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Research Core Area Brain and Behaviour

Emotion Regulation and Self Regulation

(Coordinator: I. Papousek) 


  • Innovative Interdisciplinarity
  • Research with heart and brain
  • Focus in basic research and application

Collaborating experts

Biological Psychology (University of Graz)

Prof. Dr. I. Papousek [P], Prof. DDr. E.M. Weiss [P], Prof. Dr. G. Schulter [P], Prof. Dr. A. Fink [P] (affective neuroscience)

Clinical Psychology (University of Innsbruck)

Prof. DDr. E.M. Weiss [P] (biological psychiatry)

Physiology: Applied Interdisciplinary Psychophysiology (Medical University of Graz)

Prof. Dr. H.K. Lackner [P] (cardiovascular psychophysiology, applications in medical contexts)

Educational Psychology (University of Graz)

Prof. Dr. M. Paechter [P], Mag. Dr. Sigrid Wimmer [P] (goal orientation, academic achievement, educational applications)

Linguistics (University of Leuven)

Prof. Dr. Kurt Feyaerts [P] (interpersonal synchronisation in language and behaviour, cognitive-linguistic approaches to reappraisal)

Differential Psychology / Psychological Diagnostics (University of Greifswald)

Prof. Dr. Hannelore Weber [P] (capability for cognitive reappraisal)

Social Psychology (University of Klagenfurt)

Prof. Dr. Nilüfer Aydin [P] (affective and behavioural responses to social exclusion)

Psychological Assessment (University of Graz)

Prof. Dr. H.H. Freudenthaler [P] (emotion-related skills)

Clinical Psychology (University of Graz)

Prof. Dr. M. Gramer [P] (cardiovascular psychophysiology)

Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (General Hospital Hall, Tirol)

Prim. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Josef Marksteiner [P] (psychiatric applications)

Legal Medicine (Innsbruck Medical University)

Prof. Dr. Walther Parson [P], Harald Niederstätter [P] (genetic polymorphisms)


For full publication lists of single team members see their personal homepages (links "P" above).

References (collaborative publications of the research team):

  • Papousek, I., Rominger, C., Weiss, E.M., Perchtold, C.M., Fink, A., & Feyaerts, K. (2020). Humor creation during efforts to find humorous cognitive reappraisals of threatening situations. Current Psychology.
  • Perchtold-Stefan, C.M., Fink, A., Rominger, C., Weiss, E.M., & Papousek, I. (2020). More habitual physical activity is linked to the use of specific, more adaptive cognitive reappraisal strategies in dealing with stressful events. Stress and Health.
  • Wimmer, S., Paechter, M., Lackner, H.K., & Papousek, I. (2019). Effects of self-concept on restoring a positive motivational state after an exam-like situation. Mind, Brain, and Education, 14, 5-15.
  • Papousek, I., Wimmer, S., Lackner, H.K., Schulter, G., Perchtold, C.M., & Paechter, M. (2019). Trait positive affect and students' prefrontal EEG alpha asymmetry responses during a simulated exam situation. Biological Psychology, 148, 107762.
  • Wimmer, S., Lackner, H.K., Papousek, I., & Paechter, M. (2019). Influences of different dimensions of academic self-concept on students' cardiac recovery after giving a stressful presentation. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, 12, 1031-1040.
  • Perchtold, E.M., Weiss, E.M., Rominger, C., Fink, A., Weber, H., & Papousek, I. (2019). Cognitive reappraisal capacity mediates the relationship between prefrontal cortex recruitment during reappraisal of anger-eliciting events and paranoia-proneness. Brain and Cognition, 132, 198-117.
  • Perchtold, E.M., Papousek, I., Fink, A., Weber, H., Rominger, C., & Weiss, E.M. (2019). Gender differences in generating cognitive reappraisals for threatening situations: Reappraisal capacity shields against depressive symptoms in men, but not women. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 553.
  • Lackner, H.K., Feyaerts, K., Rominger, C., Oben, B., Schwerdtfeger, A., & Papousek, I. (2019). Impact of humor-related communication elements in natural dyadic interactions on interpersonal physiological synchrony. Psychophysiology, e13320.
  • Perchtold, C.M., Weiss, E.M., Rominger, C., Feyaerts, K., Ruch, W., Fink, A., & Papousek, I. (2019). Humorous cognitive reappraisal: More benign humour and less 'dark' humour is affiliated with more adaptie cognitive reappraisal strategies. PLoS One, 14, e0211618.
  • Reiter-Scheidl, K., Papousek, I., Lackner, H.K., Paechter, M., Weiss, E.M., & Aydin, N. (2018). Aggressive behavior after social exclusion is linked with the spontaneous initiation of more action-oriented coping immediately following the exclusion episode. Physiology and Behavior, 195, 142-150.
  • Weiss, E.M., Parson, W., Niederstätter, H., Marksteiner, J., & Lampe, A. (2018). Genetische Grundlagen der Posttraumatischen Belastungsstörung. [Genetics of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)]. Psychotherapie, Psychosomatik, Medizinische Psychologie.
  • Lackner, H.K., Moertl, M.G., Schmid-Zalaudek, K., Luconovik, M., Weiss, E.M., Kolovetsiou-Kreiner, V., & Papousek, I. (2018). History of preeclampsia adds to the deleterious effect of chronic stress on the cardiac ability to flexibly adapt to challenge. Frontiers in Physiology, 9, 1237.
  • Wimmer, S., Lackner, H.K., Papousek, I., & Paechter, M. (2018). Goal orientations and activation of approach versus avoidance motivation while awaiting an achievement situation in the laboratory. Frontiers in Psychology, Section Educational Psychology, 9, 1552.
  • Rominger, C., Papousek, I., Weiss, E.M., Schulter, G., Perchtold, C.M., Lackner, H.K., & Fink, A. (2018). Creative thinking in an emotional context: Specific relevance of executive control of emotion-laden representations in the inventiveness in generating alternative appraisals of negative events. Creativity Research Journal, 30, 256-265.
  • Papousek, I., Aydin, N., Rominger, C., Feyaerts, K., Schmid-Zalaudek, K., Lackner, H.K., Fink, A., Schulter, G., & Weiss, E.M. (2018). DSM-5 personality trait domains and withdrawal versus approach motivational tendencies in response to the perception of other people's desperation and angry aggression. Biological Psychology, 132, 106-115.
  • Lackner, H.K., Reiter-Scheidl, K., Aydin, N., Perchtold, C.M., Weiss, E.M., & Papousek, I. (2018). Laughter as a social rejection cue: Influence of prior explicit experience of social rejection on cardiac signs of "freezing". International Journal of Psychophysiology, 128, 1-6.
  • Perchtold, C.M., Fink, A., Rominger, C., Weber, H., Loureiro de Assuncao, V., Schulter, G., Weiss, E.M., & Papousek, I. (2018). Reappraisal inventiveness: Impact of appropriate brain activation during efforts to generate alternative appraisals on the perception of chronic stress in women. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 31, 206-221.
  • Perchtold, C.M., Papousek, I., Koschutnig, K., Rominger, C., Weber, H., Weiss, E.M., & Fink, A. (2018). Affective creativity meets classic creativity in the scanner. Human Brain Mapping, 393-406.
  • Feyaerts, K., Oben, B., Lackner, H.K., & Papousek, I. (2017). Alignment and empathy as viewpoint phenomena: The case of amplifiers and comical hypotheticals. Cognitive Linguistics, 28, 485-509.
  • Paechter, M., Macher, D., Martskvishivili, K., Wimmer, S., & Papousek, I. (2017). Mathematics anxiety and statistics anxiety. Shared but also unshared components and antagonistic contributions to performance in statistics. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, Article 1196 (13 pages).
  • Canazei, M., Pohl, W., Bauernhofer, K., Papousek, I., Lackner, H.K., Bliem, H., Marksteiner, J., & Weiss, E.M. (2017). Psychophysiological effects of a single, short, and moderately bright room light exposure on mildly depressed geriatric inpatients: a pilot study. Gerontology, 63, 308-317.
  • Papousek, I., Paechter, M., Weiss, E.M., & Lackner, H.K. (2017). The tendency to ruminate and the dynamics of heart rate recovery after an ordinary, mildly stressful performance situation. Personality and Individual Differences, 104, 150-154.
  • Fink, A., Weiss, E.M., Schwarzl, U., Weber, H., Loureiro de Assuncao, V., Rominger C., Schulter G., Lackner, H.K., & Papousek, I. (2017). Creative ways to well-being: Reappraisal inventiveness in the context of anger evoking situations. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 17, 94-105.
  • Papousek, I., Weiss, E.M., Perchtold, C.M., Weber, H., Loureiro de Assuncao, V., Schulter, G., Lackner, H.K., & Fink, A. (2017). The capacity for generating cognitive reappraisals is reflected in asymmetric activation of frontal brain regions. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 11, 577-590.
  • Weiss, E.M., Singewald, E., Baldus, C., Hofer, E., Marksteiner, J., ..., Papousek, I., & Holzer, P. (2017). Differences in psychological and somatic symptom cluster score profiles between subjects with idiopathic environmental intolerance, major depression and schizophrenia. Psychiatry Research, 249, 187-194.
  • Rominger, C., Bleier, A., Fitz, W., Marksteiner, J., Fink, A., Papousek, I., & Weiss, E.M. (2016). Auditory top-down control and affective theory of mind in schizophrenia with and without hallucinations. Schizophrenia Research, 174, 192-196.
  • Lackner, H.K., Weiss, E.M., Hofer, E., Rössler, A., Fink, A., Schulter, G., Papousek, I. (2016). Transient cardiac responses to witnessing horrible events in young adult female exercisers and non-exercisers. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 22, 312-320.
  • Lackner, H.K., Gramer, M., Paechter, M., Wimmer, S., Hinghofer-Szalkay, H., & Papousek, I. (2015). Academic goal orientation and cardiovascular reactivity in a performance situation. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 40, 189-200. 
  • Steixner, R., Moser, B., Kemmler, G., Freudenthaler, H.H., Papousek, I., Deisenhammer, E.A., & Weiss, E.M. (2015). Emotionale Kompetenz - der Einfluss von kognitiver Beeinträchtigung und Depression im Alter [Self-reported handling of emotion in everyday life - the influence of mild cognitive impairment and depression in older age]. Zeitschrift für Neuropsychologie, 26, 121-130.
  • Macher, D., Papousek, I., Ruggeri, K., & Paechter, M. (2015). Statistics anxiety and performance: blessings in disguise. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, Article 1116 (4 p.).
  • Papousek, I., Weiss, E.M., Mosbacher, J., Reiser, E.M., Schulter, G., & Fink, A. (2014). Affective processing in positive schizotypy: Loose control of social-emotional information. Brain and Cognition, 92, 84-91. 
  • Papousek, I., Aydin, N., Lackner, H.K., Weiss, E. M., Bühner, M., Schulter, G., Charlesworth, C., & Freudenthaler, H.H. (2014). Laughter as a social rejection cue: Gelotophobia and transient cardiac responses to other person's laughter and insult. Psychophysiology, 51, 1112-1121. 
  • Papousek, I., Weiss, E.M., Schulter, G., Fink, A., Reiser, E.M., & Lackner, H.K. (2014). Prefrontal EEG alpha asymmetry changes while observing disaster happening to other people: Cardiac correlates and prediction of emotional impact. Biological Psychology, 103, 184-194. 
  • Weiss, E.M., Freudenthaler, H.H., Fink, A., Reiser, E.M., Niederstätter, H., Nagl, S., Parson, W., & Papousek, I. (2014). Differential influence of 5-HTTLPR - polymorphism and COMT - polymorphism on emotion perception and regulation in healthy women. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 20, 516-524.
  • Feyaerts, K., Papousek, I., Gierlinger, G., Lackner, H.K., & Oben, B. (2014). The AliLeGra-corpus. 'Alignment Leuven Graz'. Universities of Leuven & Graz.
  • Papousek, I., Schulter, G., Lackner, H.K., Samson, A.C., & Freudenthaler, H.H. (2014). Experimentally observed responses to humour are related to individual differences in emotion perception and regulation in everyday life. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, 27, 271-286.
  • Weiss, E.M., Fink, A., Reiser, E.M., Schulter, G., Mittenecker, E., Niederstätter, H., Nagl, S., Parson, W., & Papousek, I. (2014). Influences of COMT and 5-HTTLPR polymorphisms on cognitive flexibility in healthy women: Inhibition of prepotent responses and memory updating. PLoS One, 9: e85506.
  • Lackner, H.K., Weiss, E.M., Hinghofer-Szalkay, H., & Papousek, I. (2014). The cardiovascular effects of acute positive emotional arousal. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 39, 9-18.
  • Macher, D., Paechter, M., Papousek, I., Ruggeri, K., Freudenthaler, H.H., & Arendasy, M. (2013). Statistics anxiety, state anxiety during an examination, and academic achievement. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 535-549.
  • Papousek, I. , Reiser, E.M., Schulter, G., Fink, A., Holmes, E.A., Niederstätter, H., Nagl, S., Parson, W., & Weiss, E.M. (2013). Serotonin transporter genotype (5-HTTLPR) and electrocortical responses indicating the sensitivity to negative emotional cues. Emotion, 13, 1173-1181.
  • Freudenthaler, H.H., & Papousek, I. (2013). Managing emotions: The importance to distinguish between typical and maximum performance of intra- and interpersonal emotion management. In C. Mohiyeddini (Ed.), Emotional relationships: Types, challenges, and physical/mental health impacts (pp. 125-160). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.
  • Papousek, I., Weiss, E.M., Reiser, E.M., Schulter, G., Freudenthaler, H.H., & Lackner, H.K. (2013). Self-rated social-emotional perception and its neurophysiologic and cardiac correlates while viewing a film showing the suffering of other people. International Journal of Psychological Research, 6, 42-55.
  • Moertl, M.G., Lackner, H.K., Papousek, I., Roessler, A., Hinghofer-Szalkay, H., Kolovetsiou-Kreiner, V., & Schlembach, D. (2013). Phase synchronization of hemodynamic variables at rest and after deep breathing measured during the course of pregnancy. PLoS One, 8: e60675.
  • Papousek, I., Reiser, E.M., Weiss, E.M., Fink, A., Samson, A.C., & Lackner, H.K., & Schulter, G. (2013). State-dependent changes of prefrontal-posterior coupling in the context of affective processing: Susceptibility to humor. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 13, 252-261.
  • Lackner, H.K., Weiss, E.M., Schulter, G., Hinghofer-Szalkay, H., Samson, A.C., & Papousek, I. (2013). I got it! Transient cardiovascular responses to the perception of humor. Biological Psychology, 93, 33-40.
  • Papousek, I., Schulter, G., Weiss, E.M., Samson, A.C., Freudenthaler, H.H., & Lackner, H.K. (2013). Frontal brain asymmetry and transient cardiovascular responses to the perception of humor. Biological Psychology, 93, 114-121.
  • Macher, D., Paechter, M., Papousek, I., & Ruggeri, K. (2012). Statistics anxiety, trait anxiety, learning behavior, and academic performance. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 27, 483-498.
  • Papousek, I., Reiser, E.M., Weber, B., Freudenthaler, H.H., & Schulter, G. (2012). Frontal brain asymmetry and affective flexibility in an emotional contagion paradigm. Psychophysiology, 49, 489-498.
  • Reiser, E.M., Schulter, G., Weiss, E.M., Fink, A., Rominger, C., & Papousek, I. (2012). Decrease of prefrontal-posterior EEG coherence: Loose control during social-emotional stimulation. Brain and Cognition, 80, 144-154.
  • Weiss, E.M., Schulter, G., Freudenthaler, H.H., Hofer, E., Pichler N., & Papousek, I. (2012). Potential markers of aggressive behavior: The fear of other persons' laughter and its overlaps with mental disorders. PLoS One, 7, e38088.
  • Samson, A.C., Lackner, H.K., Weiss, E.M., & Papousek, I. (2012). Perception of other people's mental states affects humor in social anxiety. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 94, 82-91.
  • Papousek, I., Ruggieri, K., Macher, D., Paechter, M., Heene, M., Weiss, E.M., Schulter, G., & Freudenthaler, H.H. (2012). Psychometric evaluation and experimental validation of the Statistics Anxiety Rating Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 94, 82-91.
  • Weiss, E.M., Papousek, I., Fink, A., Matt, T., Marksteiner, J., & Deisenhammer E.A. (2012). Lebensqualität bei älteren Personen mit unterschiedlichem Schweregrad von kognitiver Beeinträchtigung [Quality of life in mild cognitive impairment, patients with different stages of Alzheimer disease and healthy control subjects. Neuropsychiatrie, 26, 72-77.
  • Papousek, I., Paechter, M., & Lackner, H.K. (2011). Delayed psychophysiological recovery after self-concept-inconsistent negative performance feedback. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 82, 275-282.
  • Papousek, I., Freudenthaler, H.H., & Schulter, G. (2011). Typical performance measures of emotion regulation and emotion perception and frontal EEG asymmetry in an emotional contagion paradigm. Personality and Individual Differences, 51, 1018-1022.
  • Papousek, I., Nauschnegg, K., Paechter, M., Lackner, H.K., Goswami, N., & Schulter, G. (2010). Trait and state positive affect and cardiovascular recovery from experimental academic stress. Biological Psychology, 83, 108-115. 
  • Lackner, H.K., Goswami, N., Papousek, I., Roessler, A., Grasser, E.K., Montani, J.P., Jezova, D., & Hinghofer-Szalkay, H.G. (2010). Time course of cardiovascular responses induced by mental and orthostatic challenges. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 75, 48-53.
  • Papousek, I., Ruch, W., Freudenthaler, H.H., Kogler, E., Lang, B., & Schulter, G. (2009). Gelotophobia, emotion-related skills and responses to the affective states of others. Personality and Individual Differences, 47, 58-63.
  • Papousek, I., Freudenthaler, H.H., & Schulter, G. (2008). The interplay of perceiving and regulating emotions in becoming infected with positive and negative moods. Personality and Individual Differences, 45, 463-467.


Christina Eder

currently on parental leave

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