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Hanneke E. M. den Ouden | Assistant Professor

Dr. Hanneke den Ouden is an assistant professor at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour. She is interested in how we flexibly adapt to changing environmental demands, and why we so often fail to do so. Hanneke holds a Wellcome-Trust PhD in Neuroscience from University College London, completed at the WT Centre for Neuroimaging under supervision of prof. Karl Friston and prof. Klaas Enno Stephan, and MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience from Utrecht University. From 2009-2011 she was a postdoctoral fellow in the motivation & cognitive control lab with prof. Roshan Cools at the Donders Institute. In 2011-2013, Hanneke worked with prof. Nathaniel Daw at the Center for Neural Science, New York University. She then obtained an AXA postdoctoral fellowship as well as a Veni Talent Scheme fellowship to return to the Donders Institute, where she became an assistant professor in 2016. In 2017, she was awarded a Vidi Fellowship to study the computational and neuropharmacological basis of adaptive decision-making in health and disease.

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Jennifer C. Swart | PhD student

In her Phd, Jennifer is studying affective biases, and particularly how and who may be able to overcome these. In her research, supervised by Dr. Hanneke den Ouden jointly with Prof. Roshan Cools, Jennifer uses a combination of pharmacology, (intracranial) EEG and fMRI. Jennifer completed BSc and MSc in Psychology at the University of Amsterdam, specializing in Brain & Cognition. During her MSc research project she studied how temporal information predicting conflict influences cognitive control using EEG. She then continued working as a research assistant with Hanneke den Ouden, studying the role of serotonin and dopamine in activation and motivation, which led to the successful application for an NWO Research Talent grant currently supporting her.   

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Annelies van Nuland | PhD student

Annelies van Nuland obtained a Donders Institute toptalent grant to pursue a PhD on the importance of GABA in cortico-striatal-thalamic loops in both Parkinson's disease and in healthy reward processing. She first caught the research bug during her MSc thesis on the role of striatal GABA in human reward processing under supervision of Hanneke. In her research, Annelies uses a wide range of methodological approaches, including MRS, fMRI, DTI, pharmacology and patient work. Annelies is jointly supervised by Dr. Rich Helmich and Dr. Hanneke den Ouden, and co-supervised by Prof. Roshan Cools. Prior to starting her PhD, Annelies completed her bachelors degree in medical Biology at the Radboud university in Nijmegen, followed by an MSC in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour. Annelies also regularly contributes blogs  to the Donders Wonders blog on brains and science in general (check out her nice graphics!)

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Emma van DijkEmma van Dijk

Johannes Algermissen | PhD student

Johannes Algermissen recently completed the Research Master Behavioural Science at Radboud University Nijmegen and just started his PhD with Hanneke den Ouden in 2017. He is interested in how we make decisions (and sometimes such bad ones!), in particular how we arbitrate between different decision strategies that we have at our disposal. For this purpose, he will conduct behavioural studies and use neuroimaging and psychopharmacological interventions. He is also interested in how these processes might be altered in patients with psychiatric disorders, particularly OCD. Johannes has a background in psychology, philosophy, and mathematics, and completed his Bachelor degrees in Germany and Finland.

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Emma van Dijk

Emma van Dijk | MSc student

Emma is completing her MSc thesis project on affective biases in learning and choice, and how these arise or are suppressed within cortico-striatal loops. In this thesis project under supervision of Jennifer and Hanneke, she is combining EEG and fMRI. Prior to starting her Research Master’s programme Cognitive Neuroscience, Emma completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the Radboud University Nijmegen.

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Marpessa Rietbergen | PhD student

Marpessa Rietbergen is currently completing her PhD as part of the Language in Interaction consortium, researching the basal ganglia thalamocortical mechanisms of cognitive control in speaking under the supervision of Prof. Ardi Roelofs, Prof. Roshan Cools and Dr. Hanneke den Ouden at the Donders Institute. Marpessa completed her Bachelors in Linguistics at the University of Florida, and thereafter completed a Research Masters in Linguistics at the University of Utrecht, specializing in second language acquisition and neurolinguistics.  

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Dirk E.M. Geurts | PhD student

Dr. Dirk Geurts was a PhD student was a PhD student in the motivation and cognitive control lab at the Donders Institute, under the supervision of Prof. Roshan Cools and co-supervision of Dr. Hanneke den Ouden. Being also a psychiatrist, Dirk is interested in the basic learning(dys)abilities of psychopaths and their neural underpinnings, but also in emotional dysregulation in borderline personality disorderDirk holds MSc degrees in both medicine and philosophy at the Radboud University Nijmegen, where he currently works as a psychiatrist and researcher. 

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Martine van Schouwenburg | PhD student

Dr. Martine van Schouwenburg was a PhD student in the motivation and cognitive control lab at the Donders Institute, under the supervision of Prof. Roshan Cools and co-supervision of Dr. Hanneke den Ouden. During PhD, Martine investigated the role of fronto-striatal interactions and dopamine in attentional control. Before starting her PhD, Martine studied Medical Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Groningen. From 2013-2015 Martine was a post-doc at the University of California, San Francisco, where she investigated the plasticity of attentional control using tACS in Prof. Adam Gazzaley's lab. She is currently completing a post-doc with Dr. Heleen Slagter at the University of Amsterdam. 

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ahnjili zhuparris

Ahnjili Zhuparris | MSc student

Ahnjili ZhuParris is investigated the influence of Lysergic Acid Diethylmide (LSD), Methylphenidate (MPH) and Mindfulness on reversal learning under the supervision of Dr. Hanneke den Ouden. Ahnjili’s thesis collates how these neuropharmacological and behavioural interventions affect our ability to flexibly adjust when the environment has changed, while ignoring probabilistic feedback, using Probabilistic Reversal Learning Tasks. Ahnjili completed her Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences (with Honours in Neuroscience) at the University of Edinburgh.

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Jessica Määttä | MSc student

Jessica Määttä is completed her MSc project cum laude with Dr Hanneke den Ouden and Jennifer Swart, as part of the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Master at Donders Institute. In her thesis, Jessica used EEG to investigate the role of the prefrontal cortex in allowing us to overcome motivational biases in instrumental goal-directed behavior. Prior to joinng the lab, Jessica obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Consciousness studies and Master’s degree in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Skövde (Sweden), where she subsequently taught as a lecturer in Philosophy and Cognitive Science. Jessica now works as a lab manager in the Cognitive Control Lab at the Donders Institute

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Martin Guthrie | Research Technician

Dr. Martin Guthrie works with Dr. Hanneke den Ouden on the role of dopamine and serotonin in reversal learning, linking genetics, brain structure and behaviour. Martin completed a PhD in Computational Neuroscience at Edinburgh University in 2006. His thesis focused on exploring action selection in the striatum using a network of biophysically-based medium spiny neurons. In his first post-doc he worked at Rutgers University under Prof. Mark Gluck. Here he expanded his model to explore behavioral deficits in Parkinson's disease on and off medication. After this he worked as a post-doc in the team of Prof. Thomas Boraud at Bordeaux University on a combination of animal electrophysiology and computational modeling, where he developed a new experimental platform to study primate spatial navigation and a computational model of action selection with interaction between cortico-striatal loops. 


Kristin Schmidt | Research Assistant

Kristin worked as a research assistant with Dr. Hanneke den Ouden in the motivation and cognitive control lab at the Donders Institute from 2010-2011. During this time, she worked to elucidate the role of serotonin in reinforcement learning paradigms of decision making. Kristin next finished her DPhil in the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford university under the supervision of Prof. Catherine Harmer and Prof. Philip Cowen. During her PhD, Kristin investigated the effects of the "stress hormone" cortisol on emotional and memory processing. Kristin currently works for MQ, a UK-based mental health charity, where she manages the Children & Young People's Mental Health programme.

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Joris Elshout | Research Assistant

Joris worked as a research assistant with Dr. Hanneke den Ouden in the motivation and cognitive control lab at the Donders Institute from 2009-2010. During this time, he developed and piloted the use of primary juice reinforcers in the MRI scanner and started the analysis of a reversal learning task in a large cohort. Joris is currently a PhD student at the Donders Institute under the supervision of Dr. Douwe Bergsma, studying training-induced visual field recovery in chronic stroke patientsJoris studied Neuroscience and Cognition (MSc) at the University of Utrecht.

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