If you are interested in applying for an internship in the Social Brain Lab please follow the instructions on this page. This also applies to literature thesis projects.

Current STUDENTs

Ruben de Klerk
[email protected]

Stress is one of the most interesting things to study, in my opinion. Although stress is usually seen as a short-term adaptive mechanism, exposure during the early years of life can have profound consequences later. For my master’s internship I’m working with Erica Berretta to study the effects of early life adversity on emotional contagion in rats. We’re combining physiological data with behavioral observations to investigate how stress in pups affects pro-social behavior during adulthood.


Lenca Cuturela
[email protected]

I am currently doing my bachelor at Princeton University, studying Mathematics, but took a gap year to do an internship at the Social Brain Lab as I find neuroscience research, and in particular, the investigation of neural mechanism behind empathy, extremely captivating. I am working under the supervision of Steven Voges on a project that studies emotional contagion in rodents and is based on a more hollistic approach, in which we aim to combine behavioral data with calcium imaging findings. Our method also heavily relies on DeepLabCut, a cutting-edge software for pose estimation.


Claudia Albero Herreros
[email protected]

I am a student from Amsterdam University College, working under the supervision of Riccardo Paracampo on a project that investigates the role of the motor cortex in cue-triggered decision-making. Throughout the process, we will be working with behavioral paradigms and single-pulse TMS, among other tools. Our findings could help elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying maladaptive behavior in cases like substance-dependence. I find the complexity of the motor cortex and the possible clinical implications of this project fascinating, and am looking forward to seeing what we find!


Cas Teurlings
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My main interest is to study the human brain on a fundamental level. It is one of the most difficult and exciting challenges that exist in science today. The use of brain imaging techniques like fMRI, although not without its limitations, is a widely used technique to measure BOLD responses as a proxy to brain activity. As a student of cognitive neuroscience, I was looking for the right challenge to gain more skills and understanding of this technique and I found it here at the NIN. The institute is the epicentre of fundamental brain science in the Netherlands and at the Social Brain Lab I was happy to receive an opportunity to not only experience the frontiers of social neuroscience, but also to learn the skills that are vital for a neuroscientist-to-be. Under the supervision of Ritu Bhandari I will be working with ultra-high field (7T) MRI and using state of the art analyses methods to understand how the brain perceives action and processes emotions of others.


Neslihan Sahin
[email protected]

I am a Life Sciences student at Hogeschool Utrecht and doing my graduate internship on a project that aims to clarify the neural mechanisms of empathy at a multilevel scale. I am working on the neural correlates of emotional contagion in the rodents under the supervision of Enrica Paradiso. We are looking at which neurons and pathways in the Anterior cingulate cortex contribute to empathy by using a behavioral paradigm. We are also looking at whether environmental enrichment will enhance prosocial behavior. It is fascinating that we can investigate emotions at the neuron level in rodents, which will provide valuable knowledge about the neural mechanism of empathy in humans.


Milda Jaseliunaite
[email protected]

Under the supervision of Riccardo Paracampo I am assisting him in the project which aims to investigate how empathy plays a part in judging emotions of others. To put it differently, the current rTMS study will seek to detect the role of emotional thus cognitive empathy in emotional accuracy. The experimental task will include observing a person experiencing pain (i.e. receiving mild electric shocks to the hand) and rating her pain levels. I am glad and enthusiastic to be part of this hands-on lab experience!


Former Students:

2020  Blom Kraakman, Mariana Edwards, Karen Syfaki, Anastasia Dima, Marla Dressel, Eline Ramaaker, Zayel Smit

2019 Augustine Attah, Laura Stolk, Ieva Gembutaite, Bodil Hoekzema, Steven Voges, Lara Lakhsassi, Laura Fornari, Bodil Hoekzema, Martina Pesce, Andrei Radu, Arianne Leijenaar, Laura Vercellin

2018 Alexandra Gabur, Chiara Hinna Danesi, Andrea Veggerby Lind, Susan van den Boogaard, Matteo Capone, Christiaan Becker, Lillian Emming

2017 Anna Henschel, Andrea Romaguera Álvarez, Elif Ezgi Aksulu, Ernesto Berenjeno, Maite van der Miesen, Maryam Yasamin Shirazi, Ming Liu, Nikki Brands, Sammy Heutz, Vaishnavi Balaji