Dominik Bach
Prof. Dr. Dr. Dominik Bach
TRA Steering Committee
  • Hertz Chair for Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience
Research topics
  • cognitive-computational neuroscience
  • threat avoidance
  • human behaviour
Our goal is to understand the computing architecture of the human mind and brain. We bring the mind to its computational limits by putting it in its natural environment, where it needs to cope with survival threats. This requires rapid actions with utmost precision and continuous updating. To this end, our experimental platforms use serious games and virtual reality, as well as tightly controlled associative learning setups. Our theoretical models are informed by those used in artificial agents. Beyond understanding rational avoidance, we are also interested in psychiatric conditions that are characterised by avoidance actions in the absence of real threat, such as anxiety disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder. We seek to unpack the underlying mechanisms and develop novel treatments.
Selected publications

Sporrer, J. K., Brookes, J., Hall, S., Zabbah, S., Hernandez, U. D. S., & Bach, D. R. (2022). Computational characteristics of human escape decisions.

Ojala KE, Staib M, Gerster S, Ruff CC, Bach DR (2022). Inhibiting human aversive memory by transcranial theta-burst stimulation to primary sensory cortex. Biological Psychiatry, 92, 149-157.

Bach DR (2021). Cross-species anxiety tests in psychiatry – pitfalls and promises. Molecular Psychiatry, 27, 154-163.

Korn CW & Bach DR (2019). Minimizing threat via heuristic and optimal policies recruits hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex. Nature Human Behavior, 3, 733-745.

Dominik Bach
Prof. Dr. Dr. Dominik Bach
TRA Steering Committee

Am Propsthof 49

53121 Bonn

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