Translational Neuromodeling Unit                                                             

Institut für Biomedizinische Technik
Universität Zürich und ETH Zürich
Frederike Petzschner
Wilfriedstrasse 6
8032 Zürich

Mail:                       petzschner(at)biomed.ee.ethz.ch

Office:                    WIL F-101

Twitter:                  @rikepetzschner

Profiles:                 Google scholar & Research Gate



Frederike combines computational models with measurements of human behavior and brain function to study our perception of the world and our bodies within.


Frederike is a Senior Scientist at the Translational Neuromodeling Unit (TNU) at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich.

Before coming to Zurich, Frederike obtained a M. Sc. Hon. Degree in Physics at the University of Würzburg, followed by a PhD in Neuroscience at the Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences at the LMU Munich and the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience in Munich under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Stefan Glasauer, graduating in 2013.

Her main research focus is the use of computational models to study perception and cognition in health and disease. She is currently on of the organizers of the Computational Psychiatry Course in Zurich.



Perception: Understanding biases in human perception. Studying the link between model-based markers of perception and higher order cognition.

Keywords: Bayesian modeling, Virtual reality, Predictive Coding, Weber-Fechner law, Steven’s Power law, Spatial Navigation

Interoception: Development of computational markers for body perception.

Keywords: Homeostasis, Interoceptive Predictive Coding, Cardioception, Heartbeat Evoked Potential, EEG, layered fMRI, Interoceptive Learning

Cognition: Computational models of higher-order state learning and decision-making

Keywords: Drift-Diffusion Model, Partially-observable Markov Decision Processes, structure learning, serotonin, SSRIs, Reversal Learning, Checking Task

Computational Psychiatry and Computational Psychosomatics: Development of clinical applications on the basis of mechanistic perceptual and cognitive processes.

Keywords: Disordered Gambling, Medically-unexplained symptoms, Psychosomatics, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Depression, Autism



Frederike is frequently asked to give keynote talks at public events on a variety of topics, including speaker engagements at WORLD.MINDS and Digital Life Design.




Peer-reviewed Papers

*equal contribution and joined first authorship



Petzschner F.H.*, Weber L.*, Wellstein K. V., Paolini G., Tri Do C, Stephan K. E.: Focus of attention modulates the heartbeat evoked potential. NeuroImage 186:595-606




Khalsa S. S., Adolphs R., Cameron O. G., Critchley H. D., Devenport P. W., Feinstein J. S., Feusner J. D., Garfinkel S. N., Lane, R. D., Mehling W. E., Meuret A. E., Nemeroff C. B., Oppenheimer S., Petzschner F. H., Pollatos O., Rhudy J. L., Schramm L. P., Simmons W. K., Stein M. B., Stephan K. E., Van Den Bergh O., Van Diest I., von Leupoldt A., Paulus M. P. and the Interoception Summit 2016 participants: Interoception and Mental Health: a Roadmap. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. 3(6): 501 – 513 (2018)


Stephan K. E., Petzschner F. H., Kasper L., Bayer J., Wellstein K. V., Stefanics G., Prüssmann K. P., Heinzle J.: Laminar fMRI and Computational Theories of Brain Function. Neuroimage. (in press, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.11.001) (2018)




Kang Y.*, Petzschner F. H.*, Stephan K. E., Peters J.: Piercing of Consciousness as a Threshold-Crossing Operation. Current Biology. 27, 2285-2295 (2017)


Petzschner F. H., Weber L. A. E., Gard T., Stephan K. E.: Computational Psychosomatics and Computational Psychiatry: Towards a joint framework for differential diagnosis. Biological Psychiatry. 82(6): 421-430 (2017)


Wiehler A., Petzschner F. H., Stephan K. E., Peters J.: Episodic Tags enhance striatal valuation signals during Temporal Discounting in pathological Gamblers. eNeuro. 4 (3): 0159-17.2017 (2017)


Petzschner F. H.: Stochastic Dynamic Models for Computational Psychiatry and Computational Neurology. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. 2 (3): 214-215 (2017)





Stephan K. E., Manjaly Z. M., Mathys C. D., Weber L. A. E., Paliwal S., Gard T., Tittgemeyer M., Fleming S. M., Haker H., Seth A. K., Petzschner F. H. : Allostatic self-efficacy: a metacognitive theory of dyshomeostasis-induced fatigue and depression. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 10:550 (2016)


Huys Q. J. M., Renz D., Petzschner F. H., Berwian I., Haker H.: German translation and validation of the Cognitive Style Questionnaire short form (CSQ-SF-D). PLOS ONE. 11(2) e0149530 (2016)




Petzschner F. H., Glasauer S., Stephan K. E.: A Bayesian Perspective on Magnitude Estimation. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 19(5): 285-293 (2015)


Huys Q. J. M., Petzschner F. H.: Failure Modes of the will: From goals to habits to compulsions? Am J Psychiatry. 172(3):216-8 (2015)


before 2018


Paliwal S.*, Petzschner F. H.*, Schmitz A. K., Tittgemeyer M., Stephan K. E.: A Model-based Analysis of Impulsivity using a Slot Machine Gambling Paradigm. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 8:428(2014)


Petzschner F. H., Maier P., Glasauer S.: Combining symbolic cues with sensory input and prior experience in a Bayesian framework. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience. 6(58):1-12 (2012)


Petzschner F. H., Krüger M.*: How to Reach: Movement Planning in the Posterior Parietal Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience. 32(14):4703-04 (2012)


Petzschner F. H., Glasauer S.: Iterative Bayesian estimation as an explanation for regression and range effects – a study on human path integration. Journal of Neuroscience. 31(47):17220-9 (2011)



Petzschner F. H., Ponce I. P., Blaimer M., Jakob P. M., Breuer F. A. : Fast MR parameter mapping using k-t principle component analysis. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. 66(3):706-16 (2011)



Book chapters


Moran R., Stephan K. E., Botvinick M., Breakspear M., Carter C. S., Kalivas P. W., Monatgue P. R., Paulus M. P., Petzschner F. H.: Candidate Examples for a Computational Approach to Address Practical Problems in Psychiatry. In: Computational Psychiatry: New Perspectives on Mental Illness. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, p.223-243 (2016)

Glasauer S., Petzschner F. H.: Wahrnehmung als Inferenz. In: Anthropologie der Wahrnehmung. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Heidelberg, p. 61-88 (2017)