In addition, two post-doctoral researchers, Ville Harjunen and Simo Järvelä, as well as two PhD students, Matilde Tassinari and Gloria Mendoza Franco, and research assistant Ilkka Muukkonen are participating in the consortium.
Iiro P. Jääskeläinen is a tenured Associate Professor of systems neuroscience heading the Brain and Mind Laboratory in Aalto University, Espoo, Finland, and the leading scientist of the international laboratory of social neurobiology in National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia. He obtained his PhD from University of Helsinki in 1995 and subsequently worked in Harvard University. In his research, Jääskeläinen is using naturalistic stimuli such as movies and narratives to stimulate and study higher cognitive functions, including emotions and social cognition. This research is integrated with development of neuroimaging methodology that enables advances in the utilization of the naturalistic stimuli in cognitive neuroscience research.
Niklas Ravaja is a Professor of eHealth and well-being and is heading the Emotional Interaction and eHealth research group (University of Helsinki). He is specialized in the research on emotional, motivational, and cognitive processes associated with the use of eHealth applications and systems. His interests include mediated and non-mediated social interaction, the interaction of humans with ICT, including VR and other media, and affective and neuro- /psychophysiological processes during mediated social interaction and technology use.
Inga Jasinskaja-Lahti is a Professor of Social Psychology at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Helsinki. She is a leader of the Social Psychological Research Programme on Intergroup Relations in Finland and ESSO research group (https://blogs.helsinki.fi/esso-group/), which is a community of young and senior scholars working in the area of intergroup relations at the University of Helsinki. Her research interests include but not restricted to intergroup relations in general, and prejudice, discrimination, social identity, intergroup contact between majorities and minorities off- and online in particular. Inga also serves as an expert of the Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations (ETNO) in Finland. Profile picture by Rio Gandara.
Ville J Harjunen is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Psychology and Logopedics at the University of Helsinki, working in the Emotional Interaction and eHealth – research group. Harjunen's research concerns the psychophysiology of emotions, nonverbal communication, and social decision-making. After earning a Doctor’s degree in psychology, Harjunen has focused on the neural processes of emotions, empathy, and the perception of time. His Ph.D. research concerned emotion perception in computer-mediated face-to-face communication. Harjunen has conducted experiments in immersive virtual reality settings investigating how people perceive emotional facial expressions and touch delivered by artificial human characters and how such simulated physical contact affects our social decision-making and underlying brain processes. More recently, his research has focused on the perception of time and how subjective experience of time changes along with the emotional state.
Simo Järvelä is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Psychology and Logopedics at the University of Helsinki, working in the Emotional Interaction and eHealth – research group and in the Gamification Group at the Tampere University. He is a cognitive scientist and emotion researcher, with a background in using psychophysiological methods to study digital media, and is specialized in studying dyadic physiological synchrony and its psychological associations.
Gloria Mendoza is a doctoral candidate at the Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering Department at Aalto University. With a background in bionics engineering and cognitive ergonomics, she has a great interest in studying emotions and everyday interactions with digital technologies. During her master’s, she studied the emotional response elicited in a game situation when a humanoid robot is a playmate. She worked for five years at the ergonomics research laboratory at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where she participated in several projects at the crossing between cognitive ergonomics, design, and engineering. Now, her research is focused on the study of emotions elicited in social virtual environments as a simulation of real-life social interactions, particularly in intergroup relations.
Matilde Tassinari is a doctoral student in Social Psychology at Helsinki University. Her research area revolves around better understanding the emotional side of prejudice, specifically how it influences everyday interactions with minorities from an intergroup relations perspective. As part of the project, she aims at overcoming the methodological issues of studying emotional reactions to intergroup contact by adopting a multidisciplinary approach. Her previous research experience includes how socioeconomic inequality is influenced by group identification and perceived justice.
Matthias B Aulbach is a postdoctoral researcher in social psychology at the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Social Sciences. With a background in psychology, he has worked in the clinical addiction field before starting his PhD in the Behavior Change and Well-being research group at the University of Helsinki. In his thesis, he examined how behavioral impulses towards unhealthy foods can be reduced with simple computer tasks, using a wide range of methods (meta-analysis, EEG, smartphone data from a field trial). Further, he has worked on other health-psychological topics like physical activity and sedentary behavior. He is interested in all things impulse control and is now excited to apply his knowledge in the domain of intergoup contact.
Aino Saarinen is a postdoctoral researcher who is currently working in the research group of Emotional Interaction and eHealth at the University of Helsinki. Her primary interest is the connection of personality characteristics and social interaction with brain functioning and physiological responses. She has done her doctoral dissertations in psychology (at the University of Helsinki), medicine (at the University of Oulu), and educational sciences (at the University of Helsinki). Previously, she has published research about e.g. how psychosocial environment affects personality development, which risk factors predispose to the emergence of paranoid ideation, and how personality characteristics or life events are related to brain structure and brain functioning.