Two talented postdoctoral scientists have been awarded Individual Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships (totalling 400k€) to work in the social brain lab with Valeria Gazzola and Christian Keysers at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN).
Julen Hernandez-Lallement, already a postdoc at the NIN, obtained the grant to study the neural basis of prosocial behavior in rats. The project will involve developing a behavioral assay for prosocial behavior in rats, and measuring and altering brain activity in the cingulate cortex to gain mechanistic insights into why we help other people.
Emilie Caspar, obtained the grant to join the lab and study the neural relationship between agency, empathy and moral behavior. Using fMRI and psychophysiology in humans, she will for instance contrast people’s willingness to administer pain to others when (i) doing so voluntarily for monetary reward and (ii) doing so because ordered to do so.
The Marie Sklodowska Curie individual fellowships are highly competitive grants with a success rate around 10-15%, awarded by the European Commission to enable the most promising young talent across Europe to spend time in top labs to perform cutting edge science and increase their skills by acquiring new technical expertise. Obtaining these grants is a testimony to the excellence of the candidate. It is also a token of the recognized ability of the NIN to be amongst Europe’s finest place to develop ones career in a cutting edge international environment.