Mari Hrkać

Institute of Psychology
Fliednerstraße 21
D-48149 Münster



PhD in 2014

Research Project

Neuronal signatures of contextual embedding in action observation

When we witness an action, we usually see a person acting step by step in a goal-directed fashion. We easily link the steps together and recognize an overarching goal, even if the action is interrupted or performed by more than one person. There are different possible ways of linking action steps together and forming an episode, e.g. an overarching goal or a common agent. Further, the probability of two action steps being performed in a row or their closeness (in time and space) can modulate the perceived relatedness.

My research interest focuses on the neural structures of linking action steps together and the influence of these different factors.

Promotion Committee

Prof. Dr. Ricarda Schubotz
Prof. Dr. Markus Lappe
PD Dr. Christian Dobel


Hampel, P., Brunnberg, A., Krohn-Grimberghe, B., Mantel, F., Thomsen, M., Hoischen, A., Hrkać, M., Tlach, L., Morfeld, M & Mohr, B. (2009). Schmerzchronifizierung, Geschlecht und Rehabilitationserfolg bei chronischem Rückenschmerz: Eine Pilotstudie. Der Orthopäde, 38, 742-751.

Conference Contributions

Hrkać, M., Wurm, M., Morikawa, Y., Schubotz, R. (2011). Merging acts to episodes: What are the neural correlates of episodic embedding of observed actions?
Poster Presentation at the Donders Discussions, Nijmegen, Netherlands.

Hrkać, M., Wurm, M., Morikawa, Y., Schubotz, R. (2011). Merging acts to episodes: what is more important, consistency of the actor or the presence of overarching goals? Poster Presentation at the  18th Annual Cognitive Neuroscience Society Meeting, San Francisco, USA.

Hrkać, M.
, Wurm, M.F., Morikawa, Y., Schubotz, R. I. (2011). Was ist wichtiger für das Verstehen einer Episode, Kohärenz der Person oder Handlungsziel? Neuronale Korrelate der Kohärenzbildung bei Handlungsbeobachtung. Poster Presentation at the 53. Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen, Halle, Germany.

Stefanowitsch, A., Goschler, J., Hrkać, M. (2010).TIME is not SPACE: Differences in the interpretation of directional terms in spatial and temporal tasks. Poster Presentation at the Fourth International Conference of the German Cognitive Linguistics Association, Bremen, Germany.


*1985 Bremen, Germany
2004–2010 studies in Psychology at the University of Bremen
2006-2007 studies in Psychology at the University of Salamanca, Spain
2010 Beginning of the PhD research project, Max Planck Institute for neurological research, Köln
since 2011 Institute of Psychology, University of Münster