Doctoral alumni 

M&B doctoral alumni (former M&B doctoral candidates)

Search Students

Name
Supervisor
Doctoral project

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

The role of functional connectivity and EEG rhythms on nonconscious processing of tactile stimuli
Doctoral project The role of functional connectivity and EEG rhythms on nonconscious processing of tactile stimuli
Research area
Description

The project investigates the neural correlates of nonconscious tactile stimuli localization. An EEG experiment is designed to observe whether specific EEG oscillations correlates with the ability to correctly localize undetected tactile stimuli. A TMS study will be designed to observe a possible pathway bypassing primary somatosensory cortex and allowing participants to localize undetected tactile stimuli. Finally, an fMRI experiment will be performed to understand the role of prestimulus functional connectivity on the localization of undetected stimuli.

Funding Mind & Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Degrees obtained B.Sc. Molecular Biology and Genetics
Cohort 2016
Status Doctoral candidate
Email esra.al.mbg@gmail.com

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Peter Frensch

Brand upon the brain: spatiotemporal profile of cortical processing associated with somatosensory awareness
Doctoral project Brand upon the brain: spatiotemporal profile of cortical processing associated with somatosensory awareness
Research area
Description The neuronal correlates of somatosensory awareness, in comparison to those of visual awareness, remain largely unknown. The intended research offers an extensive investigation into the spatiotemporal characteristics of the cortical processing underlying our being aware of somatosensory stimuli. EEG and fMRI studies using a masking paradigm should uncover the detailed time course of activation flow between relevant cortical areas. A parallel EEG study in somatosensory illusions should better our understanding of the involvement of primary and higher somatosensory areas in perceptual awareness. These experiments can lead to a follow-up TMS study investigating the causal role of interactions between lower and higher processing stages giving rise to somatosensory awareness. (Institut für Psychologie, Freie Universität Berlin)
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship; Mind and Brain postdoctoral scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Peter Frensch

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Degrees obtained MSc Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands); MA Psychology (Uniwersytet Adama Mickiewicza, Poznań, Poland)
Cohort 2009
Status Alumnus
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ryszard_Auksztulewicz
Academia.edu https://ucl.academia.edu/RyszardAuksztulewicz

Prof. Dr. Niko Busch

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

Mechanisms of visual object representations in change blindness and change detection
Doctoral project Mechanisms of visual object representations in change blindness and change detection
Research area
Description

In everyday life, e.g. in a traffic situation, it is necessary to perceive changes in our environment reliably. But sometimes we fail, maybe by instability of our visual processing system. Using the change blindness paradigm, I am investigating differences and similarities of consciously and unconsciously processed changes and how different types of awareness are linked to changes of simple visual feature and semantic context. Additionally, I will use EEG as well as behavioral methods, to reveal new information on neural mechanisms behind change blindness and visual scene perception.

Funding DFG project funds; Mind and Brain postdoctoral scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Niko Busch

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Degrees obtained Diplom, Neuroscience (Univ. Magdeburg)
Cohort 2011
Status Alumnus
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Felix_Ball

Prof. Dr. Werner Sommer

Prof. Dr. Manfred Krifka

Prof. Dr. Annekathrin Schacht

Emotion effects in visual language processing
Doctoral project Emotion effects in visual language processing
Research area
Description The influence of emotions on visual word processing not only becomes obvious in behavioural responses, but also in event-related potentials and other psychophysiological parameters. This dissertation aims to investigate distinct influences of emotional and cognitive factors on these emotion effects, as well as possible interactions between these variables, trying to create a clearer picture of the underlying processes in emotional word processing.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship; Mind and Brain postdoctoral scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Werner Sommer

Prof. Dr. Manfred Krifka

Prof. Dr. Annekathrin Schacht

M&B topics Topic 3: Language
Degrees obtained Diplom, Psychology (Universität Würzburg), Dr. rer. nat. (Fak. Mat.-Nat. II, Humboldt-Universität)
Cohort 2008
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mareike_Bayer

Prof. Dr. Michael Brecht

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

Rat social touch: a behavioral and neurophysiological study
Doctoral project Rat social touch: a behavioral and neurophysiological study
Research area
Description Whisking is essential for rat somatosensation; in our lab it has been observed that it is also performed in social contexts. In the behavioral part of the project I am planning to describe in more detail its characteristics and investigate possible functions in communication. These paradigms are to be adopted for electrophysiological single-unit recordings, with the short-term goal of finding social whisking-related somatosensory signals. In the long run, the aim is to find in the rat brain the neuronal representations of other rats on the somatosensory or multisensory level.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship; project funding
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Michael Brecht

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 3: Language
Degrees obtained Diplom, Biology (Universität Bochum); Dr. rer. nat. (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Cohort 2010
Status Alumnus

Prof. Dr. Katharina Spalek

Prof. Dr. Angela Friederici

Competition in language production: Information retrieval and response selection in the human cognitive system.
Doctoral project Competition in language production: Information retrieval and response selection in the human cognitive system.
Research area
Description The project has two main objectives, both based in the field of competition in language production. First, I investigate whether interference effects take place at an early or a late processing stage of the language production process, i.e. when the word is being retrieved from the mental lexicon or when the response has to be selected, prior to articulation. Furthermore, by comparing two different cognitive core systems – object recognition and numeral cognition - I investigate whether these findings are domain- and task-specific.
Funding Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Katharina Spalek

Prof. Dr. Angela Friederici

M&B topics Topic 3: Language
Degrees obtained M.A. (HU Berlin), Dipl.-Psych. (TU Berlin)
Cohort 2011
Status Alumna
Phone
Email hannah.bohle@hu-berlin.de

Prof. Dr. Katharina von Kriegstein

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

 

Effect of oxytocin on person-identity recognition in autism spectrum disorders
Doctoral project Effect of oxytocin on person-identity recognition in autism spectrum disorders
Research area
Description Recognizing others is a key ability for human communication and its disability leads to severe social difficulties. Social deficits characterize autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and are caused by abnormal processing of communication signals such as the voice and the face. Previous studies have shown that face recognition in neurotypical individuals and individuals diagnosed with ASD can be improved pharmacologically. The aim of my project is to systematically investigate the effect of oxytocin on behavioral and neural mechanisms of voice-identity and face-identity recognition in ASD.
Funding Elsa-Neumann-Stipendium des Landes Berlin
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Katharina von Kriegstein

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

 

M&B topics Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Degrees obtained BSc. Psychology (Freie Universität Berlin), MSc. Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (Freie Universität Berlin)
Cohort 2014
Status Doctoral candidate
Email borowiak@cbs.mpg.de
Academia.edu https://cbs-mpg.academia.edu/KamilaBorowiak

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Representation of object identity and location in high-level ventral visual cortex
Doctoral project Representation of object identity and location in high-level ventral visual cortex
Research area
Description M&B doctoral student 2007-2011 - Doctoral project: Our visual experience of objects can be described by two types of information: the content, i.e. the identity of the object we see, and the location of the content in the visual field, i.e. where the object is to be seen. Prior studies have indicated the high-level ventral visual cortex as the prime region underlying visual object recognition. The three studies presented here investigated systematically to which extent high-level ventral visual cortex processes both types of information, i.e. location and content. For this, perceptual paradigms and a visual imagery paradigm were used, combining functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and multivariate pattern classification. The results indicate that high-level ventral visual cortex encodes object location as well as object identity in a way that is tolerant to changes in object location in the visual field. Moreover, imagery and perception share representations of object identity and object location in high-level ventral visual cortex. The extent to which distinct portions of high-level ventral visual cortex encodes particular object identity tolerant to changes in object location indicates a partly distributed object representation in high-level ventral visual cortex.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship; Haynes lab project funding
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Degrees obtained B.Sc., M.Sc. Medical Neurosciences (Charité Berlin); Dr. rer. nat. (Fak. Mat.-Nat. II, Humboldt-Universität)
Cohort 2007
Status Alumnus
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Radoslaw_Cichy

Prof. Dr. Manfred Krifka

Prof. Dr. Katharina Spalek

Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger

Interplay between semantic verb class and animacy in representation building
Doctoral project Interplay between semantic verb class and animacy in representation building
Research area
Description My project is situated at the interface of syntax, semantics and the lexicon, and focuses on the interplay between different syntactic and semantic factors in the processing of transitive sentences. Transitive sentences describe situations involving two or more participants, and the animacy status of the participants is known to give important cues for sentence parsing. I will investigate how the use of this animacy-related information interacts with the verb's syntactic and semantic properties, using a number of psycholinguistic techniques such as reading time studies, eye tracking and EEG measurements.
Funding Funding by ZAS
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Manfred Krifka

Prof. Dr. Katharina Spalek

Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger

M&B topics Topic 3: Language
Degrees obtained Diplom Biochemistry (Freie Universität Berlin)
Cohort 2008
Status Alumna

Prof. Dr. Elke van der Meer

Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger

Strategy use in mathematical cognition dependent on fluid intelligence: EEG oscillations and eye movements
Doctoral project Strategy use in mathematical cognition dependent on fluid intelligence: EEG oscillations and eye movements
Research area
Description To investigate individual differences in mathematical cognition I am interested in the relationship between math performance, fluid intelligence, and strategies used to solve problems across different mathematical subdivisions. Fluid intelligence is related to the ability to flexibly choose appropriate task solving strategies. Generally, it is known that strategies differ in their cognitive demand, but it has not been proven whether individuals differ in the neural efficiency of strategy execution dependent on intelligence. To address this question, it is necessary to register type of strategy and neural activity accompanying strategy execution simultaneously. For this purpose, I decided for a multi-method approach – the analysis of eye movements and oscillations in the EEG alpha band.
Funding Elsa-Neumann-Stipendium
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Elke van der Meer

Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Degrees obtained Diploma in Psychology (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Cohort 2012
Status Alumna

Prof. Dr. Michael Brecht

Prof. Dr. Gabriel Curio

Rat frontal cortex in social interactions
Doctoral project Rat frontal cortex in social interactions
Research area
Description
Funding Project funds Professor Brecht
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Michael Brecht

Prof. Dr. Gabriel Curio

M&B topics
Degrees obtained M.Sc. Biophysics
Cohort 2013
Status Doctoral candidate
Email christian.ebbesen@bccn-berlin.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Christian_Ebbesen
Academia.edu https://independent.academia.edu/ChristianEbbesen

Prof. Dr. Jan Slaby

Prof. Dr. Jesse Prinz

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

Social cognition, social interaction, and emotion
Doctoral project Social cognition, social interaction, and emotion
Research area
Description My thesis challenges prevailing models of mental state attribution and advances an alternative by focusing on the role of behavioral alignment in social interaction. The focus is especially on non-verbal cues in social interactions, e.g., emotional display.
Funding Mind & Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Jan Slaby

Prof. Dr. Jesse Prinz

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Degrees obtained Staatsexamen Philosophie, Universität Stuttgart
Cohort 2015
Status Alumni
Email gen.eickers@fu-berlin.de
Academia.edu GenEickers

Prof. Dr. Thomas Schmidt

Prof. Dr. Hans-Ludwig Kröber

Moral responsibility and normative capacities
Doctoral project Moral responsibility and normative capacities
Research area
Description My research project addresses questions concerning the conditions of moral responsibility in an interdisciplinary framework. Philosophical accounts typically spell out these conditions in terms of normative capacities, i.e. capacities such as “being able to grasp moral reasons” and “being able to control one’s behaviour in accord with moral reasons”. My work circles mainly around the two following questions: First, in how far is it possible to come up with empirical criteria for the presence or absence of these capacities? Second, in how far is it possible, in general, to spell out these capacities in empirical terms, i.e., in terms of psychology or neuroscience?
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship; Mind and Brain postdoctoral scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Thomas Schmidt

Prof. Dr. Hans-Ludwig Kröber

M&B topics Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained M.A. (Magister Artium) in Philosophy (Universität Göttingen), Dr. phil. (Phil.-Fak. I, Humboldt-Universität)
Cohort 2007
Status Alumnus

Prof. Dr. Norbert Kathmann

Dr. Simone Schütz-Bosbach

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Self-other distinction in action control
Doctoral project Self-other distinction in action control
Research area
Description I am interested in studying the neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying the sense of agency and its disorders. My research will focus on the experience of agency for actions, that is the sense the agent has that he or she is the author of an action and its consequences. I am currently working on a project designed to investigate the role of action effect attribution in higher order motor control. I plan to explore the mechanisms of agency in both healthy individuals and individuals suffering from psychophathology.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship; MPI Leipzig
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Norbert Kathmann

Dr. Simone Schütz-Bosbach

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained Dipl.-Psych. (Humboldt-Universität); Dr. rer. nat. (Fak. Mat.-Nat. II, Humboldt-Universität)
Cohort 2007
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Antje_Gentsch

Prof. Lutz Weinke, Ph.D.

Prof. Dr. Hauke Heekeren

(Prof. Harald Uhlig, Ph.D.)

Essays in experimental and neuroeconomics
Doctoral project Essays in experimental and neuroeconomics
Research area
Description Decision-making under uncertainty is one of the central research areas in both economics and neuroscience. I combine methods from experimental economics with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural bases of risk aversion and of social learning in asset markets. I thereby aim to contribute to the development of descriptively more accurate models of human decision-making under incomplete information.
Funding University research post
Supervisors

Prof. Lutz Weinke, Ph.D.

Prof. Dr. Hauke Heekeren

(Prof. Harald Uhlig, Ph.D.)

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Degrees obtained Diplom in Economics (Humboldt-Universität); Dr. rer. pol. (WiWi Fak., Humboldt-Universität)
Cohort 2007
Status Alumnus

Prof. Dr. Angela Friederici

Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger

The neurocognition of language – disentangling neural language processing streams
Doctoral project The neurocognition of language – disentangling neural language processing streams
Research area
Description Using fMRI and DTI with language stimuli, I will try to disentangle functional processing streams for language. Different parcellations within the dorsal stream, as well as different underlying functions will be investigated in a within-subject design. Syntactically complex and simple structures serve as stimuli in comprehension and repetition.
Funding Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes; Mind and Brain postdoctoral scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Angela Friederici

Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger

M&B topics Topic 3: Language
Degrees obtained M.A. in German Language Studies, Psychology and History of Arts, Freiburg University
Cohort 2009
Status Alumna

Prof. Dr. Elke van der Meer

Prof. Dr. Niko Busch

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

The neural basis of the intentional binding effect
Doctoral project The neural basis of the intentional binding effect
Research area
Description The ability to act upon things in the environment, control our external surroundings and learn new associations is highly dependent on causal relations. Surprisingly, in the specific case of voluntary actions, it seems that the temporal perceptions of the actions and their sensory consequences shift towards one another. This phenomenon is termed the intentional binding effect (IBE). I propose to combine behavioral and electrophysiological methods in order to uncover the neural basis of this phenomenon. By manipulating the relation of cause and effect a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms (prediction and retrospective inference) can be achieved. Analysis of the ERP components of each mechanism will allow exploring their relative contribution to the shift in time perception.
Funding Mind & Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Elke van der Meer

Prof. Dr. Niko Busch

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained M.A. Philosophy (Universiteit van Amsterdam); B.A. Psychology (Tel-Aviv University); Double Major: B.A. Philosophy & Humanities (Tel-Aviv University)
Cohort 2014
Status Alumnus
Phone +49 176 45650484
Email michael.goldberg@hu-berlin.de

Prof. Dr. Angela Friederici

Prof. Dr. Elke van der Meer

How are sentences connected in the brain: Logic and syntax in the brain
Doctoral project How are sentences connected in the brain: Logic and syntax in the brain
Research area
Description My project explores the controversial boundary between language and logic. A number of neuroscientists have considered reasoning independent from the language faculty. However, both the singularity of human language and its processing demands are strong arguments in favour of its role in cognitive ability. I will focus on sentence connectors (eg. and, if, because), the words that allow us to link ideas in speech and indirectly reflect logical reasoning. Using fMRI I intend to show the contribution of these words to language processing, separating different aspects of connectors: syntax, semantics and underlying logical form.
Funding Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Angela Friederici

Prof. Dr. Elke van der Meer

M&B topics Topic 3: Language
Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained MD, MSc in Biomedical Sciences
Cohort 2011
Status Alumnus
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Tomas_Goucha
Academia.edu https://hu-berlin.academia.edu/Tom%C3%A1sGoucha

Prof. Dr. Radoslaw Cichy

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

Objects and space: understanding how object and location information are processed in the real world
Doctoral project Objects and space: understanding how object and location information are processed in the real world
Research area
Description In my research, I aim to characterize the neural dynamics of object and scene perception in a spatio-temporally resolved manner. Extensive research on object recognition in the brain has shown that visual object representations hierarchically emerge along the regions of the ventral visual stream while category-orthogonal information is gradually lost. In this PhD project I will investigate how object representations and object category-orthogonal information change in the ventral stream when objects are presented embedded in naturalistic scenes. To address this, I will apply multivariate pattern analysis and representational similarity analysis to human electrophysiology and neuroimaging data.
Funding Research position, Emmy Noether grant
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Radoslaw Cichy

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 3: Language
Cohort 2017
Status Doctoral candidate
Email monikag@zedat.fu-berlin.de

Prof. Dr. Hauke Heekeren

Prof. Dr. Shu-Chen Li

Reward-based and perceptual decision making
Doctoral project Reward-based and perceptual decision making
Research area
Description ...
Funding Freie Universität Berlin & Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Hauke Heekeren

Prof. Dr. Shu-Chen Li

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Degrees obtained B.Sc. Cognitive Science (University of Osnabrueck, Germany), M.Sc. Cognitive Science, Track: Brain, Behavior and Cognition (University of Amsterdam); Dr. phil. (Freie Universität Berlin)
Cohort 2007
Status Alumnus
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nikos_Green
Academia.edu https://fu-berlin.academia.edu/NikosGreen

Prof. Dr. Angela D. Friederici

Prof. Dr. Tania Singer

Neural basis of Theory of Mind and language development
Doctoral project Neural basis of Theory of Mind and language development
Research area
Description Complex syntax and Theory of Mind (ToM) are both hallmarks of human cognition. Both develop around a similar age and numerous studies report a correlation of the two abilities. Their relationship, however, is not yet well understood. In particular, research is lacking developmental studies on the neural basis of ToM and on the shared neural prerequisites of both abilities. In my PhD-project, I therefore want to correlate the structural brain development of two- to four-year-old children with their ToM abilities and their processing of syntactic structure. For this, I will combine diffusion and t1-weighted MRI with EEG, Eyetracking and behavioral measures.
Funding Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Angela D. Friederici

Prof. Dr. Tania Singer

M&B topics Topic 3: Language
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Degrees obtained Physics Diploma, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin
Cohort 2012
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Charlotte_Grosse_Wiesmann

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

Prof. Dr. Hans-Christian Deter

Does mindfulness modulate empathy and mentalization processing?
Doctoral project Does mindfulness modulate empathy and mentalization processing?
Research area
Description The aim of this study is to determine whether a psychological intervention (mindfulness) may have an impact in the brain processing of basic social abilities such as empathy and mentalization. To address these questions will be conducting a prospective study, with pre-post measurements of neural correlates of empathy and mentalization, using functional magnetic resonance imaging under particular social cognition paradigms.
Funding CONICYT – Chile / Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

Prof. Dr. Hans-Christian Deter

M&B topics Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Degrees obtained Medical degree & Adult Psychiatry (University of Chile)
Cohort 2014
Status Doctoral candidate
Academia.edu https://hu-berlin.academia.edu/SimonGuendelman

Prof. Dr. Henrik Walter

Prof. Dr. Holger Lyre

Meeting the brain on its own terms
Doctoral project Meeting the brain on its own terms
Research area
Description My thesis investigates which neuroscientific experiments would help researchers to develop concepts that describe the human more adequately. Drawing on history and philosophy of science case studies, I argue that exploratory experiments at the mesoscopic scale of neuronal assemblies could provide new concepts that link microscopic to macroscopic principles of brain organization. I use my account of exploratory experiments in neuroscience to assess the data-driven methods of resting state functional connectivity and connectomics approaches, and recent advances in mesoscopic intervention techniques such as optogenetics.
Funding Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Henrik Walter

Prof. Dr. Holger Lyre

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 4: Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny
Degrees obtained BA and MA in philosophy (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Cohort 2014
Status Alumnus
Email haueis@cbs.mpg.de
Academia.edu https://mind-and-brain.academia.edu/PhilippHaueis

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Probing the neural correlates of consciousness
Doctoral project Probing the neural correlates of consciousness
Research area
Description The investigation of the neural correlates of visual consciousness has received considerable attention in the last decade, mainly due to the rise of functional imaging and the development of new psychophysical techniques to isolate consciousness-related processes. Nevertheless, these approaches rely on underlying presumptions that remain elusive: How is conscious processing different from unconscious processing? Does the correlated brain signal actually encode the identity of the presented stimuli? To what degree are "consciousness paradigms" reliable? Masking paradigms will be combined with signal detection theory and multivariate pattern decoding in functional imaging to approach these questions.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship (until May 2009); Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (from June 2009)
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Degrees obtained B.Sc., M.Sc.
Cohort 2008
Status Alumnus
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Martin_Hebart
Academia.edu https://independent.academia.edu/MHebart

Prof. Dr. Hauke Heekeren

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Neural correlates of subjective perceptual certainty and propositions about belief
Doctoral project Neural correlates of subjective perceptual certainty and propositions about belief
Research area
Description Classic approaches to subjective certainty aim to establish a quantitative relation of stimulus properties and conscious perception. So far neither the exact nature of the neural representation of subjective certainty nor the factors that may contribute to its emergence have been investigated in a comprehensive fashion. The first aim of the dissertation project is to shed light on the properties of this neural representation. The second aim is to examine, whether subjective certainty in belief is more important in guiding action than it’s correspondence with.
Funding Konrad Adenauer Stiftung
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Hauke Heekeren

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained Mag. rer. nat.
Cohort 2012
Status Alumnus
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Johannes_Heereman

Prof. Dr. Dr. Friedemann Pulvermüller

Prof. Dr. Manfred Krifka

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

The role of the left inferior frontal cortex (LIFC) in language comprehension
Doctoral project The role of the left inferior frontal cortex (LIFC) in language comprehension
Research area
Description The role of Broca’s area and motor/premotor areas in language comprehension remains a controversial and much debated issue. For example, it has been argued that motor cortex involvement in speech perception seen in transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies is limited to artificial tasks, degraded stimuli or that TMS affects not perception but task-related decision processes or other secondary post-understanding processes. In my thesis I will address some of these criticisms through further TMS experiments investigating the involvement of the LIFC in speech perception and comprehension. In addition to this, I will also conduct computational modelling, based on an existing neuroanatomically grounded neural network model of the perisylvian language cortex.
Funding
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Dr. Friedemann Pulvermüller

Prof. Dr. Manfred Krifka

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

M&B topics Topic 3: Language
Degrees obtained B.A., University of Cambridge, UK; M.Sc., Freie Universität Berlin
Cohort 2013
Status Alumnus
Email m.schomers@fu-berlin.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Malte_Schomers

Prof. Dr. Niko Busch

Prof. Dr. Elke van der Meer

How visual stimulus dynamics affect mechansims of interval timing
Doctoral project How visual stimulus dynamics affect mechansims of interval timing
Research area
Description My research focuses on subjective duration perception and its underlying mechanisms. As humans lack a sensory organ for the perception of time, duration judgements are highly influenced by the sensory content of the relevant time interval. In my research project I am exploring the interplay between mechanisms related to conscious and pre-conscious perception of visual stimuli and the perception of stimulus duration. Throughout my PhD work, different methods (behavioral, psychophysics, EEG) will be used to gain insights on the nature of subjective time perception and its underlying neural mechanisms.
Funding Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes; Mind and Brain postdoctoral stipend
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Niko Busch

Prof. Dr. Elke van der Meer

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Degrees obtained Dipl.-Psych, M.Sc. (LMU München), Dr. rer. nat. (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Cohort 2010
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sophie_Herbst

Prof. Dr. Arthur Jacobs

Prof. Dr. Gabriel Curio

Neural correlates of covert and overt movements investigated by EEG/EMG with implications for brain-computer interfacing
Doctoral project Neural correlates of covert and overt movements investigated by EEG/EMG with implications for brain-computer interfacing
Research area
Description My research integrates cognitive psychology with computational neuroscience in order to understand the relation between motor cognition and brain activity, in order to optimize brain-computer interfacing. A BCI provides a non-muscular communication channel between the subject and the environment, based on the detection of intention-related brain signatures, for instance in electroencephalography. My main research interests are neural correlates of action intention, movement inhibition, motor imagery, and quasi-movements.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Arthur Jacobs

Prof. Dr. Gabriel Curio

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Degrees obtained Dipl.-Psych. (Freie Universität Berlin); Dr. phil. (Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin)
Cohort 2007
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Friederike_Hohlefeld

Prof. Dr. Niko Busch

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Psychophysical mechanisms of spontaneous brain activity: a model-based neuroscience approach
Doctoral project Psychophysical mechanisms of spontaneous brain activity: a model-based neuroscience approach
Research area
Description Many studies have demonstrated the existence of neuronal activity occurring in the absence of sensory input or preceding experimental events. In electrophysiological recordings such endogenous activity takes the form of oscillations. My research aims to understand the functional mechanisms by which prestimulus oscillations in the alpha band affect visual awareness and attention by using EEG and psychophysical modelling.
Funding Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (2013-2014); Scholarship Berlin School of Mind and Brain
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Niko Busch

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Degrees obtained B.Sc. in Molecular and Biological Sciences, Università di Pisa; M.Sc. in Brain and Mind Sciences, University College London, UK; Université Pierre et Marie Curie/Ecole Normale Superieure, France
Cohort 2013
Status Alumnus
Academia.edu https://independent.academia.edu/LucaIemi

Prof. Dr. Andrea Kühn

Prof. Dr. Hauke Heekeren

Modelling decision-making in Parkinson’s disease
Doctoral project Modelling decision-making in Parkinson’s disease
Research area
Description This project investigates disease- and therapy-specific deficits in decision-making in patients with the neurodegenerative disorder Parkinson’s Disease. In particular, the effect of deep brain stimulation on impulsivity and reward-related decision-making and the interaction with dopaminergic medication are investigated. Further, local field potentials of patients receiving deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus are investigated as possible markers of decision-making performance.
Funding Mind & Brain Scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Andrea Kühn

Prof. Dr. Hauke Heekeren

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained MSc Clinical Neuroscience
Cohort 2015
Status Doctoral candidate
Email friederike.irmen@gmx.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Friederike_Irmen

Prof. Dr. Katharina von Kriegstein

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

Neural mechanism of eye contact during face-to-face communication
Doctoral project Neural mechanism of eye contact during face-to-face communication
Research area
Description Eye contact serves a a number of different functions, of which one of the most important is obtaining necessary feedback on others’ reactions during face-to face communication. In my PhD work, I intend to use the fNIRS-based hyperscanning or fMRI-based hyperscanning technique to investigate the neural features of eye contact during face-to-face communication within a naturalistic context.
Funding DAAD scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Katharina von Kriegstein

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

M&B topics Topic 3: Language
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Degrees obtained M.Sc. Psychology, Beijing Normal University
Cohort 2013
Status Alumna
Phone +49 176 57858466
Email jinglan5201@hotmail.com
Academia.edu https://cbs-mpg.academia.edu/JingJiang

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Heinz

Decoding value-related information from spatially distributed fMRI patterns
Doctoral project Decoding value-related information from spatially distributed fMRI patterns
Research area
Description An optimal choice among alternative behavioral options requires precise anticipatory representations of their possible outcomes. This raises the fundamental question how such expected outcomes are represented in the human brain. Reward coding at the level of single cells in the orbitofrontal cortex follows a more heterogeneous coding scheme than suggested by studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in humans. Specifically, in contrast to average signal increases, as suggested by such fMRI studies, equally prevalent populations of neurons increase and decrease their firing rate with increasing reward value. This dissertation contains two experiments that use a combination of multivariate pattern classification and fMRI to shed light into this discrepancy. The results of the first experiment (Kahnt et al., 2010b) demonstrate that the reward value of sensory cues can be decoded from spatially distributed fMRI patterns in the medial orbitofrontal cortex and that a similar neural code is used to represent reward value during anticipation and during receipt of reward. This distributed representation is compatible with reports from animal electrophysiology, which suggest the presence of different neural populations with opposing coding schemes. For most behavioral options, more than one attribute can be relevant in order to predict the expected reward. Thus, to make choices the reward predictions of multiple attributes need to be integrated into a combined expected value. The second experiment (Kahnt et al., 2010a) addresses the question where in the brain this combined reward prediction (averaged across attributes) and where the variability of the reward predictions is encoded. The results provide evidence that the combined value is encoded in distributed fMRI patterns in the medial orbitofrontal cortex. Additionally, the variability of value predictions of the individual attributes is encoded in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. In summary, the results of both experiments elucidate the neural coding of expected reward and narrow the gap between conflicting results from animal electrophysiology and human fMRI studies.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship; Mind and Brain postdoctoral scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Heinz

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Degrees obtained Dipl.-Psych. (Freie Universität Berlin); Dr. rer. nat. (Fak. Mat.-Nat. II, Humboldt-Universität)
Cohort 2007
Status Alumnus
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Thorsten_Kahnt
Academia.edu https://northwestern.academia.edu/ThorstenKahnt

Prof. Dr. Niko Busch

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Daniel Senkowski

Oscillatory signatures and neural connectivity in multisensory integration
Doctoral project Oscillatory signatures and neural connectivity in multisensory integration
Research area
Description My research aims to elucidate how brain regions interact to integrate the input from visual and auditory modalities. I will employ multisensory illusions, in which information from one modality can influence the perception of stimuli in another so that a novel percept arises, combined with EEG and TMS. Recently, beta-band oscillations have been suggested to provide a possible integrative processing mechanism across brain regions. I will consequently model oscillatory activity in the respective sensory areas, multisensory hubs and frontal regions, and perform connectivity analyses to get a better idea of the information transfer during multisensory processing. I will also apply TMS to selectively disrupt activity in regions of interest and analyze the effect on network activity.
Funding DFG grant supervisor
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Niko Busch

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Daniel Senkowski

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Degrees obtained Diplom, Psychology (University of Konstanz)
Cohort 2014
Status Doctoral candidate
Email mathis.kaiser@charite.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mathis_Kaiser
Academia.edu https://charite.academia.edu/MathisKaiser

Prof. Dr. Klaus Obermayer

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

Processing of expected values in human visual cortex
Doctoral project Processing of expected values in human visual cortex
Research area
Description Experience might effectively modulate our choice if prior stimulation reveals some information about future reward. For example, experience might accumulate to an expected reward at different target locations. Following Pascal (1670) the expected reward is given as the predictability of the reward and the amount of reward associated with each location. In the first study, we modulated the expected reward in a simple binary choice task in order to test rational decision making in the context of complex expected value functions. We found that the subjects likely match, but do not maximize the expected reward and likely implement a short‐term average over stimulus appearances, but not the true generative model. In the second study, our aim was to gradually modulate the endogenous orientation of attention with the expected value of distributed reward in the environment. Shifts in attentional focus were induced by linking one location with a higher expected reward than other locations. Larger expected values should then increase the likelihood that subjects would focus their attention on one location rather than distribute it across the entire display. The discrimination performance at a target location is a close indicator of attention. Therefore we setup a discrimination task and measured the behavioral discrimination performance. In fact, we found that subjects increasingly discriminate the target status with a larger expected value. The models proposed in the first study account quite closely for basic properties of the behavioral results. However, a close analysis on a trial‐by‐trial basis showed that the true generative model cannot account for subjects’ behavior, which is however well explained by short‐term average over stimulus appearances. In the third study, we measured the event‐related potential (ERP) during the discrimination task introduced in the second study and compared the ERP modulations to the decision making models proposed in the first study. Grand average ERP waveforms showed an increase in components as early as the N1 component with increasing expected reward of the stimulus location. In fact, the performance in the discrimination task and the rewardmodulation are closely reflected in the amplitude of these early‐visual, attention‐related EEG‐responses. We therefore conclude the processing of expected rewards in early‐visual components of EEG. Thesis: opus.kobv.de/tuberlin/volltexte/2009/2267/pdf/kallerhoff_philipp.pdf
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Klaus Obermayer

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Degrees obtained Dipl.-Ing, Dipl.-Psych. (Technische Universität Berlin), Dr.-Ing. (Technische Universität Berlin)
Cohort 2007
Status Alumnus

Prof. Dr. Werner Sommer

Prof. Dr. Oliver Wilhelm

Influence of interpersonal abilities on social decisions and their physiological correlates
Doctoral project Influence of interpersonal abilities on social decisions and their physiological correlates
Research area
Description I am interested in the relationship between empathy and prosocial behavior. I want to investigate this relationship by modeling the psychometric link between emotion recognition abilities, including their physiological underpinnings such as emotion-specific ERPs and facial EMG (mimicry), and prosocial tendencies, such as cooperation in economic games, on a latent level (for example with techniques as structural equation and latent change models). Later on, I would like to look at the role of ecological validity when assessing these interpersonal abilities and their physiological correlates.
Funding Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Werner Sommer

Prof. Dr. Oliver Wilhelm

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Degrees obtained Diplom in Psychology
Cohort 2012
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Laura_Kaltwasser2

Prof. Dr. Norbert Kathmann

Prof. Dr. Henrik Walter

Neural correlates of aberrant and adaptive salience attribution in psychosis and psychosis-proneness during reinforcement-learning
Doctoral project Neural correlates of aberrant and adaptive salience attribution in psychosis and psychosis-proneness during reinforcement-learning
Research area
Description I am interested in the neurobiological learning mechanisms that are hypothesized to lead to the formation of psychotic symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations. In my PhD study, I investigate the alterations in salience attribution during learning. I use functional magnetic resonance imaging and computational modelling to measure and analyse the dynamic learning signals as correlates of salience attribution during a classical conditioning paradigm. Following a dimensional approach to psychosis, schizophrenia patients as well as individuals with psychosis-proneness participate in the fMRI study.
Funding Elsa-Neumann-Stipendium des Landes Berlin
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Norbert Kathmann

Prof. Dr. Henrik Walter

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained Diplom in Psychology (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Cohort 2014
Status Alumna
Homepage http://psy-ccm.charite.de/en/research/neuroimaging/learning_and_cognition/
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Teresa_Katthagen

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sterzer

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

The influence of tactile stimuli on conscious visual perception during binocular rivalry.
Doctoral project The influence of tactile stimuli on conscious visual perception during binocular rivalry.
Research area
Description Every day, our senses are bombarded with stimuli, which can be from the same or from different modalities. Much research focuses on the question how we become conscious of these stimuli, especially in the visual domain. However, not much is known about how stimuli from different sensory modalities are integrated to give rise to a conscious percept. In my project, I will use behavioural methods and fMRI to investigate the influence of tactile stimuli on conscious visual perception, to contribute to our knowledge of the neural mechanisms behind multisensory integration.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship; Mind and Brain postdoctoral scholarship; Hendrik Muller’s Vaderlandsch Fonds
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sterzer

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Degrees obtained MSc: Dual Masters in Brain and Mind Sciences (University College London, Ecole Normale Supérieure & Université Pierre et Marie Curie) BSc: University College Utrecht (University of Utrecht)
Cohort 2010
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bianca_Van_Kemenade

Dr. Martin Voss

Prof. Dr. Norbert Kathmann

The phenomenon of thought insertion: The feeling of not being the author of one´s own thoughts
Doctoral project The phenomenon of thought insertion: The feeling of not being the author of one´s own thoughts
Research area
Description In our everyday phenomenal experience, it seems obvious to us that the thoughts we experience are our own thoughts and that we are the authors of these thoughts. However, patients suffering from schizophrenia exhibit a disturbance of the feeling to be the causal source of their thoughts and report the feeling of external forces controlling their actions and thoughts. The aim of my project is to investigate the neural correlates of an abnormal experience of authorship over one’s own thoughts, i.e. the feeling of not being the causal source of one’s own thoughts.
Funding Volkswagen Foundation; from 1 April 2013: Elsa-Neumann-Stipendium des Landes Berlin
Supervisors

Dr. Martin Voss

Prof. Dr. Norbert Kathmann

M&B topics Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained Diplom in Psychology
Cohort 2012
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Leonie_Klock
Academia.edu https://independent.academia.edu/LeonieKlock

Prof. Dr. Hauke Heekeren

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Processing of self-relevant information
Doctoral project Processing of self-relevant information
Research area
Description Humans make many everyday decisions in a social context. While a substantial amount of literature has given insight into the brain mechanisms underlying decisions in non-social settings, the processing of social information is less well understood. Using novel behavioural tasks and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), I want to address how information about the surrounding social world is incorporated into the decision process. Specifically, I am interested in how humans process self-related feedback from their peers. In a first step, I want to investigate how feedback valence (i.e. whether participants receive desirable or undesirable social feedback) impacts on self-perception. In a second step, I would like to look into cultural differences in social feedback processing.
Funding
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Hauke Heekeren

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Degrees obtained MSc Brain and Mind Sciences, University College London, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Univeristé Pierre et Marie Curie; BSc Biomedicine, University Würzburg; Dr. phil., Freie Universität Berlin
Cohort 2009
Status Alumnus
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Christoph_Korn

Prof. Dr. Werner Sommer

Prof. Dr. Reinhold Kliegl

Brain-electric correlates of visual word recognition under natural reading conditions
Doctoral project Brain-electric correlates of visual word recognition under natural reading conditions
Research area
Description When people read, they make saccadic eye-movements to specific words in order to bring them into our central (foveal) field of vision where acuity is highest. As our perceptual field usually spans more words than the one fixated, the question arises whether all words that we perceive are processed in parallel (but to different degrees) or the processing is serial and mostly constrained to the foveal field of vision. I use co-registration of eye-tracking and EEG to assess the amount of information that is extracted from words in the parafoveal field of vision. The results are used to evaluate and refine current computational models of oculomotor movement in reading.
Funding Berlin School of Mind and Brain
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Werner Sommer

Prof. Dr. Reinhold Kliegl

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 3: Language
Degrees obtained B.A., M.Sc.
Cohort 2012
Status Alumnus
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Florian_Niefind

Prof. Dr. Niko A. Busch

Prof. Dr. Werner Sommer

Investigating predictive remapping with EEG
Doctoral project Investigating predictive remapping with EEG
Research area
Description My project concerns the topic of perceptual stability. As we navigate through the environment, our subjective visual experience is spatially and temporally continuous. In reality, vision is neither of these; rather, it is fragmented into two phases—fixation (when the eye is focused on a location) and the fast saccades that serve as transitions between fixations. How come we are unaware of this disjointedness? Converging evidence indicates that saccades play far more than a mechanical role; in fact, the intention to make a saccade shapes the visual processing per se. The proposed work will address the role of saccades in maintaining perceptual stability, specifically investigating the temporal profile of perisaccadic object remapping using EEG co-registered with eye-tracking.
Funding Mind and Brain Scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Niko A. Busch

Prof. Dr. Werner Sommer

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained MSc Medical Neurosciences, Charité – Universitätsmedizin (Berlin Germany); BA Neuroscience, BA German Studies, Smith College (Mass., USA)
Cohort 2012
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Lyudmyla_Kovalenko

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

The dynamics of body representation
Doctoral project The dynamics of body representation
Research area
Description Is bodily self-representation purely a process of primary sensorymotor, bottom-up learning processes, or are there additional, possibly innate, top-down influences? The goal of this research project is to investigate the dynamic nature of the so-named body model, focusing on the number, function, and dynamics of different body representations. Of particular interest are somatosensory illusions like the Rubber Hand Illusion, and their neural mechanisms and behavioral correlates. These will be investigated using EEG and fMRI data, and shall be characterized by probabilistic (Bayesian) models. In addition, explicit self-reports shall shed light on the subjective experience of owning and acting a body.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained Psychology (Diplom)
Cohort 2011
Status Alumnus
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jakub_Limanowski
Academia.edu https://hu-berlin.academia.edu/JakubLimanowski

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

Prof. Dr. Jesse Prinz

 

Emotions, folk-psychology, and natural kinds
Doctoral project Emotions, folk-psychology, and natural kinds
Research area
Description Empirical research has shown that emotions are not easily identifiable at the neural or bodily levels. This brings up the question of whether they form a natural kind and whether we should consider them objects of scientific inquiry on their own right. I want to argue that emotions are still interesting objects for psychology and neuroscience, despite the doubts we may have regarding their status as natural kinds. My project aims to develop an account in which, by starting from folk-psychological definitions and abstracting away from them, we can define emotions in scientifically meaningful ways.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

Prof. Dr. Jesse Prinz

 

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Degrees obtained B.A. Philosophy, Universidad del Rosario, Colombia
Cohort 2016
Status Doctoral candidate
Email loaiza.juan@hu-berlin.de

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Prof. Dr. Norbert Kathmann

Studying the neuronal basis of willpower by means of hypnosis and fMRI
Doctoral project Studying the neuronal basis of willpower by means of hypnosis and fMRI
Research area
Description In everyday life we often need to resist short-term rewards in order to obtain long-term benefits. For example, we might have to resist the temptation of eating chocolate if we want to lose weight: we need willpower. In my PhD project I investigate the neural mechanisms involved in willpower by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). For this, I will use hypnosis as a research tool to influence the strategies participants use to successfully resist temptations.
Funding Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes; Mind and Brain postdoctoral scholarship; Mind and Brain postdoctoral position
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Prof. Dr. Norbert Kathmann

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Degrees obtained BSc Psychobiology (University of Amsterdam); MSc Human Cognitive Neuropsychology (University of Edinburgh)
Cohort 2010
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Vera_Ludwig
Academia.edu https://independent.academia.edu/VeraLudwig

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sterzer

Sensory prediction and belief formation in schizophrenia: exploring a Bayesian framework
Doctoral project Sensory prediction and belief formation in schizophrenia: exploring a Bayesian framework
Research area
Description In my research project I want to investigate the origin of delusions in the disorder of schizophrenia. It is assumed that intact formation of beliefs implies precise predictions about what we are about to perceive. False or imprecise sensory predictions are likely to result in inappropriate prediction error signals and can therefore lead to a delusional thought. With the help of Electroencephalography (EEG) I want to explore sensory predictions and their influence on belief formation in patients with schizophrenia using a Bayesian model.
Funding Mind & Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sterzer

M&B topics Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained B.Sc. Psychology; M.Sc. Neuroscience
Cohort 2013
Status Alumnus
Email simon.ludwig@fu-berlin.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Simon_Ludwig

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

Language, meaning, and visual perception: Event-related potentials reveal top-down influences on early visual processing
Doctoral project Language, meaning, and visual perception: Event-related potentials reveal top-down influences on early visual processing
Research area
Description
Funding
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

M&B topics
Status Doctoral alumnus

Prof. Dr. Dr. Friedemann Pulvermüller

Prof. Dr. Christine Mooshammer

 

The mechanism of sound symbolism in the action-perception network of language
Doctoral project The mechanism of sound symbolism in the action-perception network of language
Research area
Description Sound symbolism is a universal linguistic phenomenon of nonarbitrariness in human language. The present project aims to explore the mechanisms of sound symbolism in the action-perception networks of language. In parallel we would like to test sound symbolism in NHM exploring further the origins of human language.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Dr. Friedemann Pulvermüller

Prof. Dr. Christine Mooshammer

 

M&B topics Topic 3: Language
Cohort 2016
Status Doctoral candidate
Email konstantina.margiotoudi@gmail.com

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

Prof. Dr. Elke van der Meer

Resting-State functional connectivity fMRI: A new approach for assessing functional neuroanatomy in humans with applications to neuroanatomical, developmental and clinical questions
Doctoral project Resting-State functional connectivity fMRI: A new approach for assessing functional neuroanatomy in humans with applications to neuroanatomical, developmental and clinical questions
Research area
Description While “task-based” functional neuroimaging has generated remarkable knowledge regarding the roles of specific brain regions and their impact on various psychopathologies, several longstanding research questions remain a significant challenge to its methodological scope. This dissertation presents a series of studies which describe advances in task-independent “resting state” functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) aimed at addressing three specific challenges: (1) defining functional subdivisions within complex regions; (2) whole-brain analysis of lateralized function; and, (3) probing developmental and/or clinical populations not easily amenable to task participation in the scanner environment. The studies presented here address these challenges by demonstrating the ability of resting-state functional connectivity to: (1) assess functional subdivisions within the complex regions of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC; Margulies et al., 2007), striatum (Di Martino et al., 2008), amygdala (Roy et al., 2008) and precuneus (Margulies et al., under revision); (2) quantify interhemispheric specialization by addressing synchronization across the whole-brain between corresponding contralateral regions (Stark et al., 2008); and (3) track developmental changes in ACC functional connectivity from childhood to early adulthood (Kelly et al., 2008), and also address a clinically-related question by analyzing functional connectivity in regions related to attentional lapses in a population with attention deficits (Castellanos et al., 2008). Finally, the test-retest reliability of resting-state functional connectivity was demonstrated to be significant (Shehzad et al., 2009). In summary, resting-state functional connectivity has been shown to be effective at addressing questions regarding functional neuroanatomy, as well as neurodevelopmental and clinical questions, thereby offering a novel methodology for settings where task-based approaches are inherently limited.
Funding Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

Prof. Dr. Elke van der Meer

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 4: Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained B.A. in Philosophy (New York University); Dr. rer. nat. (Fak. Mat.-Nat. II, Humboldt-Universität)
Cohort 2007
Status Alumnus
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Daniel_Margulies
Academia.edu https://cbs-mpg.academia.edu/DanielMargulies

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

Prof. Dr. Soyoung Q Park

Unconventional eating behaviour and its effect on brain circuits and on mind-gut-feedback
Doctoral project Unconventional eating behaviour and its effect on brain circuits and on mind-gut-feedback
Research area
Description In this project, we want to study the effects of an unconventional diet on food decision-making, brain connectivity and other cognitive and sensory processes implicated in choosing between food items. It has been shown that a change in diet affects our intestinal microbial composition and other metabolic markers, however, cognitive effects have not been fully investigated yet. We suggest that unconventional eaters manifest changes not only on a biological but also on a cognitive level (i.e. more self-control). We are interested in whether gut microbiotic status is predictive of brain connectivity in brain regions related to the adoption of an unconventional diet.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

Prof. Dr. Soyoung Q Park

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Cohort 2017
Status Doctoral candidate
Email medawar@cbs.mpg.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Evelyn_Medawar2

Prof. Dr. Werner Sommer

Prof. Dr. Reinhold Kliegl

Prof. Dr. Niko Busch

Microsaccades as a window to processes of visuospatial attention: Insights from simultaneous recording of eye movements and EEG
Doctoral project Microsaccades as a window to processes of visuospatial attention: Insights from simultaneous recording of eye movements and EEG
Research area
Description It is widely believed that the focus of attention can be directed towards locations in the visual field while eyes maintain stable fixation – a process called covert attention. However, even during fixation our eyes are never still, but execute fixational eye movements (EM), microsaccades being the most prominent among them. Indeed, recent studies showed a relationship between covert attention and microsaccades, but the underlying neuronal mechanisms are poorly understood. In my dissertation project I register EM and EEG simultaneously to investigate the effects of attention on EM-evoked brain potentials and to relate EEG components of attentional orienting to the programing/execution of EM.
Funding Elsa-Neumann-Stipendium des Landes Berlin
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Werner Sommer

Prof. Dr. Reinhold Kliegl

Prof. Dr. Niko Busch

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Cohort 2012
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Susann_Meyberg
Academia.edu https://hu-berlin.academia.edu/SusannMeyberg

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Intentions in time: decomposing the neurocognitive architecture of intentions
Doctoral project Intentions in time: decomposing the neurocognitive architecture of intentions
Research area
Description Can your plan reveal what you intend to do a minute later while you’re currently engaged in performing a different task? To address this question, time based prospective memory tasks executed under endogenous task-switching conditions are examined with fMRI and decoding technologies. Philosophical implications concerning distal intentions, long term planning and the link between temporal agency and responsibility comprise the philosophical body of this interdisciplinary thesis.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Degrees obtained B.Sc. Computer Science, M.Sc. History and Philosophy of Science (Utrecht University); Dr. rer. nat. Humboldt-Universität
Cohort 2007
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ida_Mommenejad
Academia.edu https://princeton.academia.edu/IdaMomennejad

Prof. Dr. Christine Heim

Prof. Dr. Norbert Kathmann

Prof. Dr. Claudia Buß

Maternal thyroid hormone levels in pregnancy and newborn functional network maturity
Doctoral project Maternal thyroid hormone levels in pregnancy and newborn functional network maturity
Research area
Description I am interested in how the intrauterine environment influences early brain development. The human brain develops most rapidly during the prenatal period and is dependent on the timely and sufficient availability of several factors including thyroid hormones (TH). During the first half of pregnancy the fetus is completely dependent on maternal supply of TH but even after the onset of fetal thyroid function the fetus continues to receive maternal TH until birth. A lack of TH during early life has been associated with cognitive and motor deficits in later life but research regarding associated changes in brain functionality is lacking. In my project I intend to investigate the effects of maternal thyroid function on newborn motor performance and functional network maturity in the brain.
Funding Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Christine Heim

Prof. Dr. Norbert Kathmann

Prof. Dr. Claudia Buß

M&B topics Topic 4: Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained Dipl.-Psych., University of Trier
Cohort 2013
Status Doctoral candidate
Email nora.moog@charite.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nora_Moog

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Prof. Dr. Ulman Lindenberger

Self consciousness – from nonconceptual content to the concept of a self
Doctoral project Self consciousness – from nonconceptual content to the concept of a self
Research area
Description My project’s aim is to develop a philosophical theory of the development of self-consciousness. In particular, my aim is to develop a model of self-consciousness that can make intelligible the transition from primitive, possibly nonconceptual forms of self-consciousness to a full-fledged concept of a self by drawing on philosophical considerations as well as on insights from empirical research in developmental psychology, ethology and cognitive neuroscience. One of my central hypotheses is that the development of self-consciousness is in important respects dependent on the development of an awareness of other minds. In other words, self-consciousness arises only in the context of intersubjectivity.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship (until June 2007); Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Prof. Dr. Ulman Lindenberger

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 3: Language
Topic 4: Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny
Degrees obtained M.A. in Philosophy, Diplom in Neuroscience (Universität Magdeburg); Dr. phil. (Philosophy, Humboldt-Universität)
Cohort 2007
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kristina_Musholt
Academia.edu https://uni-leipzig.academia.edu/KristinaMusholt

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Prof. Dr. Matthew Larkum

Cortical activity and dendritic coding of top-down somatosensory information in a virtual reality environment
Doctoral project Cortical activity and dendritic coding of top-down somatosensory information in a virtual reality environment
Research area
Description A basic feature of intelligent systems like the cerebral cortex is the ability to freely associate aspects of perceived experience with an internal representation of the world and make predictions about the future. We are interested in the computational power of single neurons and their contribution to cortical function. Our main hypothesis is that the extraordinary performance of the cortex derives from an associative mechanism built in at the cellular level to the basic neuronal unit of the cortex - the pyramidal cell. The mechanism is robustly triggered by coincident input to opposite poles of the neuron, is exquisitely matched to the large and fine scale architecture of the cortex and is tightly controlled by local microcircuits of inhibitory neurons targeting subcellular compartments. We are currently testing this hypothesis (“BAC firing”) on many levels using a variety of research techniques including extracellular electrophysiological techniques, calcium imaging, somatic and dendritic patch-clamp recordings in vivo, two photon imaging (in vitro and in vivo), rodent behavioural experiments and optogenetic approaches.
Funding Einstein Foundation Berlin
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Prof. Dr. Matthew Larkum

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Degrees obtained M.Sc. Biotechnology, The American University in Cairo
Cohort 2013
Status Alumnus
Email abdelham@hu-berlin.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mostafa_Nashaat

Prof. Dr. Werner Sommer

Prof. Dr. Stephan Brandt

How conflict-specific works cognitive control? Behavioral and electrophysiological indices
Doctoral project How conflict-specific works cognitive control? Behavioral and electrophysiological indices
Research area
Description My dissertation project deals with conflicts as signals in cognitive systems. Conflicts in cognitive systems appear if at least two incompatible tendencies or motivations of action are present. The project is situated between the investigation of distinct cognitive control networks engaging in conflict and error monitoring, inhibition and immediate behavioural adaptation processes. Their functional neuroanatomic correspondents in prefrontal areas like the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex or parietal structures will be analyzed using electroencephalography (EEG) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) techniques.
Funding University research assistant (Institute of Psychology, Humboldt-Universität)
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Werner Sommer

Prof. Dr. Stephan Brandt

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Degrees obtained Dipl.-Psych. (Humboldt-Universität); Dr. rer. nat. (Fak. Mat.-Nat. II, Humboldt-Universität)
Cohort 2007
Status Alumnus
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Roland_Nigbur
Academia.edu https://uni-magdeburg.academia.edu/RolandNigbur

Prof. Dr. Reinhold Kliegl

Prof. Dr. Stephan Brandt

Inhibitory control in the oculomotor system
Doctoral project Inhibitory control in the oculomotor system
Research area
Description My project is concerned with the ability to stop unwanted actions. I will focus on inhibitory control of eye movements (saccades and microsaccades). Examining the neural implementation of inhibitory control in the oculomotor system is also a main goal. This will be explored by the simultaneous use of TMS and eyetracking.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Reinhold Kliegl

Prof. Dr. Stephan Brandt

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Degrees obtained Diploma Psychology (University of Potsdam)
Cohort 2009
Status Alumnus
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sven_Ohl

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

Prof. Dr. Elke van der Meer

Plasticity following stroke: The recovery of functional networks as measured by resting-state fMRI
Doctoral project Plasticity following stroke: The recovery of functional networks as measured by resting-state fMRI
Research area
Description During my doctorate, I will examine the dysfunction of cortical hubs in patients following ischemic stroke with restricted local lesions. Using a resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging paradigm, alterations in spatial coherence of spontaneous activity as well as correlation with behavior will be assessed. Understanding this impact will provide insight into the role of cortical hubs, the impact of hub damage on network connectivity and function, and may provide information useful for the understanding of the severity of symptoms, the rehabilitation and prognosis of these patients.
Funding Minerva Foundation scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

Prof. Dr. Elke van der Meer

M&B topics Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained M.s.c. Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel (supervisor: Prof. R Malach)
Cohort 2010
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Smadar_Ovadia-Caro

Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Heinz

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Self-reference and delusions
Doctoral project Self-reference and delusions
Research area
Description Delusion is a core symptom in schizophrenia. The aim of my project is to collect high frequent delusional topics and to transform them into stimulus material usable in neuroimaging experiments. This will allow combining subjective experience and neural correlates of psychopathology.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Heinz

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

M&B topics Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained Diplom, Psychology
Cohort 2011
Status Alumna
Email anne.pankow@gmail.com

Prof. Dr. Hauke R. Heekeren

Prof. Dr. Jörg Rieskamp

Neural correlate of complex decision making in humans
Doctoral project Neural correlate of complex decision making in humans
Research area
Description Everyday, we are confronted with numerous situations in which we have to decide. It is assumed that individuals choose the option with the highest value. Since options in the real world situations are not single dimensional and distinct, the computation of the diverse components is required, upon which the decision can be based. The goal of my PhD project is to investigate neural mechanisms that underlie complex decision making processes in human, especially reward based decision making.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Hauke R. Heekeren

Prof. Dr. Jörg Rieskamp

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Degrees obtained BA German Language & Literature (Korea University, 2006), Dipl. Psychology (Technische Universität Berlin, 2008), Dr. phil. (Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin)
Cohort 2008
Status Alumna

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Prof. Dr. Torsten Schubert

Moving beyond reward to the power of motivation
Doctoral project Moving beyond reward to the power of motivation
Research area
Description Motivation is a fundamental feature that enables us to pursue our goals. It strengthens our cognitive control which again helps us to maintain our intentions and protect them against competing distractors. However, little is known about how motivation affects cognitive and affective control on the systemic level. In my PhD project, the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying the effect of motivation on control of cognitive and affective conflicts will be investigated using fMRI. Further, the role of different motivational personality traits, i.e. approach and avoidance related motivation, will be examined in relation to genetic polymorphisms, that are known to predict cognitive control performance and motivation.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Prof. Dr. Torsten Schubert

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Degrees obtained BSc Biology (University of Bielefeld); MSc Medical Neurosciences (Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin)
Cohort 2012
Status Alumna
Email Lena.Paschke@charite.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Lena_Paschke
Academia.edu https://mind-and-brain.academia.edu/LenaPaschke

Prof. Dr. Angela D. Friederici

Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger

 

The sensitive period for associative learning of non-adjacent dependencies in verbal and non-verbal material
Doctoral project The sensitive period for associative learning of non-adjacent dependencies in verbal and non-verbal material
Research area
Description Young children are able to learn the rules of their native language in an associative, automatic way. Adults, on the other hand, have to learn a second language in a more explicit, controlled way. One kind of rules that have to be learned when acquiring a language are non-adjacent dependencies. These are grammatical dependencies that span across one or more other elements of a sentence, for example the “is” and “-ing” in: “The sister is singing.” In my thesis, I want to investigate when in development the ability to learn non-adjacent dependencies in natural language associatively is lost. By also investigating non-adjacent dependency processing for non-linguistic material, I want to further find out whether this developmental trajectory is specific to language or domain-general.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Angela D. Friederici

Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger

 

M&B topics Topic 3: Language
Cohort 2016
Status Doctoral candidate
Email paulm@cbs.mpg.de

Prof. Dr. Felix Bermpohl

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

 

Measuring social processing regarding children in parents and non-parents
Doctoral project Measuring social processing regarding children in parents and non-parents
Research area
Description Of all the skills parents teach their children, social competences are among the most important. Theory of mind, empathy and compassion are crucial to master social interactions. However, if parents have deficits in these areas, they could pass them on to their children. To investigate such an effect, one needs appropriate tasks that feature children in their stimuli, do not rely on self-report and do not have ceiling effects. My project aims to develop such tasks and evaluate them in healthy parents. The tasks will then be used to investigate outcomes of mentalization-based interventions on parents and shed further light on the nature of social competences in the context of parenting and mental disorders.
Funding Einstein Center for Neurosciences
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Felix Bermpohl

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

 

M&B topics Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Cohort 2017
Status Doctoral candidate
Email irene-sophia.plank@charite.de

Prof. Dr. Elke van der Meer

Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger

High fluid intelligence and analogical reasoning. Behavioural and cerebral correlates and their temporal characteristics
Doctoral project High fluid intelligence and analogical reasoning. Behavioural and cerebral correlates and their temporal characteristics
Research area
Description I am interested in finding out how different mathematical tasks are processed in the brain. With a combination of neuroimaging (FMRI) and behavioral techniques (accuracy and eye-movements) I study performance and strategy-use in math-gifted and averagely gifted students solving mathematical and cognitive tasks. Also, I examine longitudinal training effects of full-scale furtherance. Another question I try to elucidate is how mathematical giftedness is related to processing speed, fluid intelligence, working memory abilities and attention. Beside functional differences in processing various tasks, there may also be structural or connectivity differences in the brains of math-gifted and averagely gifted students. I aim to provide evidence-based educational research results that help implementing new and effective educational strategies to classrooms.
Funding Project research assistant, funded by BMBF
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Elke van der Meer

Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 4: Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained Dipl.-Psych. (Humboldt-Universität), Dr. rer. nat. (Fak. Mat.-Nat. II, Humboldt-Universität)
Cohort 2007
Status Alumna

Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Heinz

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

Prof. Dr. Elke van der Meer

Neuronal correlates of impulsivity in patients with an impared impulse control
Doctoral project Neuronal correlates of impulsivity in patients with an impared impulse control
Research area
Description Different groups of psychiatric patients (e.g. ADHD patients, pathological gamblers, alcoholics) share at least one core feature: impulsivity. Impulsive behavior is characterized by low self-control. Difficulties in overcoming a temptation in connection with excessive gambling, alcohol and nicotine abuse can be caused by low self-control competencies. Hence, my aim is to investigate neuronal correlates of impulsivity and self-control with the help of different methods (e.g. fMRI) in order to not only improve the comprehension of impulsive and uncontrolled behavior but also help to direct research into more effective ways of treatment such as specific medication and new approach for behavior therapy.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship; postdoctoral scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Heinz

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

Prof. Dr. Elke van der Meer

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained Diploma in Psychology (University of Würzburg, University of Bologna)
Cohort 2009
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Saskia_Quester

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

Prof. Dr. Werner Sommer

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Influences of semantic richness on visual word processing
Doctoral project Influences of semantic richness on visual word processing
Research area
Description I am interested in how perceptual inputs evoke meaning within the brain. I have used EEG to track the time course of meaning access in visual word perception, and to examine influences of semantic variables on implicit word learning. Prospectively, I aim to investigate whether and how meaning access in reading depends on attention and conscious perception.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

Prof. Dr. Werner Sommer

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 3: Language
Degrees obtained Diplom-Psychologin (Humboldt-Universität); Dr. rer. nat. (Humboldt-Universität)
Cohort 2008
Status Alumna
Current position In 2014, alumna Milena Rabovsky was awarded the bi-annual “Heinz-Heckhausen-Jungwissenschaftlerpreis” for her outstanding doctoral dissertation.
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Milena_Rabovsky

Prof. Dr. Ulman Lindenberger

Dr. Yee Lee Shing

Prof. Dr. Christine Heim

Socioeconomic disparities in children's neurocognitive development: longitudinal dynamics and stress mechanisms
Doctoral project Socioeconomic disparities in children's neurocognitive development: longitudinal dynamics and stress mechanisms
Research area
Description Severely stressful experiences, for instance trauma, affect children’s brain and cognitive development. However, it is less well understood how variations in stress within a less severe range affect development. For example, children may experience higher stress levels due to living in a more crowded environment or a neighborhood with a high crime rate. At the same time, family environment may moderate children’s experiences of stress. We are particularly interested in how stress and family environment affect learning and memory development in middle childhood. To understand the involved neural mechanisms, we plan to utilize magnetic resonance imaging in a longitudinal design over the course of a year.
Funding Mind & Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Ulman Lindenberger

Dr. Yee Lee Shing

Prof. Dr. Christine Heim

M&B topics Topic 4: Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained BSc in Experimental Psychology, MSc in Social Cognitive Affective Neuroscience
Cohort 2013
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Laurel_Raffington

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Testing the hypothesis of isomorphism between mental and neural representational spaces
Doctoral project Testing the hypothesis of isomorphism between mental and neural representational spaces
Research area
Description There has been a long standing question in the field of the mind/brain sciences whether there is an isomorphic relationship between mental and neural representational spaces. This question goes beyond the question whether conscious thoughts about say objects are encoded in brain activity. For isomorphism to hold also the perceived relations between perceived objects need to be encoded in brain activity. We will study this key issue empirically, using synthetically generated faces to compare psychophysical face-space with the corresponding fMRI voxel-space in which faces are encoded.
Funding CONICYT/DAAD, Mind and Brain partial scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Degrees obtained Master in Biological Sciences, Neuroscience (Universidad de Chile), BA Philosophy (Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile)
Cohort 2007
Email fernando.ramirez@bccn-berlin.de

Prof. Dr. Manfred Krifka

Prof. Dr. Werner Sommer

Electrophysiological reflections of processing linguistic event structure
Doctoral project Electrophysiological reflections of processing linguistic event structure
Research area
Description In my project, I look at how we use natural language to talk about different kinds of events and the participants involved in these events. Specifically, I focus on the question if an event implies that one of its participants changes in its course: In 'The doctor cured the boy', the verb 'cured' automatically allows to make the inference that something about the boy's state has changed – he underwent a change of state from sick to healthy. In 'The doctor treated the boy', on the other hand, the verb 'treated' leaves quite open if the boy's state has actually changed. Such semantic properties of words referring to events often have quite interesting repercussions on the syntactic level, i.e. on sentence structure. I use different methods like questionnaires, reading times and event related potentials to find out more about how such factors may influence how we process sentences online.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Manfred Krifka

Prof. Dr. Werner Sommer

M&B topics Topic 3: Language
Degrees obtained M.A. in Linguistics (University of Vienna)
Cohort 2008
Status Alumnus

Prof. Dr. Hauke Heekeren

Prof. Shu-Chen Li, Ph.D.

Developmental differences in adaptive social decision-making
Doctoral project Developmental differences in adaptive social decision-making
Research area
Description Classical economic theories conceptualize humans as perfectly rational decision-makers who aim to maximize utility. However, recent research indicates that decision-making is strongly influenced by the social context of a decision. Especially during child development, action in general and choice behavior in specific is highly sensitive to the social context. The aim of the dissertation project is to investigate these developmental differences during social decision making both at the behavioral and brain level.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Hauke Heekeren

Prof. Shu-Chen Li, Ph.D.

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 4: Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny
Degrees obtained Dipl.-Psych. (Humboldt-Universität)
Cohort 2011
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Julia_Rodriguez_Buritica

Prof. Dr. Ulman Lindenberger

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

Age differences in working memory and selection ability across the lifespan
Doctoral project Age differences in working memory and selection ability across the lifespan
Research area
Description Individuals differ in their ability to keep important information in mind for a brief period of time (a faculty referred to as ‘working memory’) as well as their ability to select relevant information for maintenance. Cortical development and aging might have differential impact on these abilities. By means of behavioural and electrophysiological indicators, the aim of my project is to investigate the underlying cortical mechanisms that determine interindividual differences in working memory and selective attention across the lifespan.
Funding Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Ulman Lindenberger

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

M&B topics Topic 4: Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny
Degrees obtained Dipl.-Psych. (Humboldt-Universität); Dr. rer. nat. (Humboldt-Universität)
Cohort 2007
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Myriam_Sander
Academia.edu https://mpib-berlin-mpg.academia.edu/MyriamSander

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sterzer

Prof. Dr. Andreas Heinz

Prof. Dr. Norbert Kathmann

Visual spatio-temporal integration in patients with Schizophrenia
Doctoral project Visual spatio-temporal integration in patients with Schizophrenia
Research area
Description General theories of brain function assert that the brain works like an inference machine, whereby prior expectations are used to derive perceptual experiences from the sensory inputs. Impaired perceptual inference has been suggested as one possible causal factor underlying positive symptoms, and in particular delusions, in schizophrenia. According to this framework, delusional explanations are thought to reflect the attempt to cope with unusual percepts resulting from such impaired perceptual inference. During my PhD, we conducted a series of clinical studies testing this theoretical model. Methods: psychophysics, EEG, fMRI.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship; Mind and Brain postdoctoral scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sterzer

Prof. Dr. Andreas Heinz

Prof. Dr. Norbert Kathmann

M&B topics Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Degrees obtained MD, Federal University of Ceará – Fortaleza, Brazil
Cohort 2009
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Lia_Sanders

Prof. Dr. Elke van der Meer

Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger

Thinking hands: how co-speech gestures reflect cognitive processes
Doctoral project Thinking hands: how co-speech gestures reflect cognitive processes
Research area
Description For her dissertation project Uta was interested in the relationship between gestures that are produced while speaking and thinking. In her empirical work she asked several questions: (1) how task demand affects gesture production, (2) vice versa: how gesture production affects the performance in a task, and (3) what the relationship is between cognitive skills, brain structure, and gesture production (individual differences).
Funding Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes; Mind & Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Elke van der Meer

Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger

M&B topics Topic 3: Language
Degrees obtained B.Sc. in Psychology and Criminology (University of Lincoln), M.Sc. in Psycholinguistics (University of Edinburgh); Dr. rer. nat. (Mat.-Nat. II, Humboldt-Universität)
Cohort 2007
Status Alumna
Homepage http://www.mind-and-brain.de/news/detail/in-memoriam/

Prof. Dr. Felix Bermpohl

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

Understanding mindfulness deficits in borderline patients
Doctoral project Understanding mindfulness deficits in borderline patients
Research area
Description What role do problems in mindfulness play in borderline personality disorder (BPD)? One core deficit of BPD may be their inability to stay focused on feelings and experiences in the present moment. In my PhD, I am trying to understand why patients find it difficult to be mindful. For this purpose, I developed a mindfulness paradigm with which I am trying to measure frequency and length of mindfulness and related cognitive states. Using this paradigm, I would like to compare mindfulness characteristics of BPD patients and other clinical patient groups, both on a behavioral and a neurological level. Hopefully, my research will advance our understanding of both mindfulness and borderline personality disorder and guide new avenues for clinical interventions.
Funding Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Felix Bermpohl

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained MSc Clinical and Developmental Psychology (Univ. of Amsterdam); BA Social and Cognitive Psychology (International University Bremen)
Cohort 2013
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hannah_Scheibner
Academia.edu https://europawissenschaften-berlin.academia.edu/HannahScheibner

Prof. Dr. Hellmuth Obrig

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

Semantic context effects in healthy and language impaired participants
Doctoral project Semantic context effects in healthy and language impaired participants
Research area
Description Semantic relations between objects can influence how easily an object’s name is retrieved in language production. Categorical relations usually inhibit, whereas associative relations facilitate object naming. In my thesis I investigate these effects in detail using eye tracking and reaction time measures in healthy participants and people with language impairments. Individuals with aphasia following stroke or progressive aphasia due to dementia show particular difficulties in naming certain items. I aim to show how the processing of semantic relations between these items (as seen in eye movements) correlates with the speed and success of naming them in inhibitory or facilitative conditions. These behavioural insights can improve diagnosis and treatment strategies for these impairments.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Hellmuth Obrig

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Cohort 2017
Status Doctoral candidate
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Cornelia_Van_Scherpenberg

Prof. Dr. Angela Friederici

Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger

The acquisition of sentence structures with topicalized objects in German – Neural correlates and behavioral evidences
Doctoral project The acquisition of sentence structures with topicalized objects in German – Neural correlates and behavioral evidences
Research area
Description From which age on do German children rely on case marking and not only on word order in identifying objects in sentences? Are there neural correlates of the behavioral development in different age groups? Children between 3.0 and 6.0 years, as well as adults, will be tested employing behavioral methods, eyetracking, and ERPs.
Funding Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Science, Leipzig
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Angela Friederici

Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger

M&B topics Topic 3: Language
Degrees obtained Magister Artium, Linguistics; Dr. phil. (Universität Potsdam)
Cohort 2008
Status Alumna

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Susanne Erk

Prof. Dr. Norbert Kathmann

Studying gene-environment interaction in depression
Doctoral project Studying gene-environment interaction in depression
Research area
Description Why do some people become depressed and others don’t? Although there is no doubt that inherited features, such as genetic makeup, and stress both contribute to the manifestation of mental disorders, little is known for certain about disease etiology. In my PhD project, I investigate a potential mechanism of gene-environment interaction relevant to the causation of depression. Further, my project addresses the questions of how and to what extent active mental behavior can modulate the interplay of genes and the environment.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship (until Dec 2012); from Jan 2013: Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst e.V.; since July 2014: Mind & Brain postdoctoral scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Susanne Erk

Prof. Dr. Norbert Kathmann

M&B topics Topic 4: Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained Diplom, Psychology (University of Tübingen)
Cohort 2011
Status Alumna

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Prof. Dr. Niko Busch

Conceptual change due to scientific progress: a possible solution to the explanatory gap?
Doctoral project Conceptual change due to scientific progress: a possible solution to the explanatory gap?
Research area
Description Will we ever be able to give a satisfying explanation of consciousness? Philosophers who deny this possibility sometimes talk about the existence of an explanatory gap between phenomenal and physical/functional features. I want to argue against this view by investigating the possible consequences of conceptual change in case of consciousness. To understand the mechanisms of conceptual change I look for comparable examples in the history of science in general and the history of mental concepts in particular. Concerning a possible conceptual change in the case of consciousness I study the current development of neuroscientific and psychological theories aiming at consciousness and explore their relevance for the philosophical discussion.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship; Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Prof. Dr. Niko Busch

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Degrees obtained M.A. Philosophy
Cohort 2013
Status Alumna
Email schomaea@hu-berlin.de

Prof. Dr. Martin Rolfs

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

 

Perceptual and motor consequences of intrasaccadic perception
Doctoral project Perceptual and motor consequences of intrasaccadic perception
Research area
Description Whenever we humans make rapid, step-like eye movements - so-called saccades – the visual image shifts across our retina at high velocities. Why do we never perceive some kind of blurred visual input while we move our eyes? Previous studies have related this observation to an effect, or mechanism, termed saccadic suppression. This has led to the rather common belief that perception during saccades is shut down, which is not true. In contrast, some experiments suggest that intrasaccadic perception is not only well possible but also quite efficient. Using psychophysical methods combined with eye tracking and EEG, we will investigate the potential functional role of intrasaccadic perception in a range of visual processes.
Funding Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Martin Rolfs

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

 

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Cohort 2016
Status Doctoral candidate
Email richard.schweitzer@hu-berlin.de

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Self-directedness and resoluteness. The two dimensions of autonomy
Doctoral project Self-directedness and resoluteness. The two dimensions of autonomy
Research area
Description What is autonomous agency? I take autonomy to be a natural capacity. My discussion will take into account philosophical analyses as well as empirical research. The capacity to intentionally control one's own performances is understood to be essential for autonomy. I elaborate a conception of intentions as executive mental states, which functioning constitutes the agent's control. Data regarding the neural correlates of intentional control will be examined and used to develop the conception of natural autonomy in more detail. This will contribute to an understanding of autonomous agency and close a gap in the existing theories of natural agency and natural autonomy.
Funding Volkswagen Stiftung project "Autonomie: Handlungsspielräume des Selbst"
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Degrees obtained MA Philosophy/Linguistics (Humboldt-Universität); Dr. phil. (Philosophy, Humboldt-Universität)
Cohort 2009
Status Alumnus

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sterzer

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

High-level processing during continuous flash suppression
Doctoral project High-level processing during continuous flash suppression
Research area
Description I am interested in the extent to which high-level aspects of visual stimuli continue to be processed during binocular rivalry suppression. I am using continuous flash suppression, a recently developed variant of binocular rivalry, in concert with psychophysics and fMRI to explore the representation of perceptually suppressed visual information.
Funding Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes; Mind and Brain postdoctoral scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sterzer

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Degrees obtained B.Sc.; M.Sc.; Dr. rer. nat. (Mat.-Nat. II, Humboldt-Universität)
Cohort 2009
Status Alumnus
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Timo_Stein4
Academia.edu https://independent.academia.edu/TimoStein

Prof. Dr. Gabriel Curio

Prof. Dr. Benjamin Blankertz

Mapping music to the mind: brain mechanisms of perceived musical tension
Doctoral project Mapping music to the mind: brain mechanisms of perceived musical tension
Research area
Description Perceiving tension in music is a multi-faceted process integrating multiple sensory and cognitive aspects that results in a highly personal, often emotional experience in the listener. My PhD project investigates this process by relating neural concomitants of perceived musical tension in EEG to its subjective behavioral assessment and related autonomous vegetative reactions. Approximating a veridical musical experience, my approach aims at identifying a neural signature of perceived tension in a complex musical context and, eventually, tries to track it in real-time closely following the musical flow.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Gabriel Curio

Prof. Dr. Benjamin Blankertz

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Degrees obtained Music (Diplom, Performance and pedagogics), Lübeck; Computer science (Diplom), TU Berlin
Cohort 2011
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Irene_Sturm

Prof. Dr. Ulman Lindenberger

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

The temporal structure of conscious perception: continuous or discrete?
Doctoral project The temporal structure of conscious perception: continuous or discrete?
Research area
Description What is the temporal structure of conscious perception? Is it as continuous as suggested by subjective experience? I suggest that the neural processes underlying conscious perception are discrete in nature and I want to examine how these processes give rise to the continuity of subjective conscious perception.
Funding Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Ulman Lindenberger

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Degrees obtained B.A. Neurowissenschaften; M.Sc. Medical Neurosciences
Cohort 2012
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Caroline_Szymanski
Academia.edu https://mpib-berlin-mpg.academia.edu/CarolineSzymanski

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Hauke Heekeren

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Uncovering neural mechanisms of consciousness - Modality-independent conscious processing within the working memory
Doctoral project Uncovering neural mechanisms of consciousness - Modality-independent conscious processing within the working memory
Research area
Description My research project aims at disentangling different neural mechanisms related to conscious processing of stimuli in a working memory task. I will be looking for a brain structure and function that is at work during conscious processing of visual, auditory and tactile stimuli, regardless of their perceptual modality, and in contrast to unconscious processing of said stimuli. For that, I will be using data from EEG as well as fMRI and TMS. Integrating existing neural theories of conscious processing is the overarching goal of my thesis.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Hauke Heekeren

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Degrees obtained Diploma in Psychology, Philipps-Universität Marburg
Cohort 2013
Status Doctoral candidate
Email kathrin.tertel@fu-berlin.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kathrin_Tertel

Prof. Dr. Dr. Friedemann Pulvermüller

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

 

Brain connections of words, perceptions, and actions: A neurobiological model of semantic brain areas and brain imaging studies
Doctoral project Brain connections of words, perceptions, and actions: A neurobiological model of semantic brain areas and brain imaging studies
Research area
Description A growing number of studies indicate the existence of so-called ‘semantic hubs’, that is, areas in cortex where the meaning of all types of signs and symbols is processed. However, recent neuroimaging and patient studies have shown that other cortical areas contribute to semantic processing in a more selective fashion, being particularly relevant for specific semantic categories. Why are there both semantic hubs and category-specific semantic areas in the human brain? Are these areas all necessary? When in time they first emerge? These questions will be investigated in a neurobiological model of semantic brain areas that simulates aspects of word learning in action and perception, to derive predictions and to be tested in a word learning experiment using fMRI and EEG.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Dr. Friedemann Pulvermüller

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

 

M&B topics Topic 3: Language
Cohort 2016
Status Alumnus
Email tomasello.r@fu-berlin.de
Homepage http://www.geisteswissenschaften.fu-berlin.de/v/brainlang/team/RTomasello.html
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rosario_Tomasello

Prof. Dr. Norbert Kathmann

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Prof. Dr. Dave Hemsley

The relationship between selfhood and agency in schizophrenia
Doctoral project The relationship between selfhood and agency in schizophrenia
Research area
Description I am examining disruptions of agency in schizophrenia using eye tracking tasks, and comparing this to anomalies of self-experience. I am interested in the relationship between the feeling of agency and the experience of pre-reflective self.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship; Mind and Brain postdoctoral scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Norbert Kathmann

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Prof. Dr. Dave Hemsley

M&B topics Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained BA Philosophy, MSc Philosophy of Mental Disorder, MSc Cognitive Neuroscience
Cohort 2011
Status Alumna
Academia.edu https://independent.academia.edu/GeorginaTorbet

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Interactions between oxytocin and the reward system on social cognition
Doctoral project Interactions between oxytocin and the reward system on social cognition
Research area
Description To date, understanding the role of oxytocin in empathy and other pro-social behaviours has been a primary focus in social cognition research. How this neuropeptide exerts its effects is, however, not yet fully understood. Animal studies hint at oxytocinergic modulations of neurotransmitter systems underlying social-affective behaviours, such as serotonin and dopamine. In humans, however, these interactions are still not well identified. My project aims to further elucidate oxytocin’s mechanisms of action in humans, with special focus on the interactions with the dopaminergic-reward system.
Funding Mind & Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

M&B topics Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Degrees obtained B.A. in Psychology (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain) M.Sc. in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience (Maastricht University, The Netherlands)
Cohort 2015
Status Doctoral candidate
Email irene.trilla@hu-berlin.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Irene_Trilla

Prof. Dr. Torsten Schubert

Prof. Dr. Stephan Brandt

The role of inhibition in eye movements and cognitive control
Doctoral project The role of inhibition in eye movements and cognitive control
Research area
Description I am interested in how we suppress instinctive or habitual actions when we recognise that they are inappropriate. Do the same central mechanisms control this suppression across all movement systems, including those that control the movements of our eyes? When such suppression fails, is it because an inhibitory signal arrives too late or because it fails to be generated in the first place?
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Torsten Schubert

Prof. Dr. Stephan Brandt

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Degrees obtained MA Psychology, University of St Andrews; MSc Research Methods in Psychology, University of Reading
Cohort 2013
Status Alumnus
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Luke_Tudge
Academia.edu https://independent.academia.edu/LukeTudge

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Niko Busch

Neurophysiological correlates of working memory without consciousness
Doctoral project Neurophysiological correlates of working memory without consciousness
Research area
Description Working memory is thought to be a conscious process until recently. However, two studies behaviourally showed that there may be unconscious working memory. My work plans to search if this claim can be proven with an ERP study by subliminally occupying visual working memory and researching amplitude differences in CDA component, which is in relation to working memory capacity.
Funding DAAD scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Niko Busch

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Degrees obtained M.Sc., Cognitive Science, Universität Wien; M.A., Philosophy, Bogazici University, Istanbul
Cohort 2014
Status Doctoral candidate
Email isil.uluc@gmail.com
Academia.edu https://independent.academia.edu/IsilUluc

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Notger Müller

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Role of neurotransmitter dopamine and acetylcholine during the interaction of selective attention and working memory
Doctoral project Role of neurotransmitter dopamine and acetylcholine during the interaction of selective attention and working memory
Research area
Description I will investigate the relationship between working memory and selective attention. Why is there a difference between the memory capacity of individuals? Using fMRI I will examine the correlation between the individual storage capacity of the dopamine dependent working memory and the more cholinergic dependent ability to ignore irrelevant information by means of selective attention. Additionally I will relate different storage and filtering abilities to various polymorphisms. The effect of higher Dopamine and Acetylcholine levels on these abilities will be investigated by drug administration. Young and old healthy people as well as people suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease will be tested.
Funding DFG
Supervisors

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Notger Müller

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 4: Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Degrees obtained Dipl. Biology (University of Bremen)
Cohort 2010
Status Alumna

Prof. Dr. Felix Bermpohl

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Neural substrates of attentional bias in alcoholism
Doctoral project Neural substrates of attentional bias in alcoholism
Research area
Description Why do people become addicted to alcohol and why is this behaviour so persistent? Both a genetic predisposition and neural changes in motivational and reflective systems of the brain after long-term drug use influence the pathological behaviour of alcoholism. On a molecular level, more and more research reveals that drugs of abuse modulate gene expression in the brain, leading to long lasting epigenetic changes. In my PhD project I study the neural and neurochemical substrates of attention biases that alcoholic patients have for alcohol cues in their environment, and take a closer look at how long-term drinking can modulate genetic make-up. I am also interested in the clinical and neural effects of behavioural treatments - such as emotion regulation strategies -, how neuroimaging techniques can be of use for treatment, and in conceptual shifts in mental health due to neuroscientific research.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship; Mind and Brain postdoctoral scholarship; initial funding by dr. Hendrik Muller’s Vaderlandsch Fonds
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Felix Bermpohl

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

M&B topics Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Topic 4: Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny
Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Degrees obtained BSc (hons) Psychobiology; BSc Psychology; MSc Psychology, University of Amsterdam
Cohort 2010
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Corinde_Wiers
Academia.edu https://nih.academia.edu/CorindeWiers

Prof. Dr. Felix Bermpohl

Prof. Dr. Tania Singer

Social cognition, inhibition and emotion regulation in chronically violent men: neural basis and implications for law
Doctoral project Social cognition, inhibition and emotion regulation in chronically violent men: neural basis and implications for law
Research area
Description This project composes a synthesis of practical neuroscience research and law. I’m interested in the underlying networks and circuits of chronically violent men, reaching a better understanding of (isolated) aggression and its neural basis. Furthermore I want to connect these results with a juridical discussion, how neuroscientific results can influence law.
Funding Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft und Forschung (Österreich)
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Felix Bermpohl

Prof. Dr. Tania Singer

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Degrees obtained Diploma Psychology
Cohort 2012
Status Alumna
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Korina_Winter

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

Dr. Carlo Riverebi

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Neural correlates of self-regulated behavior
Doctoral project Neural correlates of self-regulated behavior
Research area
Description The vast majority of choices we make every day are self-regulated. We need to decide in environments that change constantly and are often unpredictable; additionally, there are no strong external cues guiding our behavior. Therefore there is a need for self-regulation. We need to monitor changes in relevant environmental variables, like reward contingencies or different task difficulties, and endogenously adapt our behavior in order to perform well. Despite this fact, research in the past has focused on fully determined situations, in which subjects were told precisely which option to choose. In this PhD, we will investigate the interplay of changing environmental variables and endogenous, self-regulated choices in a modified task-switching paradigm. Using fMRI we will investigate the neural correlates of self-regulated choices, and their relation to the representations of task-relevant environmental factors.
Funding Supervisor
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

Dr. Carlo Riverebi

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Degrees obtained Dipl.-Psych. (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Cohort 2008
Status Alumnus
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/David_Wiesniewski
Academia.edu https://berlin-can.academia.edu/DavidWisniewski

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Exploring the Role of the TPJs in Social Cognition
Doctoral project Exploring the Role of the TPJs in Social Cognition
Research area
Description Investigating the role of the left and right TPJ in social cognitive tasks. This will involve the use of non-invasive brain stimulations techniques to elucidate neural correlates of social behavior.
Funding Mind and Brain Scholarship; Mind and Brain postdoctoral scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Degrees obtained M.Sc. Neural & Behavioral Sciences, Tübingen B.A. Psychology, California State University in Chico
Cohort 2011
Status Alumnus

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Hauke Heekeren

Working memory representation of multi-feature contents in somesthesis
Doctoral project Working memory representation of multi-feature contents in somesthesis
Research area
Description The present research project aims to characterize the fundamental neural mechanisms underlying multi-featured WM representations. From the perspective of sensory WM research, the benefit of this project would be twofold: On one hand, it would be one of few studies that addresses WM processing of more complex stimuli in somesthesis. On the other hand, by comparing analogies and differences between the new findings with other modalities would facilitate the identification of supramodal mechanisms. From the perspective of a larger context, this investigation can help to understand our ability to integrate different information and to experience them as a coherent, unitary wholes.
Funding
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Hauke Heekeren

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Degrees obtained BSc in Psychology MSc in Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience
Cohort 2015
Status Doctoral candidate
Email yuan-hao.wu@fu-berlin.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Yuan_Hao_Wu

Prof. Dr. Angela Friederici

Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger

Neuroanatomical correlates of linguistic complexity in the left frontal cortex
Doctoral project Neuroanatomical correlates of linguistic complexity in the left frontal cortex
Research area
Description Central aspect of my research is the investigation of the neural substrates of syntactic processing and thematic organization in human sentence comprehension. Using both fMRI and behavioral techniques with non-canonical structures, the (temporo)frontal cortex - and its potential interplay with other annexed subcortical regions showing related operational roles - will be functionally disentangled.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Angela Friederici

Prof. Dr. Isabell Wartenburger

M&B topics Topic 3: Language
Degrees obtained BA in Communication Sciences, University of Siena; MA in Linguistics, University of Siena and University of Edinburgh
Cohort 2010
Status Alumnus
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Emiliano_Zaccarella
Academia.edu https://independent.academia.edu/EmilianoZaccarella
This page last updated on: 22 November 2022