Brain state, arousal and neural noise
The way that neural computations give rise to behavior is shaped by ever-fluctuating internal states. These states (such as arousal, fear, stress, hunger, motivation, engagement, or drowsiness) are characterized by spontaneous neural dynamics that arise independent of task demands. How can we best quantify such internal states, and how do they arise from neural dynamics? We investigate these questions in multiple mammalian species (mice and humans), using large-scale neural recordings, pupillometry and behavioral state quantification.
Individual differences and ageing
Individuals can make remarkably different choices when faced with the same situation. What computational and neural mechanisms underlie these idiosyncrasies? Ongoing work (funded by an NWO Veni grant) focuses on the ways in which neural and behavioral noise change with age.
Choice-induced biases in perceptual decision-making
How do we use sensory information from our environment to make decisions about the world around us? Perceptual decisions tend to be affected by decisions made previously, even when people know that using past observations will not help them perform better. We investigate the flexibility of these choice biases and the factors that modulate them, as well as the precise effects that previous choices have on decision dynamics and their neural correlates.
Climate action & climate psychology
Climate change is the most urgent problem currently facing humanity – including a subset who call themselves (neuro)scientists. While many academics still consider (political) activism far outside their comfort zone, the broader scientific community is slowly waking up to the urgency of the situation and the role we can play as a community. We are committed to speaking up about the climate crisis, think about ways in which science itself can decarbonize, and include sustainability in our teaching.
Other things we care about
(Gender) diversity and inclusion: blog