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Dr. Sabina Hotz Boendermaker

Dr. Sabina Hotz Boendermaker

ZHAW School of Health Professions
Institute of Physiotherapy
Katharina-Sulzer-Platz 9
8400 Winterthur

+41 (0) 58 934 64 01

Personal profile

Position at the ZHAW

Senior researcher

Expertise and research interests

Painpsychology fear avoidance behavior, cortical reorganization, sensorimotor System, Action Observation, Motor imagery, virtual reality, functional MRI; ACT Acceptance and Commitment Therapy,Mindfulness

Educational background

2015 – 2016 Education in Mindfulness Practices in Psychotherapy
2013-2014 Good Clinical Practice I-III, Clinical Trials Center (CTC), University Hospital Zurich
2010 - 2011 Education in special Pain Psychology, German Society for Psychological Pain Therapy and Research (DGPSF), Munich, Germany.
2002 – 2006 PhD student at the Spinal Cord Injury Center, Balgrist University Hospital and University of Zurich, Department of Neuropsychology, Switzerland, degree of Doctor of Philosophy. PhD
2002 – 2006 International Ph.D. Program in Neuroscience, Neuroscience Center Zurich, University and ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
1995 – 2001 Student in Psychology at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, main topics Applied Psychology, Neurophysiology and Neuropsychology, MSc Degree in Psychology, Licenciata philosophiae.
1988 – 1992 Student in Physiotherapy, Physiotherapy School at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, Diploma in Physiotherapy.

Professional milestones

2016- date Senior researcher, Institute of Physiotherapy, Department of Health, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Winterthur, Switzerland
2011 - 2016 Head of the neuroscience group at the Division of Chiropractic Medicine, University of Zürich and University Hospital of Balgrist, Switzerland
2007 - 2014 Project leader at the Spinal Cord Injury Center, Balgrist University Hospital
2007 - 2010 Postdoc position at the Department of Neuroradiology, University Hospital of Zurich
2002 - 2006 PhD student position at the Spinal Cord Injury Center, Balgrist University Hospital
1995 - 2002 Freelance physiotherapist in own practice

Membership of networks



Articles in scientific journal, peer-reviewed

Publications before appointment at the ZHAW

Hotz-Boendermaker, S.; Marcar, V.L.; Meier, M.L.; Boendermaker, B. ; Humphreys, B.K., 2016. Reorganization in secondary somatosensory cortex in chronic low back pain patients. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 41(11), E667-673. Verfügbar unter:

Meier, ML.; Stampfli, P.; Vrana, A.; Humphreys, B.K.; Seifritz, E.; Hotz-Boendermaker, S., 2016. Neural correlates of fear of movement in patients with chronic low back pain vs. pain-free individuals. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 10, S. 386. Verfügbar unter:

Vrana, A.; Meier, ML.; Hotz-Boendermaker, S.; Humphreys, BK.; Scholkmann. F., 2016. Cortical Sensorimotor Processing of Painful Pressure in Patients with Chronic Lower Back Pain-An Optical Neuroimaging Study using fNIRS. Front Hum Neurosci. Nov 17;10:578. Verfügbar unter:

Meier, ML.; Stampfli, P.; Vrana, A.; Humphreys, B.K.; Seifritz, E.; Hotz-Boendermaker, S., 2015. Fear avoidance beliefs in back pain-free subjects are reflected by amygdala-cingulate responses. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 9, S. 424. Verfügbar unter:

Villiger, M.; Grabher, P.; Hepp-Reymond, MC.; Kiper, D.; Curt, A.; Bolliger, M.; Hotz-Boendermaker, S.; Kollias, S.; Eng, K.; Freund, P., 2015. Relationship between structural brainstem and brain plasticity and lower-limb training in spinal cord injury: a longitudinal pilot study. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 6(9), S. 254. Verfügbar unter:

Vrana, A.; Hotz-Boendermaker, S.; Stampfli, P.; Hanggi, J.; Seifritz, E.; Humphreys, B.K.; Meier, M.L., 2015. Differential neural processing during motor imagery of daily activities in chronic low back pain patients. PLOS ONE. 10(11). Verfügbar unter:

Boendermaker. B.; Meier, M.L.; Luechinger, R.; Humphreys, B.K. ; Hotz-Boendermaker, S., 2014. The cortical and cerebellar representation of the lumbar spine. Human Brain Mapping. 35(8), S. 3962-3971. Verfügbar unter:

Holper, L.; Gross, A.; Scholkmann, F.; Humphreys, B.K.; Meier, M. L.; Wolf, U.;Wolf, M.; Hotz-Boendermaker, S., 2014. Physiological effects of mechanical pain stimulation at the lower back measured by functional near-infrared spectroscopy and capnography. Journal of Integrative Neuroscience, 13(1):121-142. Verfügbar unter:

Meier, M.L.; Hotz-Boendermaker, S.; Boendermaker, B.; Luechinger, R.; Humphreys, B.K., 2014. Neural responses of posterior to anterior movement on lumbar vertebrae: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 37(1), S. 32-41. Verfügbar unter:

Villiger, M.; Estevez, N.; Hepp-Reymond, M.C.; Kiper, D.; Kollias, S.S.; Eng, K.; Hotz-Boendermaker, S., 2013. Enhanced activation of motor execution networks using action observation combined with imagination of lower limb movements. PLOS ONE, 8(8). Verfügbar unter:

Villiger, M.; Bohli, D.; Kiper, D.; Pyk, P.; Spillmann, J.; Meilick, B.; Curt, A.; Hepp-Reymond, M.C.; Hotz-Boendermaker, S.; Eng K., 2013. Virtual reality-augmented neurorehabilitation improves motor function and reduces neuropathic pain in patients with incomplete spinal cord injury. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. 27(8), S. 675-683. Verfügbar unter:

Hassanpour, K.; Hotz-Boendermaker, S.; Dokladal, P.; Curt, A., 2012. Low depressive symptoms in acute spinal cord injury compared to other neurological disorders. Journal of Neurology, 259(6):1142-1150. Verfügbar unter:

Hotz-Boendermaker, S.; Hepp-Reymond, M.C.; Curt, A.; Kollias, S.S., 2011. Movement observation activates lower limb motor networks in chronic complete paraplegia. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. 25(5), S. 469-476. Verfügbar unter:

van Hedel, H.J.; Dokladal, P.; Hotz-Boendermaker, S.;; EM-SCI Study Group., 2011. Mismatch between investigator-determined and patient-reported independence after spinal cord injury: consequences for rehabilitation and trials. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. Nov-Dec;25(9):855-64. Verfügbar unter:

Funk, M.; Lutz, K.; Hotz-Boendermaker, S.; Roos, M.; Summers, P.; Brugger, P.; Hepp-Reymond, M.C.; Kollias, S.S., 2008. Sensorimotor tongue representation in individuals with unilateral upper limb amelia. Neuroimage. Oct 15;43(1):121-7. Verfügbar unter:

Hotz-Boendermaker, S.; Funk, M.; Summers, P.; Brugge, P.; Hepp-Reymond, M.C.; Curt, A.; Kollias, S.S., 2008. Preservation of motor programs in paraplegics as demonstrated by attempted and imagined foot movements. Neuroimage. 39(1), S. 383-394. Verfügbar unter:

Alkadhi, H.; Brugger, P.; Hotz-Boendermaker, S.; Crelier, G.; Curt, A.; Hepp-Reymond, M.C.; Kollias, S.S., What disconnection tells about motor imagery: evidence from paraplegic patients. Cereb Cortex 2005, 15(2):131-140. Verfügbar unter:

Alkadhi, H.; Crelier, G.R.; Hotz-Boendermaker, S.; Hepp-Reymond, M.C.; Kollias, S.S., 2002. Somatotopy in the ipsilateral primary motor cortex. Neuroreport. Nov 15;13(16):2065-70.

Alkadhi, H.; Crelier, G.R.; Hotz-Boendermaker, S.; Golay, X.; Hepp-Reymond, M.C.; Kollias, S.S., 2002. Reproducibility of primary motor cortex somatotopy under controlled conditions. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. Oct;23(9):1524-32.

Curt, A.; Alkadhi, H.; Crelier, G.R.; Hotz-Boendermaker, S.; Hepp-Reymond, M.C.; Kollias, S.S., 2002. Changes of non-affected upper limb cortical representation in paraplegic patients as assessed by fMRI. Brain. Nov;125(Pt 11):2567-78. Verfügbar unter: