Research Topics

  • Decision-making
  • Risk-taking
  • Self vs. other
  • Social status
  • Neuroeconomics
  • Neuroimaging
  • Steroid hormones



Short Profile

As of September 2020, Dr. Annabel Losecaat Vermeer is a postdoc at the Decision Neuroscience and Nutrition department of the German Institute of Human Nutrition.

Her research aims to understand the neurobiological and psychological mechanisms that underlie decision-making under risk and in social interactions. For example, how information about one’s social status influences behavior in competitive interactions as well as risk-taking, and how hormones affect motivation and socio-economic choices. To this end, she takes an interdisciplinary approach by combining methods from psychology, neuroscience, economics, and psychopharmacology to achieve a mechanistic understanding of human social and economic decision-making.

Before joining the DNN, Annabel was a postdoc at the Neuropsychopharmacology & Biopsychology Unit of the University of Vienna where she worked with Dr. Christoph Eisenegger and Prof. Claus Lamm. Here she studied the causal role hormones (testosterone and estradiol) play in decision-making related to social status, risk-taking and learning of social dominance relationships, using pharmacological interventions in combination with genetics.

Annabel obtained her PhD at the Donders Institute for Cognitive Neuroimaging and Behavioural Science Institute of the Radboud University (Nijmegen, The Netherlands) under the supervision of Prof. Alan Sanfey and Prof. Ap Dijksterhuis. During her PhD, her research focused on the neural and psychological mechanisms underlying risky decision-making for social and non-social outcomes.

Next to work, Annabel enjoys exploring new places, loves to go horse riding, and challenges herself in trying to hit the (small) mountains by bike and go down on snowboard.


Key Publications

Botvinik-Nezer, R., Holzmeister, F., Camerer, C.F., ..., Losecaat Vermeer, A.B., ..., Nichols, T.E., Poldrack, R.A., & Schonberg, T.: Variability in the analysis of a single neuroimaging dataset by many teams. Nature 582, 84–88 (2020).

Losecaat Vermeer, A.B., Boksem, M.A.S., Gausterer, C., Eisenegger, C., & Lamm, C.: Testosterone increases risk-taking for status but not for money. PsyArXiv [preprint] (2020).

Veselic, S., Jocham, G., Gausterer, C., Ernhoefer-Reßler, M., Wagner, B., Lanzenberger, R., Lamm, C., Eisenegger, C., & Losecaat Vermeer, A.B.: A causal role for estradiol in human reinforcement learning. bioRxiv [preprint] (2020).

Losecaat Vermeer, A.B., Krol, I., Gausterer, C., Wagner, B., Eisenegger, C., & Lamm, C.: Exogenous testosterone increases status-seeking motivation in men with unstable low social status. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 113, 104552 (2020).

Losecaat Vermeer, A.B., Boksem, M.A.S., & Sanfey, A.G.: Third-party decision making under risk as a function of prior gains and losses. Journal of Economic Psychology, 102206 (2019).

Losecaat Vermeer, A.B., Riecansky, I., & Eisenegger, C.: Competition, sex hormones and adult neurobehavioral plasticity. Progress in Brain Research, 229 (2016)

Losecaat Vermeer, A.B., Heerema, R.L., & Sanfey, A.G.: Third-Party Cooperation: How Reducing Material Involvement Enhances Contributions to the Public Good.Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 42 (3), 337–349 (2016).

Losecaat Vermeer, A.B., & Sanfey, A.G.: The Effect of Positive and Negative Feedback on Risk-Taking across Different Contexts. PLoS ONE, 10 (9), 1–13 (2015). [Open Access]

Losecaat Vermeer, A.B., Boksem, M.A.S., & Sanfey, A.G.: Neural mechanisms underlying context-dependent shifts in risk preferences. NeuroImage, 103, 355–363 (2014).