Julien Hernandez-Lallement - PhD Student in Comparative Psychology at HHU

Julien Hernandez-Lallement, PhD student at the Institute of Comparative Psychology
Photo: Private

After his Master´s degree at the University of Bordeaux, France, Julien Hernandez-Lallement worked as a Research Assistant at the Center for Economics and Neuroscience in Bonn (CENs), Germany. He met HHU Psychology Professor Tobias Kalenscher at a conference in Bonn which initiated his PhD project on "Social decision-making processes in rats". As a young neuroscientist he was interested in working with animals as a new approach in "decision-making" research.

For almost three years, he worked on this project at the Department of Comparative Psychology and developed it from the beginning. He currently published a paper on his PhD project in the journal "Frontiers in Neuroscience" called "Rats prefer mutual rewards in a prosocial choice task". Julien Hernandez-Lallement and his colleagues discovered that rats are willing to support their conspecifics without gaining an advantage for themselves. The experiment is one of the first to show that it is not only in the nature of humans to make decisions in a social context. This suggests that prosocial behavior constituted early in evolution.

 For Julien Hernandez-Lallement it was mainly a kind of personal fulfillment working on this topic, in search of recognition for his project. "It was nice to have the feeling that I can publish something so that other scientists gain insight."

He appreciated the team spirit within the group of Professor Kalenscher. Research questions are easily discussed with each other and he benefited from the vast knowledge about animal research in the group.

Julien is going to graduate at the end of 2015.

Julien Hernandez-Lallement has been interviewed by Mareike Schulz in February 2015.

In person

Julien Hernandez-Lallement

Nationality: French/Spanish

PhD project:
The behavional and neural bases of social decision making

Research group:
Prof. Dr. Tobias Kalenscher, Institute for Comparative Psychology at HHU

Graduate Training:
Member of the Interdisciplinary Graduate and Research Academy (iGRAD)

Hernandez-Lallement J. et. al. (2015) Rats prefer mutual rewards in a prosocial choice task. Frontiers in neuroscience 8:1-9.

Hernandez Lallement J. et. al. (2013). Effort increases sensitivity to reward and loss magnitude in the human brain. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience; doi: 10.1093/scan/nss147

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