Students of the Social Brain Lab

Bodil Hoekzema

Under the supervision of Riccardo Paracampo, I am working on a project that tries to unravel the learning process of decision making in social conflict situations. We try to answer questions like; how do we determine the advantages and disadvantages of choices? Will we make the same choice next time? And; which brain regions are important for these processes? In order to answer these questions we use behavioural models, neuro-imaging and neuro-stimulation. It is fascinating to dive into a topic that is at the fundament of all social interaction; empathy.​



Lara Lakhsassi

Clinical psychology Master’s student at the University of Groningen, with an interest in social neuroscience. Working under the supervision of Emilie Caspar and Kalliopi Ioumpa on an fMRI and EEG study investigating the sense of agency, responsibility, and empathy in participants that will give an order to a human or robot agent to either administer, or not administer, an electric shock to a ‘victim’ participant.



Ieva Gembutaite

Under the supervision of Alessandra Nostro, I will be working on a project about the neural correlates of learning in prosocial decision making. Our study aims to understand how the costs and benefits associated with a particular choice can influence the learning of consequences of our actions, as well as how what we have learned influences future decision making. ​



Martina Pesce

I am a UvA student from the Biomedical science master who is doing her first internship under the supervision of Camilo Andres Rojas Cifuentes.
My aim is to understand the mechanism of action of low intensity focused ultrasounds in the brain at a cellular level thanks to a microscopy technique called two photon calcium imaging. The reason for that is to increase the knowledge about that not invasive technique to stimulate the brain that one day will maybe substitute electrodes to cure disease like Parkinson and TMS for functional experiments in deeper areas of the brain.



Laura Stolk

Under the supervision of Rune Bruls I will be investigating the ability of rats to act pro-socially. I will be training the rats in a paradigm designed by Rune, and conducting experiments. We hypothesize that pro-social behaviour is triggered in rats by the sight of a littermate in distress, which he will act on by liberating him. Futhermore, I will be working in the lab to set-up iDISCO, a 3D imaging technique to image solvent cleared organs without sectioning them.



Augustine Attah



Steven Voges

Under the supervision of Rajeev Rajendran I will be working on recording responses in the cingulate cortex during an empathy for pain paradigm using two-photon calcium imaging. We hope to better understand the relationship between neurons involved in the experience and observation of pain.






Former Students:

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