Why join the Doctoral College?
We are a cohesive group and because the DK IM comes with plenty of resources there is no need to compete for anything. Instead, we prefer to organise things like an international food fair or enjoy what Salzburg has to offer outside academia. The mutual support this creates, helps you to also get through the tougher times, which all of us sometimes go through.
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with our student speaker Frank (frankjasper.vanschalkwijk[at]sbg.ac.at).
Current PhD Students
|Elie El Rassi obtained his BA in Psychology at the American University of Beirut in 2013, and MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Trento in 2015. Supervised by Nathan Weisz and former faculty member Wolfgang Klimesch, his research interest is the functional role of brain oscillations and MEG/EEG methods.
|Sara Fernandez joined the DK on November 2015. Graduated in Psychology (University of La Laguna, 2013) with a MSc in Neuroscience (University of Barcelona, 2014), she has been involved in reseach for the past years, primarily using neuroimaging and non-invasive brain stimulation techniques to investigate cognitive and brain aging. Her main focus of research in the DK is brain connectivity using rs-fMRI and Theory of Mind.
|Michael Hahn studied psychology at the University of Salzburg and completed his master degree with the specialization in “cognition and brain” in 2016. He joined the DK on March 2017 under the supervision of Professor Kerstin Hödlmoser. For his PhD, his main research interests are sleep specific cortical oscillations and how they relate to learning. His current project incorporates a longitudinal study investigating developmental changes of sleep spindles and slow waves using EEG-methods.
|Esmeralda Hidalgo-López completed her Psychology Degree (2013) and Master Degree in Neuroscience (2015) at Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Spain). Her Master Thesis focused on exogenous attention to real emotional distractors, measured with Event Related Potentials. In the Doctoral Program “Imaging the Mind” she is supervised by DDr. Belinda Pletzer, her research interest is the impact of sex hormones on brain connectivity during higher cognitive functions.
|Nicole Himmelstoß studied Psychology at the University of Salzburg and received her master´s degree in 2014. Throughout her studies her main interest was the functional significance of alpha oscillation and P1 in early stages of top-down controlled encoding and recognition. For her master thesis she investigated semantic network processing as a function of top-down driven memory access by means of evoked traveling alpha wave, manifested in topographic movement of the P1.
In the doctoral programme “Imaging the Mind” Nicole is supervised by Prof. Florian Hutzler, Dr. Stefan Hawelka and Dr. Rosalyn Moran. Her research focuses on early visual and cognitive processing with a special emphasis on oscillatory dynamics in natural reading by co‑registration of EEG and Eye-Tracking.
|Adelheid Lang completed her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Psychology at the University of Salzburg. Focus of her master thesis was the investigation of newborns’ autonomic nervous system reactions to prenatally exposed auditory stimulation. For her PhD, which she started under the supervision of Professor Manuel Schabus in March 2017, her research interests include prenatal and postnatal influences on perinatal memory and on infants’ cognitive development.
|Anja Lender. Born and raised in Hamburg (Germany), I moved to Austria to graduate in Psychology at the University of Vienna. Even back then I had a passion for philosophical questions concerning the relationship between the mind and brain. During my studies I gained insight into several psychophysiological methods, of which electroencephalography (EEG) fascinated me the most.
For my PhD at the Eating Behavior Laboratory I focus on temporal patterns in neural activity of people who differ according to their eating behavior. Under the supervision of Prof. Jens Blechert, I look forward to identifying EEG-patterns, that can be linked to mental processes involved in craving and dieting (e.g. response inhibition and cognitive control), which may help to better differentiate between clinical and non-clinical groups.
|Eefje Poppelaars graduated in 2015 (with the highest distinction) from a research master in psychology at the University of Leiden (the Netherlands), specializing in Cognitive Neuroscience. Here she mainly researched the neural correlates of social-evaluative feedback processing and the interplay with social anxiety; using EEG, ECG and fMRI methodology. In January 2016 she started working as a PhD student in the DK Imaging the Mind at the University of Salzburg, supervised by Prof. Eva Jonas and Dr. Johannes Klackl. Her current research interests focus on the experience of social-evaluative threat, and its neural, hormonal, affective, social-cognitive, motivational and clinical aspects.
|Julina Rattel. After completing an English-taught bachelor program in psychology at Groningen University, I obtained my master’s degree at the University of Salzburg in 2016 with a specialization in health and clinical psychology. My main research fields are anxiety disorders as well as post-traumatic stress disorder development and maintenance. For my master thesis, I have studied avoidance behavior and its associated costs in a fear-conditioning paradigm. For my dissertation (supervised by Prof. Frank Wilhelm), I would like to extend this line of research and, furthermore, investigate reconsolidation update mechanisms. Our research tools include fear conditioning procedures, the trauma film paradigm, as well as tDCS, employing peripheral physiological, experiential and behavioral measures in addition to neuroimaging methods.
|My name is Stefan Reiß, originally I am from Augsburg in Bavaria (Germany). In 2013, I received my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Salzburg and in 2015 my Master’s degree in Psychology with the diploma supplement “cognition and brain”.
In October 2015, I have started working in Professor Jonas’ lab as a doctoral student and my primary research interest is the neural bases of defensive reactions to threats and how physiological responses to threats interact with personality traits to determine behavior and motivation. For that, I want to employ techniques like EEG, fMRI and neuromodulatory methods like tDCS or TMS in order to find out where and how neural activity influences our experience and processing of threats.
|Andrea Scheuringer, who joined the DK in March 2016, studied psychology at the University of Salzburg and received her Master’s degree in September 2015. Her master thesis focused on sex and menstrual cycle dependent changes in cognitive strategies and global and local processing. During her PhD, which started in October 2015 under supervision of DDr. Belinda Pletzer, she will mainly focus on sex differences and the influence of sex hormones on interhemispheric transfer time and interhemispheric communication during global and local processing and holistic versus detail-oriented strategies during cognitive processes. For that she will especially use MEG technology and hormones assessments from saliva to determine sex hormones.
|Alexandra Taylor completed her Psychology studies at the University of Hull, UK, with a focus on Neuropsychology. Alexandra is working between the Christian-Doppler-Klinik and the University of Salzburg, under the supervision of Prof. Eugen Trinka, Prof. Florian Hutzler and Dr. Yvonne Höller. Research topics of interest include memory and language in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. Methods include EEG and MRI.
|Matthias G.Tholen studied mathematics, psychology and philosophy at the RWTH Aachen University and Paris-Lodron University of Salzburg. During his master’s studies in clinical psychology Matthias worked within the Theory of Mind Group at the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience in Salzburg and the Department for Social Neuroscience at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig. His research focused on the neural basis for self- versus other perspective judgements in visual perspective taking and the neural correlates for empathy and theory of mind. In 2015 he graduated with a master’s thesis exploring the use of the label temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) and its reference to macroanatomy and cytoarchitecture.
In the doctoral programme “Imaging the Mind“ Matthias is continuing his research on theory of mind under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Josef Perner where he is investigating a cognitive theory of how human beings represent other people’s mental states.
|Aljoscha Christoph Thomschewski. Born in 1989 i grew up in Melsungen (Germany) and finished high school in 2009. Oneyear later I moved to Salzburg (Austria) where I began to study psychology at the Paris-Lodron University. In 2013 I graduated as a bachelor of science with my thesis focusing onmotor imagery in disorders of consciousness. In 2013 I enrolled in the masters program in psychology of the University of Salzburg. I am graduating in 2015 with my thesis focusing on neuroplastic changes following spinal cord injury.
Since 2011 I have been employed as a research associate at the Department of Neurologyof the Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg. My research topics contained epilepsy and memory decline as well as spinal cord injury and disorders of consciousness. These topics also represent my main areas of interest. During my PhD I am focussing on high frequency oscillations in electroencephalography in connection with either epilepsy or spinal cord injury.
|Lavinia Uscātescu has a background in Psychology and Neuroimaging, and has had clinical experience with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Anxiety Disorders. She has also spent some time investigating topics related to visual perception, with a particular interest in the processing of depth orientation. With respect to the research methods she has so far used in her projects, Lavinia has had experience with fMRI, EEG, TMS, and psychophysics.
For her ongoing PhD project, Lavinia mainly focuses on aspects related to dysconnectivity in schizophrenia/schizotypy and ASD/autistic traits, primarily using fMRI methodology.
|Frank van Schalkwijk studied Psychobiology at the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands) and received a master degree in Biomedical Sciences in 2013. His master thesis reviewed the validity of sleep deprivation studies as a model for primary insomnia. From May 2013 to April 2015, he was employed as a research assistant at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience: dept. Emotion and Cognition (head: dr. Y.D. van der Werf), working on projects focused on sleep and memory consolidation. In addition, from December 2013 to December 2014, he was employed as a junior researcher at the Free University of Amsterdam: dept. of Psychology and Education (head: Prof. Schuengel), and investigated the effects of social support on adolescents’ sleep. In October 2015 he joined the DK Imaging the Mind under supervision of Ass.-Prof. M. Schabus and Prof. E. Trinka. His current research interests focus on studying the effects of epilepsy on memory consolidation processes during sleep.
|Tomasz Wielek received his Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Cognitive Science at the University of Silesia and Nicolaus Copernicus University respectively (Poland), and his MSc in Biology at the Paris-Lodron University of Salzburg. His master thesis focused on automatic sleep classification in healthy and patients suffering from disorders of consciousness. He joined the DK on November 2015 and is supervised by Univ.-Prof. M. Schabus. His main research interest is residual cognitive processing and sleep in altered states of awareness.
|Malgorzata Wislowska graduated from University of Nottingham with a master’s degree in Brain Imaging. Under the supervision of Dr. Markus Bauer, in her final project she investigated oscillatory correlates of visual perception shaped by top-down and bottom-up information (Bayesian perception and predictive coding hypotheses). Before the master studies she was working in the Lab for Sleep and Consciousness Research under the supervision of Prof. Manuel Schabus. She was involved then in projects investigating overnight memory consolidation as well as studies exploring sleep and cognition in comatose patients. During the doctoral studies she is going to research oscillatory correlates of consciousness.
Dr. Dimitrij Agroskin
Dr. Christine Blume
Dr. Christina Brötzner
Dr. Renata del Giudice
Dr. Dominik Freunberger
Dr. Dominik Heib
Dr. Eugenia Kulakova
Dr. Julia Lechinger
Dr. Philipp Ludersdorfer
Dr. Christina Mühlberger (Steindl)
Dr. Melanie Lenger (Tschernegg)
Dr. Melanie Wegerer
Dr. Gabriela G. Werner
Dr. Nicole Wiggert
Dr. Andrea Zauner