Pfaltz Monique

Group Leader

Assistant Prof. Monique Pfaltz

Pfaltz Monique

Name of the Institution

University Hospital Zurich
Department of Psychiatry


Haldenbachstrasse 18


8091 Zurich


+41-44-255 96 68

Group Members



National and International Collaborators

Müller-Pfeiffer Christoph, PD Dr. med
Passardi Sandra , M.Sc
Rufer Michael, Prof. Dr. med
Schnyder Ulrich, Prof. Dr. med
Stocker Kurt, Dr. phil.

Prof. Jens Blechert
Prof. Richard McNally
Prof. Chantal Martin-Soelch
Prof. Tanja Michael
Dr. Peter Peyk
Prof. Frank Wilhlem
M.Sc. Tanja Wingenbach

M. Sc. Sonja Weilenmann

Main Field(s) of Research / Abstract

Our research group specialises in peripheral physiology associated with emotion processing and the respective data collection and analysis methods. We are using ambulatory approaches as well as experimental laboratory research, including eye tracking analysis of video recordings to better understand emotion recognition, facial mimicry and expressivity, emotion regulation, emotional reactivity and their biological foundations in clinical populations (e.g. borderline personality disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder) as well as the general population. A special focus lies on childhood and adult trauma related symptoms and their impact on emotional and social functioning.

Main Fields of Research / Keywords

Trauma, childhood trauma, borderline personality disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, secondary tramatization, emotion regulation, emotion recognition, facial expressiveness, psychophysiology, respiratory pattern, ambulatory assessment

Special Techniques and Equipment

We have a psychophysiologcal laboratory for recording EEG, eye movements, and activity of the autonomous nervous system (respiration, heart rate, electrodermal activity, electromyogram).

Education and Training

MA and Phd students, internships

Selected Publications

Passardi S, Peyk P, Rufer M, Plichta MM, Mueller-Pfeiffer C, Wingenbach TSH, Hassanpour K, Schnyder U, Pfaltz MC (2018). Impaired Recognition of Positive Emotions in Individuals with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Cumulative Traumatic Exposure and Dissociation. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 87(2):118-120.

Pfaltz MC, Wu GW, Liu G, Tankersley AP, Stilley AM, Plichta MM, McNally RJ (2017). Cognitive and emotional processing of pleasant and unpleasant experiences in major depression: A matter of vantage point? Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 54, 254-262.

Pfaltz MC, Kolodyazhniy V, Blechert J, Margraf J, Grossman P, Wilhelm FH (2015). Attenuated metabolic-cardiorespiratory coupling during daily life in patients with anxiety disorders. J Psychiatr Res, 68, 377-383.

Pfaltz MC, Schumacher S, Dammann G, Seifritz E, Wilhelm F, Kossowsky J, Martin-Soelch C (2015). Processing of Acoustic Emotional Stimuli in Borderline Patients - Physiological and Psychological Reactions to Emotionally Evocative Sounds. J Pers Disord, 24, 1-19.

Pfaltz MC, Michael T, Meyer HA, Wilhelm FH (2013). Reexperiencing symptoms, dissociation, and avoidance behaviors in daily life of patients with PTSD and patients with panic disorder with agoraphobia. J Trauma Stress, 26, 443-450.


Hans und Marianne Schwyn-Stiftung, Olga Mayenfisch Stiftung, Investitionskredit der Universität Zürich

Link to the UZH "research database"