Funded by: FWF Project P-26806 (Dr. Jorg Massen)
I am interested in social cognition in humans and non-human animals, particularly in the mechanisms of social bonding and behavioral coordination. I studied Zoology at the University of Vienna and Psychology at the University of Western Australia in Perth. I graduated as an MSc in 2007 with a project on individual differences in social learning in dogs. After graduation, I worked as a research assistant in the comparative psychology group at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. During my subsequent PhD project, which I carried out at the University of Vienna and the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, I focused on studying the mechanisms and consequences of social bonding by investigating the link between the dog-human relationship and socio-cognitive abilities in dogs. After finishing my PhD in 2012, I worked at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, investigating social attention to caregivers and unfamiliar people in pet dogs and 2-year-old children.
Currently, I am investigating the evolution of pro-sociality by comparing the frequency of and motivations for pro-social behavior in human children and several corvid species. Moreover, I am interested in intra-individual variations in pro-social tendencies depending on the identity of the interaction partner. Further, I am investigating movement coordination in humans, specifically the prerequisites for movement synchrony and its interconnection with social bonding.