Simone Kühn

Simone Kühn
Max Planck Institute for Human Development | MPIB

About

284
Publications
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9,160
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Publications

Publications (284)
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
Full-text available
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
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
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
Full-text available
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
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
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
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...
Preprint
The Approach and Avoidance Task (AAT)-training has been established as a promising treatment add-on, capable of reducing relapse rates in addiction. First neuroscientific research in people with alcohol use disorder has linked nucleus accumbens (NAc), amygdala, medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) brain activi...
Preprint
The Approach and Avoidance Task (AAT) has been shown effective in reducing relapse rates among patients with alcohol-use disorder and thus can enhance treatment outcome. However, until now the working mechanisms of the AAT are poorly understood. An intriguing possibility is that response inhibition, as a predominantly reflective process, might play...
Article
Full-text available
The noradrenergic locus coeruleus (LC) is a small brainstem nucleus that promotes arousal and attention. Recent studies have examined the microstructural properties of the LC using diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging and found unexpected age-related differences in fractional anisotropy - a measure of white matter integrity. Here, we used...
Preprint
As the relative number of elderly people as well as the average life expectancy increases, identifying potential means to alter the ongoing trajectory of aging and specifically the trajectory of cognitive performance is of great importance. Some modifiable lifestyle factors, such as physical and cognitive activity, have shown positive effects on co...
Preprint
Full-text available
The present study investigated the effect of urban (traffic noise) vs. natural (bird songs) soundscapes on mood, state paranoia, and cognitive performance, hypothesizing that bird songs 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 ma...
Preprint
Background and AimsImaginal retraining is effective in reducing alcohol craving in problem drinkers. This study aims to segregate the three main components of the original technique and compare their effectiveness in reducing craving and alcohol consumption. DesignThe trial consisted of three experimental conditions and one waiting list control gro...
Preprint
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 ru...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Imaginal retraining is a self-help technique that adapts the principles of approach bias modification to the imagination. Imaginal retraining has been shown to reduce craving and addictive behaviours in 3 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on problematic alcohol consumption, overweight, and tobacco use. To date, there have been no s...
Article
Abnormally phosphorylated tau, an indicator of Alzheimer’s disease, accumulates in the first decades of life in the locus coeruleus, the brain’s main norepinephrine supply. Recent advances in brainstem magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) suggest an association between in‐vivo locus coeruleus integrity and Alzheimer’s‐related neuropathology. However, w...
Article
Full-text available
There has been a recent interest in how architecture affects mental health and psychological well-being, motivated by the fact that we spend the majority of our waking time inside and interacting with built environments. Some studies have investigated the psychological responses to indoor design parameters; for instance, contours, and proposed that...
Article
Full-text available
Brain age is a widely used index for quantifying individuals’ brain health as deviation from a normative brain aging trajectory. Higher-than-expected brain age is thought partially to reflect above-average rate of brain aging. Here, we explicitly tested this assumption in two independent large test datasets (UK Biobank [main] and Lifebrain [replica...
Preprint
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
Human memory is susceptible to manipulation in many respects. While consolidation is well known to be prone to disruption, there is also growing evidence for the enhancement of memory function. Beside cognitive strategies and mnemonic training, the use of stimulants may improve memory processing in healthy adults. In this single-dose, double-blind,...
Article
It seems as if modern urban lifestyle disconnects people from nature, this may be associated with adverse health effects. In line with this notion it has been consistently shown that psychiatric diagnoses are more frequent in urban compared to rural regions. Most of the studies addressing potential causal mechanisms of this urban-rural difference f...
Presentation
Full-text available
The theoretical platform of environmental psychology assumes that restorativeness of the environment is strongly connected to its naturalness. Our aim was to examine, how exactly the naturalness of environment impacts restoration by investigating its mental representation. To this end, we conducted two studies. In the first experiment, we investiga...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between urbanization, the brain, and human mental health is subject to intensive debate in the current scientific literature. Particularly, since mood and anxiety disorders as well as schizophrenia are known to be more frequent in urban compared to rural regions. Here, we investigated the association between cerebral signatures, me...
Article
Full-text available
Imaginal retraining is a variant of approach bias modification and transfers the method into one’s own mind. As the technique contains multiple elements, this pilot study aimed to dismantle which of its components is most efficient in reducing craving for high-calorie food. A total of 113 women were randomly allocated to one out of six conditions c...
Article
Full-text available
Patients with schizophrenia who experience inserted thoughts report a diminished sense of thought authorship. Based on its elusive neural basis, this functional neuroimaging study used a novel setup to convince healthy participants that a technical device triggers thoughts in their stream of consciousness. Self-reports indicate that participants ex...
Article
Full-text available
Despite its relevance for human sexuality, literature on potential effects of ejaculation frequency and masturbation on general and mental health outcomes is sparse. Reasons for this knowledge gap include a general lack of interest, but also methodological challenges and still existing superstition. This paper reconciles literature from various fie...
Preprint
Cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD) is a common cause of morbidity and cognitive decline in the elderly population. However, characterizing the disease pathophysiology and its association with potential clinical sequelae in early stages is less well explored. We applied fixel-based analysis (FBA), a novel framework of investigating microstructural...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives The effects of nature on physical and mental health are an emerging topic in empirical research with increasing influence on practical health recommendations. Here we set out to investigate the association between spending time outdoors and brain structural plasticity in conjunctions with self-reported affect. Methods We established the...
Article
Full-text available
Development and aging of the cerebral cortex show similar topographic organization and are governed by the same genes. It is unclear whether the same is true for subcortical regions, which follow fundamentally different ontogenetic and phylogenetic principles. We tested the hypothesis that genetically governed neurodevelopmental processes can be tr...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Control beliefs can protect against age-related declines in functioning. It is unclear whether neighborhood characteristics shape how much control people perceive over their life. This article studies associations of neighborhood characteristics with control beliefs of residents of a diverse metropolitan area (Berlin, Germany). Meth...
Article
Full-text available
Education has been related to various advantageous lifetime outcomes. Here, using longitudinal structural MRI data (4,422 observations), we tested the influential hypothesis that higher education translates into slower rates of brain aging. Cross-sectionally, education was modestly associated with regional cortical volume. However, despite marked m...
Article
Behavioral tendencies in the Approach-Avoidance Task (AAT) have mostly been assessed using a joystick as a response device. In recent years, other hardware devices such as tablets, smartphones, and computer mice have also been used. However, it remains unclear whether different response devices yield similar results and show comparable psychometric...
Article
Full-text available
In search of the neural basis of severe trauma exposure and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a multitude of cross-sectional studies have been conducted, most of them pointing at structural deficits in the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex including the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Since cr...
Article
Full-text available
Ultrasound-(US) emitting sources are highly present in modern human environments (e.g., movement sensors, electric transformers). US affecting humans or even posing a health hazard remains understudied. Hence, ultrasonic (22.4 kHz) vs. sham devices were installed in participants’ bedrooms, and active for 28 nights. Somatic and psychiatric symptoms,...
Preprint
Full-text available
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 but meaningful movements. Here we measured how much explicit metacognitive information young adults have about their own facial expressions. Participants imit...
Article
Full-text available
Mnemonic techniques, such as the method of loci, can powerfully boost memory. We compared memory athletes ranked among the world’s top 50 in memory sports to mnemonics-naïve controls. In a second study, participants completed a 6-week memory training, working memory training, or no intervention. Behaviorally, memory training enhanced durable, longe...
Article
Full-text available
Human beings evolved in “natural” environments. Many intervention studies have shown that exposure to natural environments (compared to built/urban environments) reduces stress and increases cognitive functioning. We set out to test differences in fMRI functional connectivity while showing participants photographs from natural versus built environm...
Article
Full-text available
A large number of studies have demonstrated the benefits of natural environments on people’s health and well-being. For people who have limited access to nature (e.g., elderly in nursing homes, hospital patients, or jail inmates), virtual representations may provide an alternative to benefit from the illusion of a natural environment. For this purp...
Article
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Playing music relies on several sensory systems and the motor system, and poses strong demands on control processes, hence, offering an excellent model to study how experience can mold brain structure and function. While most studies on neural correlates of music expertise rely on cross-sectional comparisons, here we compared within-person changes...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Imaginal retraining is a noncomputerized variant of cognitive bias modification, an intervention aimed at reducing craving in substance use disorders and behavioral addictions. We conducted a dismantling study to elucidate which of its multiple components are effective and hence essential ingredients of the training and which are ineffe...