#resilience2021 - 7th Intl. Symposium on Resilience Research
New Publications
Awards & New Team Members
New Videos
4th General Assembly Meeting
Press Coverage & Social Media
Subscribe to the Resilience Research Mailing List

Welcome to our 6th newsletter! DynaMORE is an international research project that aims to promote stress resilience and improve mental health and well-being in the face of adversity. It is spearheaded by Prof. Dr. Raffael Kalisch from the Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research (LIR) and the University Medical Center Mainz (UMC-Mainz) and funded by the European Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. If you are receiving this newsletter as a forwarded message, but would like to actively subscribe to receive DynaMORE-specific news, please enter your email address here

Save the dates

7th International Symposium on Resilience Research (#resilience2021)
20 Sept - 01 Oct 2021

The registration is open, and the program of #resilience2021 is ready. This year’s main theme is early life stress and resilience to early life stress. We are looking forward to welcoming all attendees to high-quality talks, poster sessions, and presentations. See below for the fantastic line-up of speakers and program!

Register: Please fill out the registration form and send to Melanie Lathomus
Contact: Martina Diehl

3rd Donders Summer School on Stress & Cognition
postponed to 2022

In light of the current pandemic and worldwide travel restrictions, the Summer School on Stress & Cognition has been postponed to 2022. Exact dates will be announced soon. The original date (05-09 July 2021) has been cancelled. The target audience includes Master’s and PhD students, post-docs and faculty members, and the program and list of speakers is very axciting, so stay tuned!

New publications

Three new manuscripts that were funded by the DynaMORE project have been published since you last heard from us, and more are in preparation. We are especially proud that our first large consortium-manuscript on Psycho-social factors associated with mental resilience in the Corona lockdown (Veer et al. 2021) has been published in Translational Psychiatry. Feel free to click on the titles below to access the original publications. Congrats to all the authors!

Fig. 2 in Veer et al. (2021) displays the combined multi-variable analysis (LASSO) of relative associations of resilience factors and covariates with resilience to all stressors combined, general stressors + corona-specific stressors (RESC).
We identified the strongest of the partly correlated resilience factors. Sparse regression was performed with an optimal penalty term λ (vertical broken line), as determined by cross-validation. Resilience factors are indicated in color, covariates in gray. The initial position of a curve on the y-axis signifies the association of the corresponding resilience factor or covariate with RESC in the case of very low penalization. By increasing λ (x-axis), regression coefficients (β) get increasingly drawn to zero, to leave only the strongest associations. The order of resilience factors in the color legend corresponds to their determined relative strengths (absolute values) at optimal λ (broken line). Other abbreviations: Perceived good stress recovery (REC), positive appraisal specifically of the Corona crisis (PAC), optimism (OPT), perceived social support (PSS), perceived general self-efficacy (GSE), perceived increase in social support during the Corona crisis (CSS), positive appraisal style (PAS), behavioral coping style (BCS), neuroticism (NEU, not a resilience factor). Except for BCS, all resilience factors were selected in all 800 repeated LASSO runs, indicating strong replication stability. Click on the figure to access the original publication. 

Fig. 1 in Marciniak et al. (2020) shows a PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) flow diagram, a screening principle after which suitable publications were identified for inclusion and assessment in this review paper. Click on the figure to access the original publication.

Awards & New team members

Karin Roelofs wins career award

The Evens Foundation chose Prof. Dr. Karin Roelofs of Radboud University and the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (SKU) to be the laureate for the Evens Science Prize 2020. The international expert jury decided unanimously to award the prize to Prof. Roelofs for her research on acute stress responses, resilience in the face of traumatic events, and the underlying neurocognitive mechanisms that shape how we react when confronted with these events. Her research has important implications for our understanding of how to design intervention programs aimed at training those imbued with societal responsibilities to exert effective control over their own behavioural responses when confronted with stress, and it aligns with the Evens Science Prize’s mission to further our understanding of human behaviour, with an emphasis on ethical aspects, cooperation and altruism. Congrats, Karin, for this fantastic career award!

Matthias Zerban wins abstract award

Matthias Zerban, PhD student at UMC-Mainz, recently won the "Merit Abstract Award" for the 2021 Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) Annual Meeting with his poster titled "Robustness of task activation is the key? An investigation on the test-retest reliability of task fMRI data". The DynaMORE consortium cordially congratulates Matthias for his achievements and this honor. Well done!

Emma Hermsen

Hi there! I am Emma, and I am now in my second year of the Cognitive Neuroscience Master's program at Radboud University (SKU). Before this, I obtained my bachelor's degree in Psychobiology in Amsterdam. Defining my research interests is still a work in progress, but I am already convinced that it has to do with mental health. I am fascinated by stress and how this affects so many people in a different way, an obvious but complicated example of the interaction between biology and environment.

Jelle Asbreuk

My name is Jelle, and I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Medical Biology in Nijmegen. In 2020, I started with the Master's program in Medical Biology and I am currently doing the Neurobiology specialization at the Donders Institute (SKU). Some of my research interests are mental health, stress, and neurological disorders. In my free time, I like to play squash, go to festivals, watch Netflix series, and drink beers with friends.

Yana Schwarze

Hi everyone, I’m Yana. After obtaining my B.Sc. in cognitive science in Germany, I moved to the Netherlands where I am currently doing my Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Cognitive Neuroscience in Nijmegen. As part of my master's internship in Erno Hermans' lab at the Donders Institute (SKU), I have been working on the DynaMORE project since last September. In the past months, I’ve been mainly involved in participant recruitment and data collection.

New videos

The DynaMORE video series is now complete (6 videos in total, each clip about 6-10 min long)! We produced these videos to make our research more transparent and convey the project's goals and methods to the general public. The videos are animated interviews with DynaMORE work package leaders and early-career scientists who perform the studies. Feel free to like, comment, and share!

Four new videos have been published since the last newsletter:

In this video, Prof. Dr. Birgit Kleim, Prof. Dr. Inez Germeys, and PhD student Marta Marciniak explain the meaning and use of ecological momentary assessments (EMAs) and ecological momentary interventions (EMIs) in psychology and in the DynaMORE project. 
Together with postdoctoral researcher Dr. Judith van Leeuwen, Dr. Erno Hermans from the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behavior in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, demonstrates and explains the functionality and daily use of the wearable mHealth devices in this video (a smartwatch, developed by IMEC, coupled with a smartphone). 
Is resilience a given trait or an acquirable skill? How are the study subjects selected? What parameters are measured, and what if someone develops a mental disorder during the study? Prof. Henrik Walter from the Charité in Berlin answers these and many more questions about the two large studies of the project, DynaM-OBS and DynaM-INT, in this interview. 
For the large international DynaM-OBS and DynaM-INT studies, the participants' brain activity is first scanned in the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner while performing various cognitive tasks. Study sites for these MRI scans are Berlin, Mainz, Warsaw, Nijmegen, and Tel Aviv. What happens in the MRI scanner? Which tasks are people subjected to, and why? How many people are participating? And what's the procedure when coming in to do the scan? In this video, Dr. Ilya Veer, Dr. Carolin Wackerhagen, PhD student Antje Riepenhausen, and Master student Begüm Topaloglu are answering these questions!

4th General Assembly Meeting 

Originally planned to take place in Warsaw (Poland), DynaMORE's 4th General Assembly (GA) Meeting took place remotely on 15-16 April 2021 due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks for attending everyone & looking forward to see you again soon in person!

DynaMORE in the press & on social media

Lots of online and print articles, podcasts, TV coverage, blog posts, and social media activity have accompanied the DynaMORE project lately. For a collective list of all press coverage since the start of the project, please visit the subpage "Press coverage" on our website. 

In this German article, Dr. Lara Puhlmann, a postdoc at the Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research (LIR), writes about the fact that corona-related restrictions affect everyone, but not all equally. Depending on health, age, job and financial security, the pandemic threatens us to different degrees and the political measures affect us less or more. However, different reactions to the exceptional situation do not only depend on external factors. Even if people objectively experience the same stress and live in the same social situation, this can have completely different effects on their mental health. New concepts of stress resilience can explain why. And how we can even grow in a crisis.

This German article, too, focuses on the opportunities that can be found in a crisis, such as the current pandemic. The Corona virus has brought loss, unemployment and loneliness. And yet the crisis is the impetus for some people to make positive changes to their lives. Studies even show that this happens quite often! DynaMORE's scientific coordinator, Prof. Dr. Raffael Kalisch (LIR), contributed answers and insights for this article.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 777084. This newsletter reflects only the authors' view and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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