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The Department of Psychology is delighted to announce the next online talk of the Mind Meeting Seminar Series.

On Thursday 25th May 2023, 3.30 pm CEST, Professor Christian Buechel (University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Germany) will give a talk entitled “How expectations and their violations shape perception”.

The talk will take place virtually via Zoom. Please contact us at if you are interested in taking part. On our homepage you can  subscribe to the Mind Meeting Mailing List.


Perception can be understood as the integration of peripheral input with an internal state of the organism governed by current (e.g. expectation) and past (e.g. experience) information. This process is implemented in the central nervous system comprising the spinal cord, brainstem and cerebral cortex. Recent advances in functional magnetic resonance imaging has allowed to investigate this system as a whole and enabling system level investigations in humans. This presentation will cover clinically relevant examples in pain and respiration. For instance, the phenomenon that asthma patients can experience an exacerbation of their symptoms when exposed to visual stimuli of relevant allergens (e.g. hay) can be seen as a clinically relevant nocebo effect. In the domain of pain studies have shown that expectations can both up- and down-regulate pain perception. The presentation will summarize EEG and fMRI results related to these placebo and nocebo effects, describe distinct neurobiological mechanisms and try to integrate these findings into an overarching framework.