Connecting European Neuroscience

Lars Schwabe

Programme Committee Member FENS Forum 2020

Curriculum Vitae

Professional and Academic Career

  • Since 2014: Professor and Head of Department of Cognitive Psychology, University of Hamburg, Germany
  • 2013-2014: Heisenberg Scholar, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
  • 2012-2013: Guest Professor, Department of Biological Psychology, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany
  • 2011-2012: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
  • 2010-2011: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, McGill University, Canada
  • 2008-2010: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
  • 2005-2008: PhD student, Psychobiology, University of Trier, Germany and University of Leiden, The Netherlands
  • 2000-2005: Diploma in Psychology, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University Greifswald, Germany.

Honours and Awards

  • 2016: FENS-EJN Young Investigator Research Prize 2016
  • 2014-2018: Selected as founding member of the FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence
  • 2014-present: Associate editor “Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience”
  • 2014: Heisenberg scholarship, German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • 2011: Distinction as “Rising Star” by the Association of Psychological Science
  • 2011: Young Investigator Award of the European Brain and Behaviour Society
  • 2011: Research prize 2011 of the German Psychological Association (DGPs), section Biological Psychology and Neuropsychology
  • 2009: Award for the best dissertation at the University of Trier
  • 2008: Young Investigator Award of the International Society for Psychoneuroendocrinology
  • 2006-2008: Scholarship in the DFG International Research Training Group “Psychoneuroendocrinology of Stress”, University of Trier
  • 2005-2006: Scholarship of the Nikolaus-Koch Foundation
  • 2002-2005: Scholarship of the German National Academic Foundation.

General Administrative and Organisational Experience 

  • Organizer of the 1st Hamburg meeting on "Flexible learning under stress"
  • Member of the FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence (e. g. involved in Mentoring Prize Committee). 

Research Interests

My research focusses on the impact of stress and emotion on learning and memory processes. At the intersection of psychology, neuroscience, and endocrinology, I combine sophisticated behavioral experiments with neuroimaging techniques, behavioral genetics, and pharmacological manipulations, mainly in humans, in order to unravel how stressful experiences and emotional arousal shape our memories. Together with my colleagues, I could show stressful experiences induce a shift from flexible but cognitively-demanding forms of learning and memory to more rigid but simple ones. Using fMRI, we could show that this bias is mainly owing to a stress-induced impairment of the more cognitive systems. In addition to the impact of stress on learning and memory, I am interested in the dynamics of memory formation, with a particular focus on memory transformation, updating and reconsolidation, as well as in decision-making and action and their bases in the human brain.

Selected Publications

1. Dandolo, L. C. & Schwabe, L. Time-dependent memory transformation along the hippocampal anterior-posterior axis. Nature Communications 9, 1205 (2018).

2. de Quervain, D., Schwabe, L. & Roozendaal, B. Stress, glucocorticoids and memory: implications for treating fear-related disorders. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 18, 7-19 (2017).

3. Wirz, L., Wacker, J., Felten, A., Reuter, M. & Schwabe, L. A deletion variant of the α2b-adrenoceptor modulates the stress-induced shift from ‘cognitive’ to ‘habit’ memory. The Journal of Neuroscience 37, 2149-2160 (2017).

4. Vogel, S., Fernandez, G., Joëls, M. & Schwabe, L. Cognitive adaptation under stress: a case for the mineralocorticoid receptor. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 20, 192-203 (2016).

5. Schwabe, L. & Wolf, O. T. Stress and multiple memory systems: from 'thinking'to 'doing'. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 17, 60-68 (2013).

6. Schwabe, L., Tegenthoff, M., Höffken, O. & Wolf, O. T. Mineralocorticoid receptor blockade prevents stressinduced modulation of multiple memory systems in the human brain. Biological Psychiatry 74, 801-808 (2013).

7. Schwabe, L. & Wolf, O. T. Stress modulates the engagement of multiple memory systems in classification learning. The Journal of Neuroscience 32, 11042-11049 (2012).

8. Schwabe, L., Tegenthoff, M., Höffken, O. & Wolf, O. T. Simultaneous glucocorticoid and noradrenergic activity disrupts the neural basis of goal-directed action in the human brain. The Journal of Neuroscience 32, 10146-10155 (2012).

9. Schwabe, L., Nader, K., Wolf, O. T., Beaudry, T. & Pruessner, J. C. Neural signature of reconsolidation impairments by propranolol in humans. Biological Psychiatry 71, 380-386 (2012).

10. Schwabe, L. & Wolf, O. T. Stress prompts habit behavior in humans. The Journal of Neuroscience 29, 7191-7198 (2009).

Lars Schwabe

Professor and Head of the Department of Cognitive Psychology;
University of Hamburg
Institute of Psychology
Von-Melle-Park 5, room 4039
20146 Hamburg, Germany