Müller-Pfeiffer Christoph

Group Leader

PD Dr. med. Christoph Müller-Pfeiffer

Name of the Institution

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

University Hospital Zurich


Culmannstrasse 8


8091 Zürich


+41-44-255 52 80


Group Members

Lena Jellestad, MD

Benedikt Klimke, MMed

Christoph Nägeli, MMed

Patrick Pasi, MD

Matthis Schick, MD

Naomi Shepherd, MMed

Joachim Tanner, MMed

Nicolà Vital, MMed

National and International Collaborators

Sarah Dinah Broicher, PhD, Neuropsychology Unit, Department of Neurology, University Hospital Zurich, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Walter Goetze, PhD, BfB Büro für Bildungsfragen AG, 8800 Thalwil, Zurich

Chantal Martin-Soelch, PhD, Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Scott P. Orr, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Marco, Piccirelli, PhD, Institute of Neuroradiology, University Hospital Zurich, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Thomas Zeffiro, MD, PhD, Neural Systems Group, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston MA, USA

Main Field(s) of Research, Abstract

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

  • Biological research using autonomic psychophysiological and neuroimaging methods
  • Neurobiological basis of stress sensitization
  • Neurobiological basis of atypical visual and auditory attention mechanisms
  • Methods for forensic assessments

Dissociative Disorders

  • Impact of dissociative disorders on quality of life and global functioning
  • Longitudinal course of dissociative disorders

Insurance Medicin

  • Methods for forensic assessment and reporting

Special Techniques and Equipment

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), single-voxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy, combined fMRI with autonomic psychophysiological assessment and recording of eye movements


  1. Mueller C., Rufer M., Moergeli H., & Bridler R. (2006). Brain imaging in psychiatry - a study of 435 psychiatric in-patients at a university clinic. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 114, 91-100. Impact factor: 4.857
  2. Mueller C., Teschner M., Assaloni H., Kraemer B., Schnyder U., & Rufer M. (2007). Outpatient Group Therapy for Emotion Management in Complex Posttraumatic Disorders. Psychotherapie, Psychosomatik, Medizinische Psychologie, 57, 364-372
  3. Mueller C., Moergeli H., Assaloni H., Schneider R., & Rufer M. (2007). Dissociative disorders among chronic and severely impaired psychiatric outpatients. Psychopathology, 40, 470-471. Impact factor: 1.615
  4. Brückner E., Peter H., Rufer M., Bandelow B., Dahme B., Hand I., & Mueller-Pfeiffer C. (2008). Expressed emotion in the partners of a non-clinical adult sample: A comparison with relatives of patients with schizophrenia and depression. German Journal of Psychiatry, 11, 84-90. Impact factor: n.a.
  5. Mueller-Pfeiffer C., Schumacher S., Martin-Soelch C., Pazhenkottil A., Wirtz G., Fuhrhans C., Hindermann E., Assaloni H., Briner D. P., & Rufer M. (2010). The validity and reliability of the German version of the Somatoform Dissociation Questionnaire (SDQ-20). Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 11, 337-357
  6. Rufer M., Albrecht R., Zaum J., Schnyder U., Mueller-Pfeiffer C., Hand I., & Schmidt O. (2010). Impact of Alexithymia on Treatment Outcome: A Naturalistic Study of Short-Term Cognitive-Behavioral Group Therapy for Panic Disorder. Psychopathology, 43, 170-179. Impact factor: 1.615
  7. Rufer M., Albrecht R., Schmidt O., Zaum J., Schnyder U., Hand I., & Mueller-Pfeiffer C. (2010). Changes in quality of life following cognitive-behavioral group therapy for panic disorder. European Psychiatry, 25, 8-14. Impact factor: 3.285
  8. Mueller-Pfeiffer C., Martin-Soelch C., Blair K. S., Carnier A., Kaiser N., Rufer M., Schnyder U., & Hasler G. (2010). Impact of Emotion on Cognition in Trauma Survivors: What is the Role of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder? Journal of Affective Disorders, 126, 287-292. Impact factor: 3.295
  9. Schumacher S., Martin-Soelch C., Rufer M., Pazhenkottil A. P., Wirtz G., Fuhrhans C., Hindermann E., & Mueller-Pfeiffer C. (2011). Psychometric characteristics of the German adaptation of the traumatic experiences checklist (TEC). Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 4, 338-346. Impact factor: 1.457
  10. Mueller-Pfeiffer C., Rufibach K., Perron N., Wyss D., Kuenzler C., Prezewowsky C., Pitman R. K., & Rufer M. (2012). Global functioning and disability in dissociative disorders. Psychiatry Research, 200, 475-481. Impact factor: 2.456
  11. Oe M., Schnyder U., Schumacher S., Mueller-Pfeiffer C., Wilhelm F. H., Kalebasi N., Roos D., Hersberger M., & Martin-Soelch C. (2012). Lower plasma dehydroepiandrosterone concentration in the long term after severe accidental injury. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 81, 121-123. Impact factor: 7.230
  12. Mueller-Pfeiffer C., Schick M., Schulte-Vels T., O'Gorman R., Michels L., Martin-Soelch C., Blair R. J. R., Rufer M., Schnyder U., Zeffiro T., & Hasler G. (2013). Atypical visual processing in posttraumatic stress disorder. Neuroimage: Clinical, 3, 531-538. Impact factor: 2.526
  13. Mueller-Pfeiffer C., Moergeli H., Schumacher S., Martin-Soelch C., Wirtz G., Fuhrhans C., Hindermann E., & Rufer M. (2013). Characteristics of child maltreatment and their relation to dissociation, posttraumatic stress symptoms, and depression in adult psychiatric patients. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 201, 471-477. Impact factor: 1.842
  14. Mueller-Pfeiffer C., Rufibach K., Wyss D., Perron N., Pitman R. K., & Rufer M. (2013). Screening for dissociative disorders in psychiatric out- and day care-patients. Psychopathology & Behavioral Assessment, 35, 592-602. Impact factor: 1.866
  15. Schumacher S., Schnyder U., Furrer M., Mueller-Pfeiffer C., Wilhelm F. H., Moergeli H., Oe M., & Martin-Soelch C. (2013). Startle reactivity in the long-term after severe accidental injury: Preliminary data. Psychiatry Research, 210, 570-574. Impact factor: 2.456
  16. Milos G., Kuenzli C., Soelch C. M., Schumacher S., Moergeli H., & Mueller-Pfeiffer C. (2013). How much should I eat? Estimation of meal portions in anorexia nervosa. Appetite, 63, 42-47. Impact factor: 2.541
  17. Mueller-Pfeiffer C., & Wittmann L. (2013). Preliminary investigation of the reliability and validity of the German version of the State Scale of Dissociation (SSD). Journal of Traumatic Stress Disorders & Treatment, 2, 1-4. Impact factor: n.a.
  18. Schumacher S., Herwig U., Baur V., Mueller-Pfeiffer C., Martin-Soelch C., Rufer M., & Brühl A. (2014). Psychophysiological responses during the anticipation of emotional pictures. Journal of Psychophysiology, 29, 13–19. Impact factor: 1.0
  19. Michels L., Schulte-Vels T., Schick M., O'Gorman R. L., Zeffiro T., Hasler G., & Mueller-Pfeiffer C. (2014). Prefrontal GABA and glutathione imbalance in posttraumatic stress disorder: Preliminary findings. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 224, 288–295. Impact factor: 2.831
  20. Mueller-Pfeiffer C., Zeffiro T., O'Gorman R., Michels L., Baumann P., Wood N., Spring J., Rufer M., Pitman R. K., & Orr S. P. (2014). Cortical and cerebellar modulation of autonomic responses to loud sounds. Psychophysiology, 51, 60-69. Impact factor: 3.261
  21. Spring J. D., Wood N. E., Mueller-Pfeiffer C., Milad M. R., Pitman R. K., & Orr S. P. (2015). Prereactivation propranolol fails to reduce skin conductance reactivity to prepared fear-conditioned stimuli. Psychophysiology, 52, 407-415. Impact factor: 3.261
  22. Aebi M., Landolt M. A., Mueller-Pfeiffer C., Schnyder U., Maier T., & Mohler-Kuo M. (2015). Testing the "sexually-abused abuser hypothesis" in adolescents: a population-based study. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44, 2189-2199. Impact factor: 2.589
  23. Kalebasi N., Kuelen E., Schnyder U., Schumacher S., Mueller-Pfeiffer C., Wilhelm F. H., Athilingam J., Moergeli H., & Martin-Soelch C. (2015). Blunted responses to reward in remitted posttraumatic stress disorder. Brain and Behavior, 5, e00357. Impact factor: 2.243
  24. Oe M., Schumacher S., Schnyder U., Mueller-Pfeiffer C., Wilhelm F. H., Kuelen E., & Martin-Soelch C. (2016). Discriminative evaluative conditioning in the long-term after severe accidental injury. Psychiatry Research, 240, 144-150. Impact factor: 2.467
  25. Fricchione J., Greenberg M., Spring J. D., Wood N. E., Mueller-Pfeiffer C., Milad M. R., Pitman R. K., & Orr S. P. (2016). Delayed extinction fails to reduce skin conductance reactivity to fear-conditioned stimuli. Psychophysiology, 53, 1343-1351. Impact factor: 2.986
  26. Koch J., Flemming J., Zeffiro T., Rufer M., Pitman R. K., Orr S. P., & Mueller-Pfeiffer C. (2016). Effects of posture and stimulus bandwidth on peripheral physiological responses to loud sounds. PLoS ONE, 11, e0161237. Impact factor:  3.234
  27. Jenewein J., Erni J., Moergeli H., Grillon C., Schumacher S., Mueller-Pfeiffer C., Hassanpour K., Seiler A., Wittmann L., Schnyder U., & Hasler G. (2016). Altered pain perception and fear-learning deficits in subjects with posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Pain, 17, 1325-1333. Impact factor: 4.010
  28. Milos G., Baur V., Schumacher S., Kuenzli C., Schnyder U., Mueller-Pfeiffer C., & Martin-Soelch C. (2017). How fat will it make me?  Estimation of weight gain in anorexia nervosa. Appetite, 114, 368-373. Impact factor: 2.691
  29. Tanner J., Wyss D., Perron N., Rufer M., & Mueller-Pfeiffer C. (In press). Frequency and characteristics of suicide atempts in dissociative identity disorders: A 12-month follow-up study in psychiatric outpatients in Switzerland. European Journal of Trauma & Dissociation Impact factor: n/a
  30. Naegeli C., Zeffiro T., Piccirelli M., Jaillard A., Weilenmann A. C., Hassanpour K., Schick M., Rufer M., Orr S. P., & Mueller-Pfeiffer C. (2018). Locus coeruleus activity mediates hyper-responsiveness in posttraumatic stress disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 83, 254–262. Impact factor: 11.412
  31. Passardi S., Peyk P., Rufer M., Plichta M., Mueller-Pfeiffer C., Wingenbach T., Hassanpour K., Schnyder U., & Pfaltz M. C. (Accepted for publication). Impaired recognition of positive emotions in individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder, cumulative traumatic exposure and dissociation. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. Impact factor: 8.964


EMDR Schweiz; Fonds für wissenschaftliche Zwecke im Interesse der Heilung von Geisteskrankheiten; Investitionskredit der Universität Zürich; EMDR Europe Research Foundation

Link to "Forschungsdatenbank" of the University