Abstract: Reducing the impact of major environmental challenges on mental health (environMENTAL)

Environmental challenges, from the gretaest global ones including climate change, urbanisation, and psychosocial stress caused by the COVID-19-pandemic, to very individual negative life events, family problems affect mental health, including anxiety, varying across the day and over the lifespan relating to individual decisions for risky or resilient behaviors. Those decisions are influenced by neurobehavioral microstates, including reward sensitivity or maladaptive stress reactivity, and have also been attributed to socioaffective cues – from macrosocial norms and opportunities, including access routes or private space, to mesosocial factors, including closeness to consuming peers or amount of familial stress. We are capitalizing cohort data of European citizens and patients, enriched with deep phenotyping data from large scale behavioural neuroimaging cohorts, and performing smaller, but targeted, new studies, we determine neuropsychobiosocal correlates and signatures of the anxiety construct and estimate the stability of measures under psychosocial exposures and relations over time.


Prof. Dr. Frauke Nees is Director of the Institute of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel University and Professor of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology. In her research, she is addressing the interaction between brain and behavior, and particularly the question, how behavior and experiences shape neural processes and how those processes impact on behavior and experiences. Her group is working on neuropsychobiological mechanisms of learning and memory as well as related information processing in the brain along cognitive, affective and somatic dimensions, both in critical lifetime periods as well as over the life span and developping and empirically evaluating related prevention and rehabilitation programmes.

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Frauke Nees

Kiel University, Institute for Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology

Reducing the impact of major environmental challenges on mental health (environMENTAL)

Climate & Environment

Earth warming and ecology, environmental protection, sustainability, agriculture, climate justice, etc.