GPS-triggered e-diaries, neuroimaging and genetics to unravel urbanicity risks for schizophrenia
Recent evidence suggests that the heightened prevalence of mental disorders in cities is caused by altered neural stress processing. To uncover the specific environmental sources of urban stress, we use innovative GPS-triggered e-diaries. In detail, GPS-triggered e-diaries continuously monitor participants’ locations. Changes are traced in real time on environmental components maps, covering traffic noise, population density etc., and trigger e-diary queries for affect and stress-reactivity. Methodologically, GPS-triggered e-diaries maximize the within-subject variance in real-time. The study is part of an ongoing longitudinal study (PEZ: Psychiatric-epidemiological center) combining GPS-triggered e-diaries with fMRI and biomarkers. PEZ is headed by Prof. Meyer-Lindenberg (CIMH Mannheim, Germany) and supported by the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of the State of Baden-Württemberg.