Dr Annette Brühl

Annette Brühl

University position

Visiting Clinical Researcher


Department of Psychiatry


Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute



Research Theme

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience


My research is concerned with the interaction of emotion and cognition - how cognitive processes regulate emotion, how emotion interacts with cognition - with a particular focus on the neurofunctional processes. These processes are disturbed in affective disorders such as anxiety disorders, OCD, depression and borderline personality disorders. Therapeutic interventions such as psychotherapy and psychopharmacotherapy try to improve and restore these functions. Understanding these processes in healthy subjects, the disturbances in affective disorders and the changes due to treatment could help improving diagnosis and treatments in psychiatry.

Aiming at increasing knowledge in this field, I use functional magnetic resonance imaging and neuropsychological methods in healthy subjects and patients. Furthermore, I am interested in translational models of these disorders.

Research Focus


Emotion regulation

affective disorders




Clinical conditions

Anxiety disorders

Bipolar disorder

Borderline personality disorder

Depressive disorders

Obsessive compulsive disorder

Panic disorder

Personality disorders


Post-traumatic stress disorder


Behavioural analysis

Cross-sectional and cohort studies

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Neuropsychological testing


No collaborators listed

Associated News Items

Key publications

Sahakian BJ, Bruhl AB, Cook J, Killikelly C, Savulich G, Piercy T, Hafizi S, Perez J, Fernandez-Egea E, Suckling J, Jones PB (2015), “The impact of neuroscience on society: cognitive enhancement in neuropsychiatric disorders and in healthy people.” Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 370(1677) Details

Brühl AB, Delsignore A, Komossa K, Weidt S (2014), “Neuroimaging in social anxiety disorder-A meta-analytic review resulting in a new neurofunctional model.” Neurosci Biobehav Rev 47C:260-280 Details

Brühl AB, Hänggi J, Baur V, Rufer M, Delsignore A, Weidt S, Jäncke L, Herwig U (2014), “Increased cortical thickness in a frontoparietal network in social anxiety disorder.” Hum Brain Mapp 35(7):2966-77 Details

Brühl AB, Scherpiet S, Sulzer J, Stämpfli P, Seifritz E, Herwig U (2014), “Real-time neurofeedback using functional MRI could improve down-regulation of amygdala activity during emotional stimulation: a proof-of-concept study.” Brain Topogr 27(1):138-48 Details

Lutz J, Herwig U, Opialla S, Hittmeyer A, Jäncke L, Rufer M, Grosse Holtforth M, Brühl AB (2014), “Mindfulness and emotion regulation--an fMRI study.” Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci 9(6):776-85 Details

Brühl AB, Rufer M, Delsignore A, Kaffenberger T, Jäncke L, Herwig U (2011), “Neural correlates of altered general emotion processing in social anxiety disorder.” Brain Res 1378:72-83 Details

Brühl AB, Kaffenberger T, Herwig U (2010), “Serotonergic and noradrenergic modulation of emotion processing by single dose antidepressants.” Neuropsychopharmacology 35(2):521-33 Details



Emmert K, Kopel R, Berman B, Horovitz S, Breimhorst M, Brühl AB, Caria A, Frank S, Johnston S, Linden D, Long Z, Paret C, Robineau F, Sulzer J, Veit R, Bartsch A, Beckmann C, Van De Ville D, Haller S (2016), “Meta analysis of real-time fMRI neurofeedback studies: how is brain regulation mediated? ” NeuroImage 124(Pt A): 806-812


Brühl AB (2015), “Making sense of real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (rtfMRI) and rtfMRI neurofeedback.” Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 18(6) Details

Brühl AB, Herwig U, Rufer M, Weidt S (2015), “Neurowissenschaftliche Befunde zur Psychotherapie von Angststörungen. [Studies on neurobiological effects of psychotherapy in anxiety disorders].” Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie, Psychologie und Psychotherapie 63(2): 109-116.

in press

Lutz J, Brühl AB, Dörig N, Scheerer H, Achermann R, Weibel A, Jäncke L, Herwig U (in press), “Neural correlates of mindful self-awareness in mindfulness meditators and meditation-naive subjects revisited.” NeuroImage


Opialla S, Lutz J, Scherpiet S, Hittmeyer A, Jäncke L, Rufer M, Grosse Holtforth M, Herwig U, Brühl AB (2015), “Neural circuits of emotion regulation: a comparison of mindfulness-based and cognitive reappraisal strategies.” Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 265(1):45-55 Details

Scherpiet S, Herwig U, Opialla S, Scheerer H, Habermeyer V, Jäncke L, Brühl AB (2015), “Reduced neural differentiation between self-referential cognitive and emotional processes in women with borderline personality disorder” Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging 233(3): 314-323.

Schumacher S, Herwig U, Baur V, Mueller-Pfeiffer C, Martin-Soelch C, Rufer M, Brühl AB (2015), “Psychophysiological responses during the anticipation of emotional pictures.” Psychophysiology 29(1): 13-19

Weidt S, Klaghofer R, Kuenburg A, Bruehl AB, Delsignore A, Moritz S, Rufer M (2015), “Internet-based self-help for trichotillomania: A randomized controlled study comparing decoupling and progressive muscle relaxation” Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 84:359-367.


Brühl AB, Rufer M, Kaffenberger T, Baur V, Herwig U (2014), “Neural circuits associated with positive and negative self-appraisal.” Neuroscience 265C:48-59 Details

Roth L, Kaffenberger T, Herwig U, Brühl AB (2014), “Brain Activation Associated with Pride and Shame.” Neuropsychobiology 69(2):95-106 Details

Scherpiet S, Brühl AB, Opialla S, Roth L, Jäncke L, Herwig U (2014), “Altered emotion processing circuits during the anticipation of emotional stimuli in women with borderline personality disorder.” Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 264(1):45-60 Details

Sommer I, Brühl A, Delsignore A, Weidt S (2014), “Insomnie in der Hausarztpraxis: von der Diagnostik zu ersten Interventionen [Insomnia in the General Practitioner's Office: From Diagnosis to Initial Interventions]” Praxis – Schweizerische Rundschau für Medizin 103(11): 649-656.

Weidt S, Bruehl A, Moergeli H, Straumann D, Hegemann S, Büchi S, Rufer M (2014), “Graphic representation of the burden of suffering in dizziness patients.” Health Qual Life Outcomes 12(1):184 Details

Weidt S, Bruehl A, Straumann D, Hegemann S, Krautstrunk G, Rufer M (2014), “Health-related quality of life and emotional distress in patients with dizziness: a cross-sectional approach to disentangle their relationship.” BMC Health Serv Res 14(1):317 Details


Baur V, Brühl AB, Herwig U, Eberle T, Rufer M, Delsignore A, Jäncke L, Hänggi J (2013), “Evidence of frontotemporal structural hypoconnectivity in social anxiety disorder: A quantitative fiber tractography study.” Hum Brain Mapp 34(2):437-46 Details

Brühl AB, Herwig U, Delsignore A, Jäncke L, Rufer M (2013), “General emotion processing in social anxiety disorder: neural issues of cognitive control.” Psychiatry Res 212(2):108-15 Details

Sulzer J, Haller S, Scharnowski F, Weiskopf N, Birbaumer N, Blefari ML, Bruehl AB, Cohen LG, DeCharms RC, Gassert R, Goebel R, Herwig U, LaConte S, Linden D, Luft A, Seifritz E, Sitaram R (2013), “Real-time fMRI neurofeedback: progress and challenges.” Neuroimage 76:386-99 Details

Weidt S, Rufer M, Brühl A, Baumann-Vogel H, Delsignore A (2013), “[Obsessive compulsive disorder--intrusive thoughts, impulses and repetitive behaviours as an expression of a significant disease].” Praxis (Bern 1994) 102(14):857-64 Details


Herwig U, Brühl AB (2012), “Bildgebung der Emotionsregulation. [Neuroimaging of emotion regulation].” InFo Neurologie Psychiatrie (Schweiz) 10(5): 34-36.

Herwig U, Kaffenberger T, Schell C, Jäncke L, Brühl AB (2012), “Neural activity associated with self-reflection.” BMC Neurosci 13:52 Details

Schönfeldt-Lecuona C, Cárdenas-Morales L, Moreno-Aguirre A, Dorn K, Langguth B, Brühl AB, Kammer T, Herwig U (2012), “Effect of 1 Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over the auditory cortex on audiometry and otoacustic emissions.” Brain Topogr 25(3):241-7 Details

Weidt S, Brühl A, Delsignore A (2012), “[My patient is anxious - what's next?].” Praxis (Bern 1994) 101(8):523-30 Details


Brühl AB, Jäncke L, Herwig U (2011), “Differential modulation of emotion processing brain regions by noradrenergic and serotonergic antidepressants.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 216(3):389-99 Details

Brühl AB, Viebke MC, Baumgartner T, Kaffenberger T, Herwig U (2011), “Neural correlates of personality dimensions and affective measures during the anticipation of emotional stimuli.” Brain Imaging Behav 5(2):86-96 Details

Cueni C, Abbruzzese EA, Brühl AB, Herwig U (2011), “Neuropsychologie der Depression. [Neuropsychology of depression]. ” Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie, Psychologie und Psychotherapie 59(2): 103-114.

Herwig U, Brühl AB, Viebke MC, Scholz RW, Knoch D, Siegrist M (2011), “Neural correlates of evaluating hazards of high risk.” Brain Res 1400:78-86 Details

Mutschler J, Grosshans M, Herwig U, Heekeren K, Kawohl W, Brühl A (2011), “Pregabalin-induced suicidal ideations.” Pharmacopsychiatry 44(3):119 Details


Herwig U, Brühl AB, Kaffenberger T, Baumgartner T, Boeker H, Jäncke L (2010), “Neural correlates of 'pessimistic' attitude in depression.” Psychol Med 40(5):789-800 Details

Herwig U, Kaffenberger T, Jäncke L, Brühl AB (2010), “Self-related awareness and emotion regulation.” Neuroimage 50(2):734-41 Details

Kaffenberger T, Brühl AB, Baumgartner T, Jäncke L, Herwig U (2010), “Negative bias of processing ambiguously cued emotional stimuli.” Neuroreport 21(9):601-5 Details


Kawohl W, Brühl A, Krowatschek G, Ketteler D, Herwig U (2009), “Functional magnetic resonance imaging of tics and tic suppression in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome.” World J Biol Psychiatry 10(4 Pt 2):567-70 Details


Herwig U, Baumgartner T, Kaffenberger T, Brühl A, Kottlow M, Schreiter-Gasser U, Abler B, Jäncke L, Rufer M (2007), “Modulation of anticipatory emotion and perception processing by cognitive control.” Neuroimage 37(2):652-62 Details


Brühl A, Hafner G, Löffelholz K (2004), “Release of choline in the isolated heart, an indicator of ischemic phospholipid degradation and its protection by ischemic preconditioning: no evidence for a role of phospholipase D.” Life Sci 75(13):1609-20 Details


Brühl A, Faldum A, Löffelholz K (2003), “Degradation of phosphatidylethanol counteracts the apparent phospholipase D-mediated formation in heart and other organs.” Biochim Biophys Acta 1633(2):84-9 Details

Papassotiropoulos A, Streffer JR, Tsolaki M, Schmid S, Thal D, Nicosia F, Iakovidou V, Maddalena A, Lütjohann D, Ghebremedhin E, Hegi T, Pasch T, Träxler M, Brühl A, Benussi L, Binetti G, Braak H, Nitsch RM, Hock C (2003), “Increased brain beta-amyloid load, phosphorylated tau, and risk of Alzheimer disease associated with an intronic CYP46 polymorphism.” Arch Neurol 60(1):29-35 Details