Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
Senior Research Fellow, Dept. of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna
As a psychologist, my research interest is mainly understanding human experience and behavior and its underlying neural mechanisms, but I have always been interested in biology as well and specifically the biological view on human behavior and its similarities & differences to other animals.
My PhD project is embedded in the WWTF-funded interdisciplinary project “Comparative aesthetics – a novel approach to investigate multi-modal attractiveness in humans and animals”, combining psychology, biology and cognitive science.
The project aims to explore the origins and cognitive mechanisms of visual and auditory aesthetics in mate selection in both humans and doves. It is a rather exploratory project and should lay the foundation for comparative work for many other species as well.
I’m mainly interested in how auditory signals, e.g. voice or music, and visual signals, e.g. the face, interact in the perceived attractiveness of potential partners. I want to investigate questions like “How do vocal and facial attractiveness contribute to overall attractiveness?” or “Does facial attractiveness change when the vocal attractiveness is changed?”. Simultaneously, we conduct comparable experiments with ring doves to detect similarities across both species that originate from a shared evolutionary history.
I’m working together in this project with Helmut Leder, Cliodhna Quigley, and Leonida Fusani.