Translational Social Neuroscience

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The Heisenberg professorship of  Translational Social Neuroscience Unit is now a tenured full professorship. In addition to research, it contributes to teaching in the Faculty of Medicine (Medical Psychology and Translational Neuroscience).

Research areas

We study the psychological and neurobiological processes underlying social interactions and decisions. In current studies, we investigate drivers of human social behavior such as empathy, social norms, group membership, and egoism, as well as the social modulation of anxiety and pain processing.

We use neuroscientific methods (functional magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalography) and psychophysiological measures (heart rate, skin conductance), combined with experimental paradigms from cognitive and social psychology and simulations of social interactions in virtual reality. Using smartphone-based surveys (Ecological Momentary Assessments, EMA) and mobile physiological sensors, we study social interactions in everyday life.

For data analysis, we use hierarchical regression models, multivariate classification approaches, and mathematical modeling approaches (learning models, drift-diffusion modeling, network modeling).


Principal Investigator

Prof. Grit Hein, PhD
E-Mail: Hein_G@
Telefon: +49 931 201 77411

Research associates

Doctoral students

Grant-Funding (selection of current projects)

German Research Foundation


Sino-German Center for Science Promotion

  • Mobility Grant: Cultural neuroscience research on social motivation and behavior


Publications of the working group can be found here or on pubmed.
Click here for media coverage of our work.
Please also visit us on Mastodon or Twitter.


Portraitfoto von Prof. Dr. Grit Hein

Prof. Dr. rer. nat.
Grit Hein

Professor of Translational Social Neuroscience

+49 931 201-77411