Ralf Kayser, PhD

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Jürgen Kayser is an experimental psychologist by training with a strong background in quantitative research methods. His basic and clinical research at the Psychophysiology Laboratory has encompassed studies on cognitive and emotional processing using behavioral and psychophysiological measures (event-related potentials, quantitative EEG, electrodermal activity) in both healthy and psychiatric populations (schizophrenia, depression). One overarching theme of this research, which has largely been funded through the National Institute of Mental Health, is the laterality of brain function.

In recent years, Dr. Kayser has promoted principal components analysis of current source density as a generic and reference-free technique for ERP/EEG data analysis. This work also includes the publication of software algorithms and systematic strategies, which aim to avoid experimenter bias in data analysis and to improve data quality, issues of crucial importance for electrophysiological research in psychopathology. These methodological innovations have been showcased in recent research studies of working memory and recognition memory in schizophrenia and affective disorders, and are currently used to analyze brain ERPs to olfactory stimuli and quantitative EEG data recorded during active cognitive tasks.

Dr. Kayser has extensively published in prestigious scientific journals, including Psychophysiology, Clinical Neurophysiology, International Journal of Psychophysiology, Cognitive Brain Research, Biological Psychiatry, and Archives of General Psychiatry. His scientific expertise is frequently sought after on a national and international level, including review work for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and for over 20 scientific research journals. He regularly mentors graduate and undergraduate students, and has active collaborations outside Columbia University with researchers in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Clinical Neuroscience (in Psychiatry)


  • Male


hemispheric asymmetry of autonomic and central nervous system processes; cognitive and affective processes in psychiatric disorders and healthy populations; event-related potentials (ERP); quantitative electroencephalogram (EEG); EEG/ERP methodology; electrodermal activity (EDA); current source density (CSD); surface Laplacian; principal components analysis (PCA); software algorithms; randomization tests; lateralized stimulus presentation; schizophrenia; depression; working memory; recognition memory; emotional responses; cognitive demand; olfactory function

Research Interests

  • Cognitive and Emotional Processing in Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia
  • Lateralization of Emotion; CNS/ANS Activity and Laterality; Bilateral Electrodermal Activity (EDA)
  • Methodological Issues in Electrophysiology and Psychophysiology

Selected Publications

  • Kayser J, Tenke CE, Malaspina D, Kroppmann CJ, Schaller JD, Deptula A, Gates NA, Harkavy-Friedman JM, Gil R, Bruder GE: Neuronal generator patterns of olfactory event-related brain potentials in schizophrenia. Psychophysiology 2010;in press
  • Kayser J, Tenke CE: In search of the Rosetta Stone for scalp EEG: converging on reference-free techniques. Clinical Neurophysiology 2010;in press
  • Kayser J, Tenke CE, Kroppmann CJ, Fekri S, Alschuler DM, Gates NA, Gil R, Harkavy-Friedman JM, Jarskog LF, Bruder GE: Current source density (CSD) old/new effects during recognition memory for words and faces in schizophrenia and in healthy adults. International Journal of Psychophysiology 2010;75(2): 194-210
  • Tenke CE, Kayser J, Stewart JW, Bruder GE: Novelty P3 reductions in depression: characterization using principal components analysis (PCA) of current source density (CSD) waveforms. Psychophysiology 2010;47(1): 133-146
  • Kayser J, Tenke CE, Gil R, Bruder GE: Stimulus- and response-locked neuronal generator patterns of auditory and visual word recognition memory in schizophrenia. International Journal of Psychophysiology 2009;73(3): 186-206