The Cognitive Psychology Unit has two main reseach lines, which focus on basic research questions and more applied challenges.
1) Cognitive Neuroscience
This research line focuses on the neural and functional basis of cognitive abilities using imaging tools (fMRI) and psychophysiological techniques (EEG), behavioural genetics, computational modeling, pharmacology, neurofeedback and behavioral methods. Key topics are the control of attention and action, decision-making, and the influence of neurotransmitters on cognition and action.
2) Cognitive Ergonomics and Cognitive Enhancement
Human performance is often limited by the capacity of attention, memory and control processes. When the demands of carrying out a task exceed a person’s capacity, behavior can become disorganized and prone to errors. Our research focuses on optimising performance by (a) reducing the risks and task requirements (the ergonomics approach); and by (b) enhancing the individual’s cognitive capacities (the enhancement approach). Interventions range from the improvement of traffic signs and web design to improvements in neural communication and the creation of artificial cognitive systems for user-friendly robots.
Most of our research is carried out within the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC) and the University Research Profile ‘Brain function and dysfunction over the lifespan’