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RG Emotion Regulation and Social Cognition


Dipl.-Psych., Research Staff, Head of the Research Group

PD Dr. Inga Niedtfeld

Phone: +49 621 1703-4403

Fax: +49 621 1703-4405


C 4, 11, 4. floor, room 403


The Research Group has been established in October 2014 and focusses on disturbed emotion regulation / social cognition in personality disorders and stress-related disorders. We aim to identify the effects of emotion dysregulation and deficits in social cognition on interpersonal relationships. Current projects are:

Negativity bias in social information processing in patients with personality disorder. The DFG-funded project focusses on the psychopathology behind difficulties in social interaction and instable relationships in personality disorders. Beyond dispositional agreeableness, deficits in social information processing may lead to reduced prosocial behavior, resulting in interpersonal problems. Within the second funding period of this project, underlying processes of social cognition, possibly resulting in cooperation difficulties in personality disorders, are studied. At the same time, we adopt the trait-model of personality disorders, and relate deficits in social cognition to pathological personality traits in addition to personality disorder categories.  

Emotion Processing in Individuals with Adverse Childhood Experiences - a Daily Life Study. This Project (B1) is part of a research training group, funded by the DFG. Childhood Trauma was found to be related to deficits in emotion processing and interpersonal problems in later life. However, the connection between aversive emotional states, biased emotion recognition and interpersonal problems remains unexplored in the daily lives of patients. Likewise, the influence of possible moderators, such as intrusions and dissociative symptoms, remains unknown. Consequently, the proposed doctoral projects aim to elucidate the link between emotion dysregulation and interpersonal problems in the daily lives of individuals with a history of childhood trauma.

Ecological momentary assessment of antecedents and consequences of non-suicidal self-injury. Current laboratory-based studies emphasize the role of self-inflicted pain as a dysfunctional attempt to regulate negative emotions in patients with NSSI. However, proximal antecedents and consequences of NSSI have not been studied comprehensively in the daily life of BPD patients so far. Consequently, we aim to investigate daily life conditions that lead to NSSI events, and direct consequences at the psychological and endocrinological level in patients with BPD.

Psychophysics of functional neurological symptoms and the role of emotion regulation in their development. The DFG-funded project aims to investigate intrapersonal and interpersonal emotion dysregulation in individuals suffering from neurological symptoms that are not organically explained. Additionally, we will examine sensory disturbances in patients with functional neurological symptoms using Quantitative Sensory Testing (QST) to gain insight in the psychophysics of the disorder and identify diagnostic markers. The project is thus designed to provide detailed insights into the psychopathology and psychophysics of FNS, which may inform current treatment approaches in the future.

Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit (ZI) - https://www.zi-mannheim.de