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AICE researchers Milica Nikolic and Disa Sauter won the Amsterdam Brain and Cognition Talent grant for studying neural mechanisms of self-conscious emotions in socially anxious adolescents.

Milica Nicolic won the Amsterdam Brain and Cognition Talent grant which will allow her to conduct a 1-year project as a post-doc under supervision of Disa Sauter and in collaboration with Ramon Lindauer from AMC, Christian Keysers and Valeria Gazolla from NIN.

They will investigate neural mechanisms of self-conscious emotions in socially anxious adolescents. Self-conscious emotions, such as embarrassment and shame, are powerful forces that facilitate social affiliation but dysregulation in self-conscious emotions can significantly impair social functioning. In particular, excessive embarrassment and shame and related blushing responses are hallmark features of social anxiety disorder (SAD), a common mental disorder that starts in adolescence. How self-conscious emotions such as embarrassment arise at the neural system level and how they become dysregulated in SAD is poorly understood. The aim of this project is to unravel the neural underpinnings of embarrassment including blushing, its self-perception, and related mentalizing in adolescents with high and low levels of social anxiety.

Congratulations Milica and Disa!