav, 1(11):784-790. doi: 10.1038/s41562-017-0200-8
  • Schmüser L, Sebastian A, Mobascher A, Lieb K, Feige B, Tüscher O (2016). Data-driven analysis of simultaneous EEG/fMRI reveals neurophysiological phenotypes of impulse control. Hum Brain Mapp, 37(9):3114-36.
  • Sebastian A, Jung P, Neuhoff J, Wibral M, Fox PT, Lieb K, Fries P, Eickhoff SB, Tüscher O, Mobascher A (2016). Dissociable attentional and inhibitory networks of dorsal and ventral areas of the right inferior frontal cortex: a combined task-specific and coordinate-based meta-analytic fMRI study. Brain Struct Funct, 221(3):1635-51.
  • Kalisch R, Müller MB, Tüscher O (2015). Advancing empirical resilience research. Behav Brain Sci, 38:e128. doi: 10.1017/S0140525X15000023
  • Kalisch R, Müller MB, Tüscher O (2015). A conceptual framework for the neurobiological study of resilience Behav Brain Sci, 38:e92. doi: 10.1017/S0140525X1400082X
  • Endres K, Fahrenholz F, Lotz J, Hiemke C, Teipel S, Lieb K, Tüscher O*, Fellgiebel A* (2014). Increased CSF APPs-α levels in patients with Alzheimer disease treated with acitretin. Neurology 83(21):1930-1935. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001017. (*equal contribution).