Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Femke Nijboer

Assistant Professor

Dr. F. Nijboer
+31 71 527 3465

My research

I am an assistant professor neuropsychology in the Health, Medical and Neuropsychology unit at Leiden University and an affiliate member of the 3TU Centre for Ethics and Technology. My interests form a wonderful mixture of neuropsychology, patient participation, rehabilitation, disability studies, neuro-engineering and ethics. In NWO-Veni project (2012-2016) I studied the ethical, legal and societal aspects of Brain-Computer Interfaces. Ideveloped a method to bring stakeholders of an emerging neurotechnology together in an early stage of tech development to ensure responsible and sensible innovation. This method includes technology assessment, value-sensitive design and improvisational theater. 

I am currently a Fellow-In-Residence at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS) of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in Amsterdam (Sept. 2016 -Jan 2017). 


From 2010 to 2014 I worked as a postdoc in the Human Media Interaction group of the University of Twente (the Netherlands). I had two main activities:

  • I worked for the European project future BNCI in which we developed a roadmap for Brain-Computer interfacing for the European Commission. The roadmap can be downloaded  here . In particular, I was responsible for the roadmap on BCIs for entertainment, gaming and art and the development of use scenarios. 

  • I was the public relations coordinator for the Dutch BrainGain consortium (2007-2013). I managed communication within the consortium between scientists and communication outside the consortium to industry, society and patient organisations.

From 2009 to 2010 I worked as a senior researcher at the Department of Neuroengineering and Biorobotics of the company Fatronik (Donosti - San Sebastian, Spain). My responsibilities included: strategy development neuro-engineering, project coordinator, acquisition of funding and setup of clinical trials.

From 2007 to 2009 I worked as an assistant professor at the University of Tübingen (in the group of Prof. Dr. Niels Birbaumer). I coordinated a project in which we trained a locked-in patient with an ECoG-based BCI. In addition, I taught classes on Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology. I also supervised students in research projects on Brain-Computer Interfaces, sleep and dreaming.

In May 2008 I obtained a PhD (magna cum laude) in natural sciences at the Graduate School for Neural and Behavioral Sciences (University of Tübingen, Germany). I’ve conducted extensive and widely cited clinical work with brain-computer interfaces for patients with neuromuscular disorders (and locked-in patients) at the Institute for Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology of the University of Tübingen.


  • L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship, 2015
  • Bridging the gap between ethics and neurotechnology: the case of Brain-Computer Interfacing. NWO-Veni grant for high potentials, Innovational Research Incentives scheme VENI grant, NWO Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, 2012-2016, 250.000 Euro (grant applicant)

Academic services

Memberships / boards:

  • Affiliate member of the 3TU Centre for Ethics and Technology
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the journal Brain-Computer Interfaces
  • Valorisation board of BrainGain project (2010-2013)
  • Member of International Steering committee of the International BCI conference (2010 – 2013)
  • Member of the Advisory Board of the CONTRAST project (2010 - 2014)
  • Member of the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (2014 - now)
  • Member of the Brain-Computer Interface Society (2015 - now; founding member)

Reviewer for:

  • Brain-Computer Interfaces
  • ​Journal of Neuroscience Methods
  • Journal for Neural Engineering
  • ​Occupational Therapy International
  • CHI
  • ​Sensors 

Consultancy on a freelance basis.

Press and published media (selection)

Publications (selection)

Furdea, A., Halder, S., Krusienski, D., Bross, D., Nijboer, F., Birbaumer, N., & Kübler, A. (2009). An auditory oddball (P300) spelling system for brain‐computer interfaces.  Psychophysiology, 46(3), 617-625.

Gürkök, H., Plass-Oude Bos, D., Laar, v. d. B., Nijboer, F., & Nijholt, A. (2011). User Experience Evaluation in BCI: Filling the Gap. International Journal of Bioelectromagnetism, 13(1), 54-55.

Halder, S., Rea, M., Andreoni, R., Nijboer, F., Hammer, E., Kleih, S., . . . Kübler, A. (2010). An auditory oddball brain-computer interface for binary choices.  Clinical Neurophysiology, 121(4), 516-523.

Haselager, P., Vlek, R., Hill, J., & Nijboer, F. (2009). A note on ethical aspects of BCI.  Neural Networks, 22(9), 1352-1357.

Hill, N. J., Lal, T. N., Schroder, M., Hinterberger, T., Wilhelm, B., Nijboer, F., . . . Scholkopf, B. (2006). Classifying EEG and ECoG signals without subject training for fast BCI implementation: comparison of nonparalyzed and completely paralyzed subjects.  Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on, 14(2), 183-186.

Kleih, S., Nijboer, F., Halder, S., & Kübler, A. (2010). Motivation modulates the P300 amplitude during brain-computer interface use. Clinical Neurophysiology, 121(7), 1023-1031.

Kübler, A., Furdea, A., Halder, S., Hammer, E. M., Nijboer, F., & Kotchoubey, B. (2009). A Brain–Computer Interface Controlled Auditory Event‐Related Potential (P300) Spelling System for Locked‐In Patients.  Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1157(1), 90-100.

Kubler, A., Nijboer, F., Mellinger, J., Matuz, T., Kleber, B., Eitel-Braitsch, Y., . . . Birbaumer, N. (2005).  Brain-computer interfaces-Communication with the P300. Paper presented at the JOURNAL OF PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY.

Kübler, A., Nijboer, F., Mellinger, J., Vaughan, T. M., Pawelzik, H., Schalk, G., . . . Wolpaw, J. R. (2005). Patients with ALS can use sensorimotor rhythms to operate a brain-computer interface.  Neurology, 64(10), 1775-1777.

Kuebler, A., Nijboer, F., Furdea, A., Halder, S., & Birbaumer, N. (2008).  Brain-computer interfaces in the locked-in syndrome. Paper presented at the Journal of Neurology.

Kurt, A., Nijboer, F., Matuz, T., & Kübler, A. (2007). Depression and anxiety in individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.  CNS drugs, 21(4), 279-291.

Laar, B., Nijboer, F., Gürkök, H., Plass-Oude Bos, D., & Nijholt, A. (2011). User Experience Evaluation in BCI: Bridge the Gap. International Journal of Bioelectromagnetism, 13(3), 157-158.

Mühl, C., van den Broek, E., Brouwer, A.-M., Nijboer, F., van Wouwe, N., & Heylen, D. (2011). Multi-modal Affect Induction for Affective Brain-Computer Interfaces.  Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction, 235-245.

Murguialday, A. R., Hill, J., Bensch, M., Martens, S., Halder, S., Nijboer, F., . . . Gharabaghi, A. (2011). Transition from the locked in to the completely locked-in state: A physiological analysis.  Clinical Neurophysiology, 122(5), 925-933.

Nijboer, F., et al. (2014). "Design requirements and potential target users for brain-computer interfaces – recommendations from rehabilitation professionals." Brain-Computer Interfaces: 1-12.

Nijboer, F., Allison, B., Dunne, S., Plass-Oude Bos, D., Nijholt, A., & Haselager, P. (2011). A Preliminary Survey on the Perception of Marketability of Brain-Computer Interfaces and Initial Development of a Repository of BCI Companies.

Nijboer, F., Birbaumer, N., & Kübler, A. (2010). The influence of psychological state and motivation on brain–computer interface performance in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis–a longitudinal study.  Frontiers in neuroscience, 4.

Nijboer, F., et al. (2013). "The Asilomar Survey: Stakeholders' Opinions on Ethical Issues Related to Brain-Computer Interfacing." Neuroethics 6: 541-578.

Nijboer, F., Clausen, J., Allison, B. Z., & Haselager, P. (2011). Researchers’ opinions about ethically sound dissemination of BCI research to the public media.  International Journal of Bioelectromagnetism, 13(3), 108-109.

Nijboer, F., Furdea, A., Gunst, I., Mellinger, J., McFarland, D. J., Birbaumer, N., & Kübler, A. (2008). An auditory brain-computer interface (BCI).  Journal of neuroscience methods, 167(1), 43-50.

Nijboer, F., Sellers, E., Mellinger, J., Jordan, M., Matuz, T., Furdea, A., . . . Vaughan, T. (2008). A P300-based brain-computer interface for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.  Clinical Neurophysiology, 119(8), 1909-1916.

Soekadar SR, Born J, Birbaumer N, Bensch M, Halder S, Murguialday AR, et al. Fragmentation of slow wave sleep after onset of complete locked-in state. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. 2013;9(9):951-3.

Vlek, R. J., Steines, D., Szibbo, D., Kübler, A., Schneider, M.-J., Haselager, P., & Nijboer, F. (2012). Ethical Issues in Brain–Computer Interface Research, Development, and Dissemination.  Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy, 36(2), 94.

Wolpaw, J. R., Loeb, G. E., Allison, B. Z., Donchin, E., do Nascimento, O. F., Heetderks, W. J., . . . Turner, J. N. (2006). BCI Meeting 2005-Workshop on signals and recording methods.  Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on, 14(2), 138-141.


Assistant Professor

  • Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
  • Instituut Psychologie
  • Gezondheids, Medische- Neuropsychologie

Work address

Pieter de la Court Building
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 2B51



No relevant ancillary activities