Cognitive neuroscience, with a special focus on memory, sleep, and consciousness:

  • Neural correlates of human episodic memory. How do we form, store, and retrieve memories?
  • The cognitive and biological functions of sleep: memory consolidation, memory formation, synaptic down-scaling during sleep. Why do we sleep? Can we learn during sleep?
  • Neural correlates of consciousness: How is conscious mentation generated in the brain? Why and how did consciousness evolve? What is the function of consciousness?
  • The functional abilities of the human unconscious: subliminal perception, cognition during sleep, non-conscious decision-making. How are our decisions affected by unconscious mechanisms?
  • Cognitive enhancement, neuro-stimulation. Can neuro-stimulation (e.g. in the treatment of epilepsy) be used to enhance cognitive abilities?

Ruch, S., Herbert, E., & Henke, K. (2017). Subliminally and Supraliminally Acquired Long-Term Memories Jointly Bias Delayed Decisions. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1542. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01542

Maridor, M., Ruch, S., Bangerter, A., Emery, V. (2017). Skepticism towards emerging infectious diseases and influenza vaccination intentions in nurses. Journal of Health Communication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10810730.2017.1296509

Ruch, S., Züst, M. A., & Henke, K. (2016). Subliminal messages exert long-term effects on decision-making. Neuroscience of Consciousness, 1, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1093/nc/niw013

Züst, M. A., Colella, P., Reber, T. P., Vuilleumier, P., Hauf, M., Ruch, S., & Henke, K. (2015). Hippocampus is place of interaction between unconscious and conscious memories. PLoS ONE, 10(3), e0122459. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0122459

Ruch, S., Koenig, T., Mathis, J., Roth, C., & Henke, K. (2014). Word encoding during sleep is suggested by correlations between word-evoked up-states and post-sleep semantic priming. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1319. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01319

Ruch, S., Markes, O., Duss, S. B., Oppliger, D., Reber, T. P., Koenig, T., Mathis, J., et al. (2012). Sleep stage II contributes to the consolidation of declarative memories. Neuropsychologia, 50, 2389–2396. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.06.008