Prof. Dr. Dirk Scheele

Social Neuroscience, Research Center One Health Ruhr of the University Alliance Ruhr
Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology
Faculty of Medicine
Ruhr University Bochum
Universitätsstr. 150
44780 Bochum

Room: GAFO 04/614
Phone: +49 (0)234 32-28696

Prof. Dr. Dirk Scheele
Prof. Dr. Dirk Scheele
Research Interests

Our research group focuses on the neurobiological mechanisms of social attachment. We explore cognitive and sensory changes in social isolation and loneliness and investigate how social connection influences the processing of traumatic experiences. We test possible changes in social perception not only with visual and auditory items, but also with tactile and olfactory stimuli. In addition to classical behavioral and hormonal measurements, we use non-invasive brain stimulation (transcranial direct current stimulation), psycho-physiological measurements (e.g. EDA, ECG and respiration in social dyads) and imaging techniques (fMRI 1.5 to 7 T and fNIRS).

Coenjaerts, M., Trimborn, I., Adrovic, B., Stoffel-Wagner, B., Cahill, L., Philipsen, A., Hurlemann, R., & Scheele, D. (2022). Exogenous estradiol and oxytocin modulate sex differences in hippocampal reactivity during the encoding of episodic memories. NeuroImage, 264, 119689.

Lieberz, J., Shamay-Tsoory, S. G., Saporta, N., Kanterman, A., Gorni, J., Esser, T., Kuskova, E., Schultz, J., Hurlemann, R., & Scheele, D. (2022). Behavioral and Neural Dissociation of Social Anxiety and Loneliness. The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 42(12), 2570–2583.

Morr, M., Liu, X., Hurlemann, R., Becker, B., & Scheele, D. (2022). Chronic Loneliness: Neurocognitive Mechanisms and Interventions. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 91(4), 227–237.

Lieberz, J., Shamay-Tsoory, S. G., Saporta, N., Esser, T., Kuskova, E., Stoffel-Wagner, B., Hurlemann, R., & Scheele, D. (2021). Loneliness and the Social Brain: How Perceived Social Isolation Impairs Human Interactions. Advanced Science (Weinheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany), 8(21), e2102076.

Maier, A., Gieling, C., Heinen-Ludwig, L., Stefan, V., Schultz, J., Güntürkün, O., Becker, B., Hurlemann, R., & Scheele, D. (2020). Association of Childhood Maltreatment With Interpersonal Distance and Social Touch Preferences in Adulthood. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 177(1), 37–46.

Scheele, D., Zimbal, S., Feinstein, J. S., Delis, A., Neumann, C., Mielacher, C., Philipsen, A., & Hurlemann, R. (2019). Treatment-Resistant Depression and Ketamine Response in a Patient With Bilateral Amygdala Damage. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 176(12), 982–986.

Scheele, D., Wille, A., Kendrick, K. M., Stoffel-Wagner, B., Becker, B., Güntürkün, O., Maier, W., & Hurlemann, R. (2013). Oxytocin enhances brain reward system responses in men viewing the face of their female partner. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(50), 20308–20313.