Böker Northoff

Fakultäten » Medizinische Fakultät » Psychiatrische Universitätsklinik » Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie und Psychosomatik, Klinik für » Prof. Dr. Daniel Hell (emeritiert) » Böker Northoff

Completed research project

Title / Titel Glutamatergic Modulation of Retrieval of Episodic Memory: A Combined Neuropsychological and fMRI-Study
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Original title / Originaltitel Hirnaktivierungsmuster beim Lernen und Wiedererkennen von episodischen Gedächtnisinhalten bei neurochemischer Stimulation mit Ketamin: Eine kombinierte neuropsychologische und fMRI-Studie
Summary / Zusammenfassung Memory of personally experienced events (i.e. episodic memory) may be closely related to construction of a model of the own self as well as to higher- order cognitive functions normally ascribed to fronto- hippocampal function. It has been hypothesized that both generation of the self and retrieval of episodic memory may be closely related to fronto-hippocampal function which may be modulated by Glutamatergic neurotransmission via NMDA-receptors. However relationship between generation of the self, retrieval of episodic memory, fronto-hippocampal function, and NMDA-receptors and their alteration in schizophrenic patients with self- related episodic disturbances remain unclear. Therefore we investigated constructions of the self and retrieval of episodic memory combining neuropsychological measures of the self and episodic memory with functional imaging techniques for spatiotemporal activation patterns including functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). Further elucidation of cortical basis of generation of self and episodic retrieval was achieved by employing neurochemical challenges of the NMDA-antagonist Ketamine during both neuropsychological and functional imaging.
In a first step the connection between fronto-hippocampal activation and retrieval of episodic memory was investigated in healthy controls. In a second step the fronto-hippocampal dysfunctions during the retrieval of episodic memory will be investigated in schizophrenic patients using a combined neuropsychological and functional imaging approach.
Results: Retrieval of episodic memory induced signal increases in posterior and anterior cingulate which were significantly attenuated by Ketamine. Moreover, attenuated signal increases in posterior cingulate correlated significantly with both number of mistakes in retrieval and positive i.e. psychosis-like symptoms.
Conclusion: The study demonstrates for the first time a relationship between NMDA-receptors, posterior cingulate and positive i.e. psychosis-like symptoms in humans.
Publications / Publikationen Northoff G., Richter A., Bermpohl F., Grimm S., Martin E., Marcar V.L., Wahl C., Hell D., Böker H. (2004) NMDA-Hypofunction in the Posterior Cingulate as a Model for Schizophrenia: An Exploratory Ketamine Administration Study in fMRI. Schizophrenia Research 72 (2-3): 235-248

Böker H, Northoff G, Lenz C, Schmeling C v, Eppel A, Härtling F, Will H, Hell D (2000) Die Rekonstruktion der Sprachlosigkeit: Untersuchungen subjektiven Erlebens ehemals katatoner PatientInnen mittels modifizierter Landfield-Kategorien. Psychiat. Prax. 27: 389-396

Northoff G, Steinke R, Nagel D, Czerwenka C Grosser O, Danos P, Gnez A, Krause R, Böker H, Otto HJ, Bogerts B (2000) Right lower prefronto-parietal cortical dysfunction in akinetic catatonia: a combined study of neuropsychology and regional cerebral blood flow. Psychol. Med. 30: 1-14

Keywords / Suchbegriffe episodic memory, self models, neuropsychology, fMRI, fronto-hippocampal function, glutamatergic modulation, schizophrenia
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
PD Dr. med. H. Böker (Project Leader)
PD Dr. med. PD Dr. phil. G. Northoff (Project Leader)
Dr. med. A. Richter
Dipl. Psych. S. Grimm
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
Universität Zürich (position pursuing an academic career), Forschungskredit der Universität Zürich, Private Sector (e.g. Industry)
Stifzung für wissenschaftliche Forschung an der Universität Zürich
In collaboration with /
In Zusammenarbeit mit
PD Dr. med. PD Dr. phil. G. Northoff
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
University of Magdeburg/Department of Psychiatry, Harvard University Boston
United States
Prof. J. Keenan
Department of Psychiatry
Harvard University Boston
United States
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Oct 1999 to Dec 2004