Norbert Kathmann

Norbert Kathmann
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | HU Berlin · Department of Psychology

PhD, Professor of Clinical Psychology

About

238
Publications
34,897
Reads
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8,580
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2002 - present
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Position
  • Full Professor of Clinical Psychology
April 1996 - February 1997
Universität Konstanz
Position
  • Visiting Professor of Clinical and Differential Psychology
October 1995 - September 2002
Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (238)
Article
Avoidance behavior is a core symptom of anxiety disorders that may hinder adaptation. Anxiety disorders are heterogeneous and previous research suggests to decompose anxiety into two dimensions: anxious apprehension and anxious arousal. How these two dimensions are associated with avoidance of and exposure to threatening stimuli, as well as their a...
Article
Background Widely used psychotropic medications obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may change the volumes of subcortical brain structures, and differently in children vs. adults. We measured subcortical volumes cross-sectionally in patients finely stratified for age taking various common classes of OCD drugs. Methods The ENIGMA-OCD consortium sam...
Article
Full-text available
The error-related negativity (ERN), a neural response to errors, has been associated with several forms of psychopathology and assumed to represent a neural risk marker for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety disorders. Yet, it is still unknown which specific symptoms or traits best explain ERN variation. This study investigated perform...
Article
Full-text available
Overactive performance monitoring, as reflected by enhanced neural responses to errors (the error-related negativity, ERN), is considered a biomarker for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and may be a promising target for novel treatment approaches. Prior research suggests that non-invasive brain stimulation with transcranial direct current stimu...
Article
In 2022, the first revised version of the S3 guidelines on obsessive-compulsive disorder will be published under the auspices of the German Society for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics (DGPPN). This article contains a summary of the most important recommendations for therapy in a condensed form. There were no major changes in the centra...
Article
Background Examining predictive biomarkers to identify individuals who will likely benefit from a specific treatment is important for the development of targeted interventions. The late positive potential (LPP) is a neural marker of attention and elaborated stimulus processing, and increased LPP responses to negative stimuli are characteristic of p...
Article
Full-text available
Larger thalamic volume has been found in children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and children with clinical-level symptoms within the general population. Particular thalamic subregions may drive these differences. The ENIGMA-OCD working group conducted mega- and meta-analyses to study thalamic subregional volume in OCD across the lifespan...
Article
Introduction: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has proven its efficacy in randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Objective: To test generalizability to routine care settings, we conducted an effectiveness study to provide naturalistic outcome data and their predictors. Methods: Pre-post changes in sympto...
Article
Full-text available
Studies have shown that people with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) have impairments in spatial working memory (SWM) performance. However, it remains unclear whether this deficit represents a cognitive endophenotype preceding symptoms or a correlate of OCD. We investigated SWM in 69 people with OCD, 77 unaffected first-degree relatives of peopl...
Preprint
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a heritable disorder, but no definitive, replicated OCD susceptibility loci have yet been identified by any genome-wide association study (GWAS). Here, we report results from a GWAS in the largest OCD case-control sample (N = 14,140 OCD cases and N = 562,117 controls) to date. We explored the genetic architect...
Article
Full-text available
Pavlovian learning mechanisms are of great importance both for models of psychiatric disorders and treatment approaches, but understudied in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Using an established Pavlovian fear conditioning and reversal procedure, we studied skin conductance responses in 41 patients with OCD and in 32 matched healthy control par...
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive control is flexibly adapted to task requirements in healthy individuals. Medio-frontal negativities in the event-related potential of the electroencephalogram can serve as indicators of cognitive control. With increasing conflict frequency, stimulus-locked control, as indexed by the N2, is increased and response-locked control, as indexed...
Article
Research on action monitoring and error processing has begun to consider the role of emotion, motivation, and peripheral autonomic arousal. To date, little is known about the specific nature of evaluative processing during action monitoring and its interaction with autonomic arousal. This study aimed to replicate and extend previous findings on aff...
Article
Full-text available
Alterations in frontal and parietal neural activations during working memory task performance have been suggested as a candidate endophenotype of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in studies involving first-degree relatives. However, the direct link between genetic risk for OCD and neuro-functional alterations during working memory performance ha...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objective: Higher thalamic volume has been found in children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and children with clinical-level symptoms within the general population. Particular thalamic subregions may drive these differences. The ENIGMA-OCD working group conducted mega- and meta-analyses to study thalamic subregional volume in OCD across t...
Article
Full-text available
Background The COVID-19 pandemic is a major life stressor posing serious threats not only to physical but also to mental health. To better understand mechanisms of vulnerability and identify individuals at risk for psychopathological symptoms in response to stressors is critical for prevention and intervention. The error-related negativity (ERN) ha...
Article
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has recently been linked to increased methylation levels in the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene, and OXTR hypermethylation has predicted a worse treatment response to cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). Furthermore, OCD is associated with childhood trauma and stressful life events, which have both been shown to af...
Article
Background Indicators of increased error monitoring are associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), as shown in EEG and fMRI studies. As most studies used strictly controlled samples (excluding comorbidity and medication) it remains open whether these findings extend to naturalistic settings. Thus, we assessed error-related brain activity...
Poster
Full-text available
Indirekte Zusammenhänge der ERN über Risikowahrnehmung und Stresserleben auf die Entstehung von internalisierender Symptomatik während der ersten COVID 19 Welle in Deutschland.
Article
Anxious apprehension and anxious arousal are central transdiagnostic anxiety dimensions and have been linked to divergent patterns of frontal and parietal alpha asymmetry. The present study examined the relationship between alpha asymmetry and anxiety dimensions in 130 individuals whose electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded at rest. We applied a...
Preprint
Pavlovian learning mechanisms are of great importance both for models of psychiatric disorders and treatment approaches, but understudied in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Using an established Pavlovian fear conditioning and reversal procedure, we studied skin conductance responses (SCRs) in 41 patients with OCD and in 32 matched healthy cont...
Article
The current pilot study investigated if interference control can be improved by a three-week at-home training comprising a flanker and a n-back task in healthy adults, thus exploring the training's suitability for future clinical application, i.e. as a treatment augmentation for psychological disorders. As training gains are assumed to be modulated...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Machine learning models predicting treatment outcomes for individual patients may yield high clinical utility. However, few studies tested the utility of easy to acquire and low-cost sociodemographic and clinical data. In previous work, we reported significant predictions still insufficient for immediate clinical use in a sample with br...
Article
Full-text available
No diagnostic biomarkers are available for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Here, we aimed to identify magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) biomarkers for OCD, using 46 data sets with 2304 OCD patients and 2068 healthy controls from the ENIGMA consortium. We performed machine learning analysis of regional measures of cortical thickness, surface are...
Article
Full-text available
No diagnostic biomarkers are available for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Here, we aimed to identify magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) biomarkers for OCD, using 46 data sets with 2304 OCD patients and 2068 healthy controls from the ENIGMA consortium. We performed machine learning analysis of regional measures of cortical thickness, surface are...
Article
Background. Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is associated with marked anxiety, which triggers repetitive behaviours or mental rituals. The persistence of pathological anxiety and maladaptive strategies to reduce anxiety point to altered emotion regulation. The late positive potential (LPP) is an event-related brain potential (ERP) that reflects...
Article
Background: Increased impulsivity is considered to be a core characteristic of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and has been shown to play a significant role in decision making and planning. Neuropsychological studies in BPD revealed impairments of executive functions, and it is assumed that these deficits are related to altered feedback proce...
Article
Full-text available
The monitoring of one's own actions allows humans to adjust to a changing and complex world. Previous neuroscientific research found overactive action monitoring and increased sensitivity to errors to be associated with anxiety and it is assumed to contribute to the development and maintenance of anxiety symptoms. A largely shared decomposition of...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Obsessive‐compulsive disorder (OCD) is a complex psychiatric disorder with a substantial genetic contribution. While the specific variants underlying OCD’s heritability are still unknown, findings from genome‐wide association studies (GWAS) corroborate the importance of common SNPs explaining the phenotypic variance in OCD. Investigating...
Article
Background: Cognitive models of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) posit dysfunctional appraisal of disorder-relevant stimuli in patients, suggesting disturbances in the processes relying on amygdala–prefrontal connectivity. Recent neuroanatomical models add to the traditional view of dysfunction in corticostriatal circuits by proposing alteration...
Article
Background Neurosurgical intervention studies have provided direct evidence that the ventral striatum/nucleus accumbens (NAc) mediates symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), yet meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging studies using symptom provocation revealed no striatal activation differences, and the existing studies reporting hyperac...
Article
Because obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a highly impairing and often chronic psychiatric disorder, there is high interest in novel add-on or alternative intervention approaches. The error-related negativity (ERN), a response-related ERP occurring shortly after incorrect responses, might provide a promising target for novel interventions. Inc...
Article
Full-text available
Background Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and may afford stable long-term improvements. It is not clear, however, how stability or symptom recurrence can be predicted at the time of termination of CBT. Method In a 1-year follow-up intention-to-treat study with 120 OCD patients r...
Article
Brain structural covariance networks reflect covariation in morphology of different brain areas and are thought to reflect common trajectories in brain development and maturation. Large-scale investigation of structural covariance networks in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may provide clues to the pathophysiology of this neurodevelopmental dis...
Article
Full-text available
Tic-related OCD (obsessive–compulsive disorder) was introduced as an OCD subtype in the DSM-5 based mainly on family and clinical data that showed differences between OCD in dependence of accompanying tics. Little is known, however, regarding neurocognitive differences between subtypes. We used the stop-signal task to examine whether differences ex...
Article
The ability to detect and respond to errors, and to subsequently recruit cognitive control to remediate those errors, is critical to successful adaptation in a changing environment. However, there is also evidence that, for anxious individuals, this error signal is enhanced, highlighting affective and motivational influences on error monitoring. Th...
Article
Hyperactive error monitoring is a robust neurocognitive characteristic in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Yet, relatively little is known about the flexibility and potential moderators of error monitoring in OCD. The current study investigates error monitoring in 30 healthy participants and 28 patients with OCD using a flanker task in 2 condit...
Article
Full-text available
BACKGROUND Lateralized dysfunction has been suggested in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, it is currently unclear whether OCD is characterized by abnormal patterns of brain structural asymmetry. Here we carried out what is by far the largest study of brain structural asymmetry in OCD. METHODS We studied a collection of 16 pediatric dat...
Article
Previous research has demonstrated that task‐irrelevant emotional distractors interfere with task performance especially under low phasic executive control (i.e., in nonconflict trials). In the present study, we measured medio‐frontal ERPs (N2 and correct‐related negativity, CRN) to elucidate which aspects of task performance are affected by emotio...
Article
Full-text available
Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) show dysfunctions of the fronto-striatal circuitry, which imply corresponding oculomotor deficits including smooth pursuit eye movements (SPEM). However, evidence for a deficit in SPEM is inconclusive, with some studies reporting reduced velocity gain while others did not find any SPEM dysfunctions...
Article
Unpredictability influences emotion and attention, but its effects on goal-directed behavior are unclear. We examined whether unpredictable events interfere with performance, using event-related potentials to specify underlying attentional dynamics. The paradigm involved task-irrelevant distracters of either predictable or unpredictable content (ne...
Article
Full-text available
Background Increased neural error-signals have been observed in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety disorders, and inconsistently in depression. Reduced neural error-signals have been observed in substance use disorders (SUD). Thus, alterations in error-monitoring are proposed as a transdiagnostic endophenotype. To strengthen this notion,...
Article
Short measures of psychological constructs are routinely used to save assessment time and cost. The downside is a trade-off between resource savings and psychometric quality. When evaluating tests, a pragmatic strategy is frequently applied that neglects the assessment objective, which may result in unfair rejection or unmindfully acceptance of sho...
Article
Full-text available
In schizophrenia, increased aberrant salience to irrelevant events and reduced learning of relevant information may relate to an underlying deficit in relevance detection. So far, subjective estimates of relevance have not been probed in schizophrenia patients. The mechanisms underlying belief formation about relevance and their translation into de...
Data
Supplementary material. The supplement contains the following analyses and results: additional information on the ISP and raw data analyses of potential stimulus feature effects, additional information on the HGF and the HGF-precision feedback learning model, overview of the model space, fMRI preprocessing, and tables of the priors of learning and...
Article
Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) show deficient planning capacity in the Tower of London (TOL) problem solving task. Preliminary evidence for similar deficits in unaffected first-degree relatives suggests that impaired planning may constitute an endophenotype of OCD. However, results on this issue are inconsistent, possibly owing t...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing evidence indicates that patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) exhibit alterations in fronto-striatal circuitry. Performance deficits in the antisaccade task would support this model, but results from previous small-scale studies have been inconclusive as either increased error rates, prolonged antisaccade latencies, both or n...
Article
Background Cognitive models of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) posit dysfunctional appraisal of disorder-relevant stimuli in patients, suggesting disturbances in the processes relying on amygdala–prefrontal connectivity. Recent neuroanatomical models add to the traditional view of dysfunction in corticostriatal circuits by proposing alterations...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has indicated performance decrements in working memory (WM) and response inhibition. However, underlying neural mechanisms of WM deficits are not well understood to date, and empirical evidence for a proposed conceptual link to inhibition deficits is missing. We investigated WM...
Article
Frontal electroencephalographic alpha asymmetry as an indicator of trait approach and trait inhibition systems has previously been studied in individuals with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) with mixed results. We explored frontal alpha asymmetry as a possible risk factor in OCD by investigating a large sample of OCD patients (n = 113), healthy...
Article
Background: Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) experience abnormally high levels of uncertainty, and unpredictability is evaluated negatively and not well tolerated. The current study examined neural correlates of attentional processing in response to experimentally induced uncertainty in OCD. Methods: Twenty-four OCD patients and...
Article
Recent evidence indicates that patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as well as their unaffected first-degree relatives show deficits in the volitional control of saccades, suggesting that volitional saccade performance may constitute an endophenotype of OCD. Here, we aimed to replicate and extend these findings in a large, independent...
Article
Objective: The etiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is assumed to involve interactions between genetically determined vulnerability factors and significant environmental features. Here, we aim to investigate how the personality trait harm avoidance and the experience of childhood adversities contribute to OCD. Method: A total of 169 p...
Article
Background: Feelings of doubt and perseverative behaviours are key symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and have been linked to hyperactive error and conflict signals in the brain. While enhanced neural correlates of error monitoring have been robustly shown, far less is known about conflict processing and adaptation in OCD. Method: W...
Article
Background Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a severe psychiatric disorder, which aggregates in families. Its etiology is assumed to involve interactions between genetically determined vulnerability factors and critical environmental influences. In the present study, we aim to investigate how the personality trait harm avoidance and the experi...
Article
Full-text available
Suspecting significance behind ordinary events is a common feature in psychosis and it is assumed to occur due to aberrant salience attribution. The Salience Attribution Test (SAT; Roiser et al., 2009) measures aberrant salience as a bias towards one out of two equally reinforced cue features as opposed to adaptive salience towards features indicat...
Article
Hyperactive error-related brain activity has been found in individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), generalized and social anxiety as well as depression and has been proposed as a transdiagnostic marker. The specific phenotype to which it is related is still debated and anxious apprehension, threat sensitivity and checking have been pr...
Article
Emotional processing is influenced by top-down processes such as reappraisal of emotion-inducing events. Besides one's own stimulus appraisal, information from the social environment can be used to modify the stimulus' meaning. This study investigated whether perspective taking changes participants' brain potentials to unpleasant pictures. Event-re...
Article
Clinical and theoretical models suggest deficient volitional initiation of action in schizophrenia patients. Recent research provided an experimental model of testing this assumption using saccade tasks. However, inconsistent findings necessitate a specification of conditions on which the deficit may occur. The present study sought to detect mechan...
Article
Patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) show deficits in reward-guided decision making and learning. The present study examined risk-taking behavior in combination with feedback processing. Eighteen BPD patients and 18 healthy controls performed a probabilistic two-choice gambling task, while an electroencephalogram was recorded. Option...
Article
Endophenotypes are conceived as measurable but not directly observable features of mental disorders that link clinical symptoms with their genetic underpinnings. They promise to guide the search for specific causal gene variants but also to understand mechanisms of symptom generation more precisely. Several criteria have been listed that must been...