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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Lebenswissen­schaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Psychologie

Dr. Laura Kaltwasser

Dr. Laura Kaltwasser
wiss. Mitarb.
laura.kaltwasser (at) hu-berlin.de


Seit 2019

Principal Investigator im DFG SPP The Active Self


Seit 2018

Principal Investigator im DFG GRK Extrospection


Seit 2016

Postdoc an der Berlin School of Mind and Brain mit Einstein Visiting Fellow Prof. Vittorio Gallese



Promotion Biologische Psychologie, Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Promotionsprojekt: „Influence of interpersonal abilities on social decisions and their physiological correlates”

Summa cum laude

Förderung durch die Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes



Diplom in Psychologie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Diplomarbeit: „The interplay of emotion and motivation in word recognition“



Forschungsaufenthalt und Studium an der University of California, Berkeley und Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute (Prof. Bob Knight)

Förderung durch den Deutschen Akademischen Austauschdienst (DAAD)



Studentische Hilfskraft am Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung, Berlin

Projekt: „Neuromodulation of lifespan cognition“



  • Sozio-kulturelle Identität und die Rolle des Selbst in der sozialen Interaktion (Intersubjektivität)
  • Funktion von Emotionen in der sozialen Interaktion
  • Wahrnehmung und Verarbeitung von Gesichtern und emotionalen Gesichtsausdrücken
  • Empathie
  • Einfluss von Belohnung auf Entscheidungen
  • Sozio-ökonomische Entscheidungen und soziale Präferenzen
  • Inter-individuelle Unterschiede und Persönlichkeit
  • EEG und fMRI
  • Peripherphysiologische Messmethoden


Betreute Abschlussarbeiten

Dustin Clark, Doktor: Extrospective Assessment of Emotion in Self and Other

Tim Möller, Doktor: Functional aspects of the minimal self – the case of Schizophrenia

Conor Byrnes, Master: Evidence for the reduction of emotion related EEG components after a brief mindfulness meditation

Jana Glogowski, Master: Watch out! Musical emotions’ communicative functions in film: The role of the visual cortex

Richard Magee, Master: Conceptual Investigation of Disturbances in Minimal and Narrative Selfhood

Maik Mylius, Master: Meditation and its Effects on Body Awareness

Jose Ramirez, Master: Visceral Signals: The Heartbeat Evoked Potential

Nicolas Rost, Master: Preliminary results indicate no impairments in a continuous visuomotor integration task in schizophrenia patients compared to healthy controls

Joana Seabra, Master: The Drawing Process: How Expertise Affects ERPs and Frequency Bands in Facial Portraits

Lorena Sganzerla, Master: A meta-analysis on reputation learning in the Trust Game

Carolin Stimmel, Master: Sense of Agency in Schizophrenia

Saskia Wilken, Master: Does Schizotypy Boost Creativity if Protective Factors Come into Play? An Investigation Using Multi-Scale Entropy of EEG Signals



Articles published (chronological)

Kaltwasser, L., Ries, S., Sommer, W., Knight, R. T., & Willems, R. M. (2013). Independence of valence and reward in emotional word processing: electrophysiological evidence. Frontiers in psychology, 4, 168. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00168                                                         

Kaltwasser, L., Hildebrandt, A., Recio, G., Wilhelm, O., & Sommer, W. (2014). Neurocognitive mechanisms of individual differences in face cognition: A replication and extension. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 14(2), 861-878.  https://doi.org/10.3758/s13415-013-0234-y

Kaltwasser, L., Hildebrandt, A., Wilhelm, O., & Sommer, W. (2016). Behavioral and neuronal determinants of negative reciprocity in the ultimatum game. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 11(10), 1608-1617. https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsw069

Kaltwasser, L., Hildebrandt, A., Wilhelm, O., & Sommer, W. (2017). On the relationship of emotional abilities and prosocial behavior. Evolution and Human Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2016.10.011

Kaltwasser, L. (2016). Influence of interpersonal abilities on social decisions and their physiological correlates. Dissertation, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. https://doi.org/10.18452/17435

Kaltwasser, L., Moore, K., Weinreich, A., & Sommer, W. (2017). The influence of emotion type, social value orientation and processing focus on approach-avoidance tendencies to negative dynamic facial expressions. Motivation and Emotion, 41(4), 532-544. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-017-9624-8

Wilhelm, O., Kaltwasser, L., & Hildebrandt, A. (2017). Will the Real Factors of Prosociality Please Stand Up? A Comment on Böckler, Tusche, and Singer (2016). Social Psychological and Personality Science, 0(0), 1948550617707021. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550617707021

Kaltwasser, L., Mikac, U., Buško, V., & Hildebrandt, A. (2017). No robust association between static markers of testosterone and facets of socio-economic decision making. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, 11, 250. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2017.00250

Kaltwasser, L., Rost, N., Ardizzi, M., Calbi, M., Settembrino, L., Fingerhut, J., Pauen, M., & Gallese, V. (2019). Sharing the filmic experience - The physiology of socio-emotional processes in the cinema. PloS one, 14(10), e0223259. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0223259

Weiss, S., Grewe, C. M., Olderbak, S., Goecke, B., Kaltwasser, L., & Hildebrandt, A. (2020). Symmetric or not? A holistic approach to the measurement of fluctuating asymmetry from facial photographs. Personality and Individual Differences, 166, 110137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2020.110137

Pavlov, Y. G., Adamian, N., Appelhoff, S., Arvaneh, M., Benwell, C., Kaltwasser, L., … Mushtaq, F. (2021). #EEGManyLabs: Investigating the Replicability of Influential EEG Experiments. Cortex. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2021.03.013

Articles in preparation (alphabetical)

Byrnes, C., Mylius, M., Kaltwasser, L. & Gallese, V. (in preparation). Mind your emotion – auditory evoked event-related responses in mindfulness practitioners.

Duncan, C., Kaltwasser, L., & Dziobek, I. (in preparation). A pre-registered meta-analysis on reputation learning in the Trust Game.

Guendelmann, S., Kaltwasser, L., Gallese, V., & Dziobek, I. (in preparation). Rest and Task Heartrate Variability in regulating self and others emotions: behavioral and brain correlates.

Kaltwasser, L. & Hamker, F. (in preparation). Neurobiological models of human agency.

Kaltwasser, L., Köster, M., Serin, E., & Gallese V. (in preparation). The self in face identity processing with fast periodic visual stimulation.

Kaltwasser, L., Palazova, M., Stürmer, B., & Gallese V. (in preparation). Emotional self-referential processing in event-related potentials.

Magee, R., Kaltwasser, L., & Sterzer, P. (in preparation). Disturbed Predictions in Minimal and Narrative Selfhood.

Mylius, M., Byrnes, C., Kaltwasser, L., & Gallese, V. (in preparation). Mind your body – neural correlates of mindfulness in a somatosensory signal detection task.

Möller, T., Georgie, Y. K., Schillaci, G., Voss, M., Hafner, V., & Kaltwasser, L. (in review). Computational models of the "active self" and its disturbances in schizophrenia.

Seabra, J., Kaltwasser, L., & Gallese, V., (in preparation). Artistic Expertise Shapes Face Perception: an Alpha Band and N170 study on portraiture.

Conference contributions (selected)

Kaltwasser, L. (2020, 21 April) Collective consciousness. Virtual Meet-up of Curious Minds, Berlin.

Kaltwasser, L. (2020, 19 February) Ethics Committees. Winter School ‘Ethics and Neuroscience’. Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, Berlin.

Kaltwasser, L. (2019, 11 December). Zwischen Genie und Wahnsinn. Wer nicht denken will fliegt raus. Lecture at the University of the Arts, Berlin.

Kaltwasser, L. (2019, 2 December). We feel therefore we are? About emotions and cooperation. Lecture Neurodesign at Hasso-Plattner Institut, Potsdam.

Kaltwasser, L. (2019, 15 November). What Does an Ethics Committee Do? Symposium Doing Good – Scientific Practice under Review, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Science, Leipzig.

Kaltwasser, L. (2019, 5 November). Biological and behavioral determinants of individual differences in cooperation. Colloquium of the Institute of Psychology at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.

Kaltwasser, L. (2019, 19 June). Council of Experts on ambulatory physiological assessment of emotion during theatre performance. The Shape of Things to Come. Replica & Weizenbaum Institute, Berlin

Kaltwasser, L. (2019, 1 February). I feel therefore I am. Talk at the transdisciplinary panel Brains without Organs at Transmediale 2019, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.

Kaltwasser, L., Geller, S., Sommer, W., Wilhelm, O., & Hildebrandt, A. (2018, 17-21 July). Organization of symposium Novel methods in the assessment of cooperation behavior and talk On the relationship of endogenous peripheral oxytocin and prosociality in couples and parents at European Congress on Personality Psychology (ECP) in Zadar, Croatia.

Kaltwasser, L., Köster, M., Palazova, M., Stürmer, B., & Gallese, V. (2018, 1-5 July). The self in face identity processing with fast periodic visual stimulation. Poster at CuttingEEG Conference in Paris, Hôpital de la Salpêtrière, France.

Kaltwasser, L., Ardizzi, M., Calbi, M., Settembrino, L., Fingerhut, M., Pauen, M., & Gallese, V. (2018, 14-15 June). Sharing the filmic experience – the physiology of socio-emotional processes in the cinema. Talk at symposium Social Experiences of Film at New Europe College in Bucharest, Romania.

Kaltwasser, L., Kurnoth, E., Ouyang, G., Dimigen, O., & Hildebrandt, A. (2017, 23-25 March). Emotion recognition in children with autism disorder and typically developing children. Talk at International Congress of Psychological Science (ICPS), Vienna.

Kaltwasser, L. (2016, 4-5 November). See my fear and be prosocial. Talk at the State of Emotion Festival in Kühlhaus, Berlin.

Kaltwasser, L., Hildebrandt, A., Sommer, W., & Wilhelm, O. (2016, 18-22 September). Individual differences in negative reciprocity and neuronal correlates in the ultimatum game. Talk at the 50th Congress of “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie” (DGPs), Leipzig.

Kaltwasser, L., Hildebrandt, A., Sommer, W., & Wilhelm, O. (2015, 27-31 July). Individual differences in negative reciprocity and neuronal correlates in the ultimatum game. Talk at the Conference of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID) in London, Ontario.

Kaltwasser, L. (2015, 11-15 March). Shared Cognition in the Bayesian Brain. Talk at a neurophilosophical workshop on Predictive Coding/Free Energy Account, Venice International University, San Servolo.

Kaltwasser, L. (2014, 25-27 May). Sentimentalism and free-will. Talk at the work-shop Free-Will: Philosophy Meets Neuroscience at Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv.

Kaltwasser, L., Hildebrandt, A., Sommer, W., & Wilhelm, O. (2014, 1-3 April). Individual differences in prosociality and emotion recognition abilities. Talk at the workshop on Biological underpinnings of cognitive abilities in health and diseases at Beijing Computational Science Research Center.

Kaltwasser, L., Hildebrandt, A., Sommer, W., & Wilhelm, O. (2014, 26-28 March). On the Relationship of Emotional Abilities and Prosocial Behavior. Talk and organization of the symposium Psychophysiology and Pathology of Emotion Perception and Production at the Consortium of European Research on Emotion Conference 2014 in Berlin.

Kaltwasser, L., Hildebrandt, A., & Sommer, W. (2013, 23-25 September). Emotionsperzeption und prosoziales Verhalten. Talk at the „Arbeitstagung der Fachgruppe Differentielle Psychologie, Persönlichkeitspsychologie und Psychologische Diagnostik“ (DPPD) in Greifswald, Germany.

Kaltwasser, L., Hildebrandt, A., Sommer, W., & Wilhelm, O. (2013, 3-5 August). On the Relationship of Emotional Abilities and Prosocial Behavior. Talk at the Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Research on Emotion (ISRE) in Berkeley, CA.

Kaltwasser, L., Hildebrandt, A., Recio, G., Wilhelm, O. & Sommer, W. (2012, October 2-5). Brain-Behavior Relationships of Face Cognition. Talk at the workshop Biological Basis of Individual Differences in Human Social Communicative Abilities. Quantitative Experiments, Computational Methods and Modeling (Prof. Dr. Changsong Zhou and Prof. Dr. Werner Sommer), Centre for Nonlinear Studies at the Institute of Computational and Theoretical Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University.