Project C07: Neural correlates of instrumental control: immunization as potential resilience mechanism

Principal Investigators

Prof. Dr. Andreas Reif

Chair, Full Professor (W3) for Psychiatry

Prof. Dr. Michèle Wessa

Professor (W3), Head of the Department of Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology

Project Team

Our Research

Actual or perceived controllability over a stressor likely contributes to stress resilience. Three mechanisms are important in this context: stress immunization, learned helplessness and self-efficacy expectancy. C07 will investigate the neural and behavioral correlates of stressor controllability in healthy humans with respect to these three mechanisms. Further, individuals characterized for stress resilience (RT2-score) by central project Z03 will be investigated to test whether the behavioral and neural mechanisms underlying actual and perceived controllability differentiate as a function of resilient outcome.


Gururajan A, Reif A, Cryan JF, Slattery DA (2019) The future of rodent models in depression research. Nat Rev Neurosci 20(11):686–701.

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Kalisch R, Baker DG, Basten U, Boks MP, Bonanno GA, Brummelman E, Chmitorz A, Fernàndez G, Fiebach CJ, Galatzer-Levy I, Geuze E, Groppa S, Helmreich I, Hendler T, Hermans EJ, Jovanovic T, Kubiak T, Lieb K, Lutz B, Müller MB, Murray RJ, Nievergelt CM, Reif A, Roelofs K, Rutten BPF, Sander D, Schick A, Tüscher O, Van Diest I, van Harmelen A-L, Veer IM, Vermetten E, Vinkers CH, Wager TD, Walter H, Wessa M, Wibral M, Kleim B (2017) The resilience framework as a strategy to combat stress-related disorders. Nat Hum Behav 1:784-90.

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Sandner M, Lois G, Streit F, Zeier P, Kirsch P, Wüst S, Wessa M (2020)  Investigating individual stress reactivity: High hair cortisol predicts  lower acute stress responses. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 118:104660. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2020.104660

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