European Society of Social and Affective Neuroscience

Welcome to everyone interested in the frontier research at the intersection of neuroscience and social and affective psychology.

The last decade has witnessed an upsurge of social neuroscientific approaches exploring the social and emotional aspects of the human mind and human behavior by applying novel neuroimaging techniques. Researchers from various areas including psychologists, neuroscientists, and other sciences who explore the area of social and affective behavior, and using neuroscience techniques are invited to joint our common efforts to explore this new neuroscientific approach aimed at increasing our understanding of social and affective cognition.


For those who know us longer, you will note that we changed the name of ESAN into ESSAN, an additional S to indicate that we are now moving to a more structured Society.

Mission statement

ESSAN gathers scientists dedicated to promoting the emerging field of social and affective neuroscience in Europe and beyond. The society involves and addresses researchers at all stages of their academic career interested in a neuroscientific approach to social cognition and social behavior and from all the empirical disciplines that contribute to this topic (psychology, biology, medicine, economics, etc.). The society aims at creating a community of social neuroscientists who share and critically discuss scientific ideas and methods, combine their knowledge and experience to improve the quality of their research and models, and establish lasting collaborations and friendly relationships. ESSAN offers a platform where they can connect and exchange, and where they can find and circulate information. To this purpose, the (board) members take the initiative of organizing regular meetings and trainings and of providing information about scientific events and projects, as well as job and funding opportunities thanks to an information letter and a website dedicated to the society.


ESSAN fosters social and affective neuroscience at the European scientific forum, and communication between researchers at the senior and junior level. Currently, ESSAN is linked to two parent organizations:

- European Association of Social Psychology (EASP) which supports many small groups meetings and was founded in 1966,

- European Society for Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (ESCAN) recently founded in 2009.

A group of young and senior researchers compose a new board that organizes several initiatives (e.g., meetings).

Mailing list and free membership

If you subscribe to the ESSAN mailing list, you will receive announcements about upcoming conferences or workshops on social and affective neuroscience in Europe and elsewhere. You automatically also become member of the ESSAN society, at no cost!

Moreover, if you have questions or announcements that are of general interest, please mail them to the ESSAN mailing list.

1.  To receive messages from the ESSAN mailing list and to become member of ESSAN, first register by sending a prepared mail message (after your mailing program opened, simply click on send).

2.   Now you are member of ESSAN 

3.   Now you can send your own announcements and questions to the ESSAN mailing list by sending a message to

4.  You can remove yourself at any time from ESSAN membership and mailing list by sending a prepared mail message (after your mailing program opened, click on send).

Your privacy

We care about your privacy! Therefore your emails are used only for the ESSAN mailing list and membership directory, and will be never provided to any third parties under any circumstances.


Past Meetings

19 July 2018 workshop "Contextual: How the Social Context Shapes Brain and Behaviour" during the ESCAN meeting in Leiden, The Netherlands


4 July 2017 Preconference on "Social minds, Social brains" in conjunction with the EASP General Meeting 2017 in Granda, Spain

9-11 September 2015: Small Group Meeting on Social Neuroscience in Graz, Austria

28 August 2013: Pre-conference: "Does social neuroscience contribute to social cognition" at the ESCON Meeting 2013


24-28 June 2013: 3rd European Social and Affective Neuroscience Workshop

14 November 2011: Symposium on the Social Brain hosted by the Royal Academy in Brussels, Belgium.

15-18 November 2011: 2nd European Social Neuroscience Workshop held in Ghent - Belgium.

21-25 June 2010: 1st European Social Neuroscience Workshop held in Ghent - Belgium

May 22 – 25, 2008: Expert Meeting: Social Neuroscience approach to Social Cognition was held in Ghent, Belgium





Board Members

Van Overwalle, Frank (president, Belgium)
Kedia, Gayannée (vice-president; Graz, Austria)

Harris, Lasana (London, U.K.)
Hein, Grit (Frankfurt, Germany)
Lamm, Claus (Vienna, Austria)
Lelieveld, Gert-Jan (Leiden, Netherlands)
Quadflieg, Susanne (Bristol, U.K.)
Van Dillen, Lotte (Leiden, Netherlands)
Bukowski, Henryk (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)
De Dreu, Carsten (Liason for EASP)

New candidates are welcome and can always mail to


Founding Members

Van Overwalle, Frank (Belgium)
Brass, Marcel (Belgium)
Samson, Dana (Belgium)
D'Argembeau, Arnaud (Belgium)
Achtziger, Anja (Germany)
Tomelleri, Silvia (Italy)
Apperly, Ian (UK, England)
Blackwood, Nigel (UK, England)
Dumontheil, Iroise (UK, England)
Gilbert, Sam (UK, England)
Mobbs, Dean (UK, England)
Macrae, Neil (UK, Scottland)
Turk, David(UK, Scottland)



Frank Van Overwalle
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Department of Psychology
Pleinlaan 2
B - 1050 Brussel
phone : + 32-2-629 25 18
fax : + 32-2-629 24 89