Research topics  

6 - Extrospective assessment of emotion in self and other and their neural correlates

PI: Dr. Laura Kaltwasser

Contact: laura.kaltwasser-please remove this


Emotional face expressions not only reveal physiological patterns of an individual’s internal affective state, but they also serve an extrospective social signaling function. Based on the mirror neuron theory we hypothesize a common underlying neural mechanism for emotional assessment in self and other. Applying a combination of psychophysiology and brain scanning this project aims at revealing the neural correlates of the transfer of the first-person perspective to the second-person perspective during dyadic social interaction. It thereby contributes to the extrospective understanding of emotion in daily life.

Research questions of interest are:

- What are the common neural structures for processing basic emotions in self and other?

- Can we map the transfer of the first-person to the second-person perspective of basic emotions in the brain?

- Which role plays the anterior insula in this transfer?

- How is the integration of internal bodily signals (such as the heartbeat) into neuronal markers of emotion expression processing related to the first-person and second-person perspective?

Requirements for research topic 6

The successful candidate is expected to have

(1) a background in cognitive neuroscience,
(2) prior experience with fMRI experimental design and data analysis (ideally with further experience in peripheral psychophysiology such as ECG),
(3) a strong interest in the interdisciplinary collaboration with philosophers and neuroscientists,
(4) Willingness to fully participate in the research, education and training program of the RTG,
(5) Proficiency in English,
(6) Master's degree in a relevant field.

Applications for research topic 6

(1) A proposal for a doctoral project in research topic 5: "Extrospective assessment of emotion in self and other and their neural correlates" (max. 5 pages in Arial 11, single spaced, plus max. 3 pages references),
(2) A meaningful letter of motivation (max 2 pages),
(3) Full academic CV,
(4) Copies/scans of Bachelor's and Master's certificates,
(5) Transcript of records for Master's degree.

Please send the above in one PDF file of no more than 7 MB.

Please name the file as follows: YourName_RTG_Topic6


Two letters of reference should be sent directly to: Ms Annette Winkelmann, mb-extrospection-please remove this

Guidelines for referees for Topic 6 - please send them to your referees: download pdf


Application period and deadline

From Friday, 15 June 2018 until Friday, 13 July 2018 11:59:59 a.m. CEST

This page last updated on: 21 June 2018