Simone Kühn

Simone Kühn
Max Planck Institute for Human Development | MPIB

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328
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Publications

Publications (328)
Article
Previous research suggests that curved vs. angular interior environments trigger affective (e.g., preference) and behavioural (e.g., approach-avoidance) responses. Yet, behavioural responses have mainly been assessed through explicit evaluations, such as self-reports. We aimed to investigate this phenomenon more ‘implicitly’ using a battery of reac...
Preprint
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Aging is a complex process influenced by mechanisms operating at numerous levels of functioning. Multiple biomarkers of age have been identified, yet we know little about how the different alternative age indicators are intertwined. In the Berlin Aging Study II, we examined how levels and seven-year changes in indicators derived from blood assays,...
Article
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Short sleep is held to cause poorer brain health, but is short sleep associated with higher rates of brain structural decline? Analysing 8,153 longitudinal MRIs from 3,893 healthy adults, we found no evidence for an association between sleep duration and brain atrophy. In contrast, cross-sectional analyses (51,295 observations) showed inverse U-sha...
Article
Full-text available
Auditory experience-dependent plasticity is often studied in the domain of musical expertise. Available evidence suggests that years of musical practice are associated with structural and functional changes in auditory cortex and related brain regions. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to investigate neural corre...
Article
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The aim of the current study is to investigate the association between periodontitis (exposure variable) and depression severity (outcome variable) in an older German population. We evaluated data from 6,209 participants (median age 62 years) of the Hamburg City Health Study (HCHS). The HCHS is a prospective cohort study and is registered at Clinic...
Article
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Changes in dopaminergic neuromodulation play a key role in adult memory decline. Recent research has also implicated noradrenaline in shaping late-life memory. However, it is unclear whether these two neuromodulators have distinct roles in age-related cognitive changes. Here, combining longitudinal MRI of the dopaminergic substantia nigra–ventral t...
Preprint
Aging is accompanied by a decline of multiple cognitive capacities, including working memory: the ability to maintain information online for the flexible control of behavior. Working memory involves stimulus-selective neural activity, persisting after stimulus presentation in widely distributed cortical areas. Here, we unraveled the mechanisms of w...
Article
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Objectives: The main objective of the present study was to investigate whether assessments of psychopathology vs. character strengths were associated with systematic differences concerning transient psychological states (i.e., cognitive performance, state mood, optimism, therapy motivation, perceived stigma) in individuals with psychotic disorders...
Article
Full-text available
Study aims were to (I) transfer the measurement of the approach bias (Apb) related to alcoholic stimuli via the Approach Avoidance Task (AAT) into Virtual Reality (VR), (II) check whether measuring Apb in VR leads to similar or different results compared to the classical PC-based version, (III) check the validity of VR versus PC-based bias scores i...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background & aims It is documented that low protein and amino-acid dietary intake is related to poorer cognitive health and increased risk of dementia. Degradation of the neuromodulatory pathways, (comprising the cholinergic, dopaminergic, serotoninergic and noradrenergic systems) is observed in neurodegenerative diseases and impairs the proper bio...
Article
Many sleep less than recommended without experiencing daytime sleepiness. According to prevailing views, short sleep increases risk of lower brain health and cognitive function. Chronic mild sleep deprivation could cause undetected sleep debt, negatively affecting cognitive function and brain health. However, it is possible that some have less slee...
Article
Background and objectives: Performance on implicit measures of suicidality has been associated with suicidal and nonsuicidal self-injury. Despite the high prevalence of self-harm in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD), no previous study has assessed implicit measures in this patient group. Methods: Forty patients with BPD and 25...
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Full-text available
Aim: The aim of the PAROBRAIN study was to examine the association of periodontal health with microstructural white matter integrity and cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD) in the Hamburg City Health Study, a large population-based cohort with dental examination and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Materials and methods: Periodontal heal...
Article
As severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections have been shown to affect the central nervous system, the investigation of associated alterations of brain structure and neuropsychological sequelae is crucial to help address future health care needs. Therefore, we performed a comprehensive neuroimaging and neuropsycho...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has shown the positive effects of exposure to real and virtual nature. To investigate how such benefits might generalize to ever-more-prevalent virtual workplaces, we examined the effects of the absence or presence of virtual plants in an office environment in Virtual Reality (VR) on users’ cognitive performance and psychological...
Article
Background Imaginal retraining (IR) is a self-help technique that targets automatic approach tendencies toward appetitive stimuli. In a randomized controlled trial (RCT; N = 384), IR reduced craving for high-calorie foods after a six-week intervention period (small effect). The aim of the present study was to evaluate long-term effects of IR in thi...
Article
White matter integrity and cognition have been found to decline with advancing adult age. Aerobic exercise may be effective in counteracting these declines. Generally, white matter integrity has been quantified using a volumetric measure (WMV) and with tensor-based parameters, such as fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD), the validi...
Article
Background and objective: Theoretical models propose that different cognitive biases are caused by a common underlying mechanism (incentive salience/"wanting") and should, therefore, be interrelated. Additionally, stronger impulsive processes should be related to weaker inhibitory abilities. However, these assumptions have hardly been empirically...
Preprint
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Recent research revealed that videogame training boosts neuronal plasticity emerging in a range of cognitive improvements accompanied by structural and functional brain changes in healthy subjects. A reduction of neuronal plasticity has been suggested in patients with schizophrenia as a pathobiological model of cognitive deficits as well as positiv...
Preprint
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Recent research shows that videogame training enhances neuronal plasticity and cognitive improvements in healthy individuals. As patients with schizophrenia exhibit reduced neuronal plasticity linked to cognitive deficits and symptoms, we investigated whether videogame-related cognitive improvements and plasticity changes extend to this population....
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Research suggests that patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) share a range of cognitive biases with patients with psychosis. As the disorder often manifests in dysfunctional social interactions, we assumed associated reasoning styles would be exaggerated in a social setting. For the present study, we applied the Judge-Advisor System b...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has shown that exposure to immersive virtual nature environments is able to induce positive affective and physiological effects. However, research on the effects on cognitive performance is scarce. Additionally, the effects of virtual nature exposure compared to a virtual control environment with a comparable amount of virtual obj...
Article
Stimulants like methylphenidate, modafinil, and caffeine have repeatedly shown to enhance cognitive processes such as attention and memory. However, brain-functional mechanisms underlying such cognitive enhancing effects of stimulants are still poorly characterized. Here, we utilized behavioral and resting-state fMRI data from a double-blind random...
Article
Full-text available
Air-conducted ultrasound (> 17.8 kHz; US) is produced by an increasing number of technical devices in our daily environment. While several studies indicate that exposure to US in public spaces can lead to subjective symptoms such as ‘annoyance’ or ‘difficulties in concentration’, the effects of US on brain activity are poorly understood. In the pre...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Craving alcohol is a core symptom of alcohol use disorder (AUD) and an important target for treatment. A new line of treatment for AUD aims at overriding the urge to consume alcohol by changing implicit cognitions via approach bias modification (ApBM). In a prior study, we tested a variant of ApBM called imaginal retraining, which re...
Article
Age-related cortical atrophy, approximated by cortical thickness measurements from magnetic resonance imaging, follows a characteristic pattern over the lifespan. Although its determinants remain unknown, mounting evidence demonstrates correspondence between the connectivity profiles of structural and functional brain networks and cortical atrophy...
Article
Full-text available
The interest in the response to contours has recently re-emerged, with various studies suggesting a universal preference for curved over angular stimuli. Although no consensus has yet been reached on the reasons for this preference, similar effects have been proposed in interior environments. However, the scarcely available research primarily depen...
Article
Imaginal retraining (IR) to reduce strong craving for high-calorie foods is a treatment derived from approach bias modification. The push component (IRpush) seems to be the most effective element according to a recent dismantling trial. Conclusions derived from prior studies are limited, however, by small sample sizes and restriction of participant...
Article
Background: Subjective cognitive decline (SCD) is considered to be a preliminary stage of dementia, and its prevalence is increasing with age. Objective: We aimed to study the association of SCD with health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in a large population-based sample. Methods: We analyzed data of the first 10,000 participants from the Ha...
Article
Full-text available
Severe trauma exposure may lead to symptoms of both posttraumatic stress disorder and depression. Neuroanatomical theories suggest that both disorders may share imbalances in fronto-limbic circuits. Longitudinal studies are necessary to better understand the impact of a stressful life situation on potential long-term fronto-limbic imbalances. Here...
Preprint
Full-text available
Researchers have identified changes in dopaminergic neuromodulation as playing a key role in adult memory decline. Facilitated by technical advancements, recent research has also implicated noradrenergic neuromodulation in shaping late-life memory development. However, it is not yet clear whether these two neuromodulators have distinct roles in age...
Article
Full-text available
The present study investigated the effect of urban (traffic noise) vs. natural (birdsongs) soundscapes on mood, state paranoia, and cognitive performance, hypothesizing that birdsongs lead to significant improvements in these outcomes. An additional goal was to explore the differential impact of lower vs. higher diversity of the soundscapes by mani...
Article
Full-text available
It is well documented that some brain regions, such as association cortices, caudate, and hippocampus, are particularly prone to age-related atrophy, but it has been hypothesized that there are individual differences in atrophy profiles. Here, we document heterogeneity in regional-atrophy patterns using latent-profile analysis of 1,482 longitudinal...
Article
Full-text available
Nature is frequently operationalized as greenery or water to estimate the restorativeness of the environment. Pursuing a deeper understanding of the connection between representation of naturalness and its relationship with restoration, we conducted an experiment aimed to investigate if the sky is perceived as an element of nature. The main goal of...
Article
Full-text available
Since living in cities is associated with an increased risk for mental disorders such as anxiety disorders, depression, and schizophrenia, it is essential to understand how exposure to urban and natural environments affects mental health and the brain. It has been shown that the amygdala is more activated during a stress task in urban compared to r...
Article
Full-text available
Urban dwellers are more likely to develop mental disorders such as mood and anxiety disorder as well as schizophrenia compared to rural dwellers. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that even short-term exposure to nature can improve mood and decrease stress, but the underlying neural mechanisms are currently under investigation. In the present inte...
Article
Full-text available
Higher general cognitive ability (GCA) is associated with lower risk of neurodegenerative disorders, but neural mechanisms are unknown. GCA could be associated with more cortical tissue, from young age, i.e. brain reserve, or less cortical atrophy in adulthood, i.e. brain maintenance. Controlling for education, we investigated the relative associat...
Article
As humans we communicate important information through fine nuances in our facial expressions, but because conscious motor representations are noisy, we might not be able to report these fine movements. Here we measured the precision of the explicit metacognitive information that young adults have about their own facial expressions. Participants im...
Article
In schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder cognitive deficits are a reliable characteristic predicting a poor functional outcome. It has been theorized that both the default mode network (DMN) and the salience network (SN) play a crucial role in cognitive processes and aberrant functional connectivity within these networks in psychotic patients...
Article
Full-text available
Multi-Parameter Mapping (MPM) is a comprehensive quantitative neuroimaging protocol that enables estimation of four physical parameters (longitudinal and effective transverse relaxation rates R1 and R2*, proton density PD, and magnetization transfer saturation MTsat) that are sensitive to microstructural tissue properties such as iron and myelin co...
Preprint
Age-related cortical atrophy, approximated by cortical thickness measurements from magnetic resonance imaging, follows a characteristic pattern over the lifespan. Although its determinants remain unknown, mounting evidence demonstrates correspondence between the connectivity profiles of structural and functional brain networks and cortical atrophy...
Preprint
Importance As SARS-CoV-2 infections have been shown to affect the central nervous system, it is crucial to investigate associated alterations of brain structure and neuropsychological sequelae to help address future health care needs. Objective To determine whether a mild to moderate SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with alteration of brain stru...
Article
Full-text available
Exposure therapy in virtual reality is successful in treating anxiety disorders. Studies on exposure and response prevention in virtual reality (VERP) in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are rare, and it is unclear whether distress associated with other emotions than anxiety (e.g., disgust) can be evoked. The present study aimed to investigate w...
Article
Full-text available
In the face of increasing social, economic, and health consequences of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) and limited effects of available treatment options, the search for novel prevention and management methods continues to remain a timely and valid endeavor. This, however, requires a better grasp of the theoretical framework underlying addiction mecha...
Article
Background Imaginal retraining, a type of approach-bias-modification performed in one’s own imagination, is effective in reducing alcohol craving in problem drinkers. This study aims to segregate three main components of the original technique and compare their effectiveness in reducing craving and alcohol consumption. Methods The study was conduc...
Article
Full-text available
From a biological perspective, humans differ in the speed they age, and this may manifest in both mental and physical health disparities. The discrepancy between an individual’s biological and chronological age of the brain (“brain age gap”) can be assessed by applying machine learning techniques to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) data. Here, we e...
Preprint
Full-text available
In schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder cognitive deficits are a reliable characteristic predicting a poor functional outcome. It has been theorized that both the default mode network (DMN) and the salience network (SN) play a crucial role in cognitive processes and aberrant functional connectivity within these networks in psychotic patients...
Article
Full-text available
Stimulants like methylphenidate, modafinil and caffeine have repeatedly shown to enhance cognitive processes such as attention and memory. However, brain-functional mechanisms underlying such cognitive enhancing effects of stimulants are still poorly characterized. Here, we utilized behavioral and resting-state fMRI data from a double-blind randomi...
Article
Study objective This trial examines the effect of delirium preventive measures on the incidence of postoperative cognitive dysfunction in older adults. Design In a randomised approach, a delirium prevention and a standard care group were compared regarding manifestation of postoperative cognitive dysfunction at seven days, three and twelve months...
Article
Full-text available
In aging humans, aerobic exercise interventions have been found to be associated with more positive or less negative changes in frontal and temporal brain areas, such as the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and hippocampus, relative to no-exercise control conditions. However, individual measures such as gray-matter (GM) probability may afford less r...
Preprint
Full-text available
The present study investigated the effect of urban (traffic noise) vs. natural (birdsongs) soundscapes on mood, state paranoia, and cognitive performance, hypothesizing that birdsongs lead to significant improvements in these outcomes. An additional goal was to examine the differential impact of lower vs. higher diversity of the soundscapes by mani...
Article
Background Animal studies have shown beneficial effects of probiotic supplementation on the hippocampus (HC) and cognitive performance. Evidence in humans is scarce. It was hypothesised that probiotic supplementation is associated with enhanced hippocampal (HC) regional grey matter volume (rGMV), as well as HC functional connectivity (FC). Relatedl...
Poster
Yearly dietary Tyrosine intake in relationship with Locus Coeruleus volume and neuropsychological measures Abstract: It is documented that low protein and amino-acid dietary intake is related to poorer cognitive health and increased risk of dementia [1,2,3,4,5,6]. Degradation of the neuromodulatory pathways, (comprising the cholinergic, dopaminergi...
Article
Full-text available
Background Cognitive impairment is a hallmark of cerebral small-vessel disease (cSVD). Functional MRI has highlighted connections between patterns of brain activity and variability in behaviour. We aimed to characterize the associations between imaging markers of cSVD, dynamic connectivity, and cognitive impairment. Methods We obtained MRI and cli...
Preprint
Study aims were to (I) transfer the measurement of the approach bias (Apb) related to alcoholic stimuli via the Approach Avoidance Task (AAT) into Virtual Reality (VR), (II) check whether measuring Apb in VR lead to similar or different results compared to the classical PC-based version, (III) check the validity of VR vs. PC-based bias scores in te...
Preprint
The word completion task (WCT) has become a useful measure of aggressive cognition in aggression research. Even though many studies have successfully shown increases in aggressive word completions after aggression inducing interventions, the WCT has not been formally validated. The present study set out to fill this gap by testing the construct val...
Preprint
Ego depletion is a state of diminished self-control resulting from the prior engagement of the same capacity. Lately, critical voices concerning its very existence have accumulated, as meta-analyses correcting for the influence of publication bias either found much smaller effect sizes, or no effect at all. Large-scale multilab studies generated mi...
Preprint
Full-text available
The question of how much sleep is best for the brain attracts scientific and public interest, and there is concern that insuficient sleep leads to poorer brain health. However, it is unknown how much sleep is sufficient and how much is too much. We analyzed 51,295 brain magnetic resonnance images from 47,039 participants, and calculated the self-re...
Article
Full-text available
The beneficial effects of physical exercise on physical health and cognitive functioning have been repeatedly shown. However, evidence of its effect on psychosocial functioning in healthy adults is still scarce or inconclusive. One limitation of many studies examining this link is their reliance on correlational approaches or specific subpopulation...
Article
Full-text available
Background The salutary effect of window views on greenery for inpatients in hospitals on length of stay and recovery rate has been repeatedly shown, however, not for psychiatric inpatients. The study assessed the association between a window view on green trees or man-made objects and brightness of the room on length of stay in a sample of psychia...