Doing a PhD in psychology & social neuroscience at the Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Unit in Vienna, Austria, investigating why and how we understand and share the suffering of other individuals around us.
PhD in Psychology, since 2017
University of Vienna
MSc in Psychology, 2017
University of Vienna
BSc in Psychology, 2014
University of Vienna
My research focuses on the behavioral and neural mechanisms underlying shared representations between first-hand and empathy for pain, specializing on a manipulation of first-hand pain through placebo analgesia. Generally, I aim for a deeper understanding of these processes by combining fMRI, physiology (ECG, SCR) and behavioral experiments.
Below is a short animation of my PhD research made by Scientistt.
In this project I am interested in what is actually shared when we see others in pain and what role sensory-discriminative pain processing plays in this regard.
This project investigates the transfer of placebo analgesia to effort-based prosocial decision-making in the domain of pain avoidance.
In this project I am working together with the Social Brain Lab from the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience in Amsterdam to further investigate how empathy and prosocial decision-making are related and represented in the brain!
I further investigate the effect of placebo analgesia on interoceptive abilities, psychological differences between placebo responders and non-responders as well as self-other distinction and emotional egocentricity in autism.
Here is a short 5-minute video presentation of this poster:
Guest Lecture on “Doing Open Science” (University of Vienna, 2019 and 2020)
I work as a psychologist and researcher for MyMind. They developed Brain Hero, a Neurofeedback game to improve concentration levels and relaxation capabilities in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Check out the website.
DiscoverPhDs asked me about my PhD research, what a typical work day looks like for me and what enjoyments and challenges my PhD entails. Have a look at the full interview here.
I was so lucky to be part of the episode “Ever Felt Someone’s Pain… In Your Butt?” by Every Little Thing. Learn all about vicarious pain and how we can feel someone else’s pain in our own body. A great episode together with amazing researchers. Listen to it here.
I talked to Lee from Curiosity Cake about my PhD, specifically how I measure empathy using pain. Listen to the episode here.
I chatted with Aaron Halliday about my research on empathy, prosocial behavior and interoception, but also about making science relevant and accessible to everyone. Listen to the episode below:
I am an ambassador for this exciting new research platform! Here are some of the cool things you can benefit from, if you sign up: Showcase your research skills and experience, find new research and job opportunities, get information about funding and conferences in your field, and connect with other researchers all around the world. And the best thing: Everything is completely free! Check out Scientistt on Twitter or have a look at their website. You can also sign up directly here.
1 Million Women in STEM (1MWIS), a global network providing the stories of women studying & working in STEM, asked me some questions, such as what I do, why I chose this field of research, what I would tell my younger self and why I love working in STEM. Have a look at my answers here.
In 2020, I was part of a workshop for children aged 7-9 years. We brought lots of fun with making brain helmets, the rubberhand illusion, and match-the-brain-to-the-animal quiz, and taught them about the brain, perspective taking and empathy! Check out the website here and stay tuned for the audio episode.
Pint of Science brings scientists to share their latest research with you! I am part of 2020’s “Beautiful Mind” event manager team to organize three exciting evenings all about neuroscience. Furthermore, I curate the Pint of Science Austria Twitter account. More info on the Website, Facebook, Instagram and on Twitter.
Together with my PhD colleagues, I organized a booth all about research in psychology and social neuroscience in 2018. Have you ever experienced the rubberhand illusion? How do we investigate something called affective touch? Can we put awake dogs into an MR-scanner? And can you match all brains to their corresponding species? More info here.
On my own account, I mainly post about my research and PhD life, but also work-life-balance and open science! Check out my feed below and follow me for updates:
For German-speaking participants over 18 years:
Some nice images of other things you can put in an MR scanner that Lukas Lengersdorff and I took when we had enough of scanning brains. Can you guess all of them?