Spontanoues Thoughts

Few cognitive functions are as distinctly human as the capacity for spontaneous thought, encompassing a spectrum of mental processes including daydreaming, ongoing thoughts, and mind-wandering.

Why Memory processes and spontaneous thoughts?

Studying these processes is crucial for several reasons: they are connected to pivotal cognitive processes such as memory consolidation; maladaptive thought processes significantly contribute to various psychiatric disorders; and most importantly for my research, they could hold the key to training multipurpose RNNs. It is noteworthy that catastrophic forgetting is currently a highly researched topic in artificial intelligence, representing for instance, one of the aspects of the Third Wave of AI in Darmstadt. Given these considerations, exploring the formation, progression, and potential control of thought trajectories is essential for understanding the human brain and behavior, promising substantial advancements in disciplines including artificial intelligence, psychology, and mental disorders study.

In our previous research, we developed a data-driven mathematical framework based on network control theory, conceptualizing spontaneous thoughts as a networked linear time-invariant dynamical system, with nodes representing memory properties. We validated this model using data from 82 healthy participants, revealing that the model accurately represented the true distribution of thought probes and that memories called into consciousness exhibited a temporal pattern governed by the networked dynamical system's energy landscape.


Our aim is developing a dynamic network model of spontaneous thoughts that accurately simulates thought time courses and further, exploring the relationship between new thoughts and their history, and how new events influence thought patterns. We hope that this line of research helps us with new treatment startegies for menetal disorders and to support us toward building better RNNs that do not have limitations such as catasrophic forgetting.

                                 Lilly Kresinszky

       Elina Stocker

Our Collaborators

Our research is heavily inter- and multi-disciplinary with a focus on computational methodologies. 

As such, we are closely collaborating with other groups within and outside our department who complement us in terms of methodological, clinical, and imaging expertise. 

  Medical Machine             Psychiatry                    Cognitive               Translational                 Learning                                                      Neuropsychiatry      Neuroimaging  

         Prof. Tim Hahn                  Prof. Tilo Kircher                 Prof. Igor Nenadić        Prof. Benjamin Straube


     Neuroimaging       Clinical Psychology         Language              Psychiatry and                                                                                         Technologies         Neurostimulation

    Prof. Andreas Jansen      Prof. Stefan G. Hofmann         Prof. Lucie Flek             Prof. Christoph Mulert


Dynamical Systems   Cognitive Modeling    Neurometabolic     Cell Models and                 Theory                                                              Circuitry             Parental Mental                                                                                                                                     Health

       Prof. Erfan Nozari         Prof. Marieke van Vugt   Dr. Sharmili E. Thanarajah       Prof. Sarah Kittel-                                                                                                                                                                Schneider



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Prof. Dr. Hamidreza Jamalabadi

Philipps-Universität Marburg
Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie
Rudolf-Bultmann-Straße 8
35039 Marburg

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