Bert Timmermans


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    While we can easily think about people, who they are, why they do what they do, etc., most of the time we don't need to engage in such thoughts or inferences before we are able to interact with someone. In fact, if you start thinking about exactly what you both are doing and why, social interaction will soon break down. I'm interested in what social interaction brings to the table, how embodiment and being a two-agent system creates new dynamics that determine how the interaction will develop, and which individual cognitive processes are changed by this interaction. In particular, does the experience of others' reactions modify our behaviour in the long run via reward processing, does it change the way we feel about our own actions and our sense of agency? In parallel, I've been studying how subjective ratings of visual awareness reflect conscious content, and am specifically interested in the difference between conscious and unconscious processes, in particular as the latter play a more central role in social interaction.

    Current SInC lab members:
    C.A. Silver (PhD student, sense of agency in social interaction)
    M. Kasprzyk (PhD student, behavioural effects of social interaction-related reward)
    A. Haliou (PhD student, psychopathic traits and social facial expressions)

    Former SInC lab members:
    C.J. Luke (Postdoc, Dual Interactive eye tracking w Virtual Avatars, 2016-17)
    I. Barišić (RA, Dual Interactive eye tracking w Virtual Avatars, 2010-13, Cologne)
    S. Schwarzkopf (RA, perspective taking in autism, 2010-12, Cologne)


    • 2019– Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor), University of Aberdeen
    • 2013–2019 Lecturer (Assistant Professor), University of Aberdeen
    • 2012 Volkswagen Foundation Fellow, Social Cognition Group, UH Cologne
    • 2010–2011 Marie Curie Fellow, Social Cognition Group, UH Cologne
    • 2007–2009 Research Fellow, CO3 Group, Université Libre de Bruxelles
    • 2000–2006 R&T Assistant, Social Psychology Lab, Vrije Universiteit Brussel


    • 2006 PhD in Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    • 1999 Master in Cognitive Sciences, Université Libre de Bruxelles
    • 1998 MSc in Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

    Grants & Awards

    • 2019–2023 Carnegie Trust Research Incentive Grant
    • 2015–2019 Marie Curie Career Integration Grant (EU FP7)
    • 2014 Principal's Interdisciplinary Fund / Principal's Excellence Fund
    • 2010–2013 Volkswagen Foundation Grant (European Platform for Mind Sciences, Life Sciences, and Humanities), with Leonhard Schilbach, Tobias Schlicht & Nikolaus Steinbeis
    • 2009–2011 Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (EU FP7)


    • 2019–2024 EU COST action CA18106 “The neural architecture of consciousness” (PI Kristian Sandberg, Aarhus University)
    • 2015–2018 HARMONIA grant, Polish National Science Centre "Cognitive and neuronal mechanisms of metacognitive awareness" (PI Michał Wierzchoń, Jagiellonian University of Krakow)

    Teaching Responsibilities:


    Level 1–3 – Psychology Methodology curriculum coordinator
    Level 2 – PS2518 Advanced Psychology 2 - Methods & Applications
    Level 3 – PS3015 Methodology A [+course coordinator]
    Level 3 – PS3522 Methodology B [+course coordinator]
    Level 3 – PS3520 Social Psychology
    Level 3–4 – SX3504 Consciousness [+course coordinator]
    Level 4 – PS4019 / PS4038 Psychology Thesis [supervision]


    MRes – PS5302 / PS5801 Basic & Advanced Research Methods for Postgraduates 
    MRes – PS5017 Research Project for PG Students in Psychology [supervision]
    MSc Psychological Studies – PS5903 Research Project [supervision]

    External positions

    PhD co-supervisor to L. Weinreich, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

    Sep 2020 → …

    PhD external advisor to L. Albantakis, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry

    Aug 2019Jun 2020


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