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RG Psychobiology of Selfregulation


Head of the Research Group, Research Staff

Dr. sc. hum. Christian Paret

Phone: +49 621 1703-4462


C 4, 11, 4. OG


Our research questions:

What happens in the human brain, when we experience emotions, which are hard to bear? How does that relate to the ability to control one’s own emotions? Can we use neuroscientific methods, in order to improve the handling of emotions in general? In the Psychobiology of Selfregulation Lab we are searching for answers to these questions. Specifically, we are interested in mechanisms of emotion regulation.

Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are particularly affected by experiencing overwhelming emotions. Patients with these diagnoses often suffer from strong reactive emotions, which affect every aspect of their lives – from personal to professional, from their mental health to their participation in the social life around them. It is one of our goals to develop and evaluate new therapeutic methods, which help patients improve their emotion regulation capabilities. In this endeavor our approach is threefold:

  • The comparison between patients and healthy participants helps us to understand which mechanisms underlie emotional dysregulation and thereby contribute to the onset and perpetuation of psychiatric symptoms.
  • Using current neuroscientific technology, we try to specifically target these potential mechanisms and ameliorate the corresponding symptoms.  The main focus of our work is the development and evaluation of neural training methods using brain-computer interfaces. Neurofeedback allows for the presentation of recorded brain activity to the recorded subject in real time. Using this feedback, participants try to volitionally change their brain activity and can track if and how well they succeed.
  • Besides this specific clinical application we are interested in how neurofeedback changes the self-regulation networks of the brain. Studying the underlying psychological and neural mechanisms, therefore, also serves the purpose of refining and validating existing theoretical models of self-regulation.

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