People

Principal Investigator

Ivana Konvalinka
ivako [at] dtu.dk
Google Scholar

I am an Assistant Professor in the Section for Cognitive Systems at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Compute) where I lead the SINe Lab. I hold a BASc in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto and an MSc in Bioengineering from Imperial College London. I obtained my PhD in neuroscience from Aarhus University under the supervision of Andreas Roepstorff and Chris Frith, investigating intra- and interpersonal mechanisms underlying social coordination. Following my PhD, I joined CogSys at DTU as a postdoc, working with Lars Kai Hansen on applying machine learning to two-brain data. From 2013-2014, I was a postdoc at the Department of Cognitive Science at the Central European University working with Natalie Sebanz and Guenther Knoblich on physiological coupling.

During my PhD years, I became interested in understanding the neural and behavioural mechanisms that enable people to engage in successful social interaction. To accomplish this, I develop experimental and computational tools for quantifying two-person processes, and employ behavioural, physiological (HRV, respiration), and neuroimaging (EEG, fMRI) methods. In particular, my interests lie in i) how people coordinate their actions and bodily signals in real time, ii) what neurophysiological mechanisms underlie joint action, particularly how simultaneous brain recordings (hyperscanning) can better elucidate the neural basis of social cognition, and iii) how interaction dynamics are modulated by social properties such as prior relationship and social standing (i.e. in social networks). My work has been funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research and Villum Fonden, and widely covered by media including National Geographic and The New York Times.


Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Marius Zimmermann
marz [at] dtu.dk
personal website

I am interested in the way we plan and coordinate actions, when acting alone (action planning), when performing actions together with other people (joint action), and when perceiving actions of others (action observation). I use behavioural and neuroimaging methods (MRI, TMS, EEG) in healthy subjects to study how neural structures and functions support action related cognition.

I studied psychology at the Radboud University Nijmegen, with a specialization in cognitive psychology and a focus on motor control. I wrote my bachelor thesis on action coordination between multiple agents in a joint action setting, under supervision of prof. Ruud Meulenbroek. After that, I enrolled in the cognitive neuroscience research master program and soon started a PhD project under the supervision of prof. Ivan Toni at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour (Nijmegen, the Netherlands). In this project, we investigated how brain regions in the ventral and dorsal visual stream contribute to the planning of goal-directed actions, using functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging, kinematic recordings, and transcranial magnetic stimulation.


Arianna Schiano
schiano.arianna [at] gmail.com

I hold a PhD in Psychological Science from the University of Padova. I also hold an MSc in Neuroscience, during which I used transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) and perceptual learning tasks in healthy and clinical populations (i.e. patients affected by optic neuropathy), in order to enhance visual acuity and movement perception by facilitating neural plasticity mechanisms.

In my current research, I employ neuroimaging techniques (EEG/ERP) and shared attention paradigms to investigate the neural underpinnings of empathy and embodied simulation processes. Specifically, I am interested in understanding how social cues conveyed by human faces, such as emotional expressions and contextual variability, might shape empathy towards others’ emotional states.

In 2018, I was a visiting PhD student in the SINe Lab, investigating the effect of social context on the perception and neural processing of emotional images using dual-EEG. I joined SINe Lab as a postdoc in April 2019.


PhD Students

Roberta Rocca
roberta.rocca [at] cc.au.dk

I am a PhD student at the Department for Linguistics, Cognitive Science and Semiotics at Aarhus University, now visiting SINe Lab at DTU Compute.

I hold a MSc in Cognitive Science from Centre for Mind and Brain (CIMeC), University of Trento, with a focus on psycholinguistics, social interaction, and computational linguistics.

My current research interests span across neural substrates of language, social cognition, naturalistic fMRI and computational methods. I joined SINe Lab in September 2018 to work on behavioural and neural correlates of social network metrics within interactive fMRI paradigms. For my PhD project (supervised by Mikkel Wallentin and co-supervised by Kristian Tylén), I am using naturalistic fMRI and interactive behavioural paradigms to investigate the neural correlates of spatial language, and how language enables multiple individuals to align on shared models of space and achieve optimal interpersonal coordination.

I am also an Early Stage Researcher for DCOMM (www.dcomm.eu), a Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN funded by the European Union within the Horizon 2020 scheme.


Master’s Students

Alexander Johannes Mainborg Andersen

Alexander is an MSc student in biomedical engineering, currently working on a project investigating effects of social network properties, personality, and brain structure on interpersonal coordination mechanisms.


Clizia De Mitri

Clizia is an Erasmus student, visiting from the University of Padova. She is investigating effects of stress and empathy on heart rate variability and physiological coupling.


Camilla Gregorini

Camilla is an Erasmus student, visiting from the University of Padova. She is investigating mechanisms underlying top-down and bottom-up modulation of interpersonal coordination.





Collaborators

Chris Frith, Wellcome Trust Center for Neuroimaging, University College London, UK
Andreas Roepstorff, Aarhus University, Denmark
Lars Kai Hansen, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Denmark
Günther Knoblich, Central European University (CEU), Hungary
Natalie Sebanz, Central European University (CEU), Hungary
Cordula Vesper, Aarhus University, Denmark
Sune Lehmann, DTU/SODAS, Denmark
Kristoffer H. Madsen, DRCMR/DTU, Denmark
Hartwig Siebner, DRCMR, Denmark
Joshua Skewes, Aarhus University, Denmark
Ole Adrian Heggli, Aarhus University, Denmark
Peter Vuust, Aarhus University, Denmark
Maria Witek, University of Birmingham, UK
Dimitris Xygalatas, University of Connecticut, USA
Markus Bauer, The University of Nottingham, UK
Tony Buchanan, Saint Louis University, USA
Joseph Bulbulia, Victoria University of Wellington, NZ
Leonie Koban, University of Colorado Boulder, USA
Giovanni Pezzulo, ISTC-CNR, Rome, Italy
Paola Sessa, University of Padova, Italy
Leonhard Schilbach, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Germany