Associated Researchers

Associated researchers are young researchers, who work on topics closely related to the Einstein Group and got a scholarship to work with the Einstein Group.


List of associated researchers (in alphabetical order):

  • Marianna Ambrosecchia
  • Marta Benenti
  • Aenne Brielmann
  • Matthew Crippen
  • Gen Eickers
  • Javier Gomez-Lavin
  • Lara Pourabdolrahim

marianna ambrosecchia

Marianna Ambrosecchia has been trained both in Psychology (M.D.) and Neuroscience (PhD), and is currently  working with a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Neuroscience, University of Parma. Here, she met Katrin Heimann and started to collaborate with her and Joerg Fingerhut. 


Her main research interest lies in the understanding of bodily-self awareness,  intersubjectivity and social cognition both in healthy individuals and patients (e.g. suffering from Anorexia, Schizophrenia and Depression). She also studied the relationship between sensory motor system and affordances, language and cognition. She works using behavioral, physiological and occasionally neuroimaging (fMRI) technique.  


Marianna has been visiting the Einstein Group/Berlin School of Mind and Brain in May 2016, and is still involved in a project in collaboration with Katrin Heimann and Joerg Fingerhut about the neurophysiological correlates (EEG) during the perception of moving images.

mArta benenti

Marta Benenti is PhD candidate at the University of Turin (FINO consortium) under the supervision of prof. Alberto Voltolini. 


She is developing an account for the perception of objects’ expressiveness. In her thesis she deals with philosophy of perception, emotions, aesthetics and cognitive sciences.


She has been awarded a DAAD Scholarship to join the Einstein Group/Berlin School of Mind and Brain from January to April 2018.

Aenne Brielmann

Aenne Brielmann is currently pursuing her PhD in psychology at NYU, New York.


Her main research topic is the experience of beauty – how it differs from other pleasures, which (neuro-)psychological processes it is based on, and which factors may promote or prevent us from feeling beauty. In her work with the Einstein Group at Berlin School of Mind and Brain she aims to further explore the structure of the concept “beauty”. One main project in collaboration with Joerg Fingerhut explores whether we can distinguish and judge different kinds of beauty (artistic, naturalistic, physical, etc.).

Matthew Crippen

Following leads from pragmatists, who progressed by wedding old and new ideas and developing interdisciplinary trajectories, Matthew Crippen’s research integrates a number of schools and eras, including embodied cognitive science, phenomenology, Greek thought and more, while drawing resources from psychological, biological and occasionally physical sciences. Much of it also revolves around value theory, especially aesthetics but also ethics and politics, again with pragmatic approaches at its core. Matthew has published in top journals on American philosophy and aesthetics, and is currently in the midst of a book project with Jay Schulkin, titled Pragmatism, Neurobiology and Embodied Cognitive Sciences.  He hasbeen pleased to teach an international population of students first at York University in Toronto, and more recently at the American University in Cairo. Outside of the academy, he has worked as a musician, mandolin and guitar instructor and gymnastics coach.


Matthew Crippen joined the Einstein Group in September 2017 to collaborate on projects regarding aesthetic engagements and the perception of film. He will also be working on the relation of pragmatism and cognitive science.


Gen Eickers is currently finishing their PhD at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain - under the supervision of Jesse Prinz (CUNY GC, NY), Jan Slaby (Freie Universitaet Berlin), and Isabel Dziobek (Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt Universitaet zu Berlin).

In their dissertation, Gen developed a new account of social interaction that explains social interaction mainly by looking at contextual information. The thesis commits to the claim that many social interactions can be explained via scripts and particularly examines emotional display in social interaction.



Gen was a visiting research scholar at The Graduate Center, City University of New York from March 2017 - May 2017 under the supervision of Jesse Prinz and has since been an associated researcher to the Einstein Group/ Berlin School of Mind and Brain. Another research stay at The Graduate Center, CUNY followed in March 2018.



LAra pourabdolrahim

Lara Pourabdolrahim has been doing her PhD in neurophilosophy at the Graduate School for Systemic Neurosciences in Munich where she benefitted from training both in philosophy and the neurosciences.


Her main research interests are cognition in moral situations, particularly in Trolley Dilemma cases, (empirically informed) Aesthetics, Modularity, Theory and Critique of Evolutionary Psychology and Ethics. She is looking forward to digging deeper in the realm of morality and aesthetics as part of the Einstein Group at Berlin School of Mind and Brain. She plans, amongst other projects, to explore the cognitive mechanisms that underlie moral and aesthetic value judgments and the non-moral and non-aesthetic factors that influence them.


Lara was holding a fellowship at the Einstein Group/Berlin School of Mind and Brain from 2015 to 2016 and helped organizing the events of the Einstein group.