RTG 2386  
Doctoral candidates  

Doctoral candidates

Name
Supervisors
Doctoral project
Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek 
Reading mental states of others versus self – the case of autism  
Doctoral projectReading mental states of others versus self – the case of autism
DescriptionI aim to investigate if reading others’ and own mental states is a common process in neurotypically developed individuals and in individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Research suggests that there are shared neural activations and mental processes for mentalizing about others and the self in neurotypicals. Regarding the case of autism, it is known that inferring others’ mental states is altered, and first evidence shows that access to own mental states might be hampered, too. The study of autism may thus shed further light on the question if mindreading in self and others is one common process or two distinct processes.
FundingRTG position
SupervisorsProf. Dr. Isabel Dziobek
RTG topicsTopic 4: Introspection, extrospection and denial of privileged access in psychiatry
Topic 6: Extrospective assessment of emotion in self and other and their neural correlates
Topic 10:  Levels of extrospection in psychiatry
Degrees obtained
InstituteDepartment of Psychology, AG Social Cognition, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Cohort2018
StatusDoctoral candidate
E-mailkatharina.boegl-please remove this text-@hu-berlin.de
Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter
Prof. Dr. Holger Lyre
Prof. Dr. Peter N.C. Mohr 
Insight from outside? Comparing extrospective and introspective measures in anhedonia 
Doctoral projectInsight from outside? Comparing extrospective and introspective measures in anhedonia
DescriptionSeeking out rewards and experiencing pleasure are central to natural human function. However, these processes are disrupted in anhedonia, i.e. the loss of interest or pleasure in activities usually enjoyed. Even though anhedonia is a core symptom of major psychiatric conditions such as major depressive disorder and schizophrenia, its exact neural mechanisms remain poorly understood. On a similar vein, often only weak empirical correlations are found between the subjective experience of anhedonia and corresponding brain activation. We aim to bridge this gap by systematically applying extrospective (fMRI, behavioral assessment) and introspective methods (ecological momentary assessment) to the subcomponents of anhedonia – i.e. wanting, liking, effort, and learning – in healthy participants.
FundingRTG position
SupervisorsProf. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter
Prof. Dr. Holger Lyre
Prof. Dr. Peter N.C. Mohr
RTG topicsTopic 1: Epistemology of extrospection
Topic 4: Introspection, extrospection and denial of privileged access in psychiatry
Topic 10:  Levels of extrospection in psychiatry
Degrees obtained
InstituteDepartment of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Cohort2018
StatusDoctoral candidate
E-mailanna.daniels-please remove this text-@charite.de
Researchgatehttps://www.researchgate.net/profile/Anna_Daniels3
Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes
Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen 
Brain reading and extrospection 
Doctoral projectBrain reading and extrospection
DescriptionIntrospection, the first-person perspective on one’s own mind, has long been regarded as the best way to derive conclusions about mental states. Along these lines, individual subjective ratings are considered to be the best indicators of subjective experiences. However, this may not be the case: it might be possible to use extrospective approaches to detect a person’s mental state more precisely than they can do themselves. I use a combination of fMRI and machine learning techniques to investigate whether inter-subjective, more objective (or ‘extrospective’) measures may be better at inferring a person’s mental state than their own introspective access. If successful, this would support extrospection as a viable method for inferring mental states, as well as highlight the importance of brain reading as a tool which allows external access to higher cognitive processes and can therefore be used to gather empirical evidence and derive objective explanations about subjective experience in the human brain.
FundingRTG position
SupervisorsProf. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes
Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen
RTG topicsTopic 1: Epistemology of extrospection
Topic 6: Extrospective assessment of emotion in self and other and their neural correlates
Topic 8: Brain Reading and extrospection
Degrees obtained
InstituteBernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, Berlin; Charité - Universitätsmedizin, Berlin
Cohort2017
StatusDoctoral candidate
E-mailsweber-please remove this text-@bccn-berlin.de
Researchgatehttps://www.researchgate.net/profile/Simon_Weber14
Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Sascha Benjamin Fink
 
Affective neuroscience in psychiatry: The case of anhedonia 
Doctoral projectAffective neuroscience in psychiatry: The case of anhedonia
DescriptionThis study will investigate the trait anhedonia in healthy subjects using various intro- and extrospective measures. Our aim is to find reliable correlations between self-report, behavioural results and fMRI data for the four components of anhedonia: anticipation, consummation, effort, and learning. We will then validate our experimental findings in everyday life through ecological momentary assessment via smartphone. Finally, we will discuss possible philosophical implications of the empirical study.
FundingRTG position
SupervisorsProf. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Sascha Benjamin Fink
RTG topicsTopic 1: Epistemology of extrospection
Topic 4: Introspection, extrospection and denial of privileged access in psychiatry
Topic 10:  Levels of extrospection in psychiatry
Degrees obtained
InstituteCharité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Research Division of Mind and Brain
Cohort2018
StatusDoctoral candidate
E-mailsarah.wellan-please remove this text-@charite.de
Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Sascha Benjamin Fink
 
Epistemology of extrospection 
Doctoral projectEpistemology of extrospection
DescriptionIn my PhD studies, I investigate the epistemic merits and limitations of external access (2nd and 3rd person) to conscious and higher cognitive processes. The underlying working hypothesis is that there is in principle an interesting symmetry between first-person and external access to conscious mental states. This raises questions such as: What are the psychological mechanisms underlying first-person access? What is the relationship between these mechanisms and natural or context-related mental limitations, such as attentional selection and distribution, or an inability to categorize? Are these limitations of first-person access epistemically equivalent to the indirectness that may be associated with external access? Are there any conscious states that can only be detected by extrospection? Is the indirectness of external access an issue related to access, or is it rather due to the challenge of categorising and modelling information? Do metacognitive approaches serve as good candidates for calibrating methods to deal with mutually exclusive data from first-person and third-person access, e.g. in the case of aphantasia and inner speech?
FundingRTG position
SupervisorsProf. Dr. Michael Pauen
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Sascha Benjamin Fink
RTG topicsTopic 1: Epistemology of extrospection
Topic 7: Extrospection and confidence judgements in metacognitive tasks
Degrees obtained
InstituteInstitute of philosophy, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Cohort2018
StatusDoctoral candidate
E-mailali.yasar-please remove this text-@hu-berlin.de
Homepagewww.aliyasar.de
Researchgatehttps://www.researchgate.net/profile/https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ali_Yasar2
Academia.eduhttps://hu-berlin.academia.edu/AliYasar