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National services

Our experts

National services

Our experts

National services

Our experts

National services

Our experts

Dr Roland Zahn

Reader and Consultant Psychiatrist in Mood Disorders

Areas of expertise 

  • Unipolar and bipolar depression
  • Organic affective disorders such as those associated with frontotemporal dementia
  • Neurocognitive disorders and treatments
  • Neuromodulation (for example, fMRI neurofeedback and vagus nerve stimulation)
  • Digital health and decision support systems


After two years as a specialist trainee and researcher in cognitive neurology at Aachen University Hospital, Roland Zahn went on to work at Freiburg University Hospital in 2000 to complete his clinical training in psychiatry and cognitive behavioural psychotherapy. In Freiburg, Professor Berger, one of the leading national experts for mood disorders, inspired him with an ethos of never giving up hope and trying to improve everyone's depression by pursuing all available treatments including intensive psycho- and pharmacotherapy.

Funded by a fellowship from the German National Academy of Sciences, Roland Zahn investigated the brain basis of emotions such as guilt at the US National Institutes of Health from 2004 until 2007. He then continued this research at the University of Manchester supported by a Stepping Stones Fellowship whilst undertaking top-up training in old age psychiatry with Professor Alistair Burns and since 2011 working as an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist in specialist cognitive assessment and affective disorders services (led by Professor Ian Anderson) at Manchester University Hospitals.

In 2013, he joined the Centre for Affective Disorders at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London (led by Professor Allan Young) as a Senior Clinical Lecturer and since 2018 as a Clinical Reader in Mood Disorders.

As an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist, his focus has been on mood disorders at the National Service for Affective Disorders at the Maudsley and in a primary care liaison mood clinic in South London. His clinical expertise is in treatment-resistant affective disorders, as well as differential diagnosis and treatment of cognitive and organic affective disorders. He is also co-programme leader for the MSc in Affective Disorders at King’s College London and leads the module on understanding affective disorders.


  • 2006 - Certificate of equivalence with US MD PhD degree, International Research Education Foundation (USA), Medicine
  • 1999 - Doctor of Medicine University of Aachen (RWTH) (Germany), Neurology and Neuropsychology
  • 1997 - Completion of Clinical Studies (Staatsexamen) University of Aachen (RWTH) (Germany), Medicine
  • 1993 - Completion of Pre-clinical studies (Physikum) University of Heidelberg (Germany), Medicine


  • 2017 - Fellowship, Higher Education Academy, Teaching
  • 2012 Certificate of equivalence of completion of higher specialist training, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Old Age Psychiatry
  • 2007 - Specialist Register, General Medical Council, Adult Psychiatry
  • 2007 - Completion of Specialist Training, University Hospital Freiburg (Germany), Adult Psychiatry and Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy

Selected publications

For a full updated list please see the Kings College London website

Selected original papers
Harrison P., Carr E., Goldsmith K., Young A. H., Ashworth M., Fennema D., Barrett B. and Zahn R. Study protocol for the antidepressant advisor (ADeSS): a decision support system for antidepressant treatment for depression in UK primary care: a feasibility study. BMJ Open (2020); 10, e035905.

Rüsch N., Oexle N., Thornicroft G., Keller J., Waller C., Germann I., Regelmann C. A., Noll-Hussong M., Zahn R. Self-Contempt as a Predictor of Suicidality: A Longitudinal Study. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease (2019) ;207(12):1056-7.

Zahn R., Weingartner J.H., Basilio R., Bado P., Mattos P., Sato J.R., de Oliveira-Souza R., Fontenelle L.F., Young A.H., Moll J. Blame-rebalance fMRI neurofeedback in major depressive disorder: A randomised proof-of-concept trial. NeuroImage: Clinical (2019):

Moll J., de Oliveira-Souza R., Basilio R., Bramati I.E., Gordon B., Rodríguez-Nieto G., Zahn R., Krueger F., Grafman J. Altruistic decisions following penetrating traumatic brain injury. Brain (2018) 141(5):1558-1569.

Zahn R., Green S., Beaumont H., Burns A., Moll J., Caine D., Gerhard A., Hoffman P., Shaw B., Grafman J., Lambon Ralph M.A.L. Frontotemporal lobar degeneration and social behaviour: dissociation between the knowledge of its consequences and its conceptual meaning. Cortex (2017) 93: 107-118.

Robson H., Specht K., Beaumont H., Parkes L., Sage K., Lambon Ralph M.A., Zahn R. Arterial Spin Labelling Shows Functional Depression of Non-Lesion Tissue in Chronic Wernicke’s Aphasia. Cortex (2017) 92: 249–260.

Lythe K.E., Moll J., Gethin J.A., Workman C.I., Green S., Lambon Ralph M.A., Deakin J.F., Zahn R. Self-blame-selective hyperconnectivity between anterior temporal and subgenual cortices and prediction of recurrent depressive episodes. JAMA Psychiatry (2015) doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.1813.

Zahn R., Lythe K.E., Green S., Gethin J.A., Deakin J.F., Young A.H., Moll J. The role of self-blame and worthlessness in the psychopathology of major depressive disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders (2015) DOI:

Zahn R., Lythe K.E., Gethin J.A., Green S., Deakin J.F., Workman C., Moll J. Negative emotions towards others are diminished in remitted major depression. European Psychiatry (2015) doi: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2015.02.005.

Moll J., Weingartner J.H., Bado P., Basilio R., Sato J.R., Melo B.R., Bramati I.E., de Oliveira-Souza R., Zahn R. Voluntary enhancement of neural signatures of affiliative emotion using fMRI neurofeedback. PLoS One (2014) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0097343

Robson H., Zahn R., Keidel J.L., Binney R.J., Sage K., Lambon Ralph M.A. The anterior temporal lobes support residual comprehension in Wernicke’s aphasia. Brain (2014) doi: 10.1093/brain/awt373.

Moll J., Bado P., de Oliveira-Souza R., Bramati I., Lima D., Paiva F., Sato J., Tovar-Moll F., Zahn R. A neural signature of affiliative emotion in the human septo-hypothalamic area. Journal of Neuroscience (2012) 32(36): 12499-12505.

Green S., Lambon Ralph M., Moll J., Deakin J.F.W., Zahn R. Guilt-selective functional disconnection of anterior temporal and subgenual cortices in major depressive disorder. Archives of General Psychiatry (2012) 69(10): 1014-1021.

Zahn R., Moll J., Iyengar V., Huey E., Tierney M., Krueger F., Grafman J. Social conceptual impairments in frontotemporal lobar degeneration with right anterior temporal hypometabolism. Brain (2009) 132(3): 604-616.

Zahn R., Moll J., Krueger F., Huey E., Garrido G., Grafman J. Social concepts are represented in the superior anterior temporal cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2007), 104: 6430-6435.

Zahn R., Garrard P., Talazko J., Gondan M., Bubrowski P., Juengling F., Slawik H., Dykierek P., Koester B., Hüll M. Patterns of regional brain hypometabolism associated with knowledge of semantic features and categories in Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2006), 18 (12): 2138–2151.

Selected theoretical papers and reviews
Zahn R., de Oliveira-Souza R., Moll J. Moral Motivation and the Basal Forebrain. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews (2020) 108:207-17.

Elliott R., Zahn R., Deakin J.F.W., Anderson I.M. Affective Cognition and its Disruption in Mood Disorders. Neuropsychopharmacology Reviews (2011), 36 (1): 153-182.

Huey E., Zahn R., Krueger F., Moll J., Kapogiannis D., Wassermann E.M., Grafman J. A psychological and neuroanatomical model of obsessive-compulsive disorder. The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences (2008), 20: 390-408.

Moll J., Zahn R., de Oliveira-Souza R., Krueger F., Grafman J. The neural basis of human moral cognition. Nature Reviews Neuroscience (2005), 6(10): 799–809.

Selected book contributions
Zahn R., Burns A. “Dementia disorders: An overview” in Oxford Neuropsychiatry Library: Alzheimer’s Disease, Waldemar G. & Burns A. (eds.) (2009, 2nd edition: 2017) Oxford University Press.