Prof. Dr. Matthias Berking

Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy

In the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy we interested in how technologies can be used to promote health or to augment and develop further psychotherapeutic interventions.

Research projects

  • Designing and developing smartphone-based health interventions
  • Internet-based therapy tools
  • Mobile Mental Health
  • Emotion regulation
  • Improving approach and avoidance modification training via emotions
  • Changing stressassociated attitudes and dysfunctional cognitions
  • Measuring, feedbacking, and changing disorderspecific bodily signals
  • Reducing recurrence rate in patients with alcohol misuse
  • Innovative intervention of patients with depression, of patients with eating disorder, of emotion dysregulation
  • Automatic emotion recognition

Current projects

  • Applied Data Science in Digital Psychology

    (Third Party Funds Single)

    Term: 1. September 2022 - 31. August 2026
    Funding source: Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst (StMWK) (seit 2018)

    University education in psychology, medical technology and computer science currently focuses on teaching basic methods and knowledge with little involvement of other disciplines. Increasing digitalization and the ever more rapid spread of digital technologies, such as wearable sensors, smartphone apps, and artificial intelligence, also in the health sector, offer a wide range of opportunities to address psychological issues from new and interdisciplinary perspectives. However, this requires close cooperation between the disciplines of psychology and technical disciplines such as medical technology and computer science to enable the necessary knowledge transfer. Especially in these disciplines, there is a considerable need for innovative and interdisciplinary teaching concepts and research projects that teach the adequate use of digital technologies and explore the application of these technologies to relevant issues in order to enable better care in the treatment of people with mental disorders.

  • Mit uns im Gleichgewicht II

    (Third Party Funds Single)

    Term: 1. November 2021 - 31. October 2024
    Funding source: andere Förderorganisation
  • Intelligente, Chatbot-assistierte ambulante Nachsorge der Depressionen bei Jugendlichen und jungen Erwachsenen

    (Third Party Funds Single)

    Term: 1. September 2021 - 31. August 2024
    Funding source: andere Förderorganisation
  • Empatho-Kinaesthetic Sensor Technology

    (Third Party Funds Group – Overall project)

    Term: 1. July 2021 - 30. June 2025
    Funding source: DFG / Sonderforschungsbereich / Transregio (SFB / TRR)
    The proposed CRC “Empathokinaesthetic Sensor Technology” (EmpkinS) will investigate novel radar, wireless, depth camera, and photonics based sensor technologies as well as body function models and algorithms. The primary objective of EmpkinS is to capture human motion parameters remotely with wave-based sensors to enable the identification and analysis of physiological and behavioural states and body functions. To this end, EmpkinS aims to develop sensor technologies and facilitate the collection of motion data for the human body. Based on this data of hitherto unknown quantity and quality, EmpkinS will lead to unprecedented new insights regarding biomechanical, medical, and psychophysiological body function models and mechanisms of action as well as their interdependencies.The main focus of EmpkinS is on capturing human motion parameters at the macroscopic level (the human body or segments thereof and the cardiopulmonary function) and at the microscopic level (facial expressions and fasciculations). The acquired data are captured remotely in a minimally disturbing and non-invasive manner and with very high resolution. The physiological and behavioural states underlying the motion pattern are then reconstructed algorithmically from this data, using biomechanical, neuromotor, and psychomotor body function models. The sensors, body function models, and the inversion of mechanisms of action establish a link between the internal biomedical body layers and the outer biomedical technology layers. Research into this link is highly innovative, extraordinarily complex, and many of its facets have not been investigated so far.To address the numerous and multifaceted research challenges, the EmpkinS CRC is designed as an interdisciplinary research programme. The research programme is coherently aligned along the sensor chain from the primary sensor technology (Research Area A) over signal and data processing (Research Areas B and C) and the associated modelling of the internal body functions and processes (Research Areas C and D) to the psychological and medical interpretation of the sensor data (Research Area D). Ethics research (Research Area E) is an integral part of the research programme to ensure responsible research and ethical use of EmpkinS technology.The proposed twelve-year EmpkinS research programme will develop novel methodologies and technologies that will generate cutting-edge knowledge to link biomedical processes inside the human body with the information captured outside the body by wireless and microwave sensor technology. With this quantum leap in medical technology, EmpkinS will pave the way for completely new "digital", patient-centred diagnosis and therapeutic options in medicine and psychology.Medical technology is a research focus with flagship character in the greater Erlangen-Nürnberg area. This outstanding background along with the extensive preparatory work of the involved researchers form the basis and backbone of EmpkinS.
  • Empathokinästhetische Sensorik für Biofeedback bei depressiven Patienten

    (Third Party Funds Group – Sub project)

    Overall project: Empathokinästhetische Sensorik
    Term: 1. July 2021 - 30. June 2025
    Funding source: DFG / Sonderforschungsbereich (SFB)

    The aim of the D02 project is the establishment of empathokinesthetic sensor technology and methods of machine learning as a means for the automatic detection and modification of depression-associated facial expressions, posture, and movement. The aim is to clarify to what extent, with the help of kinesthetic-related modifications influence depressogenic information processing and/or depressive symptoms. First, we will record facial expressions, body posture, and movement relevant to depression with the help of currently available technologies (e.g., RGB and depth cameras, wired EMG, established emotion recognition software) and use them as input parameters for new machine learning models to automatically detect depression-associated affect expressions. Secondly, a fully automated biofeedback paradigm is to be implemented and validated using the project results available up to that point. More ways of real-time feedback of depression-relevant kinaesthesia are investigated. Thirdly, we will research possibilities of mobile use of the biofeedback approach developed up to then.

  • Intensivierte Return to Work (RTW)-Nachsorge in psychiatrischen Institutsambulanzen (PIA) von Versorgungskliniken

    (Third Party Funds Single)

    Term: 1. January 2021 - 31. December 2024
    Funding source: andere Förderorganisation

Recent publications






Related Research Fields