1st Workshop

Concept definitions of the phenomena Theory of Mind, empathy, and related social behaviors in interpersonal interactions

October 11th - 12th, 2017

Friedrich Schiller University Jena


Dana Schneider & Olga Klimecki

 The workshop aims at discussing the concept definitions of the social interaction phenomena theory of mind, empathy and related social behaviors based on the research from the disciplines of philosophy, psychological science and neuroscience. A particular emphasis will be placed on the definition of the functional domains and the delineation of boundaries between phenomena.

Adobe Acrobat Dokument 775.3 KB

Shaun Gallagher (Department of Philosophy, University of Memphis, USA)
“Can embodied interaction actually constitute social cognition?”
Video can be found here

Stephanie Preston (Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA)
"Empathy: Resolving conceptual issues through a cognitive and neural approach"
Video can be found here

Matthias Schurz (Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University, UK)
“On the distinction between Theory of Mind and Empathy: An evaluation of current theories based on a meta analysis of brain imaging studies”

for access to video please contact: matthias.schurz[at]psy.ox.ac.uk

Poster Award Winners:

2nd Workshop

Target agent specificities and relationships across the social interaction phenomena Theory of Mind, empathy,and related social behaviors

February 15th-16th, 2018



Anna Welpinghus, Anika Fiebich &

Thiemo Breyer


This workshop aims at elucidating the dedicated role that agent-specificities and relationships among the agents may play in social interactions from the perspectives of philosophy, neuroscience, psychology and neighboring disciplines. In particular, we will focus on social cognition, including empathy and theory of mind, as well as related social behaviors.

Program_2nd_ Workshop_Cologne.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 368.6 KB



Pascal Molenberghs (Melbourne)
"Neuroscientific insights into prejudice and intergroup violence"

Video can be found here

Albert Newen (Bochum)
"Understanding Others: Investigating the Relevance of Individuality and Typical Social Relations within the Framework of the Person Model Theory"

Video can be found here

Ryan Murray (Geneva)

"Understanding the Other: A Working Model of Differential Neural Processing for Close and Familiar Others"


Poster Award Winners:

  • Zhimin Yan: "How race and group-membership affect face perception: A functional magnetic resonance imaging investigation"
  • Jeroen Delplanque: "Neural representations of groups and stereotypes using fMRI repetition suppression"
  • Jörn Wiengarn:  "Rationality and agent-specificity in trusting relationships"

3rd Workshop

Methodological issues relevant to testing and measuring Theory of
Mind, empathy, and related social behaviors   

September 13th & 14th, 2018



Philipp Kanske & Matthias Schurz


This workshop aims at reviewing and discussing current methodological challenges and perspectives for measuring of Theory of Mind, empathy and related social behaviours by bringing together researchers from cognitive, neuroscientific, and philosophical fields.

Adobe Acrobat Dokument 208.6 KB



Anika Fiebich (University of Milan)
"Theories of social understanding:
methodological issues in the contemporary debate"

Slides can be found here

Ian Apperly (University of Birmingham)
"The mismeasure of mindreading"

Video can be found here

Mark A. Thornton (Princeton University)

"Modeling the predictive social mind: using multivariate neuroimaging to understand how social knowledge is organized and used for prediction"

 Video can be found here


Poster Award Winners:

  1. Irene Sophia Plank (Einstein Center for Neurosciences,Charité – Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany)
    "Passing on social competences: developing tasks to measure social cognition in parents"
  2. Serena Marchesi (Social Cognition in Human-Robot Interaction, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genoa, Italy)
    "Do we explain robot’s behaviour with reference to mental states?"
  3. Irene Trilla (Department of Psychology, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany)
    "Biased by my own emotions? A new measure of emotional egocentricity"

4th Workshop

Technical issues related to real-time social interaction phenomena: Focus on study design and data analysis

March 28th & 29th, 2019



Tobias Schuwerk & Daniela Mier


At the workshop we review and discuss novel design and analysis approaches to study Theory of Mind, empathy, and related social behaviors in actual social interaction. The discussion will range from design and procedural set ups, over employed study equipment to stimulus presentation. Recent philosophical considerations on what it is that we actually intend to measure complement the program.

Adobe Acrobat Dokument 3.6 MB



Simone Shamay-Tsoory (University of Haifa, Israel)
"A two-brain approach for understanding how empathy contributes to distress regulation"

Video can be found here soon

Sebo Uithol (Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands)
"Social Cognition: What is there to understand?"

Video can be found here soon

Leonhard Schilbach (Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, München, Germany)

"From gaze-contingent faces to full body tracking: Quantifying dyadic interaction to understand social impairments in psychiatric disorders"


Stephan de la Rosa (Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany)

"From the lab to real life: Using virtual reality to examine social cognitive processes in realistic conditions"

Video can be found here soon


Poster Award Winners:


1. Sebastian Baez (Department of Neurosciences and Clinical Neurology, University of Geneva, Switzerland)

"Witnessing others' suffering is related to changes in subsequent brain activity and connectivity in old age"

2. Haemy Lee Masson (Department of Brain and Cognition, KU Leuven, Belgium)

"Social touch observation in adults with autism: an MVPA study"

3. Halima Rafi (Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, Switzerland)
"Neural and behavioral correlates of conflict in romantic relationships"

3. Katja Bertsch (Department of General Psychiatry, Heidelberg University, Germany)
"The challenge of measuring behavioral and neural correlates of reactive aggression in healthy volunteers and psychiatric patients"