Uni:docs Fellow Claudia Massaccesi stellt sich vor


Claudia Massaccesi is doctoral candidate at the Department of Applied Psychology: health, development, enhancement and intervention and since October 2017 uni:docs fellow at the University of Vienna.

  • You are working on the topic State-dependent modulation of human social reward: a multi-method and multilevel investigatio. Please describe your research project in three sentences.

The major aim of my PhD project is to investigate how social reward, such as social contact, is modulated by the initial motivational state of the individual through opioid regulation. In particular, the investigation will focus on two fundamental components of reward: liking and wanting. To achieve this purpose I will use an interdisciplinary approach, combining behavioral measures, psychophysiological methods, neuroimaging and psychopharmacology.

  • What are your concrete plans for the next months?

In the next months I will work on the application for the ethic committee and I will start pilot the task that I will use in the three main experiments of my project.

  • And finally, what do you like/value most about the University of Vienna? What is your favorite place at the University of Vienna?

What I like most about the University of Vienna are the nice and interesting people that everyday surround me at work and inside the university and all the opportunities that this university offers to you as a PhD student. My favorite place is the university campus in the altes AKH, I like to grab a drink there while enjoying sunny days in the park.

  • About Claudia Massaccesi

I started studying psychology in 2010 when I enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in Psychology at the University of Bologna. Then, in 2016, I obtained an MSc in Neurosciences and Neuropsychological Rehabilitation at the University of Bologna. My experimental thesis focused on social neuroscience, in particular I investigated the role of the sensorimotor cortex in empathy for pain using transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS). Following graduation, I started an internship at the Centre for studies and research in Cognitive Neuroscience (CsrNC) in Cesena (Italy). Then, following my passion for social neuroscience, I decided to move to Vienna in order to work together with Dr. Giorgia Silani. Here at the University of Vienna I worked as a research assistant for almost 1 year and now I just started this new exciting PhD adventure.