Dr. Pascal VRTICKA (PhD)
Department of Social Neuroscience
Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
+++ BREAKING NEWS +++
December 13, 2018:
Two Conference Poster Presentations by my Master students Madison Long and Sonja Sudimac on (f)MRI data being acquired within the context of our collaborative D-CARE study have been accepted for next year’s 7th MindBrainBody Symposium to be held from March 18-19, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. Madison and Sonja will be presenting data on associations between attachment and brain structure & activity in fathers.
November 27, 2018:
A Conference Presentation showcasing the first results of our collaborative CARE fNIRS study (by Trinh Nguyen, Ezgi Kayan, Hanna Schleihauf, Daniel Matthes, myself, and Stefanie Hoehl) was accepted at next year’s Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development (BCCCD 2019) from January 3-5, 2019. The title of the presentation will be: “Bio-Behavioural Synchrony during Caregiver-Child Problem-Solving“.
September 26, 2018:
A new Longitudinal Cohort Study – Project Alpha – has been set up by my collaboration partner Tsachi Ein-Dor in Israel, financed by private funding. 1’500 young couples will be followed, including pregnancy and child development, and several variables related to relationship quality & satisfaction as well as child development will be acquired over a duration of several years, including epigenetics. More news will follow shortly.
September 26, 2018:
A new International Collaboration Research Project with Willem Verbeke, Tsachi Ein-Dor, Michal Mokry, Marinus van IJzendoorn, and Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg can take place in 2018/2019 at Erasmus University Rotterdam assessing a subset of the data acquired within the longitudinal Dutch Generation R Study. A special focus will be directed towards genetic and longitudinal epigenetic data in over 600 children in combination with their attachment orientation classification at age 14 months using the strange situation paradigm.
September 10, 2018:
A new Research Project financed by the Max Planck Society on mother-child-interaction (M-CARE) can take place during the year 2019 at the MPI CBS in Leipzig, Germany. Methods will comprise behavioral assessment plus fMRI, fNIRS, and ECG in 60 mother-child-pairs with children aged 5 years.
August 21, 2018:
A new open access Paper entitled “Spatio-Temporal Pattern of Appraising Social and Emotional Relevance: Evidence from Event-Related Brain Potentials” authored by Annekathrin Schacht (University of Göttingen, Germany), and myself, has been published online in the journal Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience. It can be downloaded here.
July 07, 2018:
I was invited as a keynote speaker to the conference “The Future of Neuroscience, Attachment and Mentalizing: from research to clinical practice” to be held on May 18 and 19, 2019, at University College London. This conference will be one of the first conferences to explicitly focus on the application of neuroscience and neurobiology to clinical issues. Another aim of the conference is further exchange between practitioners and leading experts in affective neuroscience. More information is available here.
June 20, 2018:
I was invited as a conference speaker to the seventh “Visions in Science” annual interdisciplinary scientific event organized by members of the Max Planck PhDnet, the communication network for PhD Students of the Max Planck Society. The conference – held in Berlin from October 5-7, 2018 – is open to all junior scientists of the Max Planck Society, as well as of other university and non-university institutions. This years’ topic is “Science & Society“, and I will be talking about “Social Neuroscience” and how this field of research is shaping society in direct and indirect ways. More information is available here.
June 11, 2018:
A Conference Poster entitled “Does a Nine-Month Contemplative Mental Training Intervention in Healthy Adults Influence Leukocyte Telomere Length?” by Lara Puhlmann, myself, and Tania Singer was accepted at this year’s 48th Annual International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology Conference (ISPNE) in Ivrine, California, from September 6-8, 2018.
May 05, 2018:
A Conference Symposium I am co-organizing with Melanie Kungl (University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany) entitled “The Quality of Social Interactions within Parent-Child and Adult-Dyads: What are the influencing Factors in the Context of Attachment Theory? [Title in German: Qualität sozialer Interaktionen in Eltern-Kind- und Erwachsenen-Dyaden: Welches sind die beeinflussenden Faktoren im Rahmen der Bindungstheorie?]” with additional contributions by Margund Rohr (University of Leipzig, Germany), Sandra Gabler (University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany), and Sabine Heinisch (University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany), was accepted at this year’s Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie (DGPs – German Society for Psychology) in Frankfurt from September 15-20, 2018. More information here.
May 05, 2018:
A Conference Poster entitled “Does Telomere Length Change after a Nine-Month Contemplative Mental Training Intervention in Healthy Adult Participants?” by Lara Puhlmann, myself, and Tania Singer was accepted at this year’s Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie (DGPs – German Society for Psychology) in Frankfurt from September 15-20, 2018. More information to follow here.
March 26, 2018:
A new open access Paper entitled “Neural correlates of socio-emotional perception in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome” authored by Lydia Dubourg, myself, Martin Debbané, Léa Chambaz, Stephan Eliez & Maude Schneider (University of Geneva, Switzerland) has just been published online in the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders. It can be downloaded here.
March 13, 2018:
A new open access Paper entitled “Change in Emotional Self-Concept following Socio-Cognitive Training relates to Structural Plasticity of the Prefrontal Cortex” authored by Anna-Lena Lumma (Department of Psychology, University of Witten, Germany), Sofie Valk (Forschungszentrüm Jülich, Germany), Anne Böckler (University of Würzburg, Germany), myself, and Tania Singer (MPI CBS, Leipzig, Germany) has just been published online in Brain and Behavior. It can be downloaded here.
March 7, 2018:
A new open access Paper entitled “Epigenetic Modification of the Oxytocin and Glucocorticoid Receptor Genes is linked to Attachment Avoidance in young Adults” co-authored by Tsachi Ein-Dor (Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Israel), Willem Verbeke ( Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands), and Michal Mokry (University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands) has just been published online in Attachment & Human Development. It can be downloaded here.
March 01, 2018:
A Conference Symposium I am organizing entitled “The Social Neuroscience of Human Attachment” with contributions by Madelon Hendricx-Riem (Tilburg University, The Netherlands), Anna Linda Leutritz (Clinical Affective Neuroimaging Laboratory, Magdeburg, Germany), Lars Otto White (Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Leipzig, Germany), Trinh Nguyen (Department of Psychology, University of Vienna), and myself was accepted for this year’s 4th International Conference of the European Society for Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (ESCAN 2018) in Leiden, The Netherlands, from July 19-22. More information here.
February 20, 2018:
A Conference Symposium Contribution entitled “Face-to-face and brain-to-brain: Effects of maternal attachment, caregiving, and sensitivity on mother-child neural synchrony” by Trinh Nguyen (Department of Psychology, University of Vienna), Ezgi Kayan (MPI CBS, Leipzig, Germany), Daniel Matthes (MPI CBS, Leipzig, Germany), myself, and Stefanie Hoehl (Department of Psychology, University of Vienna) as part of the symposium entitled “Building bridges across minds and brains: Using live paradigms to elucidate interpersonal neurocognitive processes in infancy” was accepted at this year’s International Congress of Infant Studies (ICIS) conference 2018 in Philadelphia from June 30 – July 3.
January 29, 2018:
A new Research Project financed by the Max Planck Society on father-child-interaction (D-CARE) can take place during the year 2018 at the MPI CBS in Leipzig, Germany. Methods will comprise behavioral assessment plus fMRI, fNIRS, and ECG in 60 father-child-pairs with children aged 5 years.
January 9, 2018:
My Open Conference Paper submission entitled “Spatio-Temporal Pattern of Appraising Social and Emotional Relevance: Evidence from Event-Related Brain Potentials” together with Annekathrin Schacht (University of Göttingen, Germany) was accepted for this year’s Consortium of European Research on Emotion (CERE) conference 2018 in Glasgow, UK, from April 4-5. More information here.
My interdisciplinary research focuses on normal as well as disturbed functioning of the human social brain, with a special interest in human affiliation, caregiving, and attachment. I use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), and electroencephalography (EEG), combined with biological methods ([epi]genetics, blood and saliva samples for immune system functioning assessment and telomere length measurement), psychological questionnaires, and behavioral testing (age-appropriate narrative measures of attachment) as main research methods. My participants are adults, adolescents, as well as children, both female and male.
For more information on my research, feel free to explore the remaining pages of my website.