I am interested in factors that influence how we perceive pain in ourselves and in other people. To investigate this, I use neuroimaging, neuromodulation and behavioral experiments. My approach to science strongly aligns with open scholarship principles. Next to my work as a researcher, I enthusiastically engage in and teach science communication.
PhD in Social Neuroscience, 2022
University of Vienna, Austria
MSc in Clinical & Biological Psychology, 2017
University of Vienna, Austria
BSc in Psychology, 2014
University of Vienna, Austria
I am currently working at the Bingellab (Clinical Neurosciences) at the University Hospital Essen as a postdoctoral researcher. I did my PhD at the Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Unit at the University of Vienna. During this time, I was a visiting researcher in the Social Brain Lab at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience in Amsterdam.
Behavior, pain, effort, heart rate, skin conductance
SPM, FreeSurfer, Nipype, & Neuronavigation
RStudio, JASP, Matlab, & Python/Jupyter
In my Postdoc, I am using fMRI combined with placebo hypoalgesia and nocebo hyperalgesia to investigate the cognitive modulation of first-hand pain perception. Specifically, as part of the Collaborative Research Center 289 “Treatment Expectations” I am interested in the modulating role of positive and negative expectations on real and fake treatments as well as mechanisms of open-label placebos.
My PhD research focused on the behavioral and neural mechanisms underlying shared representations between first-hand and empathy for pain, as well as their connection to prosocial behavior. Specifically, I was interested in 1) the necessity of somatosensory brain regions for feelings of empathy, and 2) whether we need our own pain processing system to empathize with and help others in pain.
Below is a short animation of my PhD research made by Scientistt:
You can also watch a video of my PhD defense presentation:
I am a community manager at Framework for Open and Reproducible Research Training (FORRT). I am leading the replications & reversals project, which won a commendation by the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science (SIPS) in 2023. I am also involved in multiple other projects, such as the glossary, neurodiversity and impact for students projects. FORRT is always looking for new contributors and collaborators, so learn how to get involved here.
Find my Google Scholar profile here and my recent publications below.
I am always happy to give talks about my research, science communication and open science, both scientist-to-scientist and scientist-to-public. Contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Framework for Open and Reproducible Research Training (FORRT) presented many of their great projects at a webinar hosted by the Center of Open Science (my talk on the Replications & Reversals project starts at 8:23):
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.
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:
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:
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):
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.
Have a look at the fMRI preregistration template I helped update.
Find stimuli templates for my first-hand and empathy for pain task from Hartmann et al. (2021, NeuroImage) here.
Check out the data and code associated with Hartmann et al. (2022, PsychScience) here.
Below you can find my open fMRI datasets:
Cyberball task for use in individuals with autism spectrum disorder from Hartmann, Lengersdorff et al. (2021, Frontiers in Psychiatry)
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)
Are you interested in interviewing me about my research or do you want me to write something for your media outlet? Contact me via email@example.com.
Together with Ulrike Bingel I wrote an article about nocebo effects for the German Gehirn & Geist magazine: “Wenn der Beipackzettel krank macht”.
I co-wrote two articles for children between 12-15 years about the nocebo effect. The English version was published in Frontiers for Young Minds under the title The nocebo effect: The placebo’s “evil twin”. The German version was published in The Inquisitive Mind and was part of a special issue I edited with articles for children.
Together with Claus Lamm, I answered a question for the German Gehirn & Geist magazine: “Was bewirkt Empathie im Gehirn?”.
I was part of a German blogpost for the In-Mind magazine on “What is open scholarship? And why does it need a dictionary?”.
As part of IASP’s 2022 Global Year of Translating Pain Knowledge to Practice, I co-wrote a fact sheet about treatment expectations and the patient-physician interaction. The fact sheet is available in English, German, Japanese, Portuguese, & Spanish.
Here’s a playlist of all the podcasts I was a part of.
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.
I participate in Skype a Scientist, where I last met online with three school classes of 3rd graders from Memphis to present my work as a pain and brain scientist. I am also listed on Ring a Scientist.
I walked around the 2023 SIPS conference (Society for Interdisciplinary Placebo Studies) together with the guys from PhysioBib and they created a video out of it (in German):
I give German webinars at the VHS Vienna about “Das hilft mir bestimmt (nicht)! Wie positive und negative Erwartungen unsere Schmerzwahrnehmung beeinflussen” (slides here) and “Science und Fiction – Wissenschaft erklärt anhand von fiktiven Kurzgeschichten” (more info here).
I organized and moderated the science slam at the 4th conference of the Society for the Interdisciplinary Placebo Studies. You can watch it below:
Together with Ulrike Bingel and Angelika Kunkel, we participated at the Self Help Day 2022 of the University Medicine Essen and educated patients and stakeholders about treatment expectations.
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.
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.
Photo Competition “My Research in one Picture”: In 2018, my photo about my PhD research titled “Another’s Pain in my Placebo Brain” got into the Top 10 of winning photos. See the other photos or general information on the competition.
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 am part of the scientific advisory committee of Project Encephalon, an “international, trainee-led non-profit organization for neuroscience enthusiasts”.
I support Brain Hero, a startup company in Vienna, as an external scientific advisor. They are developing a neurofeedback game to improve concentration levels and relaxation capabilities in individuals with autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Sign up for my current pain imaging study here.