Dr Lars Marstaller

Research Associate

Research group:
029 208 70365
CUBRIC, Maindy Road

Research summary

My research aims to investigate the interaction between cognition and emotion and use multimodal neuroimaging (f/MRI, M/EEG, DWI) to investigate neural plasticity in large-scale functional and structural networks underlying anxiety, fear, learning, language, memory, and action in clinical and healthy populations.

Please see my personal website for more information:


Selected publications (2014 onwards)


Full list of publications


Media activities


Research topics and related papers

Fear Generalisation & Anxiety

The generalisation of past negative experiences to similar new experiences is important for adaptive learning. The processes regulating the generalisation of fear can be disrupted, resulting in maladaptive over-generalisation of fear in anxiety disorders. My research aims to investigate the role of similarity in fear generalisation and the neural mechanisms that regulate generalisation. I specifically focus on conceptual similarity and the regulatory role of the default-mode network.

Fear & Safety Learning

The ability to learn whether certain situations pose a threat or not is highly important for adaptive behaviour. Using differential fear conditioning paradigms and fMRI, I investigate the functional networks underlying fear and safety learning. My recent research investigated the dynamics of functional networks during differential conditioning and the functional role of the default-mode network in safety learning.


Cognitive processes underlying behaviour such as learning and memory require the neural recruitment of large-scale functional networks. The neurobiological substrate of functional networks is subject to significant neural plasticity as a result of development, ageing, neurodegeneration, or brain insult. My research aims to investigate how individual differences in brain structure affect the dynamics of task-related functional connectivity and how structural and functional differences translate to behaviour.

Language & Action

Language and action are deeply intertwined in the human brain. My research focuses on the effects of modality on semantic processing, on the interaction of language and gesture with working memory, and on speech and gesture motor control. My previous work investigated the neural activity underlying co-speech gesture production using fMRI and MEG.


2016 - 2017          Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Foundation Research Grant (A$ 40.000).

2014                       Centre for Advanced Imaging New Staff Start-up Grant (A$ 12.000).

2014                       Third Prize, Real-life cognition challenge, Magdeburg University.

2014 - 2016          Science of Learning Research Centre grant (A$ 78.000).

2011                       Macquarie University Postgraduate Research Fund (A$ 5.000).