Translational Social Neuroscience

Bitte klicken Sie hier für die deutsche Version.

We study how social interactions shape human motivation, learning and behavior, and how they can be used as a tool for the diagnosis and therapy of psychological disorders, e.g., from the anxiety disorder spectrum. Our approach integrates neuroscience, social and experimental psychology, and behavioral economics. We use a range of methods including brain imaging, computational modeling, ecological momentary assessments (EMA) and behavioral experiments.

Third-party funding (selection of current projects)

German Research Foundation


Sino-German Center for Science Promotion

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



Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Grit Hein, Dipl.-Psych.
E-Mail: Hein_G@
Telefon: +49 931 201 77411

Academic staff


Current research topics

Social Motives (e.g. empathy, reciprocity, egoism etc.):

  • Neuronal processing
  • Interactions between different motives
  • Interactions between social motives and cognitive processes (e.g., learning and decision processes

Impact of social interactions on clinically relevant processes (e.g., anxiety, pain)

  • Identifying social factors and specifying types of social interactions that reduce anxiety and pain
  • Effect of social interactions in every-day life on mental and physical health


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

W2 professor in translational social neuroscience

+49 931 201-77411