Benjamin Straube

Benjamin Straube
Philipps University of Marburg | PUM · Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie (Marburg)

Prof. Dr.

About

209
Publications
25,580
Reads
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3,506
Citations
Introduction
It is my aim to fill the need for translating basic research from experimental psychology and neuroimaging to clinical investigations in patients with mental disorders (www.TNM-Lab.com). I’m interested in predictive mechanisms in a multisensory environment as well as adaptive behavior and neuro-functional plasticity. My research is focused on three themes: 1) the neural correlates of action-perception circuits, 2) dysfunctional multisensory integration and 3) the functional dis-/connectivity.
Additional affiliations
September 2016 - present
Philipps University of Marburg
Position
  • Heisenberg-Professor
Description
  • See: http://www.ukgm.de/ugm_2/deu/umr_psy/28803.html and: www.TNM-Lab.com
June 2014 - September 2016
Philipps University of Marburg
Position
  • Head of the Experimental Neuroscience Group
Description
  • See: http://www.ukgm.de/ugm_2/deu/umr_psy/28803.html
October 2009 - June 2014
Philipps University of Marburg
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
October 2008 - May 2014
Philipps University of Marburg
Field of study
  • Experimental Neuroscience
October 2005 - September 2008
RWTH Aachen University
Field of study
  • Neuroscience
October 2001 - September 2005
Universität des Saarlandes
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (209)
Article
Full-text available
Action–feedback monitoring is essential to ensure meaningful interactions with the external world. This process involves generating efference copy-based sensory predictions and comparing these with the actual action-feedback. As neural correlates of comparator processes, previous fMRI studies have provided heterogeneous results, including the cereb...
Article
Integrating visual and auditory information during gesture-speech integration (GSI) is important for successful social communication, which is often impaired in schizophrenia. Several studies suggested the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) to be a relevant multisensory integration site. However, intact STS activation patterns were often rep...
Article
Full-text available
Patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder often demonstrate impairments in action-outcome monitoring. Passivity phenomena and hallucinations, in particular, have been related to impairments of efference copy-based predictions which are relevant for the monitoring of outcomes produced by voluntary action. Frontal transcranial direct current stim...
Article
Schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) are characterized by disturbed self-other distinction. While previous studies associate abnormalities in the sense of agency (ie, the feeling that an action and the resulting sensory consequences are produced by oneself) with disturbed processing in the angular gyrus, passive movement conditions to isolate con...
Article
Schizophrenia is marked by aberrant processing of complex speech and gesture, which may contribute functionally to its impaired social communication. To date, extant neuroscientific studies of schizophrenia have largely investigated dysfunctional speech and gesture in isolation, and no prior research has examined how the two communicative channels...
Preprint
It is hypothesized that the ability to discriminate between threat and safety is impaired in individuals with high dispositional negativity, resulting in maladaptive behavior. A large body of research investigated differential learning during fear conditioning and extinction protocols depending on individual differences in intolerance of uncertaint...
Article
It has been widely assumed that internal forward models use efference copies to create predictions about the sensory consequences of our own actions. While these predictions have frequently been associated with a reduced blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) response in sensory cortices, the timing and duration of the hemodynamic response for the pro...
Article
Sensory consequences of one's own action are often perceived as less intense, and lead to reduced neural responses, compared to externally generated stimuli. Presumably, such sensory attenuation is due to predictive mechanisms based on the motor command (efference copy). However, sensory attenuation has also been observed outside the context of vol...
Article
It is hypothesized that the ability to discriminate between threat and safety is impaired in individuals with high dispositional negativity, resulting in maladaptive behavior. A large body of research investigated differential learning during fear conditioning and extinction protocols depending on individual differences in intolerance of uncertaint...
Article
Full-text available
The characteristic temporal relationship between actions and their sensory outcomes allows us to distinguish self- from externally generated sensory events. However, the complex sensory environment can cause transient delays between action and outcome calling for flexible recalibration of predicted sensorimotor timing. Since the neural underpinning...
Article
Full-text available
Common variation in the gene encoding the neuron-specific RNA splicing factor RNA Binding Fox-1 Homolog 1 ( RBFOX1 ) has been identified as a risk factor for several psychiatric conditions, and rare genetic variants have been found causal for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here, we explored the genetic landscape of RBFOX1 more deeply, integrating...
Preprint
Full-text available
Individuals with depressive disorders reveal marked distortions in their social perception and behavior. Self-reinforcing vicious cycles of social avoidance and increasing anxiety can negatively influence the disease’s course. Clinical psychology has offered many explanations as to why these distortions tend to persist in depression, even when the...
Article
Full-text available
Dysfunctional social communication is one of the most stable characteristics in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SSD) that severely affects quality of life. Interpreting abstract speech and integrating nonverbal information is particularly affected. Considering the difficulty to treat communication dysfunctions with usual intervention...
Preprint
Full-text available
Individual responses to behavioral treatment of anxiety disorders vary considerably, calling for better understanding of underlying processes. This study examined the violation and change of threat beliefs during exposure. From 8484 standardized exposure records of 605 patients with different anxiety disorders, learning indicators were derived: Exp...
Preprint
Full-text available
During daily communication, visual cues such as gestures, body posture, and eye gaze accompany the acoustic speech signal. This multimodality facilitates speech perception and language comprehension. Co-speech gestures have been previously shown to modulate the N400, an electrophysiological response that reflects lexical-semantic prediction and ret...
Preprint
Full-text available
Efference copy-based forward model mechanisms may help us to distinguish between self- and externally-generated sensory consequences. Previous studies have shown that neural activity and perception associated with self-initiated sensory consequences are reduced (sensory suppression). For example, event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited by tones th...
Article
Schizophrenia is marked by aberrant processing of complex speech and gesture, which may contribute functionally to its impaired social communication. To date, extant neuroscientific studies of schizophrenia have largely investigated dysfunctional speech and gesture in isolation, and no prior research has examined how the two communicative channels...
Article
Full-text available
Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent and disabling but seem particularly tractable to investigation with translational neuroscience methodologies. Neuroimaging has informed our understanding of the neurobiology of anxiety disorders, but research has been limited by small sample sizes and low statistical power, as well as heterogenous imaging meth...
Article
Full-text available
Adaptation to delays between actions and sensory feedback is important for efficiently interacting with our environment. Adaptation may rely on predictions of action-feedback pairing (motor-sensory component), or predictions of tactile-proprioceptive sensation from the action and sensory feedback of the action (inter-sensory component). Reliability...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The need to optimize exposure treatments for anxiety disorders may be addressed by temporally intensified exposure sessions. Effects on symptom reduction and public health benefits should be examined across different anxiety disorders with comorbid conditions. Methods: This multicenter randomized controlled trial compared two variant...
Article
Previous fMRI-studies investigating the production of nouns and verbs in healthy participants reported predominantly activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) for both classes of words with increased neural responses for verbs. To date, comparable imaging data for spontaneous speech in patients with schizophrenia is missing. These results...
Preprint
Introduction: Dysfunctional social communication is one of the most stable characteristics in patients with schizophrenia that severely affects quality of life. Interpreting abstract speech and integrating nonverbal information is particularly affected which has been associated with neural dysfunctions in temporal lobe regions.Objectives: Consideri...
Preprint
Introduction: Dysfunctional social communication is one of the most stable characteristics in patients with schizophrenia that severely affects quality of life. Interpreting abstract speech and integrating nonverbal information is particularly affected which has been associated with neural dysfunctions in temporal lobe regions. Objectives: Consider...
Preprint
It has been widely assumed that internal forward models use efference copies to create predictions about the sensory consequences of our own actions. While these predictions had been frequently associated with reduced neural processing in sensory cortices, the timing and duration of the hemodynamic response of self-generated as opposed to externall...
Article
Patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) exhibit an aberrant perception and comprehension of abstract speech-gesture combinations associated with dysfunctional activation of the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Recently, a significant deficit of speech-gesture mismatch detection was identified in SSD, but the underlying neural mechani...
Article
Full-text available
The ability to generate humor gives rise to positive emotions and thus facilitate the successful resolution of adversity. Although there is consensus that inhibitory processes might be related to broaden the way of thinking, the neural underpinnings of these mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we use functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, a humor...
Preprint
Full-text available
Schizophrenia is marked by aberrant processing of complex speech and gesture, which may contribute functionally to its impaired social communication. To date, extant neuroscientific studies of schizophrenia have largely investigated dysfunctional speech and gesture in isolation, and no prior research has examined how the two communicative channels...
Article
Gestures are an integral part of in-person conversations and complement the meaning of the speech they accompany. The neural processing of co-speech gestures is supported by a mostly left-lateralized network of fronto-temporal regions. However, in contrast to iconic gestures, metaphoric as well as unrelated gestures have been found to more strongly...
Article
Full-text available
Adapting threat-related memories towards changing environments is a fundamental ability of organisms. One central process of fear reduction is suggested to be extinction learning, experimentally modeled by extinction training that is repeated exposure to a previously conditioned stimulus (CS) without providing the expected negative consequence (unc...
Preprint
Full-text available
Adaptation to delays between actions and sensory feedback is important for efficiently interacting with our environment. Adaptation may rely on predictions of action-feedback pairing (motor-sensory component), or predictions of tactile-proprioceptive sensation from the action and sensory feedback of the action (inter-sensory component). Reliability...
Article
Full-text available
Cigarette smoking increases the likelihood of developing anxiety disorders, among them panic disorder (PD). While brain structures altered by smoking partly overlap with morphological changes identified in PD, the modulating impact of smoking as a potential confounder on structural alterations in PD has not yet been addressed. In total, 143 PD pati...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sensory consequences of one's own action are often perceived as less intense, and lead to reduced neural responses, compared to externally generated stimuli. Presumably, such sensory attenuation is due to predictive mechanisms based on the motor command (efference copy). However, sensory attenuation has also been observed outside the context of vol...
Article
The processing of semantically complex speech is a demanding task which can be facilitated by speech-associated arm and hand gestures. However, the role of age concerning the perception of semantic complexity and the influence of gestures in this context remains unclear. The goal of this study was to investigate if age-related differences are alrea...
Article
Full-text available
Schizophrenia is characterized by marked communication dysfunctions encompassing potential impairments in the processing of social-abstract and non-social-concrete information, especially in everyday situations where multiple modalities are present in the form of speech and gesture. To date, the neurobiological basis of these deficits remains elusi...
Article
Full-text available
Sensory action consequences are highly predictable and thus engage less neural resources compared to externally generated sensory events. While this has frequently been observed to lead to attenuated perceptual sensitivity and suppression of activity in sensory cortices, some studies conversely reported enhanced perceptual sensitivity for action co...
Article
Full-text available
Electrophysiological studies in rodents allow recording neural activity during threats with high temporal and spatial precision. Although fMRI has helped translate insights about the anatomy of underlying brain circuits to humans, the temporal dynamics of neural fear processes remain opaque and require EEG. To date, studies on electrophysiological...
Article
Impaired social functioning is a hallmark of schizophrenia and altered functional integration between distant brain regions are expected to account for signs and symptoms of the disorder. The functional neuroarchitecture of a network relevant for social functioning, the mentalizing network, is however poorly understood. In this study we examined dy...
Article
Full-text available
While DNA methylation patterns have been studied for a role in the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders, the role of the enzymes establishing DNA methylation—DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs)—has yet to be investigated. In an effort to investigate DNMT genotype-specific effects on dimensional anxiety traits in addition to the categorical phenotype of pan...
Preprint
Full-text available
Adapting threat-related memories towards changing environments is a fundamental ability of organisms. One central process of fear reduction is suggested to be extinction learning, experimentally modeled by extinction training that is repeated exposure to a previously conditioned stimulus (CS) without providing the expected negative consequence (unc...
Article
Full-text available
Body orientation of gesture entails social-communicative intention, and may thus influence how gestures are perceived and comprehended together with auditory speech during face-to-face communication. To date, despite the emergence of neuro-scientific literature on the role of body orientation on hand action perception, limited studies have directly...
Article
Full-text available
Cigarette smoking increases the likelihood of developing anxiety disorders, among them panic disorder (PD). While brain structures altered by smoking partly overlap with morphological changes identified in PD, the modulating impact of smoking as a potential confounder on structural alterations in PD has not yet been addressed. One-hundred forty-thr...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ability to generate humor gives rise to positive emotions and thus facilitate the successful resolution of adversity. Although there is consensus that inhibitory processes might be related to broaden the way of thinking, the neural underpinnings of these mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we use functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, a humor...
Preprint
Full-text available
Impaired social functioning is a hallmark of schizophrenia and altered functional integration between distant brain regions are expected to account for signs and symptoms of the disorder. The functional neuroarchitecture of a network relevant for social functioning, the mentalizing network, is however poorly understood. In this study we examined dy...
Article
Full-text available
The feeling of being addressed is the first step in a complex processing stream enabling successful social communication. Social impairments are a relevant characteristic of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Here, we investigated a mechanism which—if impaired—might contribute to withdrawal or isolation in MDD, namely, the neural proces...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background Social deficits are a well-known phenotype of schizophrenia, which strongly influence the clinical progress of patients. A core substrate of these dysfunctions are altered Theory of Mind (ToM) processes which critically shape social interactions and can impress in an exaggerated and atrophied form in the disorder. Although there is a wel...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background Core symptoms of schizophrenia include disturbances in the distinction between the self and the external world. It has been suggested that self-other distinction is governed by predictive processing: Copies of an action’s motor command are used to generate forward models that predict upcoming sensory input. These predictions are compared...
Article
Full-text available
Extinction learning is suggested to be a central mechanism during exposure-based cognitive behavioral psychotherapy. A positive association between the patients’ pretreatment extinction learning performance and treatment outcome would corroborate the hypothesis. Indeed, there is first correlational evidence between reduced extinction learning and t...
Article
Full-text available
Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (NOS-I) impacts on fear/anxiety-like behavior in animals. In humans, the short (S) allele of a functional promotor polymorphism of NOS1 (NOS1 ex1f-VNTR) has been shown to be associated with higher anxiety and altered fear conditioning in healthy subjects in the amygdala and hippocampus (AMY/HIPP). Here, we explore the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Body orientation of gesture entails social-communicative intention, and may thus influence how gestures are perceived and comprehended together with auditory speech during face-to-face communication. To date, despite the emergence of neuroscientific literature on the role of body orientation on hand action perception, limited studies have directly...
Article
Full-text available
Dysfunctional social communication is one of the most stable characteristics in patients with schizophrenia that also affects quality of life. Interpreting abstract speech and integrating nonverbal modalities is particularly affected. Considering the impact of communication on social life but failure to treat communication dysfunctions with usual t...
Article
Full-text available
Forward models can predict sensory consequences of self-action, which is reflected by less neural processing for actively than passively generated sensory inputs (BOLD suppression effect). However, it remains open whether forward models take the identity of a moving body part into account when predicting the sensory consequences of an action. In th...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Schizophrenia (SZ) is characterized by marked social dysfunctions encompassing potential deficits in the processing of social and non-social information, especially in everyday settings where multiple modalities are present. To date, the neurobiological basis of these deficits remains elusive. Methods: In a functional magnetic resonance...
Article
The distinction between different facial emotions is crucial for interpersonal communication. Shared neural circuits for facial emotion production and perception are considered to facilitate the ability to understand other’s emotional state via mirror neuron mechanisms. Little is known about how diverse emotions differentially activate the Mirror N...
Article
Social group membership modulates the neural processing of emotional facial expressions, which, in turn, recruits part of the neural production system. However, little is known about how mixed – and potentially conflicting – social identity cues affect this mechanism. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that incongruent cues of two group member...
Article
Objective: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been hypothesized to act by reducing the pathologically enhanced semantic, anxiety-related associations of patients with panic disorder. This study investigated the effects of CBT on the behavioral and neural correlates of the panic-related semantic network in patients with panic disorder. Methods...
Article
Full-text available
Sensory consequences of self-generated as opposed to externally generated movements are perceived as less intense and lead to less neural activity in corresponding sensory cortices, presumably due to predictive mechanisms. Self-generated sensory inputs have been mostly studied in a single modality, using abstract feedback, with control conditions n...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: The neurobiological mechanisms behind panic disorder with agoraphobia (PD/AG) are not completely explored. The functional A/T single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs324981 in the neuropeptide S receptor gene (NPSR1) has repeatedly been associated with panic disorder and might partly drive function respectively dysfunction of the neur...
Article
Tool use is one of the most remarkable skills of the human species, enabling complex interactions with the environment. To establish such interactions, we predict the sensory consequences of our actions based on a copy of the motor command (efference copy), leading to an attenuated perception and neural suppression of the sensory input. Here, we in...