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Research section Neurocontrol

Our primary aim is to better understand how the brain controls our movements.

Healthy humans walk, reach, and make eye movements all the time without any effort. These movement behaviours are very sophisticated, despite the limitations of our sensory and motor systems. Moreover, we maintain the way we move despite the many changes in the physical properties of our body. To understand how we do so, we address questions like: How do we learn to walk? How do we combine information from the senses to control our movements? How do we choose from the abundant possibilities where to move and how to make this movement?

We study these questions using several neuroscientific approaches. At the level of information processing, we investigate what information is used to achieve the goals of a movement. What are the limiting factors in information processing? Another approach is to understand how this information processing is implemented: how is the information exchanged between muscles and brain and between various parts of the brain.

To answer our research questions, we use experiments involving healthy individuals and patient groups, mathematical models, and computer simulations. For our experiments, we frequently use high-precision equipment in the lab such as specialized treadmills, motion capture systems, electromyography, electroencephalography, TMS, and eye trackers. To facilitate practical application and study special populations we develop research tools that we can use outside the laboratory.

Current Highlight

Leading research themes of Neurocontrol

  • Neural Mechanisms

    Under Construction

  • Neuromodulation

    Under construction

  • Mathematical Modeling

    We relate the dynamical and stochastic properties of (networks of) neurons to understand the functional role of oscillatory activity in motor control. Focus is on the relation between frequency bands, be it switches between frequencies or interactions between coexisting oscillations.

    Research projects ...

  • Perception & Action

    Under construction

  • Development & Aging

    We develop a large arsenal of sophisticated motor behaviors from the moment we are born. In the elderly, however, motor skills are jeapordized, calling for an in-depth research for age-related changes in motor control.

    Impaired neuromechanical function with ageing limits performance of daily-life activities, such as getting up from a chair and walking to the kitchen, but also of precision tasks, such as typing a text on a mobile phone. We develop and test methods to identify individual at risk for mobility decline and methods to prevent this.

    Research projects

Do you have a question?

Contact our secretariat

Faculteit der Gedrags- en Bewegingswetenschappen
Van der Boechorststraat 9
1081 BT Amsterdam

Vacancies, internships or research projects