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  Prof. Dr. Dominique J.-F. de Quervain

Division of Cognitive Neuroscience
University of Basel
Birmannsgasse 8
CH-4056 Basel / Switzerland

Phone +41 61 267 02 37
E-mail: dominique.dequervain@unibas.ch

Research Area(s)

Cognition, Emotion & Behavior

Previous and Current Research Genetic basis of human memory
Human cognitive and emotional traits are highly variable across individuals and influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Previous research has shown that we are able to identify genetic variants related to human memory. Current and future work includes the identification of novel memory-related genes and their functional characterization using fMRI and transcranial magnetic stimulation. In the field of Cognitive Genetics, the Division of Cognitive Neuroscience has strong collaboration with the Division of Molecular Psychology at the University of Basel.

Stress hormones and memory
Furthermore, I am interested in the effects of glucocorticoid hormones on memory in health and disease. We have reported previously that glucocorticoids impair memory retrieval in animals and we were able to translate these findings to humans. I am especially interested in potential beneficial effects of glucocorticoids, because they may help to reduce traumatic memory and fear memory in such anxiety disorders as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and phobias. Future work will include studies to further characterize glucocorticoid effects on memory and emotions using fMRI and studies to test the therapeutic efficacy of glucocorticoids in the treatment of anxiety disorders.

Future Goals

See above

Selected Publications

  1. de Quervain, D. J.-F., Roozendaal, B., and McGaugh, J. L. Stress and  glucocorticoids impair retrieval of long-term spatial memory. Nature, 394, 787-790 (1998)
  2. Papassotiropoulos A., Stephan D.A.,…,de Quervain D.J-F. Common kibra alleles are associated with human memory performance. Science 314:475-8 (2006)
  3. de Quervain, D. J.-F., Fischbacher U., Treyer, V., Schellhammer M., Schnyder, U., Buck, A., Fehr, E. The neural basis of altruistic punishment. Science, 305, 1254-1258 (2004)
  4. de Quervain, D. J.-F., Henke, K., Aerni, A., Coluccia, D., Wollmer, M. A., Hock, C., Nitsch, R. M., and Papassotiropoulos, A. A functional genetic variation of the 5-HT2a receptor affects human memory. Nature Neuroscience, 6, 1141-1142 (2003)
  5. De Quervain D. J.-F., Kolassa I.T., Ertl V., Onyut P.L., Neuner F., Elbert T., Papassotiropoulos A. A deletion variant of the alpha2b-adrenoceptor is related to emotional memory in Europeans and Africans. Nature Neuroscience 10:1137-1139 (2007)


Homepage http://www.brainscience.ch/unibas-dcn.html
Priorities in research
Basel Seminars in Neuroscience
Bench to bedside
Cycle B seminars
Neurex Workshops

Graduate studies (PhD)
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