Thomas Polak

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According to the Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (RST), Gray's dimension of impulsivity, reflecting human trait reward sensitivity, determines the extent to which stimuli activate the Behavioural Approach System (BAS). The potential neural underpinnings of the BAS, however, remain poorly understood. In the present study, we examined the association between(More)
In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), mild functional disturbances should precede gross structural damage and even more clinical symptoms, possibly by decades. Moreover, alterations in the brainstem are supposed to occur earlier as cortical affections. Based on these considerations, we developed a new method aiming at the measurement of vagal brainstem functioning(More)
It has been shown that applying transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) influences declarative memory processes. This study investigates the efficacy of tDCS on emotional memory consolidation, especially experimental fear conditioning. We applied an auditory fear-conditioning paradigm, in which two(More)
Recent studies have emphasized that the pathology of Parkinson’s disease (PD) extends beyond the nigrostriatal system [1, 2]. According to the work of Braak [3], it may start in deep brain stem nuclei including the glossopharyngeal/ vagus nerve complex. A method of vagus nerve somatosensory evoked potentials (VN-SEP) for the assessment of vagus nerve(More)
An approach bias for alcohol stimuli (i.e. faster approach than avoidance reactions) might facilitate relapses in alcohol dependence. Neurobiological models suggest hypersensitivity in the reward system [inter alia nucleus accumbens and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC)] to cause pathologically enhanced approach impulses towards alcohol stimuli. At the same time,(More)
Background. In order to prevent future errors, we constantly control our behavior for discrepancies between the expected (i.e., intended) and the real action outcome and continuously adjust our behavior accordingly. Neurophysiological correlates of this action-monitoring process can be studied with event-related potentials (error-related negativity (ERN)(More)
OBJECTIVE Several neuroscience tools showed the involvement of auditory cortex in chronic tinnitus. In this proof-of-principle study we probed the capability of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) for the measurement of brain oxygenation in auditory cortex in dependence from chronic tinnitus and from intervention with transcranial magnetic(More)
OBJECTIVE Visuospatial deficits are among the first symptoms of Alzheimer disease (AD) and linked to lower activation in the superior parietal cortex as assessed with functional imaging. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is an optical method to measure changes in the concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin and deoxygenated hemoglobin in the microvascular(More)
The method of vagus somatosensory evoked potentials (VSEP) was introduced to easily measure the activity of vagus brain stem nuclei. In Alzheimer’s disease, this measure was characterized by longer latencies as compared to controls while amplitudes did not show statistical significant differences at frontal and central recording sites. Therefore, the(More)
A new method for the assessment of vagus nerve function has recently been introduced into clinical practice. In the present study we could show that, contrary to our results in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), in patients with vascular dementia (VaD) vagus sensory evoked potentials (VSEP) did not show statistically significant differences as compared to healthy(More)