Dr. Pascal VRTICKA (PhD)
Research Group “Social Stress & Family Health”
Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
+++ BREAKING NEWS +++
February 15, 2019:
Congratulations to Sonja Sudimac for successfully defending her Master thesis today (in collaboration with the Technische Universität Kaiserslautern). Sonja worked on fMRI data from our D-CARE study investigating the neural correlates of attachment in fathers. All the best for the future!
February 11, 2019:
I was invited to submit a Conference Symposium on the topic of “The Social Neuroscience of Human Attachment” for this year’s International Attachment Conference (IAC) to be held in Vancouver (BC, Canada) from July 18 to 20, 2019. More information will follow soon.
February 06, 2019:
A Conference Sympsium Contribution with the title “Does caregiver-child relationship quality predict bio-behavioral synchrony during collaborative problem solving? An fNIRS investigation” by myself and co-authors Trinh Nguyen (University of Vienna), Ezgi Kayhan (University of Potsdam), Hanna Schleihauf (Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig), Daniel Matthes (Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig), and Stefanie Hoehl (University of Vienna, Austria) has been accepted at the 18th International Congress of the European Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (ESCAP) 2019 in Vienna, Austria, from June 30 – July 2, within the Symposium “Parenting, brain development and developmental psychopathology”. More information will follow.
January 22, 2019:
A new Open Access Paper entitled “Differential Impact of Trait, Social, and Attachment Anxiety on the Stare-in-the-Crowd Effect” authored by Nicolas Burra and Solene Massait (University of Geneva) and myself has just been accepted in the journal Scientific Reports. The paper is open access and can be downloaded here. More information is also available on my research/eye gaze page.
December 26, 2018:
A new Paper entitled “Inter-Brain Synchrony in Mother-Child Dyads During Cooperation: An fNIRS Hyperscanning Study” authored by Jonas Miller, myself, Xu Cui, Sharon Shrestha, Hadi Hosseini, Joe Baker & Allan Reiss (CIBSR, Stanford University) has just been accepted in the journal Neuropsychologia. More information will follow soon (the paper can be downloaded from my publications page; see also my blog post about this project).
December 20, 2018:
A Conference Sympsium co-organized by myself and Stefanie Hoehl with the title “The Influence of Parent-Child Interaction on Child Development: a Multi-Modal Social Neuroscience Approach” with presentations by Cat Thrasher (University of Virginia), Victoria Leong (University of Singapore & University of Cambridge), and Trinh Nguyen (University of Vienna) has been accepted for next year’s biennial SCRD meeting in Baltimore. My own contribution has the title: “Towards a Social Neuroscience of Parent-Child Interaction: An Attachment Perspective“. More information will follow.
December 20, 2018:
A Conference Sympsium Contribution with the title “The Neural Substrates of Attachment-Derived Internal Working Models (IWMs) across Human Development” by myself, Allan Reiss (Stanford University), and Martin Debbane (University of Geneva) has been accepted for next year’s biennial SCRD meeting in Baltimore as part of the Symposium “Attachment and social cognition – a bio-psychological perspective from infancy to early adulthood” chaired by Anne Tharner and Lars White. More information will follow.
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 Poster 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 social interaction, caregiving, and attachment. I use (functional) magnetic resonance imaging ([f]MRI), functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) hyperscanning, 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, and most recently parent-child dyads (both fathers and mothers with their children).
For more information on my research, feel free to explore the remaining pages of my website.