Research group: Memory and decision making
|Head of group:
|| Tobias Sommer-Blöchl
Dr. rer. nat., Dipl.-Psych., Dipl.-Biol.
Our group explores what might seem two very distinct cognitive domains (episodic memory and decision making) and their neural correlates. On the one hand, we investigate these processes independently from each other by employing a variety of paradigms and experimental manipulations. But on the other hand, we also study their interaction by linking medial temporal lobe dependent memory with reward processing in the ventral striatum and tegmentum. In addition to cognitive-psychological methods, we also use eye-tracking to infer the underlying sub-processes. To determine the neural correlates and to advance thereby not only cognitive but also neurobiological theories of episodic memory and decision making, we use genetic approaches, (pharmacological) fMRI and prospectively also EEG and MEG. (Just a short personal note to avoid confusion with respect to my name: Upon marrying in 2003, my official last name became ‘Sommer-Blöchl’. However, as this name is unpronouncable for most non-Germans and for simplicity's sake, I use my maiden name for scientific purposes.)
- encoding, consolidation, and retrieval of episodic memory
- modulation of mnestic processes by neurosteroids and norepinephrine
- modulation of memory by emotional arousal
- genetic basis of mnestic and decision processes and their neural correlates
- interaction of striatum and medial temporal lobe in episodic memory
- influence of factual and fictive prediction errors on learning and decision making
- Sommer, T., Peters, J., Gläscher, J., & Büchel C. (2009). Structure-function relationships in the processing of regret in the orbitofrontal cortex. Brain Structure and Function213(6):535-51
- T. Sommer, J. Gläscher, S. Moritz, & C. Büchel (2008). Emotional enhancement effect of memory: removing the influence of cognitive factors. Learning & Memory15(8):569-73.
- T. Sommer, E. Schoell, & C. Büchel (2008). Associative Symmetry in the Memory for Object-Location Associations as revealed by the Testing Effect. Acta Psychologica, 128:238-248.
- T. Sommer, M. Rose, & C. Büchel (2007). Associative Symmetry vs. Independent Associations in the Memory for Object-Location Associations. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 33(1): 90-106.
- J. Yacubian, T. Sommer, K. Schroeder, J. Gläscher, R. Kalisch, B. Leuenberger, D.F. Braus, & C. Büchel (2007) Gene-gene interaction associated with neural reward sensitivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science U S A, 104(19): 8125-30.
- J. Fossella, T. Sommer, J. Fan, Y. Wu, J. Swanson, D. Pfaff, & M. I. Posner, M.I. (2002). Assessing the molecular genetics of attention networks. BioMedCentral Neuroscience, 3:14.