Alumni Talk Series: Annika Dix (Dresden) and Laura Kaltwasser (Berlin)
Hosted by Professor Elke van der Meer
Annika Dix was a member of doctoral cohort 2012−2015. She is now a postdoctoral researcher with former M&B faculty member Shu-Chen Li at Technical University Dresden. Annika will speak about “Mathematical abilities: Why are some of us more gifted than others and how can we use incentive motivation to improve performance?”
Abstract: We live in a technological society with mathematics being the foundation of many areas such as engineering, computer technology, or economics. Therefore, one should ask which factors determine our mathematic abilities and our corresponding educational but also occupational success. I will present some work (1) on sources of individual differences in mathematical abilities, particularly the impact of fluid intelligence (Gf) on arithmetic and algebraic problem-solving, and (2) the role of incentive motivation for improving the approximate number system (ANS), which plays a determining part in our later academic achievements.
Laura Kaltwasser was a member of doctoral cohort 2012−2015. She is now a postdoctoral member of Vittorio Gallese’s Einstein Group at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain. Laura will speak about “From interpersonal abilities to the social self”.
Abstract: The concept of interpersonal abilities refers to performance measures using social stimuli which quantify individual differences in social competences and skills that are at the core of interpersonal communication such as the abilities to perceive and remember faces and the abilities to recognize and express emotions. The aim of my dissertation was to examine the influence of interpersonal abilities and complementary constructs such as personality onto social decisions. A particular focus lay on the quantification of individual differences in brain-behavior relationships associated with processing interpersonally relevant stimuli. During my postdoc with the Einstein visiting fellow Vittorio Gallese I explore the development of the socio-cultural identity. A research question we approach concerns the constitution of the self in dependence of others through intersubjectivity and embodied simulation using techniques such as recording of the autonomous nervous system and possibly later on fMRI.