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The research team

dr. Ineke van der Ham - Prinicpal Investigator

Ineke is the principal investigator of Navigation Lab Leiden and has worked in the field of spatial cognition since the start of her PhD in 2006. In 2010 she obtained her PhD Cum Laude at Utrecht University, on a series of neurocognitive studies on spatial relation processing. Since 2010 she mainly studies the neurocognition of navigation ability. Getting lost is a very common problem, with considerable impact on daily life activities. This occurs frequently after acquired brain injury but also in healthy and pathological aging. Yet, appropriate testing materials and treatment tools are currently lacking, which is why Ineke develops questionnaires, tests, and training protocols to assess and reduce navigation impairment. She also studies spatial abilities and how individual differences caused by e.g. gender and age affect these. In addition to her research activities, she is an assistant professor at the institute of psychology at Leiden University and teaches various courses in the clinical neuropsychology curriculum.

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Michiel Claessen – Researcher and lecturer

As a trained neuropsychologist, I am particularly interested in how the ability to navigate is affected by brain damage. Therefore, the focus of my research lies on navigation ability in chronic stroke patients. More specifically, I am investigating the (neuro)cognitive underpinnings of navigation ability, validating diagnostic instruments to detect navigation impairments (both self-report and objective tasks) and exploring compensation  strategies and training possibilities.

Milan van der Kuil - PhD student

In February 2016, I started as a PhD candidate in the Navigation Lab Leiden.  The aim of my research is to develop a rehabilitation therapy for acquired brain injury patients who report navigation impairments. A compensatory approach to rehabilitation is taken in this project. Patients are trained to adopt novel, more suitable navigation strategies. Navigation strategies are taught and trained by using home-based virtual reality games in combination with education sessions.

Anne Cuperus – PhD student

As an external PhD candidate, I investigate the effectiveness of the products that we develop at the innovation department of Triple, the company where I work. Currently, we are focusing on virtual reality applications which are designed to support and / or complement existing medical interventions; e.g. avatar therapy, or support of physical exercise programs with virtual environments. Aside from that I am involved in user experience research and Beyond Sports, a virtual reality application designed to increase spatial awareness and decision-making ability in soccer players.


Ioanna Kotanidis: The categorization of navigation impairment after stroke.

Eefje Fredriksz: What are the neural correlates of allocentric spatial memory impairment?

Linda Rinn:  Defining Spatial Anxiety – A Concept of Trait or State Anxiety?

Marischa van Oosten:How good are people in assessing their own navigation ability?

Anouk Miedema: Determinants of health care providers’ acceptance for digital cognitive rehabilitation.

Nienke Middel: Orientation in the Virtual Tübingen task and the relationship with visuospatial transformation.

Lisa van Ooijen: Influence of Corsi Block Tapping Test on Training Navigational Strategy: Mediation via Visuospatial Working Memory.

Kirsten Richards: The relation between route order memory and working memory in healthy participants and stroke patients.

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