Deficits in social interaction are a central issue across many mental disorders. The overarching goals of my research are
- to describe the interactive, emotional and cognitive mechanisms that enable social interaction (e.g. empathy, mentalizing, emotion regulation)
- to specify their role in the etiology of different psychopathologies,
- to enable earlier diagnostics and targeted interventions.
Available PhD projects
PhD projects in my lab will fall within the above mentioned research areas, but the specifics will be developed jointly during the first months of the PhD. Potential projects could focus on the interaction of the neural networks involved in social affect and cognition, in particular in realistically complex and truly interactive social settings. Another possible area of research could be social deficits in affective disorders - depression and bipolar disorder. These are characterized by social withdrawal or overengagement, but the psychological and neural changes associated with such alterations are not yet understood. A third domain concerns conditions and interventions that lead to particularly adaptive social functioning or alleviate deficits.