Dr. Frederike Petzschner

2013-07-02 13.10.12


Frederike Petzschner is a Senior Research Fellow at the Translational Neuromodeling Unit (TNU) at University of Zürich and ETH Zürich since January 2013.

Before coming to Zurich, Frederike obtained her M. Sc. Hon. degree in Physics at the University of Würzburg in 2009, followed by a PhD in Neuroscience at the Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences affiliated with the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience in Munich and the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Stefan Glasauer, graduating in 2013.

During her graduate training, she focussed on the computations that take place in basic human perception. Her main field of interest was human space and time perception, extending to magnitude estimation in general.(Thesis).

Her work at the TNU focuses on perception and decision making in health and disease – using a combination of mathematical modeling, EEG recordings, fMRI recordings, behavioral measurements and physiological measurements (heart rate etc.).

She works on the following topics in particular:

(i) Exteroception versus Interoception: How can we conceptualize the perception of the body? How are interoceptive computations different form exteroceptive ones? What modulates the internal action-perception cycle? What are the influences of Placebo, Mindfulness and CBT?
– Keywords and Tools: Predictive Coding, Active Inference, EEG, Homeostasis

(ii) Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: What is driving checking behavior in OCD patients? What are the failure modes of goal-directed decision-making that lead to compulsive behavior? Is OCD related to a disruption in state learning?
– Keywords and Tools: Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes (POMDP), Drift-Diffusion Model (DDM), Checking Task, Shell Game (GoNoGo Reversal Learning Task), fMRI, Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

(iii) Addiction: What are the predictors for relapse in disordered Gambling? What are the patterns of illusionary control?
– Keywords and Tools: Hierarchical Gaussian Filter (HGF), Slot Machine Task, Trading Task, Shell Game, EEG



  • Huys QJM, Renz D, Petzschner FH, Berwian I, Haker H, German translation and validation of the Cognitive Style Questionnaire short form (CSQ-SF-D). PLoS One (2016), In Press
  • Petzschner FH, Glasauer S, Stephan KE (2015) A Bayesian perspective on Magnitude Estimation. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 19(5):285–293
  • Huys QJM and Petzschner FH (2015) Failure modes of the will: From goals to habits to compulsions? Am J Psychiatry. 172(3):1-3
  • Paliwal S, Petzschner FH, Schmitz AK, Tittgemeyer M and Stephan KE (2014) A model-based analysis of impulsivity using a slot-machine gambling paradigm. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 8:428. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00428 [Frontiers]
  • Petzschner F.H., Maier P., Glasauer S. (2012). Combining symbolic cues with sensory input and prior experience in a Bayesian framework. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience. 6(58):1-12 [pubmed]
  • Petzschner F.H., Krüger M. (2012). How to Reach: Movement Planning in the Posterior Parietal Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience. 32(14):4703- 04 [pubmed]
  • Petzschner F.H., Glasauer S. (2011). Iterative Bayesian estimation as an explanation for regression and range effects – a study on human path integration. Journal of Neuroscience. 31(47):17220-9 [pubmed]
  • Petzschner F.H., Ponce I.P., Blaimer M., Jakob P.M., Breuer F.A.
    (2011). Fast MR parameter mapping using k-t principal component analysis. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. 66(3):706-16 [pubmed]

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