Christian Keysers

Prof. Dr. Christian Keysers studied psychology and biology at the University of Konstanz, the Ruhr University Bochum, University of Massachusetts Boston, the Shepens eye research Institute of the Harvard Medical School as well as with Marvin Minsky at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then started his research career at the University of St Andrews by investigating cells in the temporal cortex with David Perrett, and described cells that respond when the monkey views particular faces in a way that correlates with conscious perception. After that, he moved to the University of Parma where he was part of the team that discovered auditory mirror neurons in the frontal cortex of the macaque monkey. He expanded the notion of mirror neurons to emotions and sensations, by showing that your somatosensory cortex is active not only when you are being touched, but also if you see someone else being touched, and that your insular cortex is active not only if you feel disgusted, but also if you see someone else being disgusted. Currently, Keysers is head of the Social Brain Lab of the Netherlands Institute for Neurosciences of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.