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Welcome to my homepage!

I am the director of the Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging. The Spinoza Centre is an joint research centre of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences, VU University Amsterdam and the Amsterdam University Medical Centers - locations AMC and VUMC. In addition, I am also a group leader of the section Computational Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging of the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, and a full professor of Perception, Cognition and Neuroscience both at the department of Experimental Psychology of Utrecht University, and at the department of Experimental and Applied Psychology of VU University Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

I grew up in a small village near Eindhoven in the province of North Brabant in the south of the Netherlands. My academic career started in Utrecht University where I obtained my M.Sc. degree (doctorandus) in Biology. Part of my master's research was conducted at the Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University in Canada. The M.Sc. project evolved into a Ph.D. in Neurology and Neurosurgery and a postdoctoral research position in Ophthalmology at McGill University. I continued westwards to do postdoctoral research at the Psychology department of Stanford University, USA, before I returned to the Netherlands to start my own group.

My research is centered on the intersection of perception, cognition and neuroscience. The ultimate goals are to understand the neurophysiology of the visual system, and how neural computations result in visual perception and cognition. My research reconstructs perceptual representations of human visual cortex using behavior (psychophysics), computational models, neuroimaging (predominantly fMRI), and custom-built biologically-inspired data-analysis methods (for example the pRF method). Besides fundamental vision questions, I apply the knowledge of the visual system to a variety of clinical, in particular ophthalmological and neurological, manifestations, with a specific interest in the plasticity and stability of the visual system.

I use a variety of neuroimaging techniques, in particular fMRI (7T), as well as computational and behavioural approaches. In addition, I develop new data-analysis methods. These methods are unique because of their biologically-inspired perspectives and merge computational neuroscience with neuroimaging. In a Faculty of 1000 review, Hyvarinen recommended my method because it "paves the way for new methods of modelling the response properties of neuronal populations measured by fMRI" (2007). These methods are used in fundamental and clinical research at 50+ universities worldwide and have found applications in other neuroscience topics and techniques.

My work has received several award and grants. I obtained both my degrees at Utrecht University and McGill University with highest distinctions. My work has been highlighted in previews in prestigious journals such as; Neuron, Current Biology and Trends in Cognitive Science; recommended 8 times by Faculty of 1000 experts in Neuroscience, Ophthalmology and Neurological disorders and covered in 50+ press and radio reports. My publications have received awards in 2013 (Neuroimage Editors' Choice Award), 2014 (Brain Centrum Rudolf Magnus Research Prize) and 2015 (European Vision Research Best Publications). Furthermore, because of my cognitive, clinical and methodological advances, I received the Ammodo KNAW Award in 2015 following a nationwide selection (see video made in Dutch for this occasion by Ammodo).

For more information, you can browse these web pages or read interviews about my research in Ammodo (2015) and Journal of Neuroscience & Cognition (2016). You can also view my academic genealogy, linkedin profile, Google scholar profile (including publication and citation metrics), and read faculty of 1000 reviews about our research (requires subscription).

Last modified: January 2022