Faculty and Staff — Psychology

Luca Ticini

Dr. Luca Ticini MBA

Professor, Head of Psychology Department

Undergraduate Courses

  • PSYC 2000 /50 Issues in Contemporary Psychology: Neuroesthetics
  • BUSN 2750 /51 Introduction to Statistics
  • ANSO 2720 /51 Introduction to Measurement and Statistics
  • PSYC 2750 /51 Introduction to Measurement and Statistics
  • PSYC 3850 /50 Sensation and Perception
  • PSYC 3000 /0 Topics in Psychology

Ticini received a Laura magistrale (MSc) in biological sciences from the University of Trieste (Italy), a Dr.rer.nat. (Ph.D.) from the International Max Planck Research School, University of Tübingen (Germany), and an executive MBA from the MIB School of Management in Trieste (Italy).

He was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Hertie Institute for Clinical and Brain Research, and a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig. Subsequently, he was a research associate at the École normale supérieure and Hospital Pitié-Salpêtrière in Paris and at the University College of London, with Prof. Semir Zeki. He then moved to The University of Manchester for his initial appointment as Assistant Professor. Ticini was appointed Full Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Webster Vienna in September 2021.

Personal website.

Research interests

Ticini's research addresses scientific questions using a widely multidisciplinary approach, for instance by merging art and human brain sciences he contributed to develop the field of Neuroaesthetics and co-organized several international initiatives in this research field.

His background includes cognitive neuroscience, neuropsychology, neurophysiology and palaeontology. Earlier in his career, he investigated neuropsychological deficits in brain damaged patients (e.g., hemispatial neglect, “pusher syndrome”). Currently, he studies action learning, social interaction and the concept of the self at a sensorimotor level. He also has a keen interest in the synergistic cooperation between sensorimotor structures and reward centres. Specifically, its role in shaping behavior (why we do what we do), in supporting social interaction (representing others’ actions) and in guiding desire (why we like an object more than another; subjective preference of art, Neuroaesthetics).


Peer-reviewed journal articles

  • Finisguerra A*, Ticini LF*, Kirsch L, Cross ES, Kotz SA, Urgesi C (2021) Dissociating embodied aesthetics and emotional reactivity in motor responses to artworks. *Shared first-authorship. Cognition 212:104663
  • Ticini LF, Dolk T, Waszak F, Schuetz-Bosbach S (2018) IPL-M1 interaction shapes pre-reflective social differentiation in the human action system: new insights from TBS and TMS combined. Scientific Reports 8:12001
  • Ticini LF, Schuetz-Bosbach S, Waszak F (2018) From goals to muscles: motor familiarity shapes the representation of action-related sounds in the human motor system. Cognitive Neuroscience 16:1-10.
  • Ticini LF, Urgesi C, Kotz SA (2017) Modulating mimetic preference with non-invasive brain stimulation. Frontiers in Psychology 8:2101.
  • Ticini LF, Schuetz-Bosbach S, Waszak F (2017) Mirror and (absence of) counter-mirror responses to action sounds measured with transcranial magnetic stimulation. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 12 (11):1748-57.
  • Ticini LF (2017) The role of the orbitofrontal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices in aesthetic preference for art. Behavioral Sciences 7(2):31. Special Issue "Neuroscience of Art”.
  • Mattiassi A, Mele S, Ticini LF, Urgesi C (2014) Conscious and unconscious representations of observed actions in the human motor system. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 26(9):2028-41.
  • Ticini LF, Rachman L, Pelletier J, Dubal S (2014) Enhancing aesthetic appreciation by priming canvases with actions that match the artist’s painting style. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8:391. This work was among the top most viewed Neuroscience research articles in Frontiers in June 2014, it was featured on the Frontiers Homepage, in BBC and in the Italian newspaper L’Espresso.
  • Novembre G, Ticini LF, Schuetz-Bosbach S, Keller PE (2014) Motor simulation and the coordination of self and other in real-time joint action. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 9(8):1062-8.
  • Ticini LF and Omigie D (2013) Why do we like what we like? When information flow matters. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 7:731.
    Ticini LF (2013) Does the motor cortex differentiate between linguistic symbols and scribbles? Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 7:715.
  • Mengotti P, Ticini LF, Schuetz-Bosbach S, Waszak F, Rumiati R (2013) Imitating others’ actions: transcranial magnetic stimulation of the parietal opercula reveals the processes underlying automatic imitation. European Journal of Neuroscience 37 (2): 316-22.
  • Grossmann T, Cross ES, Ticini LF, Daum MM (2013) Action observation in the infant brain: the role of body form and motion. Social Neuroscience 8 (1): 22-30.
  • Ticini LF (2013) On the debated role of temporo-parietal dysfunction in patients with basal ganglia neglect. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 7:168.
  • Novembre G, Ticini LF, Schuetz-Bosbach S, Keller PE (2012) Distinguishing self and other in joint action. Evidence from a musical paradigm. Cerebral Cortex 22(12): 2894-903. This article was featured in Corriere della Sera.
  • Ticini LF, Schuetz-Bosbach S, Weiss C, Casile A, Waszak F (2012) When sounds become actions: higher-order representation of newly learnt action sounds in the human motor system. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 24 (2): 464-74.
  • Vicario CM and Ticini LF (2012) Measuring your dependence: deranged corticobulbar excitability may uncover addiction disorders. Frontiers in Psychiatry 3:107.
  • Cross ES and Ticini LF (2012) Neuroaesthetics and beyond: new horizons in applying the science of the brain to the art of dance. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (1): 5-16. This article was featured in Corriere della Sera.
  • Ticini LF*, Papageorgiou E*, Schiefer U (2012) Peripheral homonymous hemianopia: correlation between lesion location and visual field defects by means of cytoarchitectonic probabilistic maps. Journal of Neuro-ophthalmology 32 (1): 5-12. *Shared first-authorship.
  • Cross ES, Kirsch L, Ticini LF, Schuetz-Bosbach S (2011) The impact of aesthetic evaluation and physical ability on dance perception. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 5:102. This article was featured in Corriere della Sera
    Caria A, Weber C, Brötz D, Ramos A, Ticini LF, Gharabaghi A, Braun C,
  • Birbaumer N (2011) Chronic stroke recovery after combined BCI training and physiotherapy. A case report. Psychophysiology 48 (4): 578-82.
  • Ticini LF, de Haan B, Klose U, Naegele T, Karnath HO (2010) The role of the temporo-parietal cortex in subcortical visual extinction. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 22 (9):2141-50.
  • Ticini LF, Klose U, Naegele T, Karnath HO (2009) Perfusion imaging in pusher syndrome to investigate the neural substrates involved in controlling upright body position. PLoS One 4 (5):e5737.
  • Karnath HO, Rorden C, Ticini LF (2009) Damage to white matter fiber tracts in acute spatial neglect. Cerebral Cortex 19 (10):2331-7.
  • Papageorgiou E, Ticini LF, Hardiess G, Schaeffel F, Wiethoelter H, Mallot H, Bahlo S, Wilhelm B, Vonthein R, Schiefer U, Karnath HO (2008) The pupillary light reflex pathway. Cytoarchitectonic probabilistic maps in hemianopic patients. Neurology 70 (12): 956-63.
  • Staudt M, Ticini LF, Grodd W, Krägeloh-Mann I, Karnath HO (2008) Functional topography of early periventricular brain lesions in relation to cytoarchitectonic probabilistic maps. Brain and Language 106 (3):177-83.

Book chapters

  • Ticini LF (2019). Sine Tempore In: Giampaolo Talani. Anima Sola. Catalogue of the exhibition, Firenze, Italy.
  • Ticini LF (2016). The physics of light and the perception of colour in Giacomo Balla’s oeuvre. In: Futur Balla. Life, light, Speed. Catalogue of the exhibition, Alba, Italy. SKIRA ed. ISBN: 88-5723386.
  • Ticini LF, Urgesi C, Calvo-Merino B (2015). Embodied aesthetics: insight from cognitive neuroscience of the performing arts. In A. Scarinzi (Ed): Aesthetics and the embodied Mind: beyond art theory and the Cartesian mind-body dichotomy. Contributions to Phenomenology, Vol. 73, Springer Science+Business Media, Dordrecht (ISBN 978-94-017-9378-0)
  • Casile A and Ticini LF (2014). The role of sensory and motor systems in art appreciation and implications for exhibit design. In N. Levent, A. Pascual-Leone (Eds): The multisensory museum: cross-disciplinary perspectives on touch, sound, smell, memory, and space. Ed. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (ISBN-10: 0759123543; ISBN-13: 978-0759123540)
  • Ticini LF (2013) Neuroestetica: le basi neurobiologiche della bellezza e del well-being (The neurobiological bases of beauty and well-being). In E. Grossi, A. Ravagnan (Ed.): Cultura e Salute - La partecipazione culturale come strumento per un nuovo welfare (Culture and Health for a new welfare). Ed. Springer-Verlag Italia (ISBN: 978-8847027800)
  • Ticini LF (2009). Neuroesthetics: a step towards understanding human creativity? In I. Licata (Ed.), Unexpected connections - the science-art crossing, (pp. 165-173), Giancarlo Politi Editore, Milan, Italy. (ISBN: 978-8878161504)
  • Ticini LF (2006). Missoni and the seduction of the creative process. In: Caleidoscopio Missoni, (pp. 31-44) Catalogue of the exhibition, Gorizia, Italy. (ISBN: 88-88606084)
  • Ticini LF (2005). Talani e le percezioni senza tempo. In: Giampaolo Talani – SINE TEMPORE. Catalogue of the exhibition, Fiesole, Firenze, Italy. 15-20. (ISBN: 88-8304858X)
  • Battaglini P.P et al. (2001 and 2011). Neuroscienze per iniziare. Divulgative book sponsored by Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia distributed in occasion of the Brain Awareness Week
  • Calligaris R. and Ticini L (1997). La paleontologia: la grotta Pocala, un caso di studio. In Calligaris, Mizzan, Montagnari Kokelj (Ed.), Uomini e orsi, frammenti di vita e ambiente nel Quaternario, (pp. 15-36) Catalogue of the exhibition, Trieste, Italy

Marc Mehu

Dr. Marc Mehu

Associate Professor of Psychology

Undergraduate Courses

  • PSYC 1100 Introduction to Psychology
  • PSYC 1500 Psychology of Adjustment
  • PSYC 2825 Introduction to Research Methods
  • PSYC 3000 Topics in Psychology: Motivation and Emotion
  • PSYC 3000 Topics in Psychology: Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences
  • PSYC 3000 Topics in Psychology: Non-verbal Behavior
  • PSYC 3550 History, Philosophy, and Systems of Psychology
  • PSYC 3600 Social Psychology
  • PSYC 4400 Human Sexuality

Graduate Courses

  • PSYC 5400 Research Design
  • PSYC 5900 Applied Statistics and Research Methods

Méhu studied Psychology at the University of Liège (Belgium) with specializations in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Ethology. After two ethnological field studies on non-human primate behavior in South India and West Africa (Republic of Guinea), he completed a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Psychology and Behavioral Ecology at the University of Liverpool in 2007. Méhu's doctoral thesis investigated the function of smiling and laughter in social interactions.

In the final years of his Ph.D., he spent several months as a visiting researcher at the (former) Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for Urban Ethology, hosted by the Department of Anthropology at the University of Vienna. He then moved to the University of Geneva for a postdoctoral position at the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences. Méhu was appointed Assistant Professor of Psychology at Webster Vienna in October 2013 and was promoted to Associate Professor of Psychology in January 2019.

Research interests

Méhu's main interests lie in the study of affective phenomena and social behavior from an evolutionary perspective. In particular, he is interested in the role of emotion and nonverbal behavior in competitive and cooperative social interactions. In 2004, he became a certified coder of the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) and has used it extensively in his research.

As a member of the Social Signal Processing Network (SSPNet), he also has a great interest in the automatic analysis of communicative behavior and in Affective Computing. More recently, he has moved towards applying his research to the fields of negotiation, political communication, and clinical psychology.

Méhu is currently involved in several research projects in relation to nonverbal communication, emotion, and social interaction:

  • Negotiation and Emotion (NEMO): An interdisciplinary project on individual differences in socio-emotional skills in relation to dyadic negotiation.
  • Analysis of facial, vocal, and bodily cues in naturally occurring social interactions (political debates) with a focus on the expression of agreement, disagreement, and dominance.
  • The role of cognitive appraisal bias in the generation and maintenance of emotional disorders.


Peer-reviewed journal articles

  • Schlegel, K., Mehu, M., M. van Peer, J., Scherer, K. R. (2018). Sense and Sensibility: The role of cognitive and emotional intelligence in negotiation. Journal of Research in Personality, 74, 6-15.  
  • Allen, J.A., Fisher, C., Chetouani, M., Chiu, M.M., Gunes, H., Mehu, M., & Hung, H. (2017). Comparing social science and computer science workflow processes for studying group interactions. Small-Group Research, 48(5), 568-590. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1046496417721747
  • Mehu, M., & Scherer, K. R. (2015). Emotion categories and dimensions in the facial communication of affect: An integrated approach. Emotion, 15(6), 798-811. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0039416
  • Stewart, P. A., Bucy, E. P., Mehu, M. (2015). Strengthening bonds and connecting with followers. Politics and the Life Sciences, 34(1), 1-20. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/pls.2015.5
  • Mehu, M. (2015). The integration of emotional and symbolic components in multimodal communication. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 961. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00961
  • Scherer, K. R., & Mehu, M. (2015). Normal and abnormal emotions - the quandary of diagnosing affective disorder: Introduction and overview. Emotion Review, 7(3), 201-203. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1754073915576689
  • Mehu, M., & Scherer, K. R. (2015). The Appraisal bias model of cognitive vulnerability to depression. Emotion Review 7(3), 272-279. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1754073915575406
  • Stewart, P. A., Mehu, M., & Salter, F. K. (2015). Sex and leadership: Interpreting competitive and affiliative facial displays based on workplace status. International Public Management Journal, 18(2), 190-208. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10967494.2014.996626
  • Mehu, M., & van der Maaten, L. J. P. (2014). Multimodal integration of dynamic audio-visual cues in the communication of agreement and disagreement. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 38, 569-597. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10919-014-0192-2
  • Bousmalis, K., Mehu, M., & Pantic, M. (2013). Towards the automatic detection of spontaneous agreement and disagreement based on nonverbal behavior: A survey of related cues, databases, and tools. Image and Vision Computing, 31(2), 203-221. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.imavis.2012.07.003
  • Scherer, K. R., Mortillaro, M., & Mehu, M. (2013). Understanding the facial expression and perception of emotion: A Componential Perspective. Emotion Review, 5(1), 47-53. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1754073912451504
  • Mehu, M., D’Errico F., & Heylen, D. (2012). Conceptual analysis of social signals: the importance of clarifying terminology. Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces, 6(3-4), 179-189. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12193-012-0091-y
  • Mehu, M., & Scherer, K. R. (2012).  A psycho-ethological approach to Social Signal Processing. Cognitive Processing,13(2), 397-414. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10339-012-0435-2
  • Mehu, M., Mortillaro, M., Bänziger, T., & Scherer, K. R. (2012). Reliable facial muscle activation enhances the recognisability and credibility of emotional expression. Emotion, 12(4), 701-715. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0026717
  • Valstar, M., Mehu, M., Jiang, B., Pantic, M., & Scherer, K. R. (2012). A meta-analysis of the first facial expression recognition and analysis challenge. Systems, Man, & Cybernetics-Part B: Cybernetics, 42(4), 966-979. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TSMCB.2012.2200675
  • Mehu, M. (2011).  Smiling and laughter in naturally occurring dyadic interactions: relationship to the conversation, body contacts, and displacement activities. Human Ethology Bulletin, 26(1), 10-28.
  • Mortillaro, M., Mehu, M., & Scherer, K. R. (2011). Subtly different positive emotions can be distinguished by their facial expressions. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2(3), 262-271. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1948550610389080
  • Mehu, M., & N'Diaye, K. (2010). The proximate mechanisms and ultimate functions of smiles [Commentary]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33(6), 454-455. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X10001561
  • Stewart, P. A., Salter, F. K., & Mehu, M. (2009). Taking leaders at face value: Ethology and the analysis of televised leader displays. Politics and the Life Sciences, 28(1), 48-74. http://dx.doi.org/10.2990/28_1_48
  • Mehu, M., & Dunbar, R. I. M. (2008). Naturalistic observations of smiling and laughter in human group interactions. Behaviour, 145(12), 1747-1780. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/156853908786279619
  • Mehu, M., Little, A. C., & Dunbar, R. I. M. (2008). Sex differences in the effect of smiling on social judgments: an evolutionary approach. Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 2(3), 103-121. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0099351
  • Mehu, M., & Dunbar, R. I. M. (2008). Relationship between smiling and laughter in humans (Homo sapiens): testing the Power Asymmetry Hypothesis. Folia Primatologica, 79(5), 269-280. http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000126928
  • Mehu, M., Little, A. C., & Dunbar, R. I. M. (2007). Duchenne smiles and the perception of generosity and sociability in faces. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 5(1-4), 133-146. http://dx.doi.org/10.1556/JEP.2007.1011
  • Mehu, M, Grammer, K., & Dunbar, R. I. M. (2007). Smiles when sharing. Evolution & Human Behavior, 28, 415-422. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2007.05.010
  • Mehu, M., Huynen M-C., & Agoramoorthy G. (2006). Social relationships in a free-ranging group of bonnet macaques (M. radiata) in Tamil Nadu, India. Primate Report, 73, 49-55.

Book chapters

  • Scherer, K. R., Mortillaro, M., & Mehu, M. (2017). Facial expression is driven by appraisal and generates appraisal inference. In J.-M. Fernández-Dols; & J. A. Russell (Eds.), The science of facial expression, (pp. 353-373). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Mehu, M. (2017). Sex differences in emotional communication. In T. K. Shackelford; & V. A. Weekes-Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1462-1.
  • Mortillaro, M., & Mehu, M. (2015). Emotions: Methods of assessment. In J. D. Wright (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences (2nd ed), (pp. 519-525). London: Elsevier Ltd.
  • Mehu, M. (2014). An evolutionary perspective on facial behavior. In C. Müller; A. Cienki; E. Fricke; S. H. Ladewig; D. McNeill, & J. Bressem (Eds.), Body – Language – Communication: Multimodal perspectives on language in communication, vol. 2, (pp. 1962-1968). Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. ISBN 9783110302028
  • Mortillaro, M., Mehu, M., & Scherer, K. R. (2013). The evolutionary origin of multimodal synchronization and emotional expression. In E. Altenmüller; S. Schmidt; & E. Zimmermann (Eds.), Evolution of Emotional Communication: From Sounds in Nonhuman Mammals to Speech and Music in Man, (pp.3-25). New York: Oxford University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583560.003.0001
  • Pantic, M., Cowie, R., D'Errico, F., Heylen, D., Mehu, M., Pelachaud, C., Poggi, I., Schröder, M., & Vinciarelli, A. (2011). Social signal processing: The research agenda. In T.B. Moeslund; A. Hilton; V. Krüger; L. Sigal (Eds.), Visual analysis of humans: Looking at people (pp. 511-538). London: Springer. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-0-85729-997-0_26
  • Stewart, P. A., Salter, F. K., & Mehu, M. (2011). The face as a focus of political communication: Evolutionary perspectives and the ethological methods. In E. P. Bucy; R. L. Holbert (Eds.), Sourcebook for political communication research (pp. 165-193). New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415964951
  • Mehu, M. (2009). The social context of smiling. In E. Bänninger-Huber & D. Peham (Eds.), Current and Future Perspectives in Facial Expression Research: Topics and Methodological Questions, (pp. 47-53). Innsbruck: Innsbruck University Press. ISBN 9783902719225

Conference proceedings (peer-reviewed)

  • Ringeval, F., Marchi, E., Mehu, M., Scherer, K. R., Schuller, B. (2015). Face reading from speech – Predicting facial Action Units from audio cues, Proc. INTERSPEECH 2015, 16th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA), Dresden, Germany. http://www.sewaproject.eu/files/6ba55a1a-61be-4887-8163-3995843f8454.pdf
  • Valstar, M. F., Girard, J., Almaev, T., McKeown, G., Mehu, M., Yin, L., Pantic, M., & Cohn, J. (2015). FERA 2015 - Second facial expression recognition challenge, Proc. IEEE Int’l Conf. Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition, Ljubljana, Slovenia. http://www.sewaproject.eu/files/c6443331-933f-4ae7-cb53-f15659374dda.pdf
  • Valstar, M. F., Jiang, B., Mehu, M., Pantic, M., & Scherer, K. R. (2011). The first facial expression recognition and analysis challenge. Proc. IEEE Int’l Conf. Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition, Santa Barbara, USA. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/FG.2011.5771374
  • Bousmalis, K., Mehu, M., & Pantic, M. (2009). Spotting agreement and disagreement: A survey of audiovisual cues and tools. Proc. IEEE Int'l Conf. Affective Computing and Intelligent Interfaces, Amsterdam, NL. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ACII.2009.5349477


  • Mehu, M., & Mehu-Blantar, I. (2015). Emotionen von Vorgesetzten lesen sich leichter: Wie Geschlecht und berufliche Position die emotionale Wahrnehmung am Arbeitsplatz beeinflussen. Personal Manager, 5, 40-42.
  • Dunbar, R. I. M., & Mehu, M. (2003). Patterns of grooming and self-touching in naturalistic situations. Commissioned Report for Unilever Research Laboratories, Port Sunlight; 73pp.

Chryssi Tsounta

Chryssi Tsounta, MSc.

Department Coordinator/Learning Support Services

After completing her studies in Psychology, Tsounta specialized in School and Developmental Psychology in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She possesses a European Certificate in Psychology (EuroPsy) and a License to Practice the profession of Psychologist. Since 2005 she has worked in the Greek Ministry of Defense, first as Administrative Assistant and then as Child Psychologist.

From 2014 until 2019 she was in Charge of the Counseling and Consulting Service for Parents, Children, and Adolescents of the Mental Health Center of the 424 General Military Hospital of Thessaloniki in Greece. Apart from holding sessions and moderating parental groups, she was also a scientific affiliate in both military nurseries in Thessaloniki, supervisor of under- and postgraduate students’ internship and rapporteur in various informative lectures.

She had been athlete of swimming and water polo for 18 years and since 2019 she occupies herself also with swimming coaching.


  • Master of Science in School and Developmental Psychology - Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology - Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Katrin Kristjansdottir

Mag. Katrin Kristjansdottir

Counseling Services Manager, Internship Supervisor and Sexual Assault Advocate


  • PSYC 1100 Introduction to Psychology
  • PSYC 2475 Topics in Sex and Gender
  • PSYC 3025 Psychology and Ethics
  • PSYC 3325 Applied Learning Theory
  • PSYC 4225 Introduction to Clinical Psychology
  • PSYC 4300 Health Psychology


  • PSYC 5100 Approaches to Counseling and Therapy

During her studies, Kristjansdottir specialized in assessment and therapy for both adults and children. Her training included cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), schema therapy, mindfulness, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), acceptance and commitment therapy and Mindfulness.

Kristjansdottir worked at hospitals and clinics in Australia focusing on trauma related experiences in the perinatal area, working with both women and children. Furthermore, Kristjansdottir is a certified meditation teacher.


  • MA in Clinical Psychology, Murdoch University, Perth Australia 2008
  • Postgraduate diploma in Psychology, Murdoch University, Perth Australia 2006
  • BA in Psychology, University of Iceland 2004


  • Hodkinson, K, Acevedo, T. & Kristjansdottir, K (2016). Tug of War Could Polarized Parenting Advice Cause Harm? International Journal of Birth and Parent Education,4, (2).
  • Manuela Waldner, Johann Schrammel, Michael Klein, Katrin Kristjansdottir, Dominik Unger, Manfred Tscheligi, (2013). Face Clouds: Exploring Tag clouds for Multi Dimensional Data. Proceedings of the 2013 Graphics Interface Conference
  • Kristjansdottir, K., & Lee, C. W. (2011). A comparison of visual versus auditory concurrent tasks on reducing the distress and vividness of aversive autobiographical memories. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 5 (2), 34-41. doi:10.1891/1933-3196.5.2.34.
  • Graf, C., Kristjánsdóttir, K., Wolkerstorfer, P., Oppenauer-Meerskraut, C., & Tscheligi, M. (2010). Users understanding of data storage and data traveling.
  • Graf, C., Wolkerstorfer, P., Kristjánsdóttir, K., & Thscheligi, M. (2010). What is your privacy preference? an insight into users understanding of privacy terms.

Gernot Gerger

Dr. Gernot Gerger

Post-Doctoral Researcher


  • PSYC 2825 Introduction to Research Methods
  • PSYC 3625 Topics in Psychology: Motivation and Emotion

Gerger conducted his master studies (finished 04.2006) in Psychology at the Faculty of Psychology, University of Vienna, Austria. He also finished the pre-clinical part of Medicine (University of Vienna) reflecting his research interests and specializations in Biological Psychology. In his master thesis, he researched memory phenomena with the help of EEG (electroencephalography). Following this, Gernot completed his doctoral studies (10.2006-05.2011) and first post-doctoral position (09.2011 – 08.2017) at the Empirical Visual Aesthetics Lab (Faculty of Psychology, University of Vienna, Austria) in the field of Empirical Aesthetics.

In this second main research field, Gerger was mainly interested in how the complex interplay of emotions and cognitions contributes to (aesthetic) judgments. In order to more fully understand this interplay, he combined various methods by including psychophysiological measures (e.g, facial electromyography; eye-tracking, skin conductance responses) in concert with explicit judgments and behavioral measures in the laboratory as well as field studies. In May 2018 he started his second post-doctoral position at Webster Vienna as a researcher for an FWF funded project (I3645) awarded to Dr. Marc Mehu. The projects try to uncover implicit prejudice and discrimination in inter-group relations in both field and laboratory studies.

Research interests

Main research interests

  • Current: Non-verbal indicators of behavior (E.g. Facial Action Coding System, FACS) with a special focus on prejudice and discrimination.
    How do emotions and cognitions contribute to judgments, particularly aesthetic judgments?
  • Facial attractiveness: What factors make faces attractive? How do hormonal factors influence attractiveness?
  • Multi-method approaches with an emphasis on psycho-physiological methods: EEG; facial electromyography (EMG), Skin conductance responses, Eye-tracking, transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS)


Peer-reviewed journal articles

  • Carbon, C.C., Faerber, S. J., Gerger, G., Forster, M., & Leder, H. (2013). Innovation is appreciated when we feel safe: On the situational dependence of the appreciation of innovation. International Journal of Design, 7(2), 43-51.
  • Faerber, S. J., Leder, H., Gerger, G., & Carbon, C. C. (2010). Priming semantic concepts affects the dynamics of aesthetic appreciation. Acta Psychologica, 135(2), 191-200.
  • Forster, M., Gerger, G., & Leder, H. (2015). Everything’s Relative? Relative Differences in Processing Fluency and the Effects on Liking. PLoS ONE, 10(8), e0135944.
  • Gerger, G., Forster, M., & Leder, H. (2017). It felt fluent but I did not like it: fluency effects in faces versus patterns. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1-12.
  • Gerger, G., Ishizu, T., & Pelowski, M. (2017). Empathy as a guide for understanding the balancing of Distancing-Embracing with negative art. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 40, E361.
  • Gerger, G., & Leder, H. (2015). Titles change the aesthetic appreciations of paintings. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9, 464.
  • Gerger, G., Leder, H., & Kremer, A. (2014). Context effects on emotional and aesthetic evaluations of artworks and IAPS pictures. Acta Psychologica, 151, 174-183.
  • Gerger, G., Leder, H., Faerber, S., & Carbon, C. C. (2011). When the others matter: Context-dependent effects on changes in appreciation of innovativeness. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 70(2), 75-83.
  • Gerger, G., Leder, H., Tinio, P. P. L., & Schacht, A. (2011). Faces versus Patterns: Exploring aesthetic reactions using facial EMG. Psychology of Aesthetics Creativity and the Arts, 5(3), 241-250.
  • Gerger, G., Pelowski, M., & Leder, H. (2017). Empathy, Einfühlung, and aesthetic experience: the effect of emotion contagion on the appreciation of representational and abstract art using fEMG and SCR. Cognitive Processing, 1-19.
  • Gerger, G., Pelowski, M., & Ishizu, T. (2018). Does priming negative emotions really contribute to more positive aesthetic judgments? A comparative study of emotion priming paradigms using emotional faces versus emotional scenes and multiple negative emotions with fEMG. Emotion. Advance online publication.
  • Hur, Y.-J., Gerger, G., Leder, H., & McManus, I. C. (2018). Facing the Sublime: Physiological Correlates of the Relationship Between Fear and the Sublime. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. Retrieved from here.
  • Leder, H., Gerger, G., Brieber, D., & Schwarz, N. (2014). What makes an art expert? Emotion and evaluation in art appreciation. Cognition & Emotion, 1-11.
  • Leder, H., Gerger, G., Dressler, S. G., & Schabmann, A. (2012). How art is appreciated. Psychology of Aesthetics Creativity and the Arts, 6(1), 2-10.
  • Leder, H., Forster, M., & Gerger, G. (2011). The glasses stereotype revisited: Effects of eyeglasses on perception, recognition, and impression of faces. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 70(4), 211-222.
  • Pelowski, M., Gerger, G., Chetouani, Y., Markey, P. & Leder, H. (2017). But is it really Art? The Classification of Images as “Art”/Not Art and Correlation with Appraisal and Viewer Interpersonal Differences. Frontiers in Psychology.
  • Pelowski, M., Markey, P. S., Forster, M., Gerger, G., & Leder, H. (2017a). Move me, astonish me… delight my eyes and brain: The Vienna Integrated Model of top-down and bottom-up processes in Art Perception (VIMAP) and corresponding affective, evaluative, and neurophysiological correlates. Physics of Life Reviews, 21, 80-1225.
  • Pelowski, M., Markey, P. S., Forster, M., Gerger, G., & Leder, H. (2017b). What do we actually hope to accomplish by modeling art experience?: Reply to comments on “Move me, astonish me... delight my eyes and brain: The Vienna Integrated Model of top-down and bottom-up processes in Art Perception (VIMAP) and corresponding affective, evaluative, and neurophysiological correlates”. Physics of Life Reviews, 21, 159-170.
  • Pelowski, M., Leder, H., Mitschke, V., Specker, E., Gerger, G., Tinio, P. P. L., Husslein-Arco, A. (2018). Capturing aesthetic experiences with installation art: An empirical assessment of emotion, evaluations, and mobile eye tracking in Olafur Eliasson’s "Baroque, Baroque!". Frontiers in Psychology, 9(AUG). Retrieved from here.
  • Pelowski, M., Specker, E., Gerger, G., Leder, H., & Weingarden, L. S. (2018). Do you feel like I do? A study of spontaneous and deliberate emotion sharing and understanding between artists and perceivers of installation art. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. Advance online publication.
  • Schabmann, A. Gerger; G., Schmidt, B., Wögerer, E., Osipov, I., & Leder, H. (2015). Where does it come from? Developmental aspects of art appreciation. International Journal of Behavioral Development. 40 (4), 313-323.
  • Tinio, P. P. L., Gerger, G., & Leder, H. (2013). Birds of a feather Generalization of facial structures following massive familiarization. Acta Psychologica, 144(3), 463-471.

Book chapters

  • Leder, H., Gerger, G., & Brieber, D. (2015). Aesthetic appreciation: Convergence from experimental aesthetics and physiology. In J.P. Huston; M. Nadal; F. Mora; L.F. Agnati, & C.J. Cela-Conde (Eds.), Art, Aesthetics and the Brain. (pp. 57-78). Oxford University Press.
  • Gerger, G., & Leder, H. (2014). Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all? Influencing factors and effects of attractiveness. In P. L. Tinio & J. K. Smith (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of the Psychology of Aesthetics and the Arts. (pp. 421-446). Cambridge University Press.

Conference Proceedings and Published Abstracts

  • Fatemi, S., Anderer, P., Nikzad, R., Gerger, G., Newesely, V., Tschida, U., & Saletu, B. (2006). Comparative polysomnographic and psychometric studies on the acute effects of gabapentin and ropinirol in the treatment of restless legs syndrome. Journal of Sleep Research, 15, 91-91 – Oral presentation.
  • Forster M, Gerger G., Leder H (2013) Fluency needs uncertainty. Perception 42 ECVP Abstract Supplement, p. 134. doi:10.1068/v130390 – Oral Presentation.
  • Gerger, G. (2017). Cycle-dependent shifts in male attractiveness (?). International Convention of Psychological Science (ICPS), Vienna, Austria – Oral Presentation.
  • Gerger, G. (2016). Does the preference for males change cyclically? Biannual Congress of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics (IAEA), Vienna, Austria – Oral presentation.
  • Gerger, G. (2016). Cycle-dependent shifts for male attractiveness. Tagung experimental arbeitender Psychologen, - TEAP, 2106, Heidelberg, Germany – Oral presentation.
  • Gerger, G., & Pelowski, M. (2017). Affective priming affects aesthetic judgments according to the primes’ valence. American Psychological Association (APA) Convention, Washington, USA – Oral Presentation.
  • Gerger, G., Bauer, H., Fischmeister, F. P. S., & Leodolter, U. (2006). Subsequent memory effects observed during shallow encoding of word pairs. FENS Forum Abstracts, 2006, 3 - Poster.
  • Gerger, G., & Carbon, C. C. (2007). Langeweile als modulierender Faktor bei dynamischen Veränderungen von Gefallensurteilen [Boredom as modulating factor of changes in attractiveness]. Tagung experimental arbeitender Psychologen (TEAP) – Trier 2007, Germany – Oral presentation.
  • Gerger, G., Forster, M., & Leder, H. (2014). “It felt fluent, but I did not like it: Fluency effects in the case of faces.” Poster presented at the 9th PPRU Workshop, Jena, Germany.
  • Gerger, G., & Leder, H. (2015). Empathy and the aesthetic experience: How “Einfühlung - feeling into” changes aesthetic experiences of representational and abstract art. Biannual congress of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics, New York, USA – Oral presentation.
  • Gerger, G., & Leder H. (2013). Cognitive fluency: Title influence aesthetic evaluations. 55. Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen – TEAP 2013, Vienna – Oral presentation.
  • Gerger G., Welleditsch, D., & Leder H. (2012). Art versus Reality - Contextual framing affects emotional and aesthetic evaluations of artworks and IAPS pictures. Perception 41 ECVP 2012 Abstract Supplement, p. 61. doi:10.1068/v120461. – Oral presentation.
  • Gerger G. & Leder H. (2012). Exploring aesthetics using facial EMG. Tagung experimental arbeitender Psychologen (TEAP) – Mannheim 2012 – Oral presentation.
  • Gerger, G., Leder, H., & Carbon, C. C. (2007). Contributions of boredom to likingjudgments over time - Perception, 36, 17-17. ECVP 2007 Abstract Supplement. doi:10.1068/v070087 - Poster.
  • Leder, H., Gerger, G., Welleditsch, D. (2012). „This is disgusting!” Biannual Congress of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics, Taipeh, China – Oral presentation.
  • Leder, H.; Gerger,G,; Dressler, S.; Schabmann, A. (2010). The role of emotion in art appreciation. XXI Congress of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics (IAEA) – Dresden – Oral presentation.Vale, L., Gerger, G., Leder, H., & Pelli, D. (2015). Correlating Beauty and Two Measures of Pleasure. Journal of vision, 15(12), 246-246.
  • Tinio, P. P. L., Gerger, G., & Leder, H. (2010). Symmetry, complexity, familiarization, and the aesthetic judgment of faces. Tagung experimental arbeitender Psychologen (TEAP) – Saarbrücken 2010 – Oral presentation.

Invited Talks, Invited Articles, and Media

  • Gerger, G. (2018). Tv-Interview for the Austrian Broadcasting Association (ORF): Newton: Wie attraktiv macht künstliche Schönheit wirklich? 03.11.2018
  • Gerger, G. (2017). Facing art – Empathy for art as measured by facial EMG. Scientific Colloquium - Summer Term 2017, University of Vienna, Austria. – Oral presentation.
  • Gerger, G. (2017). Oh wie grauenhaft, oh wie ist das schön! Das Zusammenspielen von Denken und Fühlen beim Erleben von Kunst – eine psychologische Perspektive. Jahr der Gegenwartskunst, Volksliedwerk Burgenland. – Oral presentation.
  • Gerger, G. (2016). Measuring emotions in the arts – Facial EMG. Facial EMG Course. WWTF-Summerschool: Cognition, Art, and Culture: From Perception to Innovation (Helmut Leder), Vienna, Austria. – Oral presentation.
  • Gerger, G. (2016). Attraktivität und Make-Up – eine wahrnehmungspsychologische Perspektive. Vortrag für Kosmetik Transparent - Oral Presentation.
  • Gerger, G. (2016). Interview mit Zeitschrift Wienerin zum Thema: So sehr lassen wir uns von Schönheit blenden - Wienerin, August, 2016.
  • Gerger, G. (2015). Ästhetische Erfahrungen: Sind ästhetische Erfahrungen messbar? Eine kognitionspsychologische Perspektive. Interdisiziplinäre Tagung "Ästhetische Erfahrung im didaktischen Kontext" (Marion Bönnighausen). Universität Münster, Germany. – Oral Presentation.
  • Forster, M., Gerger, G. & Leder, H. (2013). The Glasses Stereotype, Revisited. The Jury Expert, 25, 2. 1-9.

Julian Ferrari

Julian Ferrari

Research Assistant

Ferrari studied Psychology at the UMIT University in Hall in Tyrol. He also attended a university course in Project Management (due to IPMA Standards) at the Karl-Franzens-University in Graz. His main interests are perception & cognition, imagery and consumer behavior.

He works as Research Assistant at Webster University and is currently involved in a research project that explores implicit prejudice and discrimination in inter-group relations.


  • University Course in Project Management, Karl-Franzens-University, Graz - Austria
  • Master of Science in Psychology, UMIT University, Hall in Tyrol - Austria
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology, UMIT University, Hall in Tyrol - Austria