(+352) 46 66 44 9549
Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences
Maison Sciences Humaines 11, Porte des Sciences L-4366 ESCH
MSH, E04 0435190
firstname.lastname@example.org(+352) 46 66 44 9549
André Schulz holds the position of an Associate Professor in Psychology in the Department of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences, Head of Research Group “Brain-Body Interaction” and Head of the “Clinical Psychophysiology Laboratory” (CLIPSLAB). Furthermore, he is Deputy Director of the Experimental Psychology Laboratories Network (EPSYLON) at the University of Luxembourg – a coordinating structure of 10 laboratories that conduct research in experimental psychology at the Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHES). Dr Schulz is member of the Faculty Council of FHES.
His research foci include
the psychobiology of stress
mental disorders associated with physical symptoms (e.g., somatic symptom disorders)
mental health in chronic conditions (e.g., gastrointestinal, respiratory or cardiovascular conditions)
psychophysiological research methods
Dr Schulz has published 71 articles in high-ranked, international peer-reviewed journals, such as JAMA Psychiatry (IF: 16.6), Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (IF: 6.2), Resuscitation (IF: 5.2) or Psychoneuroendocrinology (IF: 4.9). Moreover, he is Associate Editor of the renowned journal Biological Psychology (IF: 3.2).His research projects were continuously funded by the University of Luxembourg and the Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR).
His teaching activities include courses in psychophysiology (Bachelor of Science in Psychology), health psychology (Master in Psychological Intervention), as well as in the Doctoral School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Currently, he supervises 12 PhD students (9 former PhD students successfully completed their studies).
André Schulz studied Psychology at the University of Trier (Diplom, MSc equiv., 2007), where he also completed his PhD (2009) within the International Research Training Group “Psychoneuroendocrinology of Stress” (Trier-Leiden/NL), funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). After his first postdoc period at the University of Trier, Division of Clinical Psychophysiology, he joined the University of Luxembourg in 2012. He has also an assignment as external lecturer at the University of Trier, Germany.
Interoception in medically unexplained symptoms (INMEDEX) – funded by: University of Luxembourg Research Fund (PUL). Medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) are highly prevalent in Western societies. However, psychobiological processes underlying MUS remain unclear. Interoception, the perception of bodily processes, may play an important role in the generation of physical symptoms in MUS. Stress contributes to the development and maintenance of MUS and may also affect interoception. Therefore, in the INMEDEX project the relationships between interoception, stress and MUS are investigated.
Interoception and chronic stress (INSTRESS) – funded by: University of Luxembourg Research Fund (PUL). Chronic stress affects the perception of internal bodily states, i.e. interoception, thereby contributing to the generation of physical symptoms and subsequently the development of mental disorders in which physical symptoms play an important role (e.g. panic disorder, somatoform disorders, depression). The psychobiological processes underlying the generation of physical symptoms under conditions of chronic stress, however, are yet unclear. The current project will investigate alterations in interoception and physiological stress responses in schoolteachers with high and low in chronic stress, as the teaching profession represents a highly stressful occupation due to its enduring work-related demands.
„Stress effects on interoceptive learning and memory as a mechanism of somatic symptom generation” (INMEMO) – funded by Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR). Somatic symptom disorders (SSD) are characterized by enduring physical symptoms without a sufficient medical explanation; they have a high lifetime prevalence of 4.4-12.9% and are associated with a significant impairment of quality of life. Although altered interoception, the processing of internal bodily signals, is observed in SSD, the psychobiology underlying symptom generation remains, however, unclear. Learning and memory associated with physical symptoms (i.e. interoceptive learning) may represent one key mechanism to explain symptom generation. As post-learning stress may facilitate (mainly declarative) learning and memory, this project aims at investigating stress facilitation effects on interoceptive learning and memory.”
Interoception of bodily sensations across organ domains and its relevance for somatic symptoms (INBODY) – co-funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and the Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR). Functional somatic syndromes (FSS) are characterized by chronic, disabling symptoms that do not correspond to observable organic dysfunction, and come at great individual and societal costs. Treatment options for FSS are limited, which is largely due to insufficient knowledge about the mechanisms underlying these symptoms. Disturbed interoception, the ability to process and perceive sensory signals from within the body, is believed to be crucially involved. Therefore, the present project aims to examine several important aspects of interoception in healthy individuals and patients with FSS. Specifically, we will investigate whether interoception is a general ability that shares neural processing characteristics across multiple organ domains and that predicts affective responses. Moreover, we will test whether altered interoceptive processing of bodily signals from different organs can explain the heterogeneity of somatic symptoms, especially in FSS, and how this can be modified by new treatment approaches. Our multidisciplinary research team combines expertise from the fields of psychology, neuroscience and gastroenterology. In interrelated observational and experimental work packages, we will combine state-of-the-art methods including psychophysiological, neural and behavioural measures to improve the understanding of interoception within and across multiple organ domains and to establish interoception-based intervention strategies to reduce symptom burden in FSS patients.
Shared Underlying Mechanisms of Long-COvid and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – A psychoneuroendocrinological and psychoimmunological perspective (SUMCO) – funded by the Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Luxembourg. At least 10 % of patients recovering from Covid-19 develop persistent health consequences such as fatigue, myalgia, or post-exertional malaise. “Long-Covid” is one of the many terms used to describe the occurrence of respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological, and/or gastrointestinal symptoms weeks after the initial infection is resolved. Although some symptoms seem to be unique to Long-Covid (e.g., olfactory & gustatory dysfunction), there is a large symptom overlap with the condition of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). ME/CFS is a complex, multisystem condition affecting 0.89 % of the global population. Different factors have been hypothesized to be involved in the aetiology of ME/CFS, including immune system dysregulation, metabolic alteration, autonomic nervous system (ANS) and limbic system dysfunction, as well as abnormalities in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. One popular hypothesis postulates that ME/CFS is a post-infectious fatigue syndrome, as up to 50 % of ME/CFS cases develop after a viral infection (e.g., infection with Epstein-Barr Virus/EBV). This observation raises the question if Long-Covid and ME/CFS share similarities in underlying pathophysiology, as both conditions seem to occur after viral infections (SARS-CoV-2 & EBV), which trigger dysregulations in the immune system, the ANS, or the HPA axis. A proper characterization of Long-Covid and ME/CFS by a thorough, interdisciplinary psychological and physiological assessment may help to make a differential diagnostic distinction of the two patient groups. The aims of the current project are: (1) To reveal similarities and differences in the pathophysiology of Long-Covid and ME/CFS, as an in-depth understanding of the underlying psychobiology is essential to design adequate prevention in terms of early detection of pathological biomarkers and treatment interventions for Long-Covid syndromes and ME/CFS in terms of a graded exercise therapy. We specifically focus on potential alterations in the immune system, the ANS, and the HPA axis. (2) We aim to elucidate how these processes translate into severity of fatigue, as the relationship between these alterations and actual symptom distress remains yet unclear. Ultimately, as biological and psychological markers of Long-Covid and ME/CFS can help to monitor the course of symptoms and the potential responsiveness to treatment intervention, we aim (3) at investigating the effectiveness of a graded exercise therapy on symptom severity and potential improvement in alterations of the immune system, the ANS and the HPA axis.