Social intelligence group 

Social intelligence group

Professor Dr. Marcel Brass
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Department of Psychology & Berlin School of Mind and Brain & Cluster Science of Intelligence
Tel. 030/2093-89773

Consultation / Sprechstunde
Tuesdays 15.30–16.30 (online)
Please register:

Lab manager
Ms Jurena Wille
Tel. 030/2093-89770

Address for correspondence

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Department of Psychology
AG Social Intelligence
Sitz: Berlin School of Mind and Brain
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin, Germany

Location of offices

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Berlin School of Mind and Brain
Luisenstraße 56, Haus 1, 10117 Berlin
2nd floor, North wing
Offices: 311 (Brass), 303 (Wille)


The research group ‘Social Intelligence‘ investigates the social cognitive mechanisms underlying our ability to successfully navigate our social environment.

We investigate social intelligence on three different levels:

  • The sensorimotor level: How do social agents interact on an embodied level? This involves phenomena such as social imitation.7
  • The symbolic level: How does symbolic communication and mental state attribution contribute to social intelligence?
  • The cultural level: How does our cultural environment and high-level beliefs contribute to social intelligence?

A second research focus of the group is related to the neuro-cognitive mechanisms underlying intentional and cognitive control. This research investigates the bases of human cognitive flexibility and human volition.

Methodologically, the group uses the whole range of cognitive neuroscience methods. This includes brain imaging techniques such as fMRI and EEG, brain stimulation such as TMS and also mental chronometry. Furthermore, we investigate pathologies of social cognition. Finally, the research group uses virtual reality as a research tool.

Research questions that have been investigated:

  • Imitative behavior of single and multiple agents
  • Spontaneous mental state attribution
  • Self-other distinction when interacting with other agents
  • The translation of symbolic instructions into efficient behavior
  • Neural correlates of human volition
  • The influence of high-level beliefs on basic social-cognitive processes
This page last updated on: 25 March 2024