I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Social Neuroscience at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences. I conducted my graduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as part of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab.
My research explores the intertwined relationships that link physiological processes and social behavior, as described by the socio-autonomic spiral model of social connection.
As part of my research, I ask questions such as: How did humans evolve to be social? What does it mean when we say we "need" friendship to be healthy? And, Is it possible that your body can influence your social behavior, for the better?
Kok, B.E., Coffey, K.A., Cohn, M.A., Catalino, L.I., Vacharkulksemsuk, T., Algoe, S., Brantley, M. & Fredrickson, B. L. (in press). How positive emotions build physical health: Perceived positive social connections account for the upward spiral between positive emotions and vagal tone. Psychological Science.
Kok, B.E., Waugh, C.E. & Fredrickson, B.L. (in press). Meditation and health: The search for mechanisms of action. Social and Personality Psychology Compass.
Kok, B.E. (in press). The science of subjective experience: Positive emotions and social closeness influence autonomic functioning. In T. Singer & M. Bolz (Eds.), Compassion: Bridging Practice and Science.
Kok, B.E. & Fredrickson, B.L. (in press). Well-being begins with "We": The physical and mental health benefits of interventions that increase social closeness. In F. Huppert & C .Cooper (Eds.), Interventions and Policies to Enhance Well-Being.