Keynotes - Invited Speakers

Daniel Wolpert

Columbia University

Keynote lecture: Computational principles underlying the learning of sensorimotor repertoires 

About the speaker: Daniel Wolpert read medicine at Cambridge before completing an Oxford Physiology DPhil and a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT. He joined the faculty at the Institute of Neurology, UCL in 1995  and moved to Cambridge University in 2005 where he was Professor of Engineering and a Royal Society Research Professor. In 2018 he joined the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute at Columbia University as Professor of Neuroscience. He  was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (2012) and  has been awarded the  Royal Society Francis Crick Prize Lecture (2005), the Minerva Foundation Golden Brain Award (2010) and the  Royal Society  Ferrier medal (2020). His research interests are computational and experimental approaches to human movement (

Abstract: Humans spend a lifetime learning, storing and refining a repertoire of motor memories. However, it is unknown what principle underlies the way our continuous stream of sensorimotor experience is segmented into separate memories and how we adapt and use this growing repertoire. Here we develop a principled theory of motor learning based on the key insight that memory creation, updating, and expression are all controlled by a single computation – contextual inference. Unlike dominant theories of single-context learning, our repertoire-learning model accounts for key features of motor learning that had no unified explanation and predicts novel phenomena, which we confirm experimentally. These results suggest that contextual inference is the key principle underlying how a diverse set of experiences is reflected in motor behavior.




Elizabeth Valentine

University of London

Hot Topic: Frauen in der Psychologie

Keynote lecture: European pioneer women psychologists in comparison with their British and American counterparts

About the speakerElizabeth Valentine is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London. She has published widely in theoretical and experimental psychology and was a founder member and former chair of the History & Philosophy Section of the British Psychological Society. Her current research interests focus on the development of institutional psychology in London in the early nineteenth century, with a particular interest in women pioneer psychologists.

Abstract: I shall present brief biographies of 11 European pioneer women psychologists and consider whether the findings of research on their British and American counterparts apply to the continental Europeans or whether they show different patterns, on a range of issues. (1) Are the groups demographically comparable? (2) How were they affected by (a) limited access to education and (b) restricted opportunities for employment? (3) Were their fields of work restricted to traditionally feminine areas? (4) Were they able to combine marriage and/or motherhood with a career? (5) Did they have male colleagues as mentors and collaborators? The most striking difference between the groups is the effect of politics on the Europeans: Marxist Communism in Russia and National Socialism in Germany, although their responses differed. Some of the pioneers supported or adapted to the regime; others were adversely affected by political oppression. Those of Jewish descent were forced to emigrate or in one case to commit suicide.



Björn Rasch

University of Fribourg

Keynote lecture: How does Cognition influence Sleep?

About the speaker: Björn Rasch is Professor of Cognitive Biopsychology and Methods at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) since 2013. During is academic career, he has worked at the Universities of Lübeck, Trier, Rutgers, Basel and Zürich. In his research, Björn Rasch focusses on the interaction between sleep and cognition, with a particular focus on the question how to improve sleep processes by cognitive, non-pharmacological interventions.

Abstract: Sleep, particularly slow-wave sleep (SWS), is critical for optimal cognitive functioning and health. Sleep disturbances are highly frequent in our society and strongly influenced by cognitive factors, e.g. rumination, expectations and thoughts. However, the mechanism of how cognition influences sleep architecture is not yet understood.
To explain how cognition influences sleep, I propose the “Memories-of-Sleep” (MemoSleep)-Hypothesis. The hypothesis proposes that the influence of thoughts on later sleep relies on a repeated reactivation of the thought content and its associated embodied representation during sleep. In my talk, I will explain the rational of the MemoSleep-Hypothesis, and present and discuss recent experimental findings.

© Stéphane Schmutz / STEMUTZ.COM

Katharina Scheiter

University of Potsdam

Hot Topic: Herausforderung digitale Lehre

Keynote lecture: Technology-enhanced learning and teaching: A psychological perspective

About the speaker: Katharina Scheiter studied psychology in Göttingen and received her doctorate from the University of Tübingen in 2003 after working as a researcher at Saarland University. She habilitated in psychology at the University of Tübingen in 2009 with a cumulative thesis on learning with multimedia. From 2011 to 2022, she was head of the Multiple Representations Research Group at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien and W3 Professor for Empirical Research on Learning and Instruction at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen. Since May 2022, she is Full Professor for Digital Education at the University of Potsdam. Her research focuses on cognitive and metacognitive processes and their support in learning with digital media, as well as on the design of media-supported teaching scenarios that promote learning and the competencies of teachers required for this. From 2013-2015, she was the spokesperson of the Educational Psychology Division (Fachgruppe Pädagogische Psychologie) and has been an elected member of the DFG’s Review Board in Psychology since 2020.

Abstract: In education, technology is used more and more often for learning and teaching; however, its mere provision often fails to yield the envisioned effects on student achievement. This is partly due to the fact that technology is often underused in education even when being widely available. Moreover, its design and integration into the classroom are often not informed by knowledge on what constitutes effective learning and teaching, which may explain the lack of educational effectiveness. In the present talk, I will introduce a use-inspired research agenda on how to better understand and to support learning and teaching with technology with the aim of eventually improving education. In Part I will introduce research findings that corroborate the role of mental integration of information from text and pictures (i.e., multimedia) as a pivotal learning process. Part II introduces interventions aimed to enhance text-picture integration. Finally, in Part III I will illustrate the additional steps necessary to transition from basic research to the real-world educational context. 


Jürgen Margraf

Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Hot Topic: Sustainability in psychotherapy

Keynote lecture: All’s well that ends well? On the Sustainability of the Treatment of Mental Disorders

About the speaker: Jürgen Margraf ist Alexander von Humboldt-Professor für Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie an der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, wo er Direktor des Forschungs- und Behandlungszentrums für psychische Gesundheit ist. In seinem Arbeitsschwerpunkt „Psychische Gesundheit“ interessieren ihn besonders die Verbindung von Ursachen- und Therapieforschung sowie das Zusammenspiel psychologischer, biologischer und sozialer Faktoren. Seine Arbeit hat ihrer Niederschlag in über 500 Publikationen sowie führenden Lehrbüchern, klinischen Wörterbüchern und Therapiemanualen gefunden. Prof. Margraf war Gründungsvorsitzender des Wissenschaftlichen Beirates Psychotherapie der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Direktor des schweizerischen Nationalen Forschungsschwerpunktes sesam (swiss etiological study of adjustment and mental health), Präsi­dent des euro­päischen Dachverbandes für Verhaltens­therapie (European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies) und Präsident der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie (DGPs). Er ist Mitglied der Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften) und der Academia Europaea sowie Fellow der Association for Psychological Science. Seine Arbeit wurde wiederholt ausgezeichnet, u.a. mit dem Franz Emanuel Weinert-Preis für herausragende wissenschaftlichen Leistungen in der Forschung zur Angst und dem Betreuerpreis der Jungmitglieder der Fachgruppe Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie der DGPs für hervorragende Dissertationsbetreuung. Als erster Psychologe erhielt er mit der Humboldt-Professur den höchstdotierten deutschen Forschungspreis.

Abstract: The resumption of the DGPs congress after the pandemic break is a good opportunity to get an up-to-date overview. This also applies to the largest field of application in psychology. A good half century of intensive research has shown that effective treatments exist for most mental disorders. However, the vast majority of studies, and unfortunately the guidelines based on them, only look at short-term effectiveness. Mental disorders, however, are often fluctuating but chronic conditions. So what really matters is sustained improvement. What do we now know about the long-term effects of psychological and competing treatments? Remarkably, research shows a sharp contrast between major treatment modalities. Lasting success after treatment ends is seen only in psychotherapy (typically cognitive behavioral therapy), while potential positive effects of pharmacological treatments disappear quickly after medication is discontinued. This has been demonstrated by an appreciable number of studies, especially for anxiety disorders and depression. For social interventions, there are hardly any systematic studies available, but the few existing data give cause for optimism. The lasting effects of psychotherapeutic interventions in particular, especially brief ones, are a strong argument for their increased use in the management of mental disorders, a key challenge for health systems in the 21st century.

Felix Warneken

University of Michigan

Hot Topic: Wie wirkt sich Corona auf die Entwicklung in unterschiedlichen Altersstufen aus?

Keynote lecture: What Children Reveal About the Origins of Human Cooperation

About the speaker: Dr. Felix Warneken is Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan and Director of the Social Minds Lab. Trained as a developmental and comparative psychologist, he and his students investigate the social behaviors of children, with a focus on the origins of cooperation and morality. He has received early career awards from the National Science Foundation, the Society for Research in Child Development, the Association for Psychological Science and the American Psychological Association. He was selected as a Fellow of the Radcliffe Center for Advanced Study, a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences. His research has been featured in several documentaries by PBS NOVA, Arte, and Netflix.

Abstract: Humans are able to cooperate with others in sophisticated, flexible ways: assisting others who need help, working collaboratively in teams, and sharing resources according to what’s ‘fair’. How do humans accomplish these behaviors? In some views, humans are initially driven by purely selfish motives and must be taught to be cooperative through socialization. Yet other views suggest we have a biological predisposition for cooperation that emerges early. I will advance a theoretical framework according to which young children already possess the foundational abilities to generate benefit through cooperation, but require an extended period of development to learn how to balance benefits to self and others to maintain cooperation as a viable strategy. To support this view, I will discuss developmental studies with children and comparative studies with chimpanzees that provide insight into the origins of human cooperation. In addition, I present studies highlighting the major changes in children’s cooperative development as their cognitive abilities expand and they acquire cultural norms to guide their behavior in human-unique ways. I conclude with studies showing how older children learn to use their own cooperative behaviors to influence others – sometimes for their selfish ends.


Felicia Pratto

University of Connecticut

Hot Topic: Societal Polarization and Radicalization

Keynote lecture: The Psychology Behind Regressive Politics

About the speaker: Felicia Pratto earned her PhD in 1988 from NYU and joined the faculty at Stanford University from 1990-1998. A Professor of Psychological Sciences at the University of Connecticut since 2003, she has authored 150 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. She is known for her work in political psychology, especially in understanding power relations between groups, social-cognitive biases in social category norms and evaluations of prospects, the psychology of generalized prejudice, social dominance theory, and power basis theory. She utilizes multiple kinds of empirical research methods in her work connects with public policy, law, sociology, political science, and public health

Abstract: After periods of modernization and liberalization, some nations are experiencing reactionary rightward shifts characterized by grievance, uncivil action, and repression of new and even of established rights. I discuss the social-political psychology behind those expressing regressive political stances by considering what it means to view others as enemies rather than as opponents or fellow-persons, how lack of empathy informs reactionary politics, how narcissism and utilitarianism shape the stances that certain individuals take towards other people, and how these combine in the political psychological orientations trying to restore a fictive glorious past, a dominative social order, and leadership exemplified as ruthlessness.

Ute Stephan

King´s College London

Hot Topic: Ungleichheit im Arbeitskontext

Keynote lecture: The Psychology of Entrepreneurs‘ Well-being: The State of the Art and Insights for the Future of Work

About the speaker: Ute Stephan is Professor of Entrepreneurship at King’s College London, TransCampus Professor (Work & Organizational Psychology) at TU Dresden, Germany, Honorary Professor at Aston Business School, and a Fellow of the International Association of Applied Psychology. From 2015-2019 she was Editor-in-Chief of Applied Psychology: An International Review, currently she is an Editor at Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice and a Consulting Editor at the Journal of International Business Studies. As an expert on the Psychology of Entrepreneurship, Ute researches how individuals and societies can thrive through entrepreneurship. She studies entrepreneurial wellbeing, social entrepreneurship, and culture. Her work has won multiple international awards, attracted over £3 million in funding from the European Commission, the UK Government, research councils, and charities; and has been featured in the media including The Guardian, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC, AlJazeera, and others. She regularly publishes in leading scientific journals. She currently leads a global study on Entrepreneurship & Covid-19 spotlighting the wellbeing and resilience of diverse entrepreneurs. For more information see and

Abstract: Although entrepreneurs are often depicted as seeking riches, they earn on average less than if they were working as organizational employees. In fact, the main motivations for individuals to become entrepreneurs are expectations of independence/autonomy, meaningful and satisfying work, and well-being. Unsurprisingly then, scholarly interest in entrepreneurs‘ mental health and well-being (MWB) is growing rapidly in recognition that well-being is an important outcome of entrepreneurship that entrepreneurs themselves value.

Drawing on latest developments in this emerging research area, systematic reviews and a meta-analysis, I explore whether entrepreneurship is indeed a path to happiness, the drivers and consequences of entrepreneurs‘ MWB, and introduce the entrepreneur wellbeing paradox. I outline key areas in need of future research and reflect on what we can learn from research on entrepreneurs‘ well-being for the future of work in general considering that the future of work reflects important features of entrepreneurs‘ work such as, for example, uncertainty, responsibility and dynamically shifting demands.

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Theresa Marteau

University of Cambridge

Keynote lecture: The Power of Environments to Change our Behaviour: From Worse to Better

About the speaker: Director, Behaviour and Health Research Unit, University of Cambridge

Co-Chair Lancet Chatham House Commission on Improving Population Health Post COVID-19

Research focus:

  1. development and evaluation of interventions to change behaviour (principally diet, tobacco and alcohol consumption) to improve population health equitably and sustainably, with a particular focus on targeting non-conscious processes
  2. risk perception and communication, particular of biomarker-derived risks, and their weak links with behaviour change
  3. acceptability to publics and policy makers of government intervention to change behaviour
Abstract: Environments have a powerful impact on our behaviour, and much stronger than we like to think. These two observations are core to understanding and correcting our past failures – as individuals and governments – to change our behaviour to improve our health and protect the planet.

Sandra Matz

Columbia Business School 

Hot Topic: New Technologies in Psychological Assessment

Keynote lecture: The Human Microscope: How Big Data Provides a Window into Our Psyche

About the speaker: Sandra Matz is the David W. Zalaznick Associate Professor of Business at Columbia Business School. She leverages Big Data analytics and experimental methods to describe, predict and influence how people – and organizations – think, feel and behave.  In 2021 she was recognized as one of the „40 under 40 best Business School Professors“ by Poets and Quants.

Abstract: Every step we take in the digital world creates a footprint. A digital record of our behavior. In this talk, I will show how these digital footprints can be translated into psychological characteristics, including personality traits and states. In addition to discussing the psychometric properties of such computational personality assessments, I will also explore the opportunities and challenges they create for researchers and practitioners.


Picture Credits: Katharina Scheiter – IWM Tübingen / Paavo Ruch; Jürgen Margraf – Alexander Basta, Düsseldorf