I am a Psychologist currently obtaining my PhD 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 Social Neuroscience, ongoing
University of Vienna, Austria
MSc in Psychology, 2017
University of Vienna, Austria
BSc in Psychology, 2014
University of Vienna, Austria
SPM, FreeSurfer, Nipype & Neuronavigation
Behavior, pain stimulation, effort, EMG, ECG & SCR
RStudio, JASP, Matlab, Python/Jupyter
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.
I work as a psychologist and researcher for MyMind, a startup company in Vienna. They are developing Brain Hero, a Neurofeedback game to improve concentration levels and relaxation capabilities in individuals with autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
I am also a member of the Framework for Open and Reproducible Research Training (FORRT) where I am involved in multiple projects, such as the manuscript, the glossary, and the reversals project. We are always looking for new contributors and collaborators!
Collaborative hackathons for FORRT’s “Replications and Reversals in Social Sciences” project
I gave a short presentation about a study where I investigated the effects of placebo analgesia on prosocial behavior at the 2021 Society for Social Neuroscience conference.
I talked about first experiences and lessons learned when preregistering an fMRI study at the Methods Meeting of the Institute of Systems Neuroscience in Hamburg. Find the slides here.
Below is a short talk about the effects of placebo analgesia on interoceptive abilities that I gave as part of the symposium “From heart to brain and back: novel findings and methodological challenges in interoception research” organized by Federica Riva and myself at the 63rd Conference of Experimental Psychologists (TeaP).
I was part of the feminist dream team that gave the collaborative talk “Navigating open science as early career feminist researchers” at the RIOT Science Club’s “Open Research: A Vision for the Future” conference in March 2021.
Here I explained my research on empathy for pain and prosocial behavior in German at a science communication format called Kaffeeklatsch mit Wissenschaft hosted by the amazing Franziska Sattler in February 2021. Find the slides to this talk here.
This is a talk I gave at the online lecture series OnNeuro about parts of my PhD on the role of the somatosensory component of pain processing in empathy in November 2020:
Guest Lecture “Science for Everyone! Science Communication for Beginners” - Slides (University of Vienna, 2020).
Guest Lectures “Doing Good/Open Science” (University of Vienna, 2019 & 2020):
Check out my awesome-PhD GitHub repository that includes a curated list of carefully selected tools and resources I wish I knew when starting my PhD. Please feel free to contribute more resources! Also have a look at the Twitter thread where I started this list.
Below you can find my open fMRI datasets:
Cyberball task for use in individuals with autism spectrum disorder from Hartmann, Lengersdorff et al. (2021, BioArxiv)
Picture-based empathy for pain task from Hartmann et al. (2021, Cerebral Cortex Communications)
Cue-based empathy for pain task from Hartmann et al. (2021, NeuroImage)
Personal space task in autism spectrum disorder from Massaccesi et al. (2020, Cerebral Cortex)
I was part of a Children’s University workshop at the University of Vienna, where we taught children about the brain, perspective taking and empathy.
I talked to Lee Delaney from Curiosity Cake about my PhD, specifically what kinds of methods I employ to measure empathy for pain in brain and behavior.
I chatted with Aaron Halliday about my research on empathy, prosocial behavior and interoception, but also about making science relevant and accessible to everyone.
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.
1 Million Women in STEM (1MWIS), a global network providing the stories of women studying & working in STEM, asked me 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.
I wrote a German article about empathy and how we share the emotions of others, together with Markus Rütgen and Claus Lamm. Read the full article here. I also contributed two entries to the In-Mind glossary: Theorie der Geteilten Repräsentationen and Endogenes Opioidsystem.
Pint of Science (PoS) brings scientists to share their latest research with you! I was part of 2020’s “Beautiful Mind” event manager team to organize three exciting evenings all about neuroscience that were unfortunately cancelled due to COVID. In 2021, I am also active for PoS Amsterdam, organizing online events. More info on the Website.
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 on their website.
Feminist Alliance Book Club (FemABC), founded in December 2020, is a monthly book club to read and discuss books centred around feminism and underrepresented genders. Everybody is welcome to join! For more infomation, have a look at our Twitter or Goodreads pages. More info on the general idea and joining us can also be found here. If you have questions or want to become a member, write us an email at email@example.com.
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.
Check out our SCAN-Unit Facebook Page to find out about current studies!