Dr. Julia F. Christensen




Academic Education

2014PhD in psychology, University of the Balearic Island, Spain
2009Spezialisation Diploma in clinical psychology, University of the Balearic Island, Spain
2009Master in Human Evolution and Cognition "neuroscience route"),  University of the Balearic Island, Spain
2008Bsc and Master in Psychology, University of the Balearic Island, Spain
2004DEUG 1 (Diplôme d'études universitaires générales), psychology, Université Sophia Antipolice, Nice, France
2004Professional dance education, Centre Professionnelle d’Études en Dance, Nice, France

Professional Experience

Since 02/2019Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
01/2018–02/2019Consultant for Applied Consumer Neuroscience Labs
Since 04/2018Popular science writer („Tanzen ist die beste Medizin“; Rowohlt)
05/2017–01/2018Postdoctoral research associate, Warburg Institute London, University of London, UK
07/2015–03/2017Newton International Postdoctoral Research Fellow (British Academy) City, University London, UK
10/2014–07/2015Postdoctoral research associate, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, UK
01/2015–07/2015Teaching Fellow, Modul Neuroscience, Open University of Catalunya, Spain
10/2010–10/2014PhD scholarship by the Spanish Ministry of Education; University of the Balearic Islands, Spain




Articles (in peer-reviewed journals)

Christensen, J. F., Vartanian, M., Sancho-Escanero, L., Khorsandi, S., Yazdi, S. H. N., Farahi, F., Borhani, K., & Gomila, A. (2021). A Practice-Inspired Mindset for Researching the Psychophysiological and Medical Health Effects of Recreational Dance (Dance Sport) [Review]. Frontiers in Psychology, 11(3849), Article 588948.  doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.588948

Christensen, J. F., Azevedo, R. T., & Tsakiris, M. (2021). Emotion matters: Different psychophysiological responses to expressive and non-expressive full-body movements. Acta Psychologica, 212, Article 103215.  doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2020.103215

Christensen, J. F. (2019). Is war on the arts, war on human psychological systems? A view from experimental psychology and affective neuroscience. Leonardo, 1-11.  doi:10.1162/leon_a_01769

Christensen, J. F., Di Costa, S., & Beck, B. (2019). I just lost it! Fear and anger reduce sense of agency: a study using intentional binding. Experimental Brain Research, 237(5), 1205-1212.  doi:10.1007/s00221-018-5461-6

Christensen, J. F., Lambrechts, A., & Tsakiris, M. (2019). The Warburg Dance Movement Library—The WADAMO Library: A Validation Study. Perception, 48(1), 26-57.  doi:10.1177/0301006618816631

Nicholson, T. M., Williams, D. M., Grainger, C., Christensen, J. F., Calvo-Merino, B., & Gaigg, S. B. (2018). Interoceptive impairments do not lie at the heart of autism or alexithymia. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 127 (6), 612–622.  doi:10.1037/abn0000370

Racine, E., Dubljević, V., Jox, R. J., Baertschi, B., Christensen, J. F., Farisco, M., Jotterand, F., Kahane, G., &. Müller, S. (2017). Can Neuroscience Contribute to Practical Ethics? A Critical Review and Discussion of the Methodological and Translational Challenges of the Neuroscience of Ethics. Bioethics, 31(5), 328-337.  doi:10.1111/bioe.12357

Christensen, J. F., Gaigg, S. B., & Calvo-Merino, B. (2017). I can feel my heartbeat: Dancers have increased interoceptive accuracy. Psychophysiology, 55 (4), e13008.  doi:10.1111/psyp.13008

Christensen, J. F., Cela-Conde, C. J., & Gomila, A. (2017). Not all about sex: neural and biobehavioral functions of human dance. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1400 (1), 8–32.  doi:10.1111/nyas.13420

Christensen, J. F. (2017). Pleasure junkies all around! Why it matters and why ‘the arts’ might be the answer: a biopsychological perspective. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 284 (1854).  doi:10.1098/rspb.2016.2837

Christensen, J. F., Yoshie, M., Di Costa, S., & Haggard, P. (2016). Emotional valence, sense of agency and responsibility: A study using intentional binding. Consciousness and Cognition, 43, 1–10.  doi:10.1016/j.concog.2016.02.016

Christensen, J. F., Gomila, A., Gaigg, S. B., Sivarajah, N., & Calvo-Merino, B. (2016). Dance expertise modulates behavioral and psychophysiological responses to affective body movement. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 42 (8), 1139–1147. doi:10.1037/xhp0000176

Christensen, J. F., Pollick, F. E., Lambrechts, A., & Gomila, A. (2016). Affective responses to dance. Acta Psychologica, 168, 91–105.  doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2016.03.008

Christensen, J. F., Yoshie, M., Di Costa, S., & Haggard, P. (2016). Emotional valence, sense of agency and responsibility: A study using intentional binding. Consciousness and Cognition, 43, 1–10.  doi:10.1016/j.concog.2016.02.016

Caspar, E. A., Christensen, J. F., Cleeremans, A., & Haggard, P. (2016). Coercion Changes the Sense of Agency in the Human Brain. Current Biology, 26 (5), 585–592.  doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.12.067

Christensen, J. F., & Gomila, A. (2015). Exploring a new paradigm for empathy research / Explorando un nuevo paradigma para el estudio de la empatía. Estudios de Psicología, 36 (2), 481–495.  doi:10.1080/02109395.2015.1028727

Christensen, J. F., Flexas, A., Calabrese, M., Gut, N. K., & Gomila, A. (2014). Moral judgment reloaded: a moral dilemma validation study. Frontiers in Psychology, 5 (607).  doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00607

Christensen, J. F., Flexas, A., de Miguel, P., Cela-Conde, C. J., & Munar, E. (2014). Roman Catholic beliefs produce characteristic neural responses to moral dilemmas. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 9 (2), 240–249.  doi:10.1093/scan/nss121

Christensen, J. F., Gaigg, S. B., Gomila, A., Oke, P., & Calvo-Merino, B. (2014). Enhancing emotional experiences to dance through music: the role of valence and arousal in the cross-modal bias. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8 (757).  doi:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00757

Christensen, J. F., Nadal, M., Cela-Conde, C. J., & Gomila, A. (2014). A Norming Study and Library of 203 Dance Movements. Perception, 43 (2–3), 178–206.  doi:10.1068/p7581

Flexas, A., Rossello, J., Christensen, J. F., Nadal, M., La Rosa, A. O., & Munar, E. (2013). Affective Priming Using Facial Expressions Modulates Liking for Abstract Art. Plos One, 8 (11), e80154.  doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080154

Christensen, J. F., & Calvo-Merino, B. (2013). Dance as a Subject for Empirical Aesthetics. Psychology of Aesthetics Creativity and the Arts, 7 (1), 76–88. doi:10.1037/a0031827

Christensen, J. F., & Gomila, A. (2012). Moral dilemmas in cognitive neuroscience of moral decision-making: A principled review. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 36 (4), 1249–1264.  doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2012.02.008

Pearce, M. T., & Christensen, J. F. (2012). Conference report: The Neurosciences and Music-IV—Learning and Memory. Psychomusicology: Music, Mind, and Brain, 22 (1), 70–73. doi:10.1037/a0027235

Book Chapter

Christensen, J. F., & Borhani, K. (2020). Dance and the Imagination: Be a Butterfly! In A. Abraham (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of the Imagination (pp. 620-634). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  doi:10.1017/9781108580298.038

Karin, J., Haggard, P., & Christensen, J. F. (2017). Mental Training. In M. V. Wilmerding & D. H. Krasnow (Eds.), Dancer Wellness (pp. 57–70). Champaign, Canada: Human Kinetics.

Christensen, J. F., & Jola, C. (2015). Moving towards ecological validity in empirical aesthetics of dance. In J. P. Houston, M. Nadal, F. Mora, L. F. Agnati & C. J. Cela-Conde (Eds.), Art, Aesthetics and the Brain (pp. 223–262). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Calvo-Merino, B., & Christensen, J. F. (2014). Neuroaesthetics and Dance. In J. O. Lauring (Ed.), Introduction to Neuroaesthetics - The neuroscientific approach to aesthetic experience, artistic creativity and arts appreciation (pp. 293–326). University of Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press.


Christensen, J. F., & Chang, D.-S. (2018). Tanzen ist die beste Medizin: Warum es uns gesünder, klüger und glücklicher macht. Reinbek: Rowohlt Verlag GmbH.


Christensen, J. F., & Gomila, A. (Eds.). (2018). The Arts and The Brain: Psychology and Physiology Beyond Pleasure (Vol. 237). Cambridge, MA: Academic Press.

Further Writings

Christensen, J. F. (2021). To The Core: A devastating loss can shatter the façade we put up for others, exposing our deepest, rawest self. A work of art can do the same. AEON Magazine. Retrieved on 2021-03-01 https://aeon.co/essays/art-like-loss-can-shock-us-into-our-authentic-self

Christensen, J. F. (2020). Lebenselixier Tanz. Spektrum der Wissenschaft - Gehirn und Geist Psychologie, Hirnforschung, Medizin(4), 12-21. Retrieved from www.spektrum.de/artikel/1704918

Auszeichnungen & Stipendien

Stipendien und Preise

10/2016Evens Science Prize 2016 awarded to Caspar, Christensen, Cleeremans and Haggard for the study ‚Coercion Changes the Sense of Agency in the Human Brain’
10/2016British Academy Mobility Award (PI: Professor Vincent Walsh)
06/2015Newton International Postdoctoral Fellowship 
09/2013Santander Award for top PhD Students, University of the Balearic Islands, Spain
20104-year PhD Scholarship, Spanish Ministry of Education
2008Scholarship for Master Studies, Spanish Ministry of Education