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Cognitive Psychology

Research in the section Cognitive Psychology of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam aims to uncover the fundamental mechanisms underlying human cognition and behaviour.

It specifically aims to enhance understanding of the (neural) underpinnings of core cognitive processes, such as perception, working memory, attention, consciousness, and language, and their mutual interplay. For instance, how are perception and attention impacted by prior experience and learning? Is focusing on items in our external environment the same as focusing on items in memory? How does brain activity give rise to (conscious) perception? How does attention operate in peripheral vision and how does this affect visual search?

These and other questions are addressed both from a functional, computational, and neurophysiological perspective. We employ behavioural measures, such as response times, eye-tracking and pupillometry, neural measures, such as EEG and fMRI, and computational modelling techniques.

In addition to the fundamental study of the brain, we conduct various lines of applied research. For instance, we explore ways to improve information transfer in traffic, and we develop interfaces to improve reading in people with visual impairments or dyslexia.

Our research is supported by excellent facilities (e.g., multiple EEG, eye tracking and VR labs for experimental research). The section is part of the Spinoza Neuroimaging center, which houses a 3T and 7T MRI scanner. The section is also part of the Institute of Brain and Behavior Amsterdam.

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