Ute Habel

Ute Habel
RWTH Aachen University · Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics

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408
Publications
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Publications

Publications (408)
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We study the statistical properties of facial behaviour altered by the regulation of brain arousal in the clinical domain of psychiatry. The underlying mechanism is linked to the empirical interpretation of the vigilance continuum as behavioral surrogate measurement for certain states of mind. We name the presented measurement in the sense of the c...
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Both substance-related as well as non-substance-related addictions may include recurrent engagement in risky actions despite adverse outcomes. We here apply a unified approach and review task-based neuroimaging studies on substance-related (SRAs) and non-substance related addictions (NSRAs) to examine commonalities and differences in neural correla...
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Background: Humans often visually perceive emotional cues without cognitive awareness. Even though many studies have examined unconscious processing, they apply different timing conditions for stimulus presentation ranging from 8-30ms. However, the exact presentation span at which an emotional expression is perceived unconsciously is still to be fo...
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Brain size differs substantially between human males and females. This difference in total intracranial volume (TIV) can cause bias when employing machine-learning approaches for the investigation of sex differences in brain morphology. TIV-biased models will likely not capture actual qualitative sex differences in brain organization but rather lea...
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Financial risk-taking and loss aversion are multifaceted phenomena that are the focus of neuroscience, psychology, and economics research. A growing number of studies highlighted the role of hormones and in particular testosterone on socio-economic decision-making. However, the effects of testosterone on risk-taking under framing and consumer-based...
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This paper represents the outcome of a multidisciplinary discussion on what works, what does not, and what can be improved, in ongoing work on biobehavioral taxonomies and their biomarkers. The authors of this paper, representing a wide spectrum of biobehavioral disciplines (clinical, developmental, differential psychology, neurophysiology, endocri...
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Background Current evidence points towards a high prevalence of psychological distress in refugee populations, contrasting with a scarcity of resources and amplified by linguistic, institutional, financial, and cultural barriers. The objective of the study is to investigate the overall effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a Stepped Care and Coll...
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An anonymous interaction might facilitate provoking behavior and modify the engagement of theory of mind (TOM) brain mechanisms. However, the effect of anonymity when processing unfair behavior of an opponent remains largely unknown. The current functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study applied the Taylor aggression paradigm, introducing a...
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Neuroimaging is a powerful tool to investigate potential associations between chronic pain and brain structure. However, the proliferation of studies across diverse chronic pain syndromes and heterogeneous results challenges data integration and interpretation. We conducted a preregistered anatomic likelihood estimate meta-analysis on structural ma...
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Although there is evidence that testosterone has deteriorating effects on cognitive and affective empathy, whether testosterone administration influences both routes to understanding others has not yet been simultaneously investigated. We conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) pharmacological study using a within-subjects, randomi...
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The inhomogeneity of postpartum mood and mother–child attachment was estimated from immediately after childbirth to 12 weeks postpartum in a cohort of 598 young mothers. At 3-week intervals, depressed mood and mother–child attachment were assessed using the EPDS and the MPAS, respectively. The diagnosis was based on clinical interviews at the end o...
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Violence is a known risk factor for health problems. In this epidemiological study across 5,385 male patients, we investigate the prevalence of perpetrated violence, exposure to violence, their overlap and the relationship between violence, mental, and psychosomatic health, as well as adverse health behaviors, such as self-harming behavior and the...
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This Special Issue brings together recent research on aggression on different scales, starting from animal models in low-aggression, healthy populations to patients with aggression problems [...]
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Introduction: Sex differences in stress reactions are often reported in the literature. However, the sex-dependent interplay of different facets of stress is still not fully understood. Particularly in neuroimaging research, studies on large samples combining different indicators of stress remain scarce. Materials and methods: In a functional ma...
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Aggression affects nearly all mental disorders and constitutes a burden for society in general and the mental health sector in particular. An incomplete understanding of its underlying neurobiological mechanisms limits treatment efficacy and hinders the development of precision medicine approaches. Here we review recent efforts employing neuroimagi...
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Endometriosis is a chronic pain disorder that affects young women, impairing their physical, mental and social well-being. Apart from personal suffering, it imposes a significant economic burden on the healthcare system. We analyzed studies reporting comorbid mental disorders in endometriosis based on the ICD/DSM criteria, discussing them in the co...
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Aggressive behavior is modulated by many factors, including personality and cognition, as well as endocrine and neural changes. To study the potential effects on the reaction to provocation, which was realized by an ostensible opponent subtracting money from the participant, we administered testosterone (T) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) or a respe...
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Impulsive behavior tends to have a negative connotation in the sense that it is usually associated with detrimental or dysfunctional outcomes. However, under certain circumstances, impulsive behaviors may also have beneficial or functional outcomes. Dickman’s Impulsivity Inventory (DII) measures these two distinct aspects of impulsivity, namely, dy...
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To investigate whether hair cortisol (HCC) and hair cortisone (HCNC) can be predicted by repeated stress reports from postpartum women in different mental health conditions (non-depressed, ND, adjustment disorder, AD, postpartum depression, PPD), 240 mothers (mean age 31.8 years; SD = 4.7) were monitored from within 1 to 6 days of childbirth over a...
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We investigated the effects of testosterone administration on aspects of decision-making within the Prospect Theory framework. Using bayesian modeling, we assessed risk-taking under framing and Endowment Effect (effect of possession). We administered 100mg testosterone to forty men in a double-blind placebo-controlled fully-randomized cross-over ex...
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The organization of socio-cognitive processes is a multifaceted problem for which many sophisticated concepts have been proposed. One of these concepts is social intelligence (SI), i.e., the set of abilities that allow successful interaction with other people. The theory of mind (ToM) human brain network is a good candidate for the neural substrate...
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The categorization of dominant facial features, such as sex, is a highly relevant function for social interaction. It has been found that attributes of the perceiver, such as their biological sex, influence the perception of sexually dimorphic facial features with women showing higher recognition performance for female faces than men. However, evid...
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People whose gender does not correspond to the binary gender system, i.e., trans ∗ gender people, face two main problems when it comes to healthcare in Germany: (1) They often suffer from general psychiatric comorbidities as well as specific and significant mental distress due to gender dysphoria, and (2) the German healthcare system lacks sufficie...
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The experience of stress is related to individual wellbeing and vulnerability to psychopathology. Therefore, understanding the determinants of individual differences in stress reactivity is of great concern from a clinical perspective. The functional promotor polymorphism of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR/rs25531) is such a factor, which...
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Background Chronic fatigue is a prominent symptom in many sarcoidosis patients, affecting quality of life and interfering with treatment. This study investigated neuropsychobiological mechanisms and markers of chronic fatigue in sarcoidosis. Methods Thirty patients with a histological diagnosis of sarcoidosis were included. The Multidimensional Fa...
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Apart from the most prominent symptoms in Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), namely deficits in social interaction, communication and repetitive behavior, patients often show abnormal sensory reactivity to environmental stimuli. Especially potentially painful stimuli are reported to be experienced in a different way compared to healthy persons. In our...
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Postpartum depression (PPD) affects approximately 1 in 10 women after childbirth. A thorough understanding of a preexisting vulnerability to PPD will likely aid the early detection and treatment of PPD. Using a within-sample association, the study examined whether the brain’s structural and functional alterations predict the onset of depression. 15...
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Despite compelling evidence that victimization and offending co-occur, it remains unclear what types of victimization are linked to specific forms of perpetration. Here we examined the relationship between physical, psychological, and sexual violence with respect to influencing variables including mental health, risk-taking behaviors, and coping st...
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Odor modulates the experience of pain, but the neural basis of how the two sensory modalities, olfaction and pain, are linked in the central nervous system is far from clear. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms by which the brain modulates the pain experience under concurrent odorant stimulation. We conducted an fMRI study using a 2 × 3 f...
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Introduction Sarcoidosis is a chronic inflammatory disease often associated with chronic fatigue. Prevalence of fatigue can be measured via neuropsychological testing. Its pathophysiology is insufficiently understood. Structural analysis might help with the development of novel treatment methods. Methods We recruited 30 sarcoidosis patients whose...
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Background In contrast to cisgender persons, transgender persons identify with a different gender than the one assigned at birth. Although research on the underlying neurobiology of transgender persons has been accumulating over the years, neuroimaging studies in this relatively rare population are often based on very small samples resulting in dis...
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Introduction Since the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, wearing surgical face masks has become mandatory for healthcare staff in many countries when interacting with patients. Recently, it has been shown that wearing face masks impairs social interaction by diminishing a person’s ability to read the emotion of their counte...
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Background In total numbers, Germany has faced the largest number of refugees and asylum seekers (RAS) in Europe in the past decade. Although a considerable proportion have experienced traumatic and stressful life events, there is no systematic review to date examining the prevalence of depressive symptoms and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)...
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Background In everyday life, negative emotions can be implicitly regulated by positive stimuli, without any conscious cognitive engagement; however, the effects of such implicit regulation on mood and related neuro-mechanisms, remain poorly investigated in literature. Yet, improving implicit emotional regulation could reduce psychological burden an...
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The brain structural changes related to gender incongruence (GI) are still poorly understood. Previous studies comparing gray matter volumes (GMV) between cisgender and transgender individuals with GI revealed conflicting results. Leveraging a comprehensive sample of transmen (n = 33), transwomen (n = 33), cismen (n = 24), and ciswomen (n = 25), we...
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Biological sex differences in brain function and structure are reliably associated with several cortico-subcortical brain regions. While sexual orientation (hetero- versus homosexuality) has been similarly linked to functional differences in several phylogenetically-old brain areas, the research on morphological brain phenotypes associated with sex...
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Postpartum depression (PPD) and adjustment disorder (AD) affect up to 25% of women after childbirth. However, there are no accurate screening tools for either disorder to identify at-risk mothers and enable them to benefit from early intervention. Combinations of anamnestic, clinical, and remote assessments were evaluated for an early and accurate...
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Depression is a highly recurrent disorder. When in remission, it affords an important opportunity to understand the state-independent neurobiological alterations, as well as the socio-demographic characteristics, that likely contribute to the recurrence of major depressive disorder (MDD). The present study examined 110 euthymic women in their early...
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Female chemical signals underlie the advertising of sexual receptivity and fertility. Whether the body odor of a pregnant woman also has a signaling function with respect to male behavior is yet to be conclusively established. This study examines how the body odors of ovulating and pregnant women differentially affect the behavior of heterosexual m...
Preprint
Background: Postpartum depression (PPD) affects approximately 1 in 10 women after childbirth. A thorough understanding of a preexisting vulnerability for PPD will likely aid the early detection and treatment of PPD and help minimize its debilitating effects.Methods: Using a within-sample association, the study aimed to determine whether the brain’s...
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Full-text available
In recent years, especially adolescents and young adults interact frequently via social media and digital communication. Mimicking an online communication platform where participants could initiate short conversations with two computerized interlocutors, the Verbal Interaction Social Threat Task (VISTTA) was used to induce feelings of social reject...
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Purpose Disruptive behavior disorders (DBD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are externalizing disorders that frequently co-occur but also have distinct clinical characteristics. Identifying distinct neurocognitive phenotypes may help optimizing individual diagnosis and treatment of both disorders. Methods Using data from 6,517 c...
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Pregnancy and the postpartum period are characterized by physiological alterations in cortisol and cortisone levels. In the present study, we sought to explore the risk factors for postpartum depression (PPD) and self-remitting postpartum adjustment disorder (AD) and whether cortisol/cortisone metabolism might have any bearing on them. Hair samples...
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Increased aggression and impulsivity represent a key component of several psychiatric disorders, including substance use disorder, which is often associated with deficient prefrontal brain activation. Thus, innovative tools to increase cognitive control are highly warranted. The current study investigates the potential of transcranial direct curren...
Preprint
Full-text available
Despite compelling evidence that victimization and offending co-occur, it remains unclear what types of victimization are linked to specific forms of perpetration. Here we examined the relationship between physical, psychological, and sexual violence with respect to influencing variables including mental health, risk-taking behaviors, and coping st...
Article
Full-text available
The perception of facial and vocal stimuli is driven by sensory input and cognitive top‐down influences. Important top‐down influences are attentional focus and supramodal social memory representations. The present study investigated the neural networks underlying these top‐down processes and their role in social stimulus classification. In a neuro...
Preprint
Full-text available
Female chemical signals underlie the advertising of sexual receptivity and fertility. Whether the body odor of a pregnant woman also has a signaling function with respect to male behavior is yet to be conclusively established. This study examines how the body odors of ovulating and pregnant women differentially affect the behavior of heterosexual m...
Article
Full-text available
Narcissism has been widely discussed in the context of career success and leadership. Besides several adaptive traits, narcissism has been characterized by difficulties in emotion regulation. However, despite its essential role in mental health, there is little research on emotion regulation processes in narcissism. Specifically, the investigation...
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Aggression and psychopathy are multifaceted conditions determined interpersonal and antisocial factors. Only a few studies analyze the link between these separate factors and specific brain morphology distinctively. A voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis was performed on 27 violent offenders and 27 controls aiming to associate sub-features of agg...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Postpartum depression (PPD) and adjustment disorder (AD) affect up to 25% of women after childbirth. However, there are no accurate screening tools for either disorder to identify at-risk mothers and enable them to benefit from early intervention. Aims: To evaluate combinations of anamnestic, clinical and remote assessments for an early...
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Full-text available
Previous studies suggest that testosterone and several neurotransmitters might interactively influence human aggression. The current study aimed to test potential interactions of a genetic variation linked to the catabolism of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine and exogenous testosterone on the reaction towards non-social provocation. In total...
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One of the most prominent symptoms of schizophrenia is thought disorder, which manifests itself in language production difficulties. In patients with thought disorders the associations are loosened and sentence production is impaired. The determining behavioral and neural mechanisms of sentence production are still an important subject of recent re...
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Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. As BDNF regulates axonal and dendritic growth, altered BDNF levels in schizophrenia patients might underlie changes in structural connectivity that have been identified by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We investigated a possible correlation bet...
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Studies with steroid hormones underlined the vital role of testosterone on social-emotional processing. However, there is still a lack of studies investigating whether testosterone modulates network connectivity during resting-state. Here, we tested how the exogenous application of testosterone would affect functional connectivity between regions i...