Istvan Molnar-Szakacs, Ph.D.

Work Titles
UCLA Researcher, Tennenbaum Center for the Biology of Creativity
Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 2005
B.Sc., Dalhousie University, 2000
Academic Experience:
2005 - 2006 Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Contact Information:

Office Phone Number:


Office Address:

760 Westwood Plaza
Suite C8-846
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Detailed Biography:

Dr. Molnar-Szakacs is a Research Neuroscientist at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and co-ordinator of the Tennenbaum Center for the Biology of Creativity. Dr. Molnar-Szakacs received a Bachelor of Science with Honors from Dalhousie University in Neuroscience and Biology in 2000. He earned his doctorate in Neuroscience from UCLA in 2005, studying the neural basis of non-verbal social communication using a variety of techniques, including behavioral studies, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). He is also a graduate of the FPR-UCLA Center for Culture, Brain and Development’s pre-doctoral training program. He spent a year as a post-doctoral fellow at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland studying the connections between the human mirror neuron system and social brain using electrical neuroimaging (EEG) and fMRI. He joined UCLA’s Semel Institute in 2006. Dr. Molnar-Szakacs’ research projects include studies of the brain bases of self-representation, social communication and creativity in developing and adult populations.


A selected list of publications:

Molnar-Szakacs, Arzy   Searching for an integrated self-representation Communicative & integrative biology, 2009; 2(4): 365-367.
Arzy Shahar, Molnar-Szakacs Istvan, Blanke Olaf   Self in time: imagined self-location influences neural activity related to mental time travel The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2008; 28(25): 6502-7.
David, Jansen, Cohen, Osswald, Molnar-Szakacs, Newen, Vogeley, Paus   Disturbances of self-other distinction after stimulation of the extrastriate body area in the human brain Social neuroscience, 2008; 1-9.
Wilson Stephen M, Molnar-Szakacs Istvan, Iacoboni Marco   Beyond superior temporal cortex: intersubject correlations in narrative speech comprehension Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991), 2008; 18(1): 230-42.
Molnar-Szakacs Istvan, Wu Allan D, Robles Francisco J, Iacoboni Marco   Do you see what I mean? Corticospinal excitability during observation of culture-specific gestures PLoS ONE, 2007; 2(7): e626.
Molnar-Szakacs, Overy   Music and mirror neurons: from motion to 'e'motion Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, 2006; 1(3): 235-241.
Molnar-Szakacs Istvan, Kaplan Jonas, Greenfield Patricia M, Iacoboni Marco   Observing complex action sequences: The role of the fronto-parietal mirror neuron system NeuroImage, 2006; 33(3): 923-35.
Uddin Marco, Molnar-Szakacs Marco, Zaidel Marco, Iacoboni Marco   rTMS to the right inferior parietal lobule disrupts self-other discrimination Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, 2006; 1(1): 65-71.
Molnar-Szakacs Istvan, Iacoboni Marco, Koski Lisa, Mazziotta John C   Functional segregation within pars opercularis of the inferior frontal gyrus: evidence from fMRI studies of imitation and action observation Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991), 2005; 15(7): 986-94.
Molnar-Szakacs Istvan, Uddin Lucina Q, Iacoboni Marco   Right-hemisphere motor facilitation by self-descriptive personality-trait words The European journal of neuroscience, 2005; 21(7): 2000-6.
Uddin Lucina Q, Kaplan Jonas T, Molnar-Szakacs Istvan, Zaidel Eran, Iacoboni Marco   Self-face recognition activates a frontoparietal "mirror" network in the right hemisphere: an event-related fMRI study NeuroImage, 2005; 25(3): 926-35.
Iacoboni Marco, Molnar-Szakacs Istvan, Gallese Vittorio, Buccino Giovanni, Mazziotta John C, Rizzolatti Giacomo   Grasping the intentions of others with one's own mirror neuron system PLoS biology, 2005; 3(3): e79.
Koski Lisa, Molnar-Szakacs Istvan, Iacoboni Marco   Exploring the contributions of premotor and parietal cortex to spatial compatibility using image-guided TMS NeuroImage, 2005; 24(2): 296-305.
Iacoboni Marco, Lieberman Matthew D, Knowlton Barbara J, Molnar-Szakacs Istvan, Moritz Mark, Throop C Jason, Fiske Alan Page   Watching social interactions produces dorsomedial prefrontal and medial parietal BOLD fMRI signal increases compared to a resting baseline NeuroImage, 2004; 21(3): 1167-73.

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