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Social Neuroscience

Managing Director

The Department of Social Neuroscience investigates human social behaviour. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, we study the neuronal, hormonal, and developmental foundations of human social cognition, social and moral emotions such as empathy and compassion, envy, revenge, fairness as well as emotion regulation capacities and their role in social decision making and communication.
As such, we bring together scientists from a variety of social and natural sciences (including neuroscience, psychology, bio-psychology, biology, economics, and anthropology) to investigate the influence of the environment on social behavior, the underlying cognitive processes sub-served by neuronal circuits and ultimately by neurotransmitters, hormones, and genes. To achieve these goals, we combine brain imaging methods (e.g., functional and structural MRI, rt-fMRI, TMS, EEG), autonomic measures (e.g., heart rate, pupillary response), neuro-pharmacological interventions (e.g. oxytocin), hormonal measurements (e.g. cortisol), genetic techniques, behavioral paradigms (including virtual reality paradigms, game theoretical paradigms adopted from economics, and experimental paradigms adopted from psychology research), and subjective methods (e.g., event-sampling, questionnaires).

The department is based on the following main research foci:


New Book: "Caring Economics: Conversations on Altruism and Compassion, Between Scientists, Economists, and the Dalai Lama

Edited by Tania Singer and Matthieu Ricard, published by St Martin's Press, New York. 7th April 2015.



Video on Tania Singer's Session "The Neuroscience of Compassion" at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.


Podcast "Deconstructing the Brain" from the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

Voices from Tania Singer, Bob Knight, David Halpern, and Mariette DiChristina.


New Book: "Mitgefühl in der Wirtschaft - Ein bahnbrechender Forschungsbericht

Edited by Tania Singer and Matthieu Ricard, published by Knaus Verlag. 2nd March 2015.


Article in the German Newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung with the title "Spuren im Kopf"

Journalist: Kai Kupferschmidt


Article by Tania Singer on the Project Syndicate Website about "Building a Caring Economy"


Tania Singer has been invited to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

She had a session and panel with Prof. Shiller and Matthieu Ricard.


Last update: Feb 1, 2016 9.15.24 am
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