Profile

Our working group (head of unit: Prof. Steffen Moritz, founding members: Prof. Burghard Andresen & Prof. Reinhard Maß) is engaged in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and research on (meta) cognitive deficits of psychiatric disorders. A short presentation of our tasks as well as a description of the internship opportunities for psychology students can be found in the following sections. The above menu items provide detailed information about our current research projects.

Diagnostics

Standard methods of neuropsychology are used for the neuropsychological and psychometric assessment of our patients. The most frequent diagnostic questions are as follows:

  • diagnostic verification of dementia (especially differential diagnosis of depression), amnestic syndrome (in the context of substance dependence) or attention deficit disorder
  • Validation of subjective cognitive complaints
  • Intelligence assessment (e.g. in cases of suspected intellectual deficit / F70)
  • Assessment of the ability to drive or operate machinery
  • Assessment of work performance and the ability to attend school/university
  • Verification of drug-induced neuropsychological dysfunctions

Possible moderators of neuropsychological dysfunctions, such as psychopathology and medication, are carefully considered for our final written report. Each year we process approximately 350 applications from the various stations of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy.

Treatment of cognitive disorders

Since the beginning of 2005, we offer a self-developed training program, which aims to improve metacognition (i.e., thinking about thinking) in patients with schizophrenia (Metacognitive Training (MCT)). In addition, MCT has been specifically adapted and developed for other disorders (Borderline personality disorder and depression). All MCTs are offered in group settings. A manual for the individual treatment of patients with schizophrenia is also available (MKT +). We are currently conducting several studies to assess all interventions for their effectiveness. Moreover, we have devised a new technique to decrease obsessive thoughts, which has been successfully evaluated in a pilot study (Association splitting). CogPack training is administered for neurocognitive rehabilitation. Please see the other menu items for more information on these interventions.

Research

We are actively involved in a number of research projects on a variety of psychiatric diseases. In addition to established neuropsychological tasks as well as questionnaires, we employ a variety of self-developed experimental cognitive paradigms. Our studies are conducted in cooperation with our local colleagues as well as other national and international scientific institutions. Our current research projects are described in more detail on the following pages. Any comments or questions are appreciated at any time!

Internship & Bachelor, Master and Ph.D. theses

We regularly award internships to psychology students. After an intensive training phase, you have the opportunity to carry out neuropsychological assessments, which includes compiling  and interpreting test results in diagnostic reports. You will be guided, supported and supervised by experienced diagnosticians. We also offer interns the possibility of co-leading (with experienced therapists) group MCT for patients with schizophrenia. In addition, interns are involved in the various research projects of our group. As a part of this, we offer students the opportunity to work on their bachelor, master and Ph.D. theses. For an internship, you should be available for at least four months (four days/week). For applications: write an email with attachments (e.g., letters of reference) to moritz [@] uke.de [please, no "snail mail"].

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