Doctoral candidates 

M&B doctoral candidates

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Name
Supervisor
Doctoral project

Prof. Dr. Jonathan Flombaum

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Retinotopic Mechanics derived using classical physics
Doctoral project Retinotopic Mechanics derived using classical physics
Research area
Description

Despite decades of research, a unifying account of the functional correlates of retinotopic remapping remains elusive. To this end, the aim of my empirical investigation is to provide the first unified mechanistic understanding of the functional consequences of retinotopic remapping. In addition to this, my work also aims to provide the first psychophysical and computational account of what I refer to as the "peri-saccadic curvature of visual space”.

Funding
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Jonathan Flombaum

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 4: Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny
Degrees obtained BA (philosophy of history), MSc (psychology conversion), MPhil (specialization in color vision)
Cohort 2015
Status Doctoral candidate
Academia.edu https://hu-berlin.academia.edu/IfedayoEmmanuelAdeyefaOlasupo
Doctoral project
Research area
Description
Funding
Supervisors
M&B topics
Cohort 2022
Status Doctoral candidate

Elisa Filevich Ph.D.

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Prof. Dr. Andrea Kühn

Metacognition of action in Parkinson’s disease
Doctoral project Metacognition of action in Parkinson’s disease
Research area
Description Metacognition is introspection into our own cognitive processes. Up to date, metacognitive research has been focusing on visual and memory domains, with little attention given to the motor domain. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is an interesting case for metacognition of action, as it is characterized not only with motor, but also with cognitive symptoms. Some metacognitive deficits have been observed in PD as well. However, it is not clear how far they extend. In my project, I will first study metacognitive ability in PD. If it is poorer in PD than in healthy participants, it can be a potential point for intervention. Second, I will look how metacognition of action relates to metacognition in other domains. This will inform us about domain-specificity or generality of metacognitive mechanisms.
Funding 65% research position, Freigeist fellowship Elisa Filevich, Volkswagen Stiftung
Supervisors

Elisa Filevich Ph.D.

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Prof. Dr. Andrea Kühn

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Topic 2: Decision-making
Cohort 2018
Status Doctoral candidate
Phone 030 / 2093-6266
Email polina.arbuzova@bccn-berlin.de
Homepage https://twitter.com/polinaarb
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Polina_Arbuzova

Prof. Dr. Norbert Kathmann

Prof. Dr. Stephan Brandt

Efficacy of physiological stimulation in modulating neurobiological markers of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Doctoral project Efficacy of physiological stimulation in modulating neurobiological markers of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Research area
Description The aim of my project is to elucidate the role of overactive error monitoring in patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Hyperactive error monitoring is one of the most robust psychophysiological alterations in OCD and may qualify as a neurobiological marker for the disorder. In my project, EEG will be used to assess electrophysiological correlates of error processing in patients with OCD. By employing a neurophysiological stimulation technique, I aim to answer the question whether neural correlates of error processing can be modulated in these patients and how this modulation affects obsessive-compulsive symptomatology. The overarching goal of my thesis is to increase our understanding of how specific neurocognitive functions contribute to complex psychopathological symptoms.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Norbert Kathmann

Prof. Dr. Stephan Brandt

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Cohort 2017
Status Doctoral candidate
Email luisa.balzus@hu-berlin.de

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

Untrustworthy gossip: Effects on person perception and moral judgement
Doctoral project Untrustworthy gossip: Effects on person perception and moral judgement
Research area
Description When gossiping with colleagues, reading news, or browsing social media, we constantly encounter verbal information about other people that may or may not be true and meaningful. I investigate how unreliable affective information about a person influences how we perceive and morally judge them. I use electrophysiological correlates of brain activity (ERPs) to study how perceiving their face and appraising their character is shaped by what we’ve heard about them.
Funding Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 3: Language
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Cohort 2017
Status Doctoral candidate
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Julia_Baum2

Prof. Dr. Marcel Brass

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

Cognition in group rituals
Doctoral project Cognition in group rituals
Research area
Description Human cognition usually occurs against the backdrop of social interaction; however, experimental psychology research is still confined to solitary lab environments – to address this, I design immersive virtual reality social experiences to investigate changes in perception that occur after ritual participation in groups and explore the cognitive mechanisms underlying our tendencies to cooperate, conform, and compete. Further, my project investigates brain systems that implement the cascade of neural events associated with collective behaviour.
Funding DAAD GSSP scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Marcel Brass

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

M&B topics Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Cohort 2020
Status Doctoral candidate
Email manisha.biswas@hu-berlin.de

Prof. Dr. Dr. Friedemann Pulvermüller

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

Communication beyond form: How the brain processes communicative intention
Doctoral project Communication beyond form: How the brain processes communicative intention
Research area
Description Language interacts with the context in which it occurs, meaning that a same linguistic expression can be used by a speaker to communicate different things. In other words, the communicative action of an utterance and its physical form can be considered independent to a certain degree. The aim of my doctoral project is to understand how the brain encodes different communicative intentions (speech act types) conveyed by the same physical utterance and to elucidate whether certain brain regions play a causal role in disambiguating between different possible interpretations of the same utterance (for example in the case of indirect speech acts).
Funding Einstein Center for Neurosciences
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Dr. Friedemann Pulvermüller

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

M&B topics Topic 3: Language
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Cohort 2017
Status Doctoral candidate
Email boux@zedat.fu-berlin.de

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Radoslaw Martin Cichy

Can false-belief tasks reveal the motor and predictive basis of mentalizing?
Doctoral project Can false-belief tasks reveal the motor and predictive basis of mentalizing?
Research area
Description Apperly and Butterfill (2013, 2017) suggest that (besides a full-blown theory of mind) exists a minimal-ToM (i.e. implicit theory of mind): a ToM-ability which does not hinge on linguistic or explicit mental processes and should allow tracking other agents’ beliefs without representing their propositional contents. Low et al. (2020)’s implicit false-belief task demonstrates that the motor system activity is a necessary condition for mentalizing implicitly. I hypothesize that its contribution hinges on the instantiation of motor-prediction of potential actions’ end-states; my research project aims to verify this by associating computational methods (i.e. computer simulations of active inferences and generative models) with false-belief tasks and neuroimaging techniques (e.g. fMRI and EEG).
Funding DAAD GSSP scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Radoslaw Martin Cichy

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Cohort 2021
Status Doctoral candidate

Elisa Filevich PhD

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Sense of agency within a metacognitive framework
Doctoral project Sense of agency within a metacognitive framework
Research area
Description The sense of agency is the feeling of intentionally moving our body and through it, controlling the environment. The sense of agency is central to our daily experiences, and dysfunctions of agency are commonly reported in several psychiatric and movement related conditions. In spite of the plethora of studies already conducted to understand the human sense of agency and the neural mechanisms underlying it, there is still no consensus regarding the nature of this experience. This may be due to the diversity in the definitions, experimental paradigms and agency reports employed. This project addresses these problems and aims to provide a unified paradigm and theoretical framework where the different definitions can be tested together and therefore directly compared. We will use a novel experimental paradigm to investigate the sense of agency by systematically modifying its different components (the movement itself vs. it’s effects on the environment). We will also use metacognitive methods that will allow us to remove confounds (most importantly, response biases in subjective measures) that are often present in the typical agency task. Once we validate the paradigm, we will combine it with neurophysiological measures like electroencephalography (EEG) that will allow us to draw distinctions between the different components of agency —if they exist— at the neural level. Together, by unifying different approaches to the study of agency on the one hand, and by framing agency within the broader framework of metacognitive monitoring, this project may help explain the differences between the disparate results existing in the literature, and lay some theoretical grounds to move forwards in the field.
Funding DAAD scholarship
Supervisors

Elisa Filevich PhD

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Cohort 2019
Status Doctoral candidate
Email charalaa@hu-berlin.de
Homepage http://metamotorlab.filevich.com/profile_AngelikiCharalampaki.html

Prof. Dr. York Winter

Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Heinz

Prof. Dr. Randolf Menzel

The value of information in decision-making in nectar-drinking bats
Doctoral project The value of information in decision-making in nectar-drinking bats
Research area
Description Animals have been seen to violate the principles of rationality by choosing informative but low-energy rewards instead of non-informative, high-energy rewards. The question is whether Glossophaga soricina, a nectar-drinking bat which should value both information and energetic reward highly, also behaves irrationally. The free-flying animals will be studied using an electronic operant wall, and hypotheses, explanations and mathematical models underlying their behaviour will be explored.
Funding DAAD scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. York Winter

Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Heinz

Prof. Dr. Randolf Menzel

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Cohort 2017
Status Doctoral candidate
Email shambhavi.chidambaram@hu-berlin.de

Prof. Dr. So Young Park

Prof. Dr. Radoslaw M. Cichy

Disturbances in body image and the role of interoception
Doctoral project Disturbances in body image and the role of interoception
Research area
Description My research focuses on body image, body ownership, interoception and eating behaviours. While body image difficulties have been closely studied alongside disordered eating for a long time, they often do not receive enough attention in eating disorder treatments. This highlights a need for better interventions that can efficiently and pointedly target body image difficulties. The main aim of my project is to better understand body image disturbances and to investigate the interaction between body ownership and interoception, as it relates to eating behaviours. In my research I use virtual reality technology to investigate ways to reduce body image disturbances.
Funding Einstein Center for Neurosciences
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. So Young Park

Prof. Dr. Radoslaw M. Cichy

M&B topics Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Cohort 2020
Status Doctoral candidate
Phone + 49 33 200 88 2519
Email stefania.cionca@dife.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Stefania-Cionca

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

Dr. Roland Benoit

Role of emotion in future episodic thinking
Doctoral project Role of emotion in future episodic thinking
Research area
Description The focus of my project is towards gaining insights into the link between episodic memories and episodic future thinking. The key questions of my project are: Does the valence of our episodic memories play a significant role in simulating future episodic events? If yes, what are the neural correlates of this past-future link? Can aberrations of this past-future link influence decision-making processes?
Funding DAAD
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

Dr. Roland Benoit

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Cohort 2017
Status Doctoral candidate
Email aroma.dabas@hu-berlin.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Aroma_Dabas
Academia.edu https://mind-and-brain.academia.edu/AromaDabas

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

 

Neural correlates of stereotypes and prejudice
Doctoral project Neural correlates of stereotypes and prejudice
Research area
Description This project examines how social biases are created through both prejudice (affective response) and stereotypes (semantic associations). Some of the essential questions are: Are these dissociable processes with distinct neural networks? Does the brain react similarly or differently across different social divisions? Do stress/arousal affect both processes or just the affective component?
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

 

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Cohort 2016
Status Doctoral candidate
Doctoral project
Research area
Description
Funding
Supervisors
M&B topics
Cohort 2022
Status Doctoral candidate

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Consciousness across sensory modalities, expectations, and predictive coding
Doctoral project Consciousness across sensory modalities, expectations, and predictive coding
Research area
Description My project investigates the influence of prior expectations on somatosensory, visual, and auditory awareness from a predictive coding perspective, and attempts to disentangle modality-specific from supra-modal mechanisms of consciousness. Using EEG and fMRI in combination with causal modelling and multivariate pattern analysis, I aim to shed light on the recurrent neural processes presumably underlying both (multi-)sensory consciousness and the top-down signals constantly generated by the predictive brain.
Funding Mind & Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Cohort 2020
Status Doctoral candidate
Email jona.foerster@fu-berlin.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jona_Foerster

Prof. Dr. Hauke Heekeren

Prof. Dr. Carsten Finke

Influence of perceptual and reward uncertainty on reward learning
Doctoral project Influence of perceptual and reward uncertainty on reward learning
Research area
Description The project aims at understanding how participants learn and make reward-based decisions under different levels and types of uncertainty. The central question of the project tries to understand if participants use perceptual belief states or categorical biases to learn from reward feedback. It also aims at understanding how these cognitive processes are represented in the brain.
Funding DAAD GSSP scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Hauke Heekeren

Prof. Dr. Carsten Finke

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Cohort 2020
Status Doctoral candidate
Email prashantig25@zedat.fu-berlin.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Prashanti-Ganesh

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

Prof. Dr. Klaus-Robert Müller

State-dependent enhancement of creative cognition
Doctoral project State-dependent enhancement of creative cognition
Research area
Description Creative cognition involves distinct mental processes that map to multiple brain states across different spatio-temporal scales. To disentangle, we aim to use a brain state dependent task (BSDT) based close loop framework during creative problem solving. BSDT monitors brain states in real time and alters the environment (e.g., presenting a new stimulus) based on target brain state(s); thus, it provides a crucial causal link between specific brain activation pattern(s) and mental processes.
Funding
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

Prof. Dr. Klaus-Robert Müller

M&B topics Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Degrees obtained MSc Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience, Goldsmiths University of London
Cohort 2015
Status Doctoral candidate
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Amna_Ghani
Academia.edu https://goldsmiths.academia.edu/AmnaGhani

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Marcel Brass

Illusory sensation of agency: a deep look into the components forming a feeling of authorship
Doctoral project Illusory sensation of agency: a deep look into the components forming a feeling of authorship
Research area
Description I am looking forward to better understand the neural underpinnings and the associated cognitive models how we are aware of our actions and their consequences. In order to do so, I make use of neuroimaging and computational techniques that will allow me to uncover the neural and cognitive underlying processes of motor and body cognition.
Funding Mind & Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Marcel Brass

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Cohort 2021
Status Doctoral candidate
Email gianluigi.giannini@fu-berlin.de
Homepage https://www.ewi-psy.fu-berlin.de/en/einrichtungen/arbeitsbereiche/neurocom_neuroimag/team/PhD-Students/g_giannini/index.html

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

The functional architecture of somatosensation: a predictive coding account
Doctoral project The functional architecture of somatosensation: a predictive coding account
Research area
Description The predictive coding framework suggests that the brain resolves situations of perceptual uncertainty by continuously updating a generative model of the world. The implementation of predictive coding may be studied via a detailed investigation of the functional architecture of human somatosensation and the asymmetry between bottom-up and top-down signalling. This will be accomplished through a series of two experiments using fMRI while applying somatosensory stimuli. First, 3 Tesla fMRI will allow for whole brain coverage, which will be followed up with high resolution 7 Tesla fMRI to study layer-specific connectivity. Computational modelling based on predictive coding will be employed to study the connectivity.
Funding DAAD Graduate School Scholarship Programme
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Cohort 2018
Status Doctoral candidate
Email samgijsen@gmail.com

Prof. Dr. Angela Friederici

Prof. Dr. Pia Knoeferle

 

Voice–speech interactions in infant phoneme acquisition
Doctoral project Voice–speech interactions in infant phoneme acquisition
Research area
Description In my PhD project, I investigate phoneme acquisition in infants: The process in which an infant learns which sounds (vowels and consonants) are the relevant building blocks of words in their native language. When acquiring phonemes, infants are presented with a very variable input: Speakers differ widely in how they produce a given phoneme. However, in order to distil meaning, infants need to ignore this speaker variation. Since variability within one speaker is considerably smaller than within a group of speakers, the project investigates whether infants use voice information to distinguish speakers in order to reduce this acoustic variation. Specifically, we will test how the number of speakers and the familiarity of these speakers influence phoneme acquisition by means of EEG and fNIRS.
Funding Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Angela Friederici

Prof. Dr. Pia Knoeferle

 

M&B topics Topic 3: Language
Cohort 2018
Status Doctoral candidate
Email govaart@cbs.mpg.de
Homepage https://www.cbs.mpg.de/employees/govaart

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

 

The role of recurrent processing in somesthesis
Doctoral project The role of recurrent processing in somesthesis
Research area
Description My project is concerned with the relation of feedforward and feedback processing in the hierarchy of the somatosensory cortex to tactile stimulation. Using electrophysiological measures like EEG and/or ECoG, combined with computational modelling approaches the project aims to identify neuronal processes involved in conscious somatosensory perception. Hierarchical recurrent processing is an important feature of predictive coding accounts of perception which can thus provide an interesting explanatory framework for putative findings of neuronal interactions in the somatosensory system.
Funding Berlin School of Mind and Brain
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

 

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Cohort 2018
Status Doctoral candidate
Email m.grundei@fu-berlin.de
Homepage http://www.ewi-psy.fu-berlin.de/einrichtungen/arbeitsbereiche/neurocom_neuroimag/team/DoktorandInnen/m_grundei/index.html

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

Prof. Dr. Hennig Sprekeler

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sterzer

Top-down interference in human random sequence generation
Doctoral project Top-down interference in human random sequence generation
Research area
Description The ability to generate random or unpredictable behaviour is adaptive but cognitively demanding. It is central e.g. for exploration, improvisation under novel situations, breaking a deadlock when facing indecision and an optimal strategy when a predator’s ability to predict the next move is costly. It has been reliably shown that animals and humans are able to switch into a stochastic mode when it is implicitly advantageous for them. However, when explicitly instructed to produce random response sequences, the performance is significantly worse and resulting sequences departure from randomness in predictable ways. We want to investigate how top-down control processes interfere with the human ability to produce randomness which will aid in understanding whether and how the brain flips a coin.
Funding Mind & Brain Scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

Prof. Dr. Hennig Sprekeler

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sterzer

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Cohort 2019
Status Doctoral candidate
Email maja.guseva@bccn-berlin.de

Dr. Radoslaw M. Cichy

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

How does each of the core regions active during vision represent objects?
Doctoral project How does each of the core regions active during vision represent objects?
Research area
Description When we look around us, what we see is translated into signals that are processed in the occipital part of our brain, the visual system. Previous research has shown, that the core regions responsible for the recognition of objects are organized in a hierarchical fashion in the so-called ventral visual stream. However, how exactly these areas represent objects remains ill understood. While topography (how neurons are arranged on the cortical sheet) is relatively well understood in lower and middle visual areas, specificity (what aspects of the visual information do neurons respond to) is not. This pattern is reversed for higher visual areas. During my PhD I aim to further deepen this understanding in both low and high visual areas, using a combination of EEG, fMRI and Deep Neural Networks.
Funding ECN scholarship
Supervisors

Dr. Radoslaw M. Cichy

Prof. Dr. Felix Blankenburg

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Cohort 2018
Status Doctoral candidate
Email g.haeberle@fu-berlin.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Greta_Haeberle

Prof. Dr. Carsten Finke

Prof. Dr. Andrea Kühn

Dr. Andreas Horn

Transdiagnostic perspectives on connectomic deep brain stimulation
Doctoral project Transdiagnostic perspectives on connectomic deep brain stimulation
Research area
Description Deep brain stimulation (DBS) unfolds its therapeutic potentials by modulating widespread pathological brain circuits, which are likely symptom- rather than disease-specific. Inspired by emerging transdiagnostic symptom conceptions, within my PhD, I strive to establish predictive models of structural (dMRI-derived) and functional (rsfMRI-derived) symptom network targets associated with beneficial or detrimental stimulation effects within the neuropsychiatric spectrum and across pathologies (e.g., in Parkinson’s disease or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder). A resulting high-resolution, neurocircuit-derived taxonomy of DBS effects may be harnessed to personalize surgical targeting via unique blends of symptom networks weighted as a function of phenotypical profiling at the single-subject level.
Funding ECN scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Carsten Finke

Prof. Dr. Andrea Kühn

Dr. Andreas Horn

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Cohort 2019
Status Doctoral candidate
Email barbara.hollunder@charite.de
Homepage http://www.netstim.org/
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Barbara_Hollunder

Prof. Dr. Radoslaw M. Cichy

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

 

An interplay of feedforward and feedback signals supporting visual cognition
Doctoral project An interplay of feedforward and feedback signals supporting visual cognition
Research area
Description When we are shopping for clothes and are too lazy to try on another t-shirt, we often just imagine how it looks on us. This everyday task as well as many others, is mediated by feedback signals, that alter the incoming feedforward signals. The current project will study the spatiotemporal dynamics of feedforward and feedback information flows in the human brain using high-resolution 7-Tesla fMRI and M/EEG. We will use an imagery paradigm to induce feedback signals and multivariate pattern analysis to explore neural feedforward and feedback information separately. Furthermore, merging the data from the fMRI and M/EEG experiments using representational similarity analysis, we will obtain a complete spatiotemporal mapping for both processes.
Funding DFG Emmy Noether-Grant / Mind & Brain Scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Radoslaw M. Cichy

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

 

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Cohort 2018
Status Doctoral candidate
Email iamshchinina@gmail.com
Homepage http://www.ewi-psy.fu-berlin.de/en/einrichtungen/arbeitsbereiche/neural_dyn_of_vis_cog/team_v2/pre_docs/p_iamschchinina/index.html
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Polina_Iamshchinina

Prof. Dr. Martin Rolfs

Prof. Dr. Marianne Maertens

Object continuity through unconscious motion processing in natural vision
Doctoral project Object continuity through unconscious motion processing in natural vision
Research area
Description I investigate the possible unconscious processing of motion that follows the kinematics of saccades (invisible motion) in experimental and natural scenes. I hypothesize that the brain processes this invisible motion in the absence of saccades (during fixation) and without the observer's awareness. If indeed this is the case, it would provide an opportunity to explain object continuity with a novel approach. Additionally, I will also investigate whether natural scene backgrounds facilitate the processing of invisible motion for object continuity. As a final step in the project, I will examine the interaction between semantic congruency and invisible motion perception.
Funding ERC Consolidator Grant of supervisor
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Martin Rolfs

Prof. Dr. Marianne Maertens

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Cohort 2021
Status Doctoral candidate
Email melis.ince@hu-berlin.de

Prof. Dr. Michael Brecht

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

Behavioral and cortical contagion of ticklishness
Doctoral project Behavioral and cortical contagion of ticklishness
Research area
Description
Funding Salaried research position AG Brecht
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Michael Brecht

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 4: Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Cohort 2020
Status Doctoral candidate
Phone +49 30 2093 6716
Email lena.kaufmann@bccn-berlin.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Lena-Kaufmann-4

Prof. Dr. Martin Rolfs

Elisa Filevich, PhD

The role of volition and awareness in sense of agency
Doctoral project The role of volition and awareness in sense of agency
Research area
Description Whenever we perform an action, this action is accompanied by the faint and elusive feeling of being the cause of an event in the outside world. This so-called sense of agency (SoA) is thought to strongly rely on the conscious decision for, as well as the voluntary control over the action. Interested in the role of volition and awareness in sense of agency, I want to examine whether these two components are necessary prerequisites for SoA or whether we can experience agency even in the absence of volitional control and action-awareness. In my PhD project, I plan to investigate this issue by means of very small fixational eye movements that are performed in the absence of voluntary control and awareness but nevertheless bear the potential to influence sense of agency.
Funding Mind & Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Martin Rolfs

Elisa Filevich, PhD

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Cohort 2019
Status Doctoral candidate
Phone +49 30 2093-6789
Email jan.klanke@posteo.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jan_Nikolas_Klanke

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

Prof. Dr. Werner Sommer

Virtually real cognition? Assessing human cognition in virtual environments
Doctoral project Virtually real cognition? Assessing human cognition in virtual environments
Research area
Description What is the epistemological and ontological status of human cognitions that are elicited in virtual reality (VR) environments? Are they just as real as non-virtual cognitions (Chalmers, 2017)? How much can they tell us about cognition in the “real” world (or vice versa)? Are the underlying processes significantly shaped by the level of presence in the VR? The rise and the propagation of immersive VR technologies poses important questions to the research on mind and brain, and provides a new quiver of tools to approach traditional issues of the cognitive sciences. During my doctoral project I want to examine these tools and their interaction with our cognition. I will use virtual environments with different degrees of immersion, behavioural measures, and neuroimaging techniques (EEG/fNIRS).
Funding BMBF Project
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Arno Villringer

Prof. Dr. Werner Sommer

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Cohort 2017
Status Doctoral candidate
Email felix_klotzsche@web.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Felix_Klotzsche
Academia.edu https://hu-berlin.academia.edu/FelixKlotzsche

Prof. Dr. Christine Heim

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

 

Experience-driven plasticity of the genital somatosensory field
Doctoral project Experience-driven plasticity of the genital somatosensory field
Research area
Description A variety of studies demonstrated that different forms of childhood maltreatment are associated with regionally highly-specific cortical thinning, precisely affecting areas that are critical to the perception and processing of behaviors implicated in the type of adversity. With the aim of getting insights into the neurobiological underpinnings of decreased cortical representation of the genital somatosensory field after exposure to childhood sexual abuse (CSA), we will (1) examine the relationship between sexual behavior and cortical thickness of the genital field in healthy, non-abused female adults with precise location of the field using fMRI, and (2) investigate cortical organization in this field in adult women with and without CSA, depending on sexual behavior and sexual dysfunction.
Funding Einstein Center for Neurosciences
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Christine Heim

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

 

M&B topics Topic 4: Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Cohort 2017
Status Doctoral candidate
Email andrea.knop@charite.de

Prof. Dr. Carsten Finke

Prof. Dr. Friedemann Paul

Differences in functional and structural brain alterations between aquaporin-4-antibody-positive and aquaporin-4-antibody-negative neuromyelitis optica
Doctoral project Differences in functional and structural brain alterations between aquaporin-4-antibody-positive and aquaporin-4-antibody-negative neuromyelitis optica
Research area
Description Neuromyelitis optica is an autoimmune disease that primarily manifests itself in inflammation of optic nerves and spinal cord. It is mostly caused by antibodies for aquaporin-4, a water channel protein found in central nervous system. However, some patients repeatedly test negative for the presence of this antibody. In my project, I compare the structural and functional imaging data, as well as measures of mood and cognitive functioning between these two groups of patients. This will help us understand how different antibodies can bring about alterations not only in brain structure, but also in what are traditionally considered to be purely psychological phenomena.
Funding Elsa Neumann scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Carsten Finke

Prof. Dr. Friedemann Paul

M&B topics Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Cohort 2017
Status Doctoral candidate
Email komnenicd@gmail.com
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Darko_Komnenic

Prof. Dr. Martin Rolfs

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

Attention and sensory integration in active vision of moving objects
Doctoral project Attention and sensory integration in active vision of moving objects
Research area
Description Our project aims to investigate how visual stability is established despite object motion and eye-movement induced shifts of the retinal image. We hope to demonstrate that visuospatial attention plays a major role in establishing stability and optimizing oculomotor behavior. Specifically, we intend to show that before a saccade to a moving target, attention shifts (i) to the target’s predicted spatiotopic position at saccade landing, and (ii) to its predicted retinal location, thereby alerting neuronal cells of an incoming stimulus. We hope to derive a computational model in which saccade and object motion vectors are integrated to enable a predictive shift of neuronal activation as evidenced by single-cell recordings.
Funding Humboldt-Universität
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Martin Rolfs

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 4: Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny
Cohort 2018
Status Doctoral candidate
Email lisa.m.kroell@gmail.com

Prof. Dr. Martin Rolfs

Prof. Dr. Radoslaw Cichy

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Perceptual decisions for fast motor responses under uncertainty
Doctoral project Perceptual decisions for fast motor responses under uncertainty
Research area
Description In my PhD-project I am looking into the links between perception and action. The project investigates, how fast new information can be integrated into an ongoing motor plan. In particular, I will look at motor plans in different movement effectors (eyes, hands) and compare the perceptual processes feeding into these movement plans. For my PhD project, I use psychophysical methods combined with eye- and motion-tracking.
Funding Mind & Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Martin Rolfs

Prof. Dr. Radoslaw Cichy

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Cohort 2019
Status Doctoral candidate
Phone 030/2093-4864
Email clara.kuper@posteo.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Clara_Kuper

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

 

Neural mechanisms of lexical access in conversational context
Doctoral project Neural mechanisms of lexical access in conversational context
Research area
Description In dialogues, interlocutors come to align their global representations, or so-called situation models, of the topic under discussion. I investigate what consequences an established situation model may have for lexical access during subsequent word production. Specifically, I examine whether a thematic context introduced by the narrative of a task partner can create a transient semantic space, where objects, perceived as unrelated without the thematic context, are treated as semantically-related. In my project, the flexibility of human semantic system in a dialogue-like situation is first tested via reaction time measurement. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) will also be applied to pinpoint the underlying brain mechanisms.
Funding Mind & Brain, Elsa-Neumann-Stipendium, Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

 

M&B topics Topic 3: Language
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Cohort 2017
Status Doctoral candidate
Email hsin-pei.lin@hu-berlin.de
Homepage https://www.psychologie.hu-berlin.de/de/personal/91680521
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hsin_Pei_Lin
Doctoral project
Research area
Description
Funding
Supervisors
M&B topics
Cohort 2022
Status Doctoral candidate

Prof. Dr. Carsten Finke

Prof. Dr. Christoph Ploner

Mechanisms and disturbances in spatial memory consolidation
Doctoral project Mechanisms and disturbances in spatial memory consolidation
Research area
Description In my PhD project, I want to investigate the temporal dynamics of spatial learning and memory consolidation. I will develop 3D virtual navigation tasks to examine (1) potentially disturbing effects of anaesthetics on the early consolidation phase, (2) alterations in spatial learning and consolidation in neurological patient groups (e.g. ALS, MTL resection) and (3) the neural dynamics of spatial memory consolidation in healthy subjects over time with fMRI.
Funding SFB 1315 doctoral research position
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Carsten Finke

Prof. Dr. Christoph Ploner

M&B topics Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Topic 4: Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny
Topic 2: Decision-making
Cohort 2019
Status Doctoral candidate
Email patrizia.maier@charite.de

Prof. Dr. Carsten Finke

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

 

Functional connectivity profiles and relational memory deficits in patients with limbic encephalitis
Doctoral project Functional connectivity profiles and relational memory deficits in patients with limbic encephalitis
Research area
Description In my PhD project I investigate resting-state functional connectivity in patients with autoimmune diseases of the brain. First, I want to use resting-state fMRI data to identify a patient's disease earlier than usual based on functional connectivity measures. Secondly, I will examine functional connectivity differences in distinct variants of autoimmune encephalitis and their effect son cognitive functioning. Thirdly, I will assess relational memory in patients with limbic autoimmune encephalitis as a model for bilateral hippocampal damage. The goal of my PhD project is to facilitate clinical diagnostics using fMRI, help to elucidate differences in autoimmune encephalitis variants and generate knowledge about both the processing of relational memory and the effects of functional connectivity variations on cognition in the human brain.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Carsten Finke

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

 

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 4: Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Cohort 2016
Status Doctoral candidate
Email mantwill.m@googlemail.com

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sterzer

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

The effects of affective salience and prior probability in binocular rivalry
Doctoral project The effects of affective salience and prior probability in binocular rivalry
Research area
Description If perception is a result of probabilistic inference, how is that we may come to perceive objects of behavioural importance that may be relatively rare? Using predictive coding as a theoretical framework, this project proposes that the behavioural significance of an object may be encoded via its affective salience, which may act as a source of top-down modulation in perceptual inference. To investigate this, a binocular rivalry study will be conducted to investigate how affective salience and prior probability interact in the formation of visual percepts, while a follow-up fMRI study will be conducted to probe how these different processes may be represented in the brain.
Funding DAAD International Scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sterzer

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Cohort 2019
Status Doctoral candidate
Email joshua.martin2902@gmail.com

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

 

Reward-related processing of social non-verbal cues in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Doctoral project Reward-related processing of social non-verbal cues in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Research area
Description The aim of my project is to better understand how individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) process social non-verbal cues (facial expressions, gestures, and body posture). To address this issue, I will design a paradigm suitable for measuring both neural (ERPs) and other psychophysiological indicators of social and non-social reward processing (e.g. eye-tracking measures). Furthermore, I will investigate whether motion (videos instead of static pictures) and complexity (all of, or one of the following: facial, hand and posture cues) of social stimuli aid or impede feedback responsiveness in individuals with ASD.
Funding Mind & Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

 

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Cohort 2016
Status Doctoral candidate
Email matyjekm@hu-berlin.de

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

Empathy plasticity and the empathic brain: an EEG-accompanied training study employing the computer-assisted program Zirkus Empathico with preschoolers
Doctoral project Empathy plasticity and the empathic brain: an EEG-accompanied training study employing the computer-assisted program Zirkus Empathico with preschoolers
Research area
Description My doctoral project examines the development and plasticity of empathy looking at both the construct’s behavioral and neuronal correlates. Mental health problems in children have dramatically increased. A first indicator of dysfunctional, psychological, and behavioral patterns are deficient social and emotional competences. Continuous fostering of these competences should therefore already start at a very young age to prevent, correct, or compensate problematic thoughts and behaviors. Therefore, the computer-assisted program Zirkus Empathico will be employed in a longitudinal study design within my PhD project, with children’s behavioral and neuronal variables measured before and after the training to examine if improvements in empathic responses can be achieved.
Funding Scholarship from Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Isabel Dziobek

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

M&B topics Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Cohort 2017
Status Doctoral candidate
Email sandra.naumann@hu-berlin.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sandra_Naumann3

Prof. Dr. Martin Rolfs

Elisa Filevich, PhD

Detection of causality for the visual consequences of saccades
Doctoral project Detection of causality for the visual consequences of saccades
Research area
Description As we explore our environment, our eyes constantly move around. Saccades, i.e., rapid gaze shifts that relocate a point of interest in the scene onto the fovea, are the most frequent kind of eye movement. Due to their high velocity, saccades briefly disrupt the visual input by creating motion blur. These immediate visual consequences of saccades are usually not (consciously) perceived, though they might still be processed. To process them correctly, external motion of objects in the world must be distinguished from motion caused by our own eye movements. I would like to explore the idea that — because saccades exhibit stereotypic kinematic profiles — the visual input they produce is sufficient to distinguish motion in the world from motion caused by our own eye movements.
Funding ERC Consolidator Grant supervisor
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Martin Rolfs

Elisa Filevich, PhD

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Cohort 2021
Status Doctoral candidate
Email wiebke.noerenberg@hu-berlin.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Wiebke-Noerenberg

Prof. Dr. Pia Knoeferle

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

Linguistic and non-linguistic context effects on language processing in native and non-native speakers
Doctoral project Linguistic and non-linguistic context effects on language processing in native and non-native speakers
Research area
Description Event representations and morpho-syntactic violations of tense/aspect distinctions. I use EEG and Eye Tracking to investigate on-line processing and prediction of events based on grammatical tense/aspect forms. The main aim is to investigate how morphological verb forms and semantic time reference interact and affect how we perceive events and process temporal relations. A secondary aim is to see how this differs between groups with diverse linguistic profiles.
Funding Einstein Center for Neurosciences
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Pia Knoeferle

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

M&B topics Topic 3: Language
Cohort 2017
Status Doctoral candidate

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sterzer

Prof. Dr. Gabriel Curio

Dr. Gunnar Waterstraat

Predicting time perception during auditory stimulation by computational and dopaminergic modulations
Doctoral project Predicting time perception during auditory stimulation by computational and dopaminergic modulations
Research area
Description Time perception is a fluctuating process considerably determined by exogenous (environmental complexity) and endogenous (dopaminergic processing) factors. In line with the Neural Magnitude approach, I assume that the level of neural synchronization to temporally structured auditory stimuli (EEG) is predictive of distortions in perceptual time making it possible to establish a causal relationship between rhythmic complexity, temporal processing in the brain and perceptual time using advanced statistical learning and mediation analyses. Indirectly manipulating frontostriatal dopaminergic activity (TBS) will finally inform us whether non-invasive interventions could be developed for patients on the Schizotypal spectrum, showing aberrancies in dopaminergic processing and perceptual time.
Funding Mind & Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sterzer

Prof. Dr. Gabriel Curio

Dr. Gunnar Waterstraat

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Cohort 2020
Status Doctoral candidate

Prof. Dr. Carsten Finke

Prof. Dr. Radoslaw M. Cichy

Memory independent spatial navigation in clinical and experimental settings
Doctoral project Memory independent spatial navigation in clinical and experimental settings
Research area
Description In my doctoral project, I will study impaired and unimpaired memory independent topographical orientation in old age. I developed an assessment, which integrates core cognitive processes of navigation like mental rotation, sense of direction and the synchronisation of ego- and allocentric perspective, without the necessity for subjects to memorise routes or landmarks. I intend to use this tool, to differentiate between subjects with and without difficulties in topographical orientation and to explore neural activation patterns in successful vs. insufficient orientation using fMRI. Building on these findings, I plan to study the effects of enhanced excitability of neurons in regions that are involved in successful orientation on behavioural performance in navigation with tDCS.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Carsten Finke

Prof. Dr. Radoslaw M. Cichy

M&B topics Topic 4: Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Cohort 2017
Status Doctoral candidate
Email sophia.rekers@charite.de

Prof. Dr. Christoph Möllers

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Prof. Dr. Tade Spranger

 

Fixing broken brains – The human right to mental self-determination of legally incompetent persons in favor of or against psychiatric neurosurgery
Doctoral project Fixing broken brains – The human right to mental self-determination of legally incompetent persons in favor of or against psychiatric neurosurgery
Research area
Description In my PhD thesis standard questions like the legal requirements for the information duties of doctors and the need for the ascent of legally incompetent persons will be discussed. The focus will lie on relatively new issues like the possibilities of psychiatric patients to obtain PNS without or against their proxy’s consent (when patient prefers PNS over other medical treatment or detention). Moreover, the thesis will contain suggestions as to the establishment of an effective control system (monitoring patient care, study setup and outcomes). In an outlook, I will address the regulation of legally relevant behavior induced by functional and/or psychiatric neurosurgery (buying binge, gambling addiction, criminal behavior, …) and the possibility of applying PNS beyond the strictly clinical setting.
Funding Mind & Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Christoph Möllers

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Prof. Dr. Tade Spranger

 

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 1. juristisches Staatsexamen, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Maitrise en droit (international law), Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas; Licence en droit (law of the European Union), Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas
Cohort 2015
Status Doctoral candidate
Phone +49 (0) 173 7028358
Email lucia.reuter@posteo.de
Homepage http://mindandbrain.charite.de/en/people/team_rg_mab/lucia_reuter/
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Lucia_Reuter

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Prof. Dr. Hans-Christian Deter

 

Resilience to stress – a positive account
Doctoral project Resilience to stress – a positive account
Research area
Description In my project, I want to investigate the effects of positive reappraisal on stress resilience. Specifically, I postulate that a quick and complete psychological, cardiovascular, and endocrine recovery from a laboratory stressor can be seen as an index for resilient stress processing, and I hypothesize that this recovery can be enhanced by setting participants into a state of positive reappraisal before they undergo the stress test. Moreover, using resting state fMRI, I plan to investigate how this relates to flexible interactions between neural networks during the recovery phase.
Funding Mind and Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Prof. Dr. Hans-Christian Deter

 

M&B topics Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Cohort 2018
Status Doctoral candidate
Email antje.riepenhausen@charite.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Antje_Riepenhausen

Prof. Dr. Carsten Finke

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sterzer

Temporal complexity of resting-state signals: capturing the dynamics of spontaneous brain activity
Doctoral project Temporal complexity of resting-state signals: capturing the dynamics of spontaneous brain activity
Research area
Description In my PhD project, I investigate the temporal dynamics of resting-state brain signals in patients with autoimmune disease and in pharmacologically induced models. My current focus is thalamo-cortical functional connectivity in MS. I will next systematically compare several methods of assessing brain signal complexity and later apply this method in two groups: patients with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis and healthy persons during ketamine infusion. Although these groups have divergent etiologies, they display common cognitive symptoms and share a neurobiological target: the NMDA receptor. If convergent alterations in network dynamics are found, this study will provide insight into the relationship between brain dynamics and cognitive symptoms related to glutamatergic system dysfunction.
Funding Mind & Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Carsten Finke

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sterzer

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 4: Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Cohort 2020
Status Doctoral candidate
Email amy.romanello@charite.de
Doctoral project
Research area
Description
Funding
Supervisors
M&B topics
Cohort 2022
Status Doctoral candidate

Prof. Dr. Carsten Finke

Prof. Dr. Christoph Ploner

Structural and functional MRI abnormalities associated with cognitive dysfunction in post-COVID syndrome
Doctoral project Structural and functional MRI abnormalities associated with cognitive dysfunction in post-COVID syndrome
Research area
Description For more than two years now, COVID-19 has had a major impact on all our lives. At the same time significant progress has been made in diagnosis, treatment, and disease prevention. However, while most patients seem to fully recover from COVID-19, a considerable number of patients suffer from persistent symptoms even months after their infection. Among these symptoms, cognitive dysfunction is particularly prevalent, including attention and memory deficits. Despite tremendous research efforts, the etiology of the so-called post-COVID syndrome remains elusive. In my PhD project I am going to investigate the potential neural bases of the cognitive dysfunction in patients who suffer from post-COVID syndrome by applying functional and structural MRI together with neuropsychological testing.
Funding
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Carsten Finke

Prof. Dr. Christoph Ploner

M&B topics Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Cohort 2021
Status Doctoral candidate

Prof. Dr. Carsten Finke

Prof. Dr. Christoph Ploner

Dynamic functional connectivity in patients with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis
Doctoral project Dynamic functional connectivity in patients with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis
Research area
Description My project aims to investigate temporal dynamics of functional connectivity in patients with autoimmune encephalitis. Two main hypotheses will be tested (a) do patients show symptomatic patterns of dynamic functional connectivity that distinguishes them from healthy controls? and (b) do these alterations account for the patients’ compromising long-standing memory deficits?
Funding Cusanuswerk
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Carsten Finke

Prof. Dr. Christoph Ploner

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Cohort 2018
Status Doctoral candidate
Email nina.schwanenflug@charite.de

Prof. Dr. Marcel Brass

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

Putting decision models of Libet-style experiments to a test
Doctoral project Putting decision models of Libet-style experiments to a test
Research area
Description Traditional interpretation of the results in the Libet-style experiments has challenged the existence of free will. Responding to this challenge, there are recent decision models suggesting alternative interpretations to those results. The current project aims at testing the validity of these models with the integration of behavioural and neuroimaging approaches. By validating these models, it would enrich our understanding to the psychological and neural mechanism behind volition, as well as provide hints to resolve the debate about free will in cognitive neuroscience.
Funding DAAD-GSSP scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Marcel Brass

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Cohort 2021
Status Doctoral candidate
Email shumyuhe@hu-berlin.de
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Yu-Shum

Prof. Dr. Thomas Schmidt

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

Emotions as a source of moral knowledge
Doctoral project Emotions as a source of moral knowledge
Research area
Description Recent empirical research in moral psychology has underscored the importance of emotions in determining either all or some class of our moral judgments. This can be taken to justify skepticism with regards to the truth of such judgments. My project aims to explore the empirical underpinnings of moral emotions with the goal of ascertaining whether they can function as legitimate evidence for moral judgment and belief. Taking my cue from research in the model-based learning mechanisms involved in generating and refining emotional reactions, I will investigate whether moral emotions are also the upshot of such learning, and whether this can be a way of vindicating emotions as a source of moral knowledge.
Funding Elsa Neumann Stipendium des Landes Berlin
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Thomas Schmidt

Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Cohort 2018
Status Doctoral candidate
Email sofronir@hu-berlin.de
Academia.edu https://hu-berlin.academia.edu/RazvanSofroni

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

Prof. Dr. Pia Knoeferle

Why not only the nose is getting longer: Behavioral and neurocognitive investigations on speech production during lying
Doctoral project Why not only the nose is getting longer: Behavioral and neurocognitive investigations on speech production during lying
Research area
Description Although lying is a fundamental element of human social communication, the underlying cognitive processes are mainly unknown. Therefore, the objective of this project is to investigate the verbalization processes of lying using behavioral and EEG measurements. Aiming to create an ecologically valid situation within the laboratory (or in an online context), the lies will be embedded in social contexts encouraging spontaneous lying. Guided by current models of deception and speech production research, I will investigate which cognitive processes are modulated when a lie is verbalized, how emotions influence the production processes, and whether the truth is lexically coactive during the production of a lie. Thereby, I hope to improve the understanding of natural (everyday) lies.
Funding Einstein Center for Neurosciences
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

Prof. Dr. Pia Knoeferle

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 3: Language
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Cohort 2020
Status Doctoral candidate
Phone (030) 2093-9442
Email kirsten.stark@hu-berlin.de
Doctoral project
Research area
Description
Funding
Supervisors
M&B topics
Cohort 2022
Status Doctoral candidate

Prof. Dr. Marcel Brass

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

Manipulating free will beliefs through immersive Virtual Reality experiences
Doctoral project Manipulating free will beliefs through immersive Virtual Reality experiences
Research area
Description For the past 20 years, there has already been quite some research within social and cognitive psychology experimentally inducing disbelief in free will and assessing its impact on behavior. In these studies, a text or video based manipulation was used, claiming that free will does not exist. More recently, a number of replication studies using these classical free will belief manipulations have failed to find an impact on downstream processes. Therefore, in this project, we would like to tap into a more immersive manipulation of these beliefs, creating a Virtual Reality experience where participants question the sense of agency they have over their actions, and see what impact this could have on their belief in free will.
Funding Mind & Brain scholarship
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Marcel Brass

Prof. Dr. Michael Pauen

M&B topics Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Cohort 2021
Status Doctoral candidate

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

Prof. Martin Fischer, Ph.D.

Prof. Dr. Barbara Kaup

 

Embodiment and speech production
Doctoral project Embodiment and speech production
Research area
Description In my PhD-project I want to investigate if previously established effects of sensorimotor simulations on language comprehension can be extended to speech production. Behavioural as well as electrophysiological measures shall be used to investigate this issue. First, I want to see if stimuli sharing experimental dimensions with a presented picture influence the accessability of the picture’s name measured by means of naming latencies. Based on these results, I want to explore the temporal characteristics of these effects by measuring participants´ EEGs during speech production. Thereby, I want to extend the database for the role of sensorimotor processes during speech production and include embodiment and the role of sensorimotor simulations into current models of speech production.
Funding Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Rasha Abdel Rahman

Prof. Martin Fischer, Ph.D.

Prof. Dr. Barbara Kaup

 

M&B topics Topic 1: Perception, attention, consciousness
Topic 3: Language
Cohort 2018
Status Doctoral candidate
Email anne.vogt.1@hu-berlin.de
Doctoral project
Research area
Description
Funding
Supervisors
M&B topics
Cohort 2022
Status Doctoral candidate

Prof. Dr. Elke van der Meer

Prof. Dr. Fabian Klostermann

Event segmentation and temporal event sequencing of patients with Parkinson’s disease
Doctoral project Event segmentation and temporal event sequencing of patients with Parkinson’s disease
Research area
Description The aim of the project is the better understanding of the cognitive impairments and the underlying neural mechanisms in patients with Parkinson’s disease regarding event segmentation and temporal event sequencing. Both processes are highly important for remembering and executing daily activities and thus, for the patients quality of life. The project includes behavioural tasks, e.g. the event segmentation task where participants segment movies into meaningful events. Furthermore, the project includes a neurophysiological measurement (ERP) where participants identify contentual or temporal errors in event sequences (event triplet task). The long-term objective of the project is the development of specific rehabilitative training programs that aim to improve the daily competence of the patients.
Funding Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk (ELES)
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Elke van der Meer

Prof. Dr. Fabian Klostermann

M&B topics Topic 5: Brain disorders and mental dysfunction
Cohort 2018
Status Doctoral candidate
Email michelle.wyrobnik@hu-berlin.de
Homepage https://www.psychologie.hu-berlin.de/de/personal/91680356
Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Michelle_Wyrobnik

Prof. Dr. Hauke Heekeren

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

 

How does effort investment influence subjective value?
Doctoral project How does effort investment influence subjective value?
Research area
Description Effort investment is critical for optimal decision-making and is typically regarded as a type of cost. However, an item may become more rewarding when more effort is invested for it, suggesting that the effort investment could also be valuable. In my project, I will systematically examine the role of effort investment in valuation and the underlying neural mechanisms, using a combination of behavioural experiment, fMRI, and computational modelling.
Funding Einstein Center for Neurosciences
Supervisors

Prof. Dr. Hauke Heekeren

Prof. Dr. John-Dylan Haynes

 

M&B topics Topic 2: Decision-making
Topic 6: Social cognition / human sociality and the brain
Cohort 2018
Status Doctoral candidate
Email yywyao@gmail.com
This page last updated on: 22 November 2022