Dr. rer. nat. Silke Lissek

Dipl. Psych.
Haus 4 -1/031
0234 302 6094
Silke Lissek

Main research

Extinction learning
While fear extinction has been widely investigated in both humans and animals, research on extinction learning without a fear component is comparably rare. In our project, we investigate contextual extinction learning, exploring the relevant brain regions and neurotransmitter systems which mediate extinction learning and process the renewal effect of extinction.

Cortical excitability and motor learning
Motor cortical excitability may be subject to changes through training and learning, suggesting that cortical excitability might be tentatively considered a marker of learning. In our studies, we explore the relationship between cortical excitability and learning, using a complex bimanual motor sequence task, TMS to measure cortical excitability and fMRI to visualize participation of brain regions during learning and training of the task.

• cognitive processes in humans and animals
• learning and memory
• theory of mind
• prefrontal cortex
• functional magnetic resonance imaging

Methods and research interests

extinction learning
cortical excitability and motor learning
neuronal plasticity
functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI
transcranial magnetic stimulation TMS

Curriculum vitae

since 09/2005
postdoctoral researcher in the research group Neuroplasticity/Learning in the University Clinic Bergmannsheil, Bochum, Germany.

09/2004 - 08/2005
postdoctoral researcher in the department of Biopsychology of the Institute for Cognitive Neurosciences, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany.

Promotion (Dr. rer. nat., summa cum laude) in psychology, thesis: "The role of NMDA receptors in the pigeon prefrontal cortex".

Diploma in Psychology, Ruhr-University Bochum (sehr gut)


Lissek S, Tegenthoff M (2021). Higher functional connectivity between prefrontal regions and the dorsal attention network predicts absence of renewal. Behavioural Brain Research, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2021.113413

Klass, A, Otto T, Tegenthoff M, Lissek S (2021). The DA-antagonist Tiapride affects context- related extinction learning in a predictive learning task, but not initial forming of associations, or renewal. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nlm.2021.107465

Lissek S, Klass A, Tegenthoff M (2020). Left inferior frontal gyrus participates in mediating the renewal effect irrespective of context salience. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2020.0004354

Uengoer M, Klass A, Tegenthoff M, Lissek S (2020). Intra-individual reproducibility of the renewal effect. Behavioral processes, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2020.104107

Uengoer M, Lissek S, Tegenthoff M, Manahan-Vaughan D, Lachnit H (2020). Principles of extinction learning of nonaversive experience. Neuroforum, https://doi.org/10.1515/nf-2020-0013

Drexler SM, Merz CJ, Lissek S, Tegenthoff M, Wolf OT (2019). Reactivation of the unconditioned stimulus inhibits the return of fear independent of cortisol. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00254

Lissek S, Klass A, Tegenthoff M (2019) Effects of noradrenergic stimulation upon context-related extinction learning performance and BOLD activation in hippocampus and prefrontal cortex differ between participants showing and not showing renewal. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00078.

Lissek S, Glaubitz B, Klass A, Tegenthoff M (2018). The effects of dopaminergic stimulation upon behavioral and neural correlates of renewal depend on individual context processing propensities. Neuroimage 169: 69-79. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage. 2017.12.022

Klass A., Glaubitz B., Tegenthoff M. & Lissek S. (2017). D -Cycloserine facilitates extinction learning and enhances extinction-related brain activation. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 144, 235–247. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nlm.2017.08.003

Golisch A., Heba S., Glaubitz B., Tegenthoff M. & Lissek S. (2017). Enhancing effects of NMDA-receptor blockade on extinction learning and related brain activation are modulated by BMI. Front. Behav. Neurosci. 11:34. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2017.00034

Lissek S., Golisch A., Glaubitz B., & Tegenthoff M. (2016). The GABAergic system in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus modulates context-related extinction learning and renewal in humans. Brain Imaging and Behavior. doi:10.1007/s11682-016-9662-y

Lissek S., Glaubitz B., Schmidt-Wilcke T.,Tegenthoff M. (2016): Hippocampal context processing during acquisition of a predictive learning task is associated with renewal in extinction recall. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Jan 25:1-16

Kinner VL, Merz CJ, Lissek S, Wolf OT (2016). Cortisol disrupts the neural correlates of extinction recall. Neuroimage 133: 233-243. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.03.005.

Schlaffke, L., Golisch, A., Haag, L. M., Lenz, M., Heba, S., Lissek, S., … Tegenthoff, M. (2015). The Brain’s Dress Code: How The Dress allows to decode the neuronal pathway of an optical illusion. Cortex, 73, 271–275.

Lissek S, Glaubitz B, Wolf OT and Tegenthoff M (2015) The DA antagonist tiapride impairs context-related extinction learning in a novel context without affecting renewal. Front. Behav. Neurosci. 9:238. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00238

Lissek S., Glaubitz B., Güntürkün O., Tegenthoff M. (2015): Noradrenergic stimulation modulates activation of extinction-related brain regions and enhances contextual extinction learning without affecting renewal. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00034.

Schlaffke, L., Lissek, S., Lenz, M., Juckel, G., Schultz, T., Tegenthoff, M., Schmidt-Wilcke, T., Brüne, M. (2015): Shared and non-shared neural networks of cognitive and affective theory-of-mind: a neuroimaging study using cartoon picture stories. Human Brain Mapping, Jan;36(1):29-39.

Chang D.-I., Lissek S., Ernst T, Thürling M., Üngör M., Tegenthoff M., Ladd M.E., Timmann D. (2015): Cerebellar contribution to context processing in extinction learning and recall. Cerebellum

Enzi, B., Lissek, S., Edel, M-E., Tegenthoff, M. Nicolas, V, Scherbaum, N., Juckel G., Roser, P. (2015): Alterations of monetary reward and punishment processing in chronic cannabis users. An fMRI study. Plos One 10(3): e0119150

Stude, P., Krumova, E.K., Lenz, M, Lissek, S., Nicolas, V., Peters, S., Westermann, A., Tegenthoff, M., Maier, C. (2014): Isolated sympathetic blockade change fMRI cortical maps in patients with CRPS I and sympathetically maintained pain. Pain Physician, Sep-Oct;17(5):E637-44

Lissek, S., Vallana G.S., Schlaffke, L., Lenz, M., Dinse, H., Tegenthoff. M. (2014): Opposing effects of dopamine antagonism in a motor sequence task – tiapride increases cortical excitability and impairs motor learning. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 8: Article 201

Schlaffke, L., Lissek, S., Lenz, M., Brüne, M., Juckel, G., Hinrichs, T., Platen, P., Tegenthoff, M., Schmidt-Wilcke, T. (2014): Sports and brain morphology - a voxel-based morphometry study with endurance athletes and martial artists. Neuroscience 259:35-42

Lenz, M., Üceyler, N., Frettlöh, J., Höffken, O., Krumova, E.K., Lissek, S., Reinersmann, A., Sommer, C., Stude, P., Waaga-Gasser, A., Tegenthoff, M., Maier, C. (2013): Local cytokine changes in complex regional pain syndrome type I (CRPS I) resolve after 6 months. Pain 154(10): 2142-9

Lissek, S., Glaubitz, B., Uengoer, M., Tegenthoff, M. (2013): Hippocampal activation during extinction learning predicts occurrence of the renewal effect in extinction recall. Neuroimage 81: 131-143

Lissek, S., Vallana, G.S., Güntürkün, O., Dinse, H., Tegenthoff, M. (2013): Brain activation in motor sequence learning is related to the level of native cortical excitability. Plos One, 8(4): e61863. doi 10.371/journal.pone.0061863

Edel, M-A., Enzi, B., Witthaus, H., Tegenthoff, M., Peters, S., Juckel, G., Lissek, S. (2012): Differential reward processing in subtypes of adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Psychiatric Research, epub ahead of print 29 November 2012

Saft, P., Lissek, S., Hoffmann, R., Nicolas, V., Tegenthoff, M., Juckel, G., Brüne, M. (2012): Mentalizing in preclinical Huntington's disease: an fMRI study using cartoon picture stories. Brain Imaging and Behavior, published online 24. November 2012.

Roser, P., Lissek, S., Tegenthoff, M., Nicolas, V., Juckel, G., Brüne, M. (2012): Alterations of theory of mind network activation in chronic cannabis users. Schizophrenia Research 139(1-3): 19-26

Enzi, B., Edel, M.A., Lissek, S., Peters, S., Hoffmann, R., Nicolas, V., Tegenthoff, M., Juckel, G., Saft, C. (2012): Altered ventral striatal activation during reward and punishment processing in premanifest Huntington's disease: a functional magnetic resonance study. Experimental Neurology 235(1): 256-64

Lenz, M., Höffken, O., Stude, P., Lissek, S., Schwenkreis, P., Reinersmann, A., Frettlöh, J., Richter, H., Tegenthoff, M., Maier, C. (2011) Bilateral somatosensory cortex disinhibition in complex regional pain syndrome type I. Neurology 77 (11): 1096-101

Brüne, M., Özgürdal, S., Ansorge, N., von Reventlow, H.G., Peters, S., Nicolas, V., Tegenthoff, M., Juckel, G., Lissek, S. (2011) An fMRI study of „theory of mind“ in at-risk-states of psychosis: Comparison with manifest schizophrenia and healthy controls. Neuroimage 55(1): 329-337

Lissek, S., Wilimzig, C., Stude, P., Pleger, B., Kalisch, T., Maier, C., Peters, S., Peters, Soeren A., Nicolas, V., Tegenthoff, M., Dinse, H. (2009): Immobilization Impairs Tactile Perception and Shrinks Somatosensory Cortical Maps. Current Biology, 19: 837-842. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2009.03.065

Lissek, S.,Peters, S., Fuchs, N., Witthaus, H., Juckel, G., Tegenthoff, M., Brüne, M (2008): Cooperation and deception recruit different subsets of the Theory-of-Mind network. PloS One, 3(4) : e2023. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002023

Brüne, M., Lissek, S.,Fuchs, N., Witthaus, H., Peters, S., Juckel, G., Tegenthoff, M. (2008): An fMRI study of theory of mind in schizophrenic patients with "passivity" symptoms. Neuropsychologia, 46: 1992-2001

Höffken, O., Veit, M., Knossalla, F., Lissek, S., Bliem, B., Ragert, P., Dinse, H.R. & Tegenthoff, M. (2007): Sustained increase of somatosensory cortex excitability by tactile coactivation studied by paired median nerve stimulation in humans correlates with perceptual gain. The Journal of Physiology, 584(Pt 2):463-71.

Lissek, S., Hausmann, M., Knossalla, F., Peters, S., Nicolas, V., Güntürkün, O. & Tegenthoff, M. (2007): Sex differences in cortical and subcortical recruitment during simple and complex motor control: An fMRI study. Neuroimage, 37: 912-926

Lissek, S. & Güntürkün, O. (2005): Out of context – NMDA receptor antagonism in the avian prefrontal cortex impairs context processing in a conditional discrimination task. Behavioral Neuroscience, 119: 797-805

Lissek, S. & Güntürkün, O. (2004): Maintenance in working memory or response selection? Functions of NMDA receptors in the pigeon "prefrontal cortex" Behavioural Brain Research, 153: 497-506

Lissek, S. & Güntürkün, O. (2003): Dissociation of Extinction and Behavioral Disinhibition: The Role of NMDA Receptors in the Pigeon Associative Forebrain during Extinction, Journal of Neuroscience 23: 8119-8124

Lissek, S., Diekamp, B. & Güntürkün, O. (2002): Impaired Learning of a Color Reversal Task After NMDA Receptor Blockade in the Pigeon (Columba livia) Associative Forebrain (Neostriatum Caudolaterale). Behavioral Neuroscience 116(4): 523-529

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