Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Markus Mühlhan

Professor of Neurosciences

Am Kaiserkai 1
20457 Hamburg

Fon:  040.361 226 49324
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Markus Muehlhan finished an electro-technical apprenticeship (1995-1998), which he completed as a journeyman. The education was followed by a thirteen-month alternative military service (1998-1999) in the Youth and Drug Counselling Service Goslar and the university entrance examination at the Berufsoberschule Goslar (1999-2001). He studied psychology and biology (minor) at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg (2001-2007). Next, Markus Muehlhan was a research assistant at the Chair of Biopsychology at the TU-Dresden (Prof. Dr. Clemens Kirschbaum) (2007-2012). After completing his doctorate, he moved to the Chair of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at the TU-Dresden (Prof. Dr. Hans Ulrich Wittchen). From 2016-2019 Markus Muehlhan holds a temporary professorship of Neuroscience at the MSH Medical School Hamburg. Since October 2019 he is full Professor of Neuroscience at MSH.


The teaching activities of Markus Muehlhan include lectures, seminars, internships and elective modules in the fields of biological psychology, clinical psychology, neuroscience, imaging and psychophysiological methodology. He was honoured with the Karl and Charlotte Bühler Prize (TU-Dresden) for excellent teaching in 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Courses on (f)MRI meta-analyses using Activation Likelihood Estimation (ALE) are given as part of the MSH Graduate School.

Research Focus and Grant Acquisition

Markus Muehlhan's research focuses on neuroendocrinological and neurocognitive changes in stress, anxiety and substance use disorders. 

Within the framework of the national research project "Childhood Abuse and Neglect as a cause and consequence of Substance Abuse - understanding risks and improving Services (CANSAS)" funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), he is investigating the effects of early stress on the stress reactivity of alcohol-dependent patients in the project cluster P1.B.: PD Dr. I. Schäfer (PI), Prof. Dr. S. Barnow, Prof. Dr. C. Kirschbaum, Dr. M. Muehlhan, Prof. Dr. K. Wiedemann

Together with Prof. Dr. Katja Beesdo-Baum, Prof. Dr. Muehlhan is a principal investigator (PI) in project C5 of the Collaborative Research Center: "Volition and Cognitive Control" (SFB 940) at the TU Dresden, in which he is investigating the neural basis of volitional control in specific phobia.

Furthermore, Professor Mühlhan investigates the neural basis of stress and emotion regulation in patients with alcohol use disorder and childhood maltreatment experiences in the project "Neural underpinnings of Altered Stress reactivity in Alcohol Use Disorders: The Role of Childhood Maltreatment (NASAD-CM)".

Reviewer for third-party funders

  • Riksbankens Jubileumsfond - Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences
  • German Research Foundation/ Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Peer reviewer for academic journals e.g. 

  • Human Brain Mapping
  • Behavioural Brain Research    
  • Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience (Review Editor)
  • Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
  • Behavioural and Brain Functions
  • Stress
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Psychoneuroendocrinology (PNEC)
  • Brain Imaging and Behavior
  • Cortex
  • Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (SCAN)
  • International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research (IJMPR)
  • Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging
  • Neuropsychologia
  • Scientific Reports
  • Current Psychology
  • Cogent Psychology

Peer Review Credits on Publons



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5 recent publications:

Spindler, C., Trautmann, S., Alexander, N., Bröning, S., Bartscher, S., Stuppe, M., Muehlhan, M. (2021) Meta-analysis of grey matter changes and their behavioral characterization in patients with Alcohol Use Disorder. Scientific Reports (Impact Factor: 3.998)

Muehlhan, M., Alexander, N., Trautmann, Weckesser, L. S., Vogel, S., Kirschbaum, C., Miller, R. (2020). Cortisol secretion predicts functional large-scale connectivity of the visual cortex: A data-driven Multivoxel Pattern Analysis (MVPA). Psychoneuroendocrinology 117 Article 104695 (Impact Factor: 4.013)

Muehlhan. M., Miller, R., Strehle, J., Smolka, M.N., Alexander, N. (2020) FKBP5 Methylation predicts Functional Network Architecture of the rostral Anterior Cingulate CortexBrain Structure and Function 225(1):33-43 (Impact Factor: 3.622)

Muehlhan, M., Höcker, A., Miller, R., Trautmann, S., Wiedemann, K., Lotzin, A., Barnow, S., Schäfer, I. (2020) HPA axis stress reactivity and hair cortisol concentrations in recently detoxified alcoholics and healthy controls with and without childhood maltreatmentAddiction BiologyJan;25(1):e12681. (Impact Factor: 5.578) 

Weber-Goerecke, F., Muehlhan, M. (2019). A quantitative meta-analysis of fMRI studies investigating emotional processing in excessive worriers: application of activation likelihood estimation analysisJournal of Affective Disorders 243:348-359 (Impact Factor: 3.786)

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