head of the lab

Łukasz Okruszek, PhD

Łukasz is an associate professor in the Institute of Psychology, Polish Academy of Sciences and the Head of the Social Neuroscience Lab at the Institute of Psychology, PAS. He started his academic career in the field of clinical neuropsychology by investigating cognitive, affective and social cognitive deficits in patients with schizophrenia. Currently, his research focuses on the impact of loneliness and social isolation on social brain activity and explores how physical, psychical and social realms are intertwined and how they influence each other. He received his Ph.D (November 2016) and habilitation (October 2018) from University of Warsaw, an MA in Psychology from University of Łódź (2012), and MSc in Mathematics from Technical University of Łódź (2010). In his free time he is either playing with his son Mieszko, reading non-fiction books (or Marvel comics) or listening to some political podcasts.


photo by Maciej Nowicki

phd students

Aleksandra Piejka, MA

Aleksandra is a PhD candidate at the Graduate School for Social Research. She received her MA in Psychology from University of Warsaw (2018) with specialization in experimental social psychology. During her undergraduate studies she simultaneously conducted research on social cognition in psychiatric populations, and on the cognitive mechanisms underpinning moral judgements and prejudice. She also gained clinical experience in central clinical hospitals in Łódź and Warsaw, and took part in research projects in cooperation with Center for Research on Prejudice, University of Tilburg and Kozminski University. Her current research focuses on the impact of loneliness on social cognition and physiological activity, both in the laboratory and in everyday life. She is a council member of the ‘Można Zwariować’ Foundation. In her spare time she climbs, learns Japanese and volunteers in the community-based food cooperative “Dobrze”


Marcelina Wiśniewska, MA

Marcelina is a PhD student in the Graduate School for Social Research. During her undergraduate studies she helped in conducting research on neural underpinnings of theory of mind in both children and adults. Currently, her research focuses on investigating the links between loneliness and social information processing using behavioral, psychophysiological and neuroimaging methods. She received her MA in Cognitive Science (September 2019) and her BA in Cognitive Science (July 2017) from University of Warsaw. She loves attending concerts, drag, cats, bats and wearing black clothes. In her spare time, she enjoys creating art in traditional and digital ways, as well as experimenting with makeup.


Marta Chrustowicz, MA^2

Marta is a second-year doctoral student in Graduate School for Social Research at PAS. She graduated from The Maria Grzegorzewska University with a BA in Special Education (2015), MA in Psychology (2019) and from the University of Warsaw with an MA in Cognitive Science (2020). During her undergraduate studies she completed her Erasmus+ exchange at the University of Palermo (2017/18). She is interested in using neuromodulation methods to improve social brain activity. As a part of her MA she examined the impact of the pSTS stimulation on social perception in patients with schizophrenia. Her current research project examines the possibility of increasing effectiveness of top-down emotion regulation strategies in lonely individuals via stimulation of the prefrontal areas. Marta is also a fan of music and handicraft – in her spare time, she paints, sings, learns to play the violin and decorates furniture.


Szymon Mąka, MA

Szymon graduated with a BA in Sociology in 2018 and with an MA in Cognitive Science in 2020 from University of Warsaw. Currently he is a PhD candidate at the Graduate School for Social Research and works at Social Neuroscience Lab where he conducts research on the relationship between social cognition and loneliness based on behavioral and neurophysiological methods. He is interested in computational neuroscience and cognitive processes modeling. He is a fan of mountain trekking and statistics.


Małgorzata Krawczyk, MA

Małgorzata is a PhD candidate in the Graduate School for Social Research. Graduated with an MA in Psychology with specialization in clinical neuropsychology and psychotherapy (University of Warsaw) in 2016. In 2018 she started to work as a research assistant in the Institute of Psychology, Polish Academy of Sciences. She was engaged in several research projects, including a project on neural markers of social cognition in schizophrenia. In her own research she focuses on the clinical aspects of social cognitive deficits in neuropsychiatric disorders. In 2019 she started her PhD project investigating neural correlates of social cognition disorders in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (National Science Center of Poland, Preludium Grant, 2018/31/N/HS6/0375). During her free time she reads, practices yoga, listens to podcasts and wanders across Warsaw with her adopted dachshund (not necessarily at the same time).


Monika Malon, MA

Monika is a PhD candidate in the Graduate School for Social Research. She graduated with honors from University of Warsaw obtaining a BA in Applied Sociology and Social Anthropology (2020) and MA in Cognitive Science (2022). She is a four-time laureate of Rector’s Scholarship for Best Students, awarded with Faculty of Psychology Dean’s distinction for significant scientific achievements. She gained experience working with both neurotypical participants in the Institute of Psychology PAS and schizophrenia patients in the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Warsaw. She was employed as a Research Assistant in three grants funded by the National Science Center conducting behavioral and neurophysiological assessments. Her scientific interests include broadly understood human social nature explored on diverse levels of explanation and are currently focused on the topic of her PhD, that is subjective social isolation and prosocial tendencies.


Anna Schudy, MA

Anna is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Cognitive Psychology and Neurocognition, Faculty of in Psychology, University of Warsaw. Her scientific interests include social and clinical neuroscience, specifically social cognitive processes and response to social stressors in schizophrenia. Currently, she is conducting research on behavioural and physiological markers of response to social and non-social stressors in schizophrenia and in the general population using VR technology. She received her MA in Psychology from University of Warsaw in 2018. Apart from research career she also works as children and adolescent psychologist. She is also a certified crisis intervention counselor.



Currently no students are under supervision of our Lab.


  • Natalia Rutkowska, MA
  • Natalia Jakubowska, MA
  • Justyna Gula, MA
  • Marta Chrustowicz, MA
  • Karolina Żurek, MA
  • Olena Nikolenko, MA
  • Aleksandra Aniszewska-Stańczuk, MA
  • Liwia Piaskowska, MA
  • Katarzyna Wójcik, MA
  • Dominika Górz, MA
  • Przemysław Marciniak, MA
  • Franciszek Mendez Varela, MA
  • Marcin Lewandowski, MA (summa cum laude)
  • Joanna Wąsowicz, MA
  • Monika Malon, MA (summa cum laude)
  • Paula Wicher, MA (Research Assistant, 2017-18)
  • Jarosław Biedrzycki (Research Assistant, 2018-19)
  • Karolina Żurek, MA (Lab Manager, 2019-2022)