Institutskolloquium Herbstsemester 2020

Donnerstag, 17.15 - 18.00 Uhr
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Prof. Dr. Gisela Michel: " Childhood Cancer – a diagnosis with implications for the life of patients and their family"
Universität Luzern


Prof. Dr. Klaas Enno Stephan: "Translational Neuromodeling, Computational Psychiatry and Computational Psychosomatics"
Universität Zürich & ETH Zürich


Prof. Dr. Michael Pluess: "Individual Differences in Environmental Sensitivity"
Queen Mary University London


Prof. Dr. Jennifer Inauen: "Die Umsetzung von Handlungsabsichten: Eine situationale Perspektive"
Universität Bern


Prof. Dr. Gisela Michel: Childhood Cancer – a diagnosis with implications for the life of patients and their family

Childhood cancer is a very rare disease. However, the consequences for patients and their family are long lasting. Therefore, medical and psychosocial support is important not only during treatment, but should also continue long into adulthood. In my presentation, I will focus on the psychosocial aspect of chronic diseases taking childhood cancer as an example. I will present long-term consequences of the disease, and the needs and desires that survivors of childhood cancer and their family have in the long term.

A considerable proportion of childhood cancer survivors suffers from psychological distress in the very long-term. Due to the diagnosis at a young age, education, vocational training and later employment can be affected. However, many survivors and their parents also report positive outcomes such as post-traumatic growth. I will also present some possibilities, including international recommendations, on how follow-up care should be organised such that not only quality of life can be improved, but also the overall quality of survivorship.


Prof. Dr. Klaas Enno Stephan: Translational Neuromodeling, Computational Psychiatry and Computational Psychosomatics

For many brain diseases, particularly in psychiatry, we lack clinical tests for differential diagnosis and cannot predict optimal treatment for individual patients. This presentation outlines a translational neuromodeling framework for inferring subject-specific mechanisms of brain disease from non-invasive measures of behaviour and neuronal activity. Guided by clinical theories of maladaptive cognition and aberrant brain-body interactions, generative models can be developed that have potential as “computational assays”. Evaluating the clinical utility of these assays requires prospective patient studies that address concrete clinical problems, such as treatment response prediction. If successful, computational assays may help provide a formal basis for differential diagnosis and treatment predictions in individual patients and, ultimately, facilitate the construction of mechanistically interpretable disease classifications.


Prof. Dr. Michael Pluess: Individual Differences in Environmental Sensitivity

The notion that some people are more affected than others by the same experience is widely embraced in most fields of psychology and usually framed in a Diathesis-Stress perspective: some people are more vulnerable to adverse experiences as a function of inherent risk characteristics (e.g., personality, genes). More recently, it has been suggested in the Differential Susceptibility framework (Belsky & Pluess, 2009) that individuals may vary in their environmental sensitivity more generally: some are more affected by both negative as well as positive influences. Based on this now empirically well-supported proposition, I will introduce the concept of Vantage Sensitivity which refers to variation in response to exclusively positive experiences (Pluess & Belsky, 2013). After introducing these three differences perspectives and presenting empirical evidence for both differential susceptibility and vantage sensitivity featuring behavioral, physiological, neuroimaging and genetic factors as moderators of a wide range of experiences ranging from family environment and psychotherapy to educational intervention, I will point out important conceptual differences between the concepts before discussing potential mechanisms and practical implications.

Prof. Dr. Jennifer Inauen: Die Umsetzung von Handlungsabsichten: Eine situationale Perspektive

Schätzungen zufolge sind persönliche Entscheidungen für etwa 40% der Todesfälle verantwortlich. Obwohl viele Personen angeben, die Absicht zu haben, sich gesünder zu verhalten (z.B. mehr ins Fitnessstudio zu gehen, mit dem Rauchen aufzuhören), zeigt ein konsistenter Befund, dass diese Absichten oft nicht in die Tat umgesetzt werden. Dieses Phänomen ist als Intentions-Verhaltens-Lücke bekannt. Eine situationale Perspektive einnehmend zeige ich, dass Intentionen auf intraindividueller Ebene jedoch wichtiger sein könnten als bisher vermutet. Anhand auf diesem Befund basierender Studien stelle ich vor, inwiefern motivationale, volitionale und kontextuelle Faktoren zur Umsetzung von Handlungsabsichten zur Gesundheitsverhaltensänderung beitragen oder diese untergraben können. Die Erkenntnisse dienen der Entwicklung alltagsnaher Interventionen auf allen Ebenen der Prävention und Gesundheitsförderung.