Dr. Leidy Cubillos-Pinilla

Office hours: by appointment
Room: Leopoldstr. 139, 3rd Floor, Room 307

E-Mail: leidy.cubillos-pinilla (at) tum.de
Fon:+49 89 289 24065
Fax: +49 89 289 24093

Leidy Cubillos-Pinilla has been an integral member of our team since 2018. She is currently serving as a lead research associate and PostDoc at the TUM Neurophysiological Leadership Lab(TUM NeLeLab). Her current research encompasses various domains, including: (a) Investigating the influence of leadership language on followers' cognitive and emotional processes through online studies employing vignettes, audios, computerized tasks and questionnaires; (b) Exploring the neuroscience of entrepreneurship by examining psychophysical, electrophysiological, and eye-tracking correlates during rest and computerized tasks among individuals interested in entrepreneurship; (c) Studying the psychophysical, electrophysiological, and eye-tracking markers of cognitive effort during decision-making tasks; (d) rule-breaking moderating the influence of morality on entrepreneurial intention; (e) exploring topics associated to Artificial Intelligence, social neuroscience, emotion, cognition, creativity, and big data statistics; (f) Examining the interplay between hormones and leadership.


Her methodological expertise includes: R, MATLAB, Qualtrics, SPSS Statistics, Python Statistics, PsychoPy, Questionnaire Scales, Brain Products hardware and software, E-Prime, Seed-d-based-mapping neuroimaging fMRI meta-analyses, meta-analyses, EEG, biophysiological measurements, reaction times, mouse-tracking, eye-tracking.


Leidy holds a diploma in Psychology with a Minor in Biology from the University of Los Andes, Colombia. Following her undergraduate studies, she gained valuable experience at Mercados Zapatoca S.A, a leading supermarket chain in Colombia, where she served as the Head of Recruitment and Development HR. She furthered her academic journey by completing a master's degree in Neuro-Cognitive Psychology at Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, München, and has contributed to several neuroscience laboratories. She successfully defended her PhD thesis within our department, further solidifying her dedication to advancing knowledge in her field.

Short Bio

Since 03/2023 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Chair of Research and Science Management and Neurophysiological Leadership Lab, TUM School of Management.
05/2023 – 07/2023

Postdoctoral Fellowship - Research stay. Cambridge University, School Judge Business School. Ongoing collaboration: "Brain Deactivations and Activations in Creative Expressive Domains: voxel-based meta-analyses".

PhD (Dr. phil), Rules are made to be broken! The role of rule-breaking in entrepreneurship - evidence from behavioural, cognitive and neuroscience approaches.

11/2018 – 03/2023

Research Associate at the Chair of Research and Science Management, TUM School of Management

03/2018 – 09/2018              

Internship at the Institute of Stroke and Dementia, LMU, Munich. Research assistant at Max Planck Institut for Psychiatry, Munich

12/2016 – 04/2018

Research assistant: Body Social Cognition and Action Lab, LMU, Munich. Research assistant: PRONIA Early recognition of schizophrenia, LMU, Munich

09/2016 – 12/2016

Internship at the Research Group of Personality Disorders with emphasis on neurocognitive methods group at Ruprecht-Karls-University, Heidelberg

01/2017 – 08/2017 & 03/2016 – 09/2016

Head of Recruiting and Development Human Resources. Mercados Zapatoca S.A. Bogotá D.C, Colombia

10/2016 – 09/2018

M.Sc. Neuro-cognitive Psychology, LMU, Munich. Scholarship: Deutschlandstipendium

01/2010 – 09/2014                                                                              

B.Sc. Psychology with a minor in Biology, University of Los Andes, Colombia. Award of Excellence Semestral Distinction of the Psychology Program



Peer-reviewed publications and conference proceedings

Cubillos-Pinilla, L., & Emmerling, F. (2022). Taking the chance!–Interindividual differences in rule-breaking. PLoS ONE17(10), e0274837. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0274837

Duering, M., Adam, R., Wollenweber, F., Bayer-Karpisnka, A., Baykara, E., Cubillos-Pinilla, LY.,  Gesierich, B., Araque Caballero, M., Stöcklein, S., Ewers, M., Pasternak, O., Dichgans, M. (2019). Within-lesion heterogeneity of subcortical DWI lesion evolution, and stroke outcome: A voxel-based Analysis. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, 0271678X19865916.

Conference presentations

Cubillos-Pinilla, L.*; Fladerer, M.*; Peus, C. (2024, May). Identity Entrepreneurship and Engaged Followership: The Effects of Leader Communication Behavior on Follower Cognitive Effort and Behavior. Paper accepted for presentation at the 7th Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Leadership Symposium in Thessaloniki, Greece. 

Cubillos-Pinilla,L., Strobel., L., Emmerling, F., Peus, C. (2023, June). Who can become an entrepreneur? A brain-mind model predicting entrepreneurial orientation. Poster presented at the Organisational Neuroscience Conference in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Cubillos-Pinilla, L. & Emmerling, F. (2022, September). Rules are made to be broken! An eye-tracking and EEG study that evaluates neural correlates of individuals responses towards rules. Paper presented at the 52nd Congress of the German Society for Psychology (DGPs) in Hildesheim, Germany. 

Cubillos-Pinilla, L. & Emmerling, F. (2022, August). The neural correlates of creativity: a systematic meta-analysis of voxel-based fMRI data. Poster presented at the 2022 Neuroergonomics and NYC Neuromodulation Conferences in New York City, USA.

Cubillos-Pinilla, LY., Strobel, L., & Emmerling, F. (2021, September). Unravelling the neural correlates of rule-following and conditional rule-breaking. Poster accepted for presentation at the 3rd Neuroergonomics Conference 2021, online.

Cubillos-Pinilla, LY; Hubner, S; Emmerling, F. (2021, August). I make my own rules! The interplay of rule-breaking behaviour, personality, and ethical orientation as intraindividual antecedents of entrepreneurial intention. Paper accepted for presentation at the 81st Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, held virtually

Cubillos-Pinilla, LY., Pfister, R. & Emmerling, F. (2020, March). Rules are made to be broken! -- Cognitive conflict underlying conditional rule-breaking. Paper presented at the 62nd Conference of Experimental Psychologists (TeaP) in Jena, Germany.

Cubillos-Pinilla, LY., Emmerling, F. & Pfister, R. (2019, November). Rules are made to be broken! - Cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying conditional rule-breaking -. Paper presented at the Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Society Conference, Tasmania, Australia.

Cubillos-Pinilla, LY., Emmerling, F. & Pfister, R. (2019, June). Internal goals over external rules? – The cognitive and differential mechanisms underlying conditional rule breaking. Paper presented at TRACE Workshop, Würzburg, Deutschland.

Third Party Funding

2019 – 2023 Mobility fonds, TUM
2021 ExperimenTUM, TUM (together with Martin Fladerer & Franziska Emmerling)
ExperimenTUM, TUM (together with Franziska Emmerling)


ExperimenTUM, TUM (together with Hannah Kunde & Franziska Emmerling)

2019 – 2024          

Diversity Funds, TUM

2017 – 2018


Scholarships and Awards


Excellence semestral distinction of the Psychology program, University of Los Andes (Best University of Colombia)


PhD Position received funding via MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE ACTIONS (Franziska Emmerling)


Best poster in MSc. competition, Neurocognitive Psychology, LMU

Professional Memberships

German Psychological Society (DGPs)
Academy of Management

NEU Academy of Management

Australasian Neuroscience Society

Alumni of Neuroscience and Behavior Laboratory