Mahur Hashemi


From 2014 until May 2019, I am working as a Phd student on a large-scale longitudinal police project in the Affective Neuroscience group at the Donders Institute for Cognitive Neuroimaging.
I am fascinated about defensive behaviors triggered by stressful environmental events and their possible relations to psychological resilience vs. pathology. For example, acute threat facilitates a cascade of defensive behaviors. Parasympathetically-controlled freezing and sympathetically-controlled fight-or-flight responses are two qualitatively distinct responses that are hierarchically and temporally organized in response to the proximity of threat. The ability to adapt defensive behaviors to environmental challenges is critical to survival and even may relate to psychological health. However, it is less well known how these dynamics of adaptive (defensive) behaviors relate to resilience in humans.
Within my Phd project, I therefore investigate the neural and psychophysiological mechanisms of flexible defensive behaviors and their role in resilience vs. the development of stress-related disorder in humans.
Before I started the Phd project, I received my (Research) Masters degree at the Radboud University in Cognitive Neuroscience. After this, I worked as a research assistant at the Donders Institute where I learned practical hands-on experience with research.


Selected publications:

Gladwin, T. E., Hashemi, M. M., van Ast, V., & Roelofs, K. (2016). Ready and Waiting: Freezing as Active Action Preparation under Threat. Neuroscience Letters.

Janssen, L. K., Sescousse, G., Hashemi, M. M., Timmer, M. H. M., ter Huurne, N. P., Geurts, D. E. M., & Cools, R. (2015). Abnormal modulation of reward versus punishment learning by a dopamine D2-receptor antagonist in pathological gamblers. Psychopharmacology, 232(18), 3345-3353.

Sescousse, G., Janssen,L.K., Hashemi,M.M., Timmer, M. H. M., ter Huurne, N. P., Geurts, D. E. M., & Cools, R. (2016). Amplified striatal responses to near-miss outcomes in pathological gamblers. Neuropsychopharmacology.
Ferraye, M. U., Bloem, B. R., Hashemi, M., Sappelli, F., Debû, B., & Toni, I. (2014). Comparaison des substrats cérébraux des troubles de l’équilibre et de la marche dans la maladie de Parkinson. Neurophysiologie Clinique/Clinical Neurophysiology, 44(5), 496.