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Social Neuroscience

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:











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