Léonie Koban

Post-doctoral Researcher

Institution : University of Colorado Boulder
Department : Institute of Cognitive Science
Research field : Affective and Social Neuroscience
Discipline : Psychology, Neuroscience
Thesis topic : Cerebral bases of individual differences in affect perception and regulation

NCCR position : doctoral student
NCCR PI : Patrik Vuilleumier
NCCR most relevant publications
Leonie Koban, Corrado Corradi-Dell’Acqua, & Patrik Vuilleumier (2013). Integration of Error Agency and Representation of Others' Pain in the Anterior Insula. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 25(2), 258-272.
Leonie Koban, Gilles Pourtois, Benoit Bediou, & Patrik Vuilleumier (2012). Effects of social context and predictive relevance on action outcome monitoring. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 12(3), 460-478.
Leonie Koban, Gilles Pourtois, Roland Vocat, & Patrik Vuilleumier (2010). When your errors make me lose or win: Event-related potentials to observed errors of cooperators and competitors. Social Neuroscience, 5(4), 360 - 374.


Cerebral bases of individual differences in affect perception and regulation


I studied Psychology at the University of Konstanz (Germany), where I became interested in cognitive and affective neuroscience. For my master thesis, I worked with Johanna Kissler and Thomas Gisler in an interdisciplinary research project on a new optical brain imaging technique (near-infrared Diffusing- Wave Spectroscopy, DWS). In order to cross-validate this method and to study the influence of emotional content on the visual processing of written words, we combined the optical DWS measurement with steady-state visual evoked potentials recorded by EEG.

From 2008 to 2012, I did my PhD in Neuroscience under the supervision of Patrik Vuilleumier (University of Geneva) and Gilles Pourtois (Ghent University), trying to understand the brain mechanisms of social conflict monitoring.

In November 2012, I will start as a post-doc in the lab of Tor Wager at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Please see my website for an up-to-date list of publications and current research.

Current Research

My PhD project focused on the neuroscience of interpersonal conflict detection and of social influences on cognitive control. Using event-related potentials (ERPs) and functional imaging (fMRI), I have investigated how neural responses to errors and negative outcomes are shaped by social context. For example, how does cooperation vs. competition between two participants alter the monitoring of one’s own as well as the partner’s actions? How does the brain process mistakes that cause the pain of another person, and what emotions are elicited by such events? The ultimate goal of this line of research is to understand the psychological and neural mechanisms that underlie the social guidance of human behavior.

Further, I am very excited about research on pain, both physical as well as different aspects of “social pain” (e.g. social exclusion or rejection, empathy). In ongoing research, we are trying to explore interactions between pain and cognitive control processes.

Together with five other researchers from the NCCR Affective Sciences, I am also involved in the NEMO project (Negotiation and Emotion), where I am especially interested in the relationship between interpersonal coordination and cooperative vs. competitive behavior.


Selected Publications

Koban, L., Pourtois, G. (2014) Brain systems underlying the affective and social monitoring of actions: an integrative review. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews , .
Koban, L., Corradi-Dell'Acqua, C., Vuilleumier, P. (2013) Integration of error agency and representation of others' pain in the anterior insula. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 25(2), 258-272.
Koban, L., Brass, M., Lynn, M. T., Pourtois, G. (2012) Placebo Analgesia Affects Brain Correlates of Error Processing. PLoS ONE 7(11), e49784.
Koban, L., Pourtois, G., Bediou, B, Vuilleumier, P. (2012) Effects of social context and predictive relevance on action outcome monitoring. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience XY(3), XX-XX.
Bediou, B, Koban, L., Rosset, S, Pourtois, G., Sander, D. (2012) Delayed monitoring of accuracy errors compared to commission errors in ACC. NeuroImage 60, 1925-1936.