RG Kalisch

Head: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Raffael Kalisch




Elena Andres, PhD student
Haakon Engen, postdoc
Anna Gerlicher, PhD student
Manuela Götz, study psychologist
Chuan-Peng Hu, postdoc
Miriam Kampa, PhD student
Dr. Benjamin Meyer, postdoc
Dr. Anita Schick, postdoc, coordination MARP
Petra Seyfarth, technical assistant
Martina Thiele, PhD student
Kenneth S.L. Yuen, postdoc

Research overview:

We investigate basal resilience mechanisms in humans, at the level of cognition and neural function, and we work towards formulating a unifying theory of resilience. Our approach is characterized by a dynamic view on resilience that understands resilience as the outcome of a process of adaptation to stressors. For this reason, we conduct prospective longitudinal studies (MARP, LORA) in which changes in biological and psychological functions are monitored over time and put into relation to stressor exposure and to mental health changes. Another important method is the computational analysis and modelling of these data sets with a view to developing a mathematical fomalization of resilience theory. We also conduct laboratory studies on the neural and cognitive bases of identified resilience mechanisms (esp. extinction and emotion regulation), using methods of experimental psychology, neuroimaging (MRI), neurostimulation (tDCS), pharmacology and psychophysiology.

Current research projects:

  • EU Horizon2020 consortial project "DynaMORE" (Dynamic MOdelling of REsilience)
  • Prospective longitudinal study "Mainz Resilience Project" (MARP)
  • Prospective longitudinal study "Longitudinal Resilience Assessment" (LORA) of Collaborative Research Center 1193 "Neurobiology of Resilience"
  • Mechanisms of consolidation of safety and coping memories
  • Appetitive mechanisms of fear extinction

External collaboration partners:

  • Prof. Dr. Harald Binder, Institute for Medical Biometry and Informatics, University Medical Center Freiburg, Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Angélique O.J. Cramer, Department of Methodology and Statistics, Tilburg University, Netherlands
  • Dr. Sevil Duvarci, Institute for Neurophysiology, Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Guillén Fernàndez, Donders Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands
  • Prof. Dr. Talma Hendler, Functional Brain Center, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Dr. Erno Hermans, Donders Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands
  • Prof. Dr. Birgit Kleim, Department of Psychiatry, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • Prof. Dr. Karin Roelofs, Donders Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands
  • Prof. Dr. Jens Timmer, Institute for Physics, University of Freiburg, Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Henrik Walter, Department of Psychiatry, Charité Berlin, Germany


  • German Research Foundation
  • Ministry of Science of Rheinland Palatinate, Germany
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation
  • European Union

Key publications:

  • 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 AL, 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.
  • Kalisch R, Müller MB, Tüscher O (2015) A conceptual framework for the neurobiological study of resilience. Behav Brain Sci 27:1-79.
  • Haaker J, Gaburro S, Sah A, Gartmann N, Lonsdorf TB, Meier K, Singewald N, Pape HC, Morellini F*, Kalisch R* (2013) Single dose of L-dopa makes extinction memories context-independent and prevents the return of fear. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110:E2428-36. *equal contribution
  • Etkin A, Egner T, Kalisch R (2011) Emotional processing in anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex. Trends Cogn Sci 15:85-93.
  • Raczka KA, Gartmann N, Mechias ML, Reif A, Buchel C, Deckert J, Kalisch R (2010) A neuropeptide S receptor variant associated with overinterpretation of fear reactions: a potential neurogenetic basis for catastrophizing. Mol Psychiatry 15:1067-74. Corrigendum 17:468.
  • Pessiglione M, Schmidt L, Draganski B, Kalisch R, Lau H, Dolan RJ, Frith CD (2007) How the brain translates money into force: a neuroimaging study of subliminal motivation. Science 316:904-6.