RG Kalisch

Head: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Raffael Kalisch




Anna Gerlicher, PhD student
Manuela Götz, study psychologist
Miriam Kampa, PhD student
Dr. Benjamin Meyer, postdoc
Dr. Anita Schick, coordination MARP
Petra Seyfarth, MTA-R
Martina Thiele, PhD student
Kenneth S.L. Yuen, PhD, postdoc

Research overview:

We investigate basal resilience mechanisms in humans, at the level of cognition and neural function. 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 in relation to stressor exposure and mental health changes. 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:

  • Prospective longitudinal study "Mainz Resilience Project" (MARP)
  • Prospective longitudinal study "Longitudinal Resilience Assessment" (LORA) of Collaborative Research Center 1193 "Neurobiology of Resilience"
  • Mechanisms of extinction memory consolidation
  • Appetitive mechanisms of fear extinction
  • Transcranial stimulation of the dopaminergic system

External collaboration partners:

  • Prof. Dr. Birgit Kleim, Clinic for Psychology, University Zürich, Switzerland
  • Prof. Dr. Henrik Walter, Clinic for Psychiatry, Charité Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Guillén Fernàndez, Donders Institute, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Netherlands
  • Prof. Dr. Talma Hendler, Functional Brain Center, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Dr. Sevil Duvarci, Institute for Neurophysiology, Goethe-University Frankfurt, Frankfurt/Main, Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Bram Vervliet, Centre for Psychology of Learning and Experimental Psychopathology, KU Leuven, Netherlands


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

Key publications:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Etkin A, Egner T, Kalisch R (2011) Emotional processing in anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex. Trends Cogn Sci 15:85-93.
  • 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
  • Kalisch R, Müller MB, Tüscher O (2015) A conceptual framework for the neurobiological study of resilience. Behav Brain Sci 27:1-79.