Christiaan Levelt is currently a group leader at the institute, where he investigates how the brain learns and processes information. Christiaan Levelt succeeds Pieter Roelfsema, who has led the institute since 2007 and will remain associated with it as a group leader.
Levelt's group investigates the brain processes involved in learning and information processing. His research focuses on the regions of the brain responsible for sight, i.e. the visual system. He is interested in how brain circuits adapt in response to the information they receive, and how these processes differ between the developing and adult brain. A question directly related to this is how these learning processes contribute to the conscious perception of important information. To answer that question, Levelt's group investigates how the brain combines what we see directly with what we expect based on previous experience.
Levelt has a clear, wide-ranging vision for the future of the Institute. As director, he wants the Institute to build a bridge between brain circuit research and psychiatry and neurology, both within the institute and beyond. He expects that the institute's unique expertise in brain circuit research and its special facilities will enable it to make significant contributions, both nationally and internationally, to improving our understanding of the brain and brain disorders, as well as to developing innovative treatment methods.
The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience conducts basic and strategic research in the neurosciences. It investigates how the brain enables awareness, perception, movement, learning, social interaction, and other cognitive functions. It also performs research into how these functions are disrupted in the event of neurological diseases. The Institute performs various tasks for managing the Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging. The Netherlands Brain Bank and the Netherlands Sleep Registry are each part of the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience.