Research at CSS

Research at CSS aims to deepen & develop the current knowledge on how interaction between people can be made more sustainable. As a meeting point for interdisciplinary science in different research areas, we encourage researchers to approach the concept of social sustainability from a wider and interdisciplinary perspective, while bringing in their respective perspective and discipline expertise.

CSS Research Projects

Here are some examples of ongoing and planned research projects conducted within the framework of the CSS or in collaborations with other research centers:

  • Compassionate mind training (CMT)
  • Stress management, burn out and exhaustion
  • Mind, body medicine and care
  • Cultural activities and health
  • Flow and performance evaluations
  • Sonification and health
  • Nature related activities – Outdoor work
  • Trustworthy AI
  • Consciousness and psychedelics 
  • A sustainable KI Community - SKICOM

Some publications from CSS

Journal articles

A Swedish version of the Consultation and Relational Empathy (CARE) measure. Crosta Ahlform, Bojner Horwitz, Osika W. Scand J of Primary Health Care. 2017; 20.

Writers Block revisited – A micro-phenomenological case study on the blocking influence of an internalized voice. Bojner Horwitz E, Stenfors C, Osika W. J of Consciousness Studies. 2017.

“Prevalence of mind and body exercises (MBE) in relation to demographics, self-rated health, and purchases of prescribed psychotropic drugs and analgesics”. Rådmark L, Magnusson Hanson LL, Bojner Horwitz E, Osika W. PLoS One. 2017 Sep 15;12(9):e0184635. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184635. eCollection 2017.

“You can't feel healthier than your caregiver” – The ripple effect of trust and empathy for patients and health care staff cultivated through cultural activities. Grape Viding T, Osika W, Bojner Horwitz E. J of Nursing and Care. 2017; 6:5.

Using internet based arts to promote inter-generational meetings between young people and senior citizens. Bojner Horwitz E, Huss E. J of Applied Arts and Health 2017

Arts as an ecological method to enhance quality of work experience of healthcare staff: a phenomenological-hermeneutic study. Bojner Horwitz E, Grape Viding C, Rydwik E, Huss E. Int J of Qual Studies on Health and well-being. 2017; 12(1): 1333898. Published online 2017 Jun 13. doi: 10.1080/17482631.2017.1333898 PMCID: PMC5510211

Creative artistic achievement is related to lower levels of alexithymia. Lennartsson A-K, Bojner Horwitz E, Theorell T, Ullén F. Creativity Research Journal 2016; 29:1, 29-36.

Executive Cognitive Functioning and Cardiovascular Autonomic Regulation in a Population-Based Sample of Working Adults. Stenfors CU, Hanson LM, Theorell T, Osika WS. Front Psychol. 2016 Oct 5;7:1536.

Stress-related exhaustion disorder--clinical manifestation of burnout? A review of assessment methods, sleep impairments, cognitive disturbances, and neuro-biological and physiological changes in clinical burnout. Grossi G, Perski A, Osika W, Savic I. Scand J Psychol. 2015 Dec;56(6):626-36. doi: 10.1111/sjop.12251.

Engagement in dance is associated with emotional competence in interplay with others.
Bojner Horwitz E, Lennartsson AK, Theorell TP, Ullén F. Front Psychol. 2015 Jul 31;6:1096. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01096. eCollection 2015. PMID: 26284016

Stress resilience in adolescence and subsequent antidepressant and anxiolytic medication in middle aged men: Swedish cohort study. Hiyoshi A, Udumyan R, Osika W, Bihagen E, Fall K, Montgomery S. Soc Sci Med. 2015 Jun;134:43-9. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.03.057.

”The Culture palette” – a randomized intervention study for women with burnout symtoms in Sweden. Christina Grape Viding, Walter Osika, Töres Theorell, Jan Kowalski, John Hallqvist and Eva Bojner Horwitz. BJMP 2015;8(2):a813

Self-reported sleep lengths ≥ 9 hours among Swedish patients with stress-related exhaustion: Associations with depression, quality of sleep and levels of fatigue. Grossi G, Jeding K, Söderström M, Osika W, Levander M, Perski A. Nord J Psychiatry. 2015 May;69(4):292-9. doi: 10.3109/08039488.2014.973442.

The influence of work-related chronic stress on the regulation of emotion and on functional connectivity in the brain. Golkar A, Johansson E, Kasahara M, Osika W, Perski A, Savic I. PLoS One. 2014 Sep 3;9(9):e104550. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0104550.

Mortality following unemployment during an economic downturn: Swedish register-based cohort study. Montgomery S, Udumyan R, Magnuson A, Osika W, Sundin PO, Blane D. BMJ Open. 2013 Jul 11;3(7). pii: e003031. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003031.

Is cultural activity at work related to mental health in employees? Theorell T, Osika W, Leineweber C, Magnusson Hanson LL, Bojner Horwitz E, Westerlund H. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2013 Apr;86(3):281-8. doi: 10.1007/s00420-012-0762-8.

Contemplative Inquiry in Movement: Managing Writer´s Block in Academic Writing. Bojner Horwitz E, Stenfors C, Osika W. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 32(1), 2013, pp. 16-26.

Books and book chapters

Humanizing the working environment in health care through music and movement – The importance of embodied leadership. In “Music and Public Health”. Bojner Horwitz E. Ed. Lars Ole Bonde. Springer Books 2017.

Similarities, disparities, and synergies with other complex interventions – stress as a common pathway. In: Nature and Public Health - The Role of Nature in Improving the Health of a Population. Stenfors C, Bojner Horwitz E, Theorell T, Osika W. Ed. Matilda van den Bosch. Oxford University Press, 2017. In Press.

Culture and public health activities in Sweden and Norway. Theorell T, Skjei Knudtsen M, Bojner Horwitz E, Wikström BM. In Handbook of Culture and Health. Part 2, Chapter 21:171-177. Oxford University Press, 2015.

Neuroenhancement: how mental training and meditation can promote epistemic virtue. Fröding B, Osika W. Brief communication, monography. 2015. SpringerBrief, Springer International Publishing AG.

“Ecological Consciousness, Moral Imagination, and The Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development”. Baugher J, Osika W, Robèrt K-H. 2016. Ed Goldman Schuyler K. LEADERSHIP FOR A HEALTHY WORLD: CREATIVE SOCIAL CHANGE. ILA Building Leadership Bridges (BLB) Series, Emerald Publishing Group.

Compassionfokuserad terapi (NoK 2013)

Psykosomatik i teori och praktik (Studentlitteratur 2013)

Kulturhälsoboxen (Gothia 2014)

Evidensbaserad elevhälsovård (Studentlitteratur 2014)

Temanummer Socialmedicinsk tidskrift

International publications

Crockett et al., Dissociable Effects of Serotonin and Dopamine on the Valuation of Harm in Moral Decision Making, Current Biology (2015),


An aversion to harming others is a core component of human morality and is disturbed in anti- social behavior. Deficient harm aversion may underlie instrumental and reactive aggression, which both feature in psychopathy . Past work has highlighted monoaminergic influences on aggression, but a mechanistic account of how monoamines regulate antisocial motives remains elusive. We previously observed that most people show a greater aversion to inflicting pain on others than themselves. Here, we investigated whether this hyperaltruistic disposition is susceptible to monoaminergic control. We observed dissociable effects of the serotonin re-uptake inhibitor citalopram and the dopamine precursor levodopa on decisions to inflict pain on oneself and others for financial gain. Computational models of choice behavior showed that citalopram increased harm aversion for both self and others, while levodopa reduced hyperaltruism. The effects of citalopram were stronger than those of levodopa. Crucially, neither drug influenced the physical perception of pain or other components of choice such as motor impulsivity or loss aversion, suggesting a direct and specific influence of serotonin and dopamine on the valuation of harm. We also found evidence for dose dependency of these effects. Finally, the drugs had dissociable effects on response times, with citalopram enhancing behavioral inhibition and levodopa reducing slowing related to being responsible for another’s fate. These distinct roles of serotonin and dopamine in modulating moral behavior have implications for potential treatments of social dysfunction that is a common feature as well as a risk factor for many psychiatric disorders.

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