Daniel Brandeis

University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

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Publications (207)787.5 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Spontaneous EEG signal can be parsed into sub-second periods of stable functional states (microstates) that assumingly correspond to brief large scale synchronization events. In schizophrenia, a specific class of microstate (class "D") has been found to be shorter than in healthy controls and to be correlated with positive symptoms. To explore potential new treatment options in schizophrenia, we tested in healthy controls if neurofeedback training to self-regulate microstate D presence is feasible and what learning patterns are observed. Twenty subjects underwent EEG-neurofeedback training to up-regulate microstate D presence. The protocol included 20 training sessions, consisting of baseline trials (resting state), regulation trials with auditory feedback contingent on microstate D presence, and a transfer trial. Response to neurofeedback was assessed with mixed effects modelling. All participants increased the percentage of time spent producing microstate D in at least one of the three conditions (p < 0.05). Significant between-subjects across-sessions results showed an increase of 0.42 % of time spent producing microstate D in baseline (reflecting a sustained change in the resting state), 1.93 % of increase during regulation and 1.83 % during transfer. Within-session analysis (performed in baseline and regulation trials only) showed a significant 1.65 % increase in baseline and 0.53 % increase in regulation. These values are in a range that is expected to have an impact upon psychotic experiences. Additionally, we found a negative correlation between alpha power and microstate D contribution during neurofeedback training. Given that microstate D has been related to attentional processes, this result provides further evidence that the training was to some degree specific for the attentional network. We conclude that microstate-neurofeedback training proved feasible in healthy subjects. The implementation of the same protocol in schizophrenia patients may promote skills useful to reduce positive symptoms by means of EEG-neurofeedback.
    Brain Topography 11/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10548-015-0460-4 · 3.47 Impact Factor

  • The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 10/2015; DOI:10.3109/15622975.2015.1112034 · 4.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Attention problems affect a substantial number of children and adolescents and are predictive of academic underachievement and lower global adaptive functioning. Considerable variability has been observed with regard to the individual development of attention problems over time. In particular, the period of adolescence is characterized by substantial maturation of executive functioning including attentional processing, with the influence of genetic and environmental factors on individual trajectories not yet well understood. In the present investigation, we evaluated whether the monoamine oxidase A functional promoter polymorphism, MAOA-LPR, plays a role in determining continuity of parent-rated attention problems during adolescence. At the same time, a potential effect of severe life events (SLEs) was taken into account. A multi-group path analysis was employed in a sample of 234 adolescents (149 males, 85 females) who took part in an epidemiological cohort study at the ages of 11 and 15 years. Attention problems during early adolescence were found to be a strong predictor of attention problems in middle adolescence. However, in carriers of the MAOA-LPR low-activity variant (MAOA-L), stability was found to be significantly higher than in carriers of the high-activity variant (MAOA-H). Additionally, only in MAOA-L carriers did SLEs during adolescence significantly impact on attention problems at the age of 15 years, implying a possible gene x environment interaction. To conclude, we found evidence that attention problems during adolescence in carriers of the MAOA-L allele are particularly stable and malleable to life stressors. The present results underline the usefulness of applying a more dynamic GxE perspective.
    Genes Brain and Behavior 10/2015; DOI:10.1111/gbb.12258 · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent longitudinal studies have indicated that affective and behavioral dysregulation in childhood is associated with an increased risk for various negative outcomes in later life. However, few studies to date have examined early mechanisms preceding dysregulation during early childhood. Aim of this study was to elucidate early mechanisms relating to dysregulation in later life using data from an epidemiological cohort study on the long-term outcome of early risk factors from birth to adulthood. At age 3 months, mothers and infants were videotaped during a nursing and playing situation. Maternal responsiveness was evaluated by trained raters. Infant regulatory problems were assessed on the basis of a parent interview and direct observation by trained raters. At age 8 and 11 years, 290 children (139 males) were rated on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Additionally, participants were genotyped for the dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) exon 3 VNTR polymorphism. A significant three-way interaction between maternal responsiveness, DRD4 genotype and infant regulatory problems was detected predicting the CBCL-dysregulation profile (CBCL-DP). Carriers of the DRD4 7r allele with regulatory problems at age 3 months showed significantly more behavior problems associated with the CBCL-DP during childhood when exposed to less maternal responsiveness. In contrast, no effect of maternal responsiveness was observed in DRD4 7r carriers without infant regulatory problems and in non-carriers of the DRD4 7r allele. This prospective longitudinal study extends earlier findings regarding the association of the CBCL-DP with early parenting and later psychopathology, introducing both DRD4 genotype and infant regulatory problems as important moderators.
    Journal of Psychiatric Research 10/2015; 70:83-90. DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.08.018 · 3.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sex differences in the brain appear to play an important role in the prevalence and progression of various neuropsychiatric disorders, but to date little is known about the cerebral mechanisms underlying these differences. One widely reported finding is that women demonstrate higher cerebral perfusion than men, but the underlying cause of this difference in perfusion is not known. This study investigated the putative role of steroid hormones such as oestradiol, testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) as underlying factors influencing cerebral perfusion. We acquired arterial spin labelling perfusion images of 36 healthy adult subjects (16 men, 20 women). Analyses on average whole brain perfusion levels included a multiple regression analysis to test for the relative impact of each hormone on the global perfusion. Additionally, voxel-based analyses were performed to investigate the sex difference in regional perfusion as well as the correlations between local perfusion and serum oestradiol, testosterone, and DHEAS concentrations. Our results replicated the known sex difference in perfusion, with women showing significantly higher global and regional perfusion. For the global perfusion, DHEAS was the only significant predictor amongst the steroid hormones, showing a strong negative correlation with cerebral perfusion. The voxel-based analyses revealed modest sex-dependent correlations between local perfusion and testosterone, in addition to a strong modulatory effect of DHEAS in cortical, subcortical, and cerebellar regions. We conclude that DHEAS in particular may play an important role as an underlying factor driving the difference in cerebral perfusion between men and women.
    PLoS ONE 09/2015; 10(9):e0135827. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0135827 · 3.23 Impact Factor

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    ABSTRACT: Symptomatology and behavioral characteristics in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have increasingly been linked to abnormalities in early brain growth patterns of affected children. Studies investigating specific components of gray matter structure, such as cortical thickness (CT), have produced conflicting results, and have rarely included additional measures of social impairment. In the present study, we applied a surface-based whole brain analysis to investigate CT in a sample of 36 pre-adolescent children [18 subjects with ASD (IQ mean: 111) and 18 healthy controls (IQ mean: 112.8), age range 6-12 years]. The CT analysis revealed widespread, but mostly left-hemispheric thinning in frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital brain areas related to the theory-of-mind network and the heteromodal association cortex. In an exploratory analysis, CT was observed to be differently associated with social impairment in children with ASD compared with typically developing children. The affected neuroanatomical regions are related to characteristic deficits in language, cognition and behavior that are often observed in the disorder. The relationship between social impairment and CT in children with ASD and controls seems to indicate aberrant developmental trajectories in ASD emerging early in life. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    08/2015; 234(1). DOI:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2015.06.011
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    ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: In decision making, dorsal and ventral medial prefrontal cortex show a sensitivity to key decision variables, such as reward prediction errors. It is unclear whether these signals reflect parallel processing of a common synchronous input to both regions, for example from mesocortical dopamine, or separate and consecutive stages in reward processing. These two perspectives make distinct predictions about the relative timing of feedback-related activity in each of these regions, a question we address here. To reconstruct the unique temporal contribution of dorsomedial (dmPFC) and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) to simultaneously measured EEG activity in human subjects, we developed a novel trialwise fMRI-informed EEG analysis that allows dissociating correlated and overlapping sources. We show that vmPFC uniquely contributes a sustained activation profile shortly after outcome presentation, whereas dmPFC contributes a later and more peaked activation pattern. This temporal dissociation is expressed mainly in the alpha band for a vmPFC signal, which contrasts with a theta based dmPFC signal. Thus, our data show reward-related vmPFC and dmPFC responses have distinct time courses and unique spectral profiles, findings that support distinct functional roles in a reward-processing network. Significance statement: Multiple subregions of the medial prefrontal cortex are known to be involved in decision making and learning, and expose similar response patterns in fMRI. Here, we used a novel approach to analyzing simultaneous EEG-fMRI that allows to dissociate the individual time courses of brain regions. We find that vmPFC and dmPFC have distinguishable time courses and time-frequency patterns.
    The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 08/2015; 35(32):11209-20. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0560-15.2015 · 6.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) persists in around two-thirds of individuals in adolescence and early adulthood.AimsTo examine the cognitive and neurophysiological processes underlying the persistence or remission of ADHD.Method Follow-up data were obtained from 110 young people with childhood ADHD and 169 controls on cognitive, electroencephalogram frequency, event-related potential (ERP) and actigraph movement measures after 6 years.ResultsADHD persisters differed from remitters on preparation-vigilance measures (contingent negative variation, delta activity, reaction time variability and omission errors), IQ and actigraph count, but not on executive control measures of inhibition or working memory (nogo-P3 amplitudes, commission errors and digit span backwards).Conclusions Preparation-vigilance measures were markers of remission, improving concurrently with ADHD symptoms, whereas executive control measures were not sensitive to ADHD persistence/remission. For IQ, the present and previous results combined suggest a role in moderating ADHD outcome. These findings fit with previously identified aetiological separation of the cognitive impairments in ADHD. The strongest candidates for the development of non-pharmacological interventions involving cognitive training and neurofeedback are the preparation-vigilance processes that were markers of ADHD remission. © The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2015.
    The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science 08/2015; DOI:10.1192/bjp.bp.114.145185 · 7.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Emotionally biased information processing towards sad and away from happy information characterises individuals with major depression. To learn more about the nature of these dysfunctional modulations, developmental and neural aspects of emotional face processing have to be considered. By combining measures of performance (attention control, inhibition) in an emotional Go/NoGo task with an event-related potential (ERP) of early face processing (N170), we obtained a multifaceted picture of emotional face processing in a sample of children and adolescents (11-14 years) with major depression (MDD, n = 26) and healthy controls (CTRL, n = 26). Subjects had to respond to emotional faces (fearful, happy or sad) and withhold their response to calm faces or vice versa. Children of the MDD group displayed shorter N170 latencies than children of the CTRL group. Typical right lateralisation of the N170 was observed for all faces in the CTRL but not for happy and calm faces in the MDD group. However, the MDD group did not differ in their behavioural reaction to emotional faces, and effects of interference by emotional information on the reaction to calm faces in this group were notably mild. Although we could not find a typical pattern of emotional bias, the results suggest that alterations in face processing of children with major depression can be seen at early stages of face perception indexed by the N170. The findings call for longitudinal examinations considering effects of development in children with major depression as well as associations to later stages of processing.
    Journal of Neural Transmission 06/2015; 122(9). DOI:10.1007/s00702-015-1411-7 · 2.40 Impact Factor
  • Thomas Koenig · Daniel Brandeis ·
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    ABSTRACT: Comment on: M Gärtner, V Brodbeck, and H Laufs, G Schneider: a stochastic model for EEG microstate sequence analysis. NeuroImage 104 (2015) 199–208.
    NeuroImage 06/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.06.035 · 6.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Marked changes in brain physiology and structure take place between childhood and adulthood, including changes in functional connectivity and changes in the balance between main excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters glutamate (Glu) and GABA. The balance of these neurotransmitters is thought to underlie neural activity in general and functional connectivity networks in particular, but so far no studies have investigated the relationship between human development related differences in these neurotransmitters and concomitant changes in functional connectivity. GABA+/H2O and Glu/H2O levels were acquired in a group of healthy children, adolescents, and adults in a subcortical (basal ganglia) region, as well as in a frontal region in adolescents and adults. Our results showed higher GABA+/Glu with age in both the subcortical and the frontal voxel, which were differentially associated with significantly lower Glu/H2O with age in the subcortical voxel and by significantly higher GABA+/H2O with age in the frontal voxel. Using a seed-to-voxel analysis, we were further able to show that functional connectivity between the putamen (seed) and other subcortical structures was lower with age. Lower subcortical Glu/H2O with age mediated the lower connectivity in the dorsal putamen. Based on these results, and the potential role of Glu in synaptic pruning, we suggest that lower Glu mediates a reduction of local connectivity during human development. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/358433-09$15.00/0.
    The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 06/2015; 35(22):8433. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4375-14.2015 · 6.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: While the neurobiological basis and developmental course of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have not yet been fully established, an imbalance between inhibitory/excitatory neurotransmitters is thought to have an important role in the pathophysiology of ADHD. This study examined the changes in cerebral levels of GABA+, glutamate and glutamine in children and adults with ADHD using edited magnetic resonance spectroscopy. We studied 89 participants (16 children with ADHD, 19 control children, 16 adults with ADHD and 38 control adults) in a subcortical voxel (children and adults) and a frontal voxel (adults only). ADHD adults showed increased GABA+ levels relative to controls (P=0.048), while ADHD children showed no difference in GABA+ in the subcortical voxel (Ptextgreater0.1), resulting in a significant age by disorder interaction (P=0.026). Co-varying for age in an analysis of covariance model resulted in a nonsignificant age by disorder interaction (P=0.06). Glutamine levels were increased in children with ADHD (P=0.041), but there was no significant difference in adults (Ptextgreater0.1). Glutamate showed no difference between controls and ADHD patients but demonstrated a strong effect of age across both groups (Ptextless0.001). In conclusion, patients with ADHD show altered levels of GABA+ in a subcortical voxel which change with development. Further, we found increased glutamine levels in children with ADHD, but this difference normalized in adults. These observed imbalances in neurotransmitter levels are associated with ADHD symptomatology and lend new insight in the developmental trajectory and pathophysiology of ADHD.
    Translational Psychiatry 06/2015; 5(6-6):e589. DOI:10.1038/tp.2015.79 · 5.62 Impact Factor
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    5th World Congress on ADHD: From Child to Adult Disorder, Glasgow, Scotland; 05/2015
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    ABSTRACT: Working memory (WM) processes depend on our momentary mental state and therefore exhibit considerable fluctuations. Here, we investigate the interplay of task-preparatory and task-related brain activity as represented by pre-stimulus BOLD-fluctuations and spectral EEG from the retention periods of a visual WM task. Visual WM is used to maintain sensory information in the brain enabling the performance of cognitive operations and is associated with mental health. We tested 22 subjects simultaneously with EEG and fMRI while performing a visuo-verbal Sternberg task with two different loads, allowing for the temporal separation of preparation, encoding, retention and retrieval periods. Four temporally coherent networks (TCNs)-the default mode network (DMN), the dorsal attention, the right and the left WM network-were extracted from the continuous BOLD data by means of a group ICA. Subsequently, the modulatory effect of these networks' pre-stimulus activation upon retention-related EEG activity in the theta, alpha, and beta frequencies was analyzed. The obtained results are informative in the context of state-dependent information processing. We were able to replicate two well-known load-dependent effects: the frontal-midline theta increase during the task and the decrease of pre-stimulus DMN activity. As our main finding, these two measures seem to depend on each other as the significant negative correlations at frontal-midline channels suggested. Thus, suppressed pre-stimulus DMN levels facilitated later task related frontal midline theta increases. In general, based on previous findings that neuronal coupling in different frequency bands may underlie distinct functions in WM retention, our results suggest that processes reflected by spectral oscillations during retention seem not only to be "online" synchronized with activity in different attention-related networks but are also modulated by activity in these networks during preparation intervals.
    Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 05/2015; 9. DOI:10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00111 · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Learning a foreign language in a natural immersion context with high exposure to the new language has been shown to change the way speech sounds of that language are processed at the neural level. It remains unclear, however, to what extent this is also the case for classroom-based foreign language learning, particularly in children. To this end, we presented a mismatch negativity (MMN) experiment during EEG recordings as part of a longitudinal developmental study: 38 monolingual (Swiss-) German speaking children (7.5 years) were tested shortly before they started to learn English at school and followed up one year later. Moreover, 22 (Swiss-) German adults were recorded. Instead of the originally found positive mismatch response in children, an MMN emerged when applying a high-pass filter of 3Hz. The overlap of a slow-wave positivity with the MMN indicates that two concurrent mismatch processes were elicited in children. The children's MMN in response to the non-native speech contrast was smaller compared to the native speech contrast irrespective of foreign language learning, suggesting that no additional neural resources were committed to processing the foreign language speech sound after one year of classroom-based learning. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Neuropsychologia 04/2015; 72. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2015.04.029 · 3.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epigenetic modulations are a hypothesized link between environmental factors and the development of psychiatric disorders. Research has suggested that patients with depression or bipolar disorder exhibit higher methylation levels in the glucocorticoid receptor gene NR3C1. We aimed to investigate whether NR3C1 methylation changes are similarly associated with externalizing disorders such as aggressive behavior and conduct disorder. NR3C1 exon 1F methylation was analyzed in young adults with a lifetime diagnosis of an externalizing disorder (N = 68) or a depressive disorder (N = 27) and healthy controls (N = 124) from the Mannheim Study of Children at Risk. The externalizing disorders group had significantly lower NR3C1 methylation levels than the lifetime depressive disorder group (p = 0.009) and healthy controls (p = 0.001) This report of lower methylation levels in NR3C1 in externalizing disorders may indicate a mechanism through which the differential development of externalizing disorders as opposed to depressive disorders might occur.
    Behavior Genetics 04/2015; 45(5). DOI:10.1007/s10519-015-9721-y · 3.21 Impact Factor
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    Agnieszka Zuberer · Daniel Brandeis · Renate Drechsler ·
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    ABSTRACT: While issues of efficacy and specificity are crucial for the future of neurofeedback training, there may be alternative designs and control analyses to circumvent the methodological and ethical problems associated with double-blind placebo studies. Surprisingly, most NF studies do not report the most immediate result of their NF training, i.e., whether or not children with ADHD gain control over their brain activity during the training sessions. For the investigation of specificity, however, it seems essential to analyze the learning and adaptation processes that take place in the course of the training and to relate improvements in self-regulated brain activity across training sessions to behavioral, neuropsychological and electrophysiological outcomes. To this aim, a review of studies on neurofeedback training with ADHD patients which include the analysis of learning across training sessions or relate training performance to outcome is presented. Methods on how to evaluate and quantify learning of EEG regulation over time are discussed. "Non-learning" has been reported in a small number of ADHD-studies, but has not been a focus of general methodological discussion so far. For this reason, selected results from the brain-computer interface (BCI) research on the so-called "brain-computer illiteracy", the inability to gain control over one's brain activity, are also included. It is concluded that in the discussion on specificity, more attention should be devoted to the analysis of EEG regulation performance in the course of the training and its impact on clinical outcome. It is necessary to improve the knowledge on characteristic cross-session and within-session learning trajectories in ADHD and to provide the best conditions for learning.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 03/2015; 9:135. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2015.00135 · 3.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: The authors performed meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials to examine the effects of cognitive training on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, neuropsychological deficits, and academic skills in children/adolescents with ADHD. Method: The authors searched Pubmed, Ovid, Web of Science, ERIC, and CINAHAL databases through May 18, 2014. Data were aggregated using random-effects models. Studies were evaluated with the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Results: Sixteen of 695 nonduplicate records were analyzed (759 children with ADHD). When all types of training were considered together, there were significant effects on total ADHD (standardized mean difference [SMD] = 0.37, 95% CI = 0.09-0.66) and inattentive symptoms (SMD = 0.47, 95% CI = 0.14-0.80) for reports by raters most proximal to the treatment setting (i.e., typically unblinded). These figures decreased substantially when the outcomes were provided by probably blinded raters (ADHD total: SMD = 0.20, 95% CI = 0.01-0.40; inattention: SMD = 0.32, 95% CI = -0.01 to 0.66). Effects on hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms were not significant. There were significant effects on laboratory tests of working memory (verbal: SMD = 0.52, 95% CI = 0.24-0.80; visual: SMD = 0.47, 95% CI = 0.23-0.70) and parent ratings of executive function (SMD = 0.35, 95% CI = 0.08-0.61). Effects on academic performance were not statistically significant. There were no effects of working memory training, specifically on ADHD symptoms. Interventions targeting multiple neuropsychological deficits had large effects on ADHD symptoms rated by most proximal assessors (SMD = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.46-1.12). Conclusion: Despite improving working memory performance, cognitive training had limited effects on ADHD symptoms according to assessments based on blinded measures. Approaches targeting multiple neuropsychological processes may optimize the transfer of effects from cognitive deficits to clinical symptoms.
    Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 03/2015; 54(3):164-174. DOI:10.1016/j.jaac.2014.12.010 · 7.26 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

6k Citations
787.50 Total Impact Points


  • 2015
    • University of Freiburg
      Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2012-2015
    • Universität Heidelberg
      Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
    • University of Leipzig
      Leipzig, Saxony, Germany
  • 2003-2015
    • Central Institute of Mental Health
      • Klinik für Abhängiges Verhalten und Suchtmedizin
      Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 1987-2014
    • University of Zurich
      • • Center for Integrative Human Physiology
      • • Division of Neuropsychology
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 1993
    • University of Vienna
      Wien, Vienna, Austria
  • 1992
    • San Francisco VA Medical Center
      San Francisco, California, United States