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Clinical Emotion Neuroscience Lab
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Clinical Emotion Neuroscience Lab

Lab Director

Katarzyna Kucharska, MD, PhD

Consultant Psychiatrist; Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychology, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, Poland

MD (1996) and PhD in Medical Sciences (2000) – both at the Medical University of Lublin, Poland; Master Practitioner for Eating Disorders and Obesity (2010)

Prof. Kucharska was a Visiting Research Fellow (2000) and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Psychological Medicine at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London, UK (2002–2003). During her stay in the UK, she also worked, among others, as Assistant Professor and Consultant Psychiatrist at Cardiff Medical School (2004–2007) and at Hull York Medical School (2007–2012). Prof. Kucharska was also Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation (2012) and of the Department of Neuroses, Personality Disorders, and Eating Disorders (2014–2019) at the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Warsaw.

Main research interests: clinical affective and social cognitive neuroscience, social cognition and neurocognition in mental disorders, genetics of mental disorders, eating disorders. Author and co-author of 4 books, 9 book chapters and numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals.


Philip S. Santangelo, PhD

Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Mental mHealth Lab at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany

PhD (2015) in the Humanities and Social Sciences at KIT. PhD thesis: ‘Ambulatory assessment in borderline personality disorder: Present state of research and new insights into symptomatology as it unfolds in daily life’.

He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the REPEAT Lab at Syracuse University, USA. Dr. Santangelo does research in clinical psychology using ambulatory assessment in order to examine how psychopathology unfolds in daily life as well as how psychotherapy effects patients’ behavior in everyday life. He is a psychotherapist in training at the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany.

Author and co-author of several papers in peer-reviewed journals. Recent publications: ‘The temporal interplay of self-esteem instability and affective instability in borderline personality disorder patients’ everyday lives’ (Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2017) and ‘Affective instability across the lifespan in borderline personality disorder – A cross-sectional e-diary study’ (Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 2018).

Ewa Skimina, PhD

Personalitas – Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Development and Personality, Institute of Psychology, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

MSc in Psychology (2013) and PhD in Psychology (2020) from the Institute of Psychology at Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw. Since 2017, she has been working at the same university: as Research Assistant at the Department of Family Studies (2017–2019) and as Research and Teaching Assistant at the Institute of Psychology (2018–present). In 2019, she completed a three-month internship at the Personality, Motivation, and Cognition Laboratory at the Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA under the supervision of Prof. William Revelle.

Her research interests comprise personality psychology and psychometrics. She does research on personality dynamics using the experience sampling method (ESM).

Agnieszka Pluta, PhD

Assistant Professor at the Bioimaging Research Center at the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing, Kajetany, Poland and at the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Warsaw, Poland

MSc in Psychology (2006) and PhD in Clinical Neuropsychology (2012) – both at the University of Warsaw. She was a Fulbright scholar at the Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.

Main research interests: social and cognitive neuroscience

Dr. Pluta has authored numerous scientific articles and presentations at international conferences in the area of neuropsychology, social neuroscience, and neuroimaging methods.

Tomasz Wolak, PhD

Head of the Bioimaging Research Center and Associate Professor at the World Hearing Center of the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing, Kajetany, Poland

MSc in Medical and Nuclear Electronics (1998) and PhD in Technical Sciences (2011) – both at the Warsaw University of Technology

Main research interests: fMRI, brain image segmentation, image analysis and visualization, language and auditory functional studies

Prof. Wolak actively participated in numerous research projects on the application of the fMRI technique for studying sensory and cognitive processes in humans. He was involved in the formation of the Laboratory of Diagnostic Imaging at the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing. In 2009, the Laboratory has evolved into the Bioimaging Research Center, equipped with a modern 3T magnetic resonance scanner. Prof. Wolak collaborated with a number of clinical and scientific centers in Poland, where he introduced fMRI into clinical practice. He has 20 years of experience in neuroimaging, more than 3,000 performed studies and analyses, and participated in several research projects related to fMRI and EEG/fMRI.

Magdalena Wayda-Zalewska, PhD student

Institute of Psychology, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

MSc in Psychology (2003) from SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities and MSc in Pedagogy (2006) from the University of Warsaw. She also graduated in postgraduate studies in psychodynamic psychotherapy from Krakow Psychodynamic Centre and earned the diploma of a psychodynamic psychotherapist of the Polish Society for Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (2016). She gained professional experience as a researcher and psychotherapist at the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Warsaw (2017-2018).

She has actively participated in scientific conferences and authored articles published in peer-reviewed journals. She takes an interdisciplinary approach to her research, combining the fields of clinical psychology and psychiatry. Her research interests focus on clinical neuropsychology, eating disorders, and emotion regulation.

Emilia Kot, MSc, PhD Student

She received a MSc degree in Dietetics in 2016 (Warsaw University of Life Sciences) and MSc degree in Psychology in 2017 (University of Warsaw; specialization: Experimental Social Psychology). Currently, she is a PhD Student at the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Warsaw and at the University of Warsaw. She has been working in scientific projects focusing on eating disorders and personality disorders. She is an author and co-author of several scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, a book chapter, and presentations at national and international conferences. Her research interests comprise neurobiological underpinnings of eating disorders, taste perception and taste processing in eating disorders, and emotional functioning of patients with personality disorders and eating disorders.