I am Lennart, an integrative neuroscientist, developing ultrasonic neuromodulation tools for basic research and clinical application at the Donders Institute. I chair the international expert group for safety and standards of ultrasonic neuromodulation in humans. I have pioneered the use of low-intensity ultrasound to safely stimulate deep brain structures with high precision in non-human primates, such as the amygdala and medial frontal cortex and together with my wonderful team, we are now translating this approach to humans, modulating excitability in the motor cortex, biasing saccade choice in frontal cortex, and perturbing threat learning in the amygdala.
Hi, I am Julian, a postdoctoral researcher in the lab. My research aims to clarify the brain mechanisms that enable us to flexibly adapt perception, cognition, and action to changing goals and demands. To this end, my research draws on perspectives from cognitive, computational, and systems neuroscience. I am fascinated by the question how we can adequately capture intrinsic brain dynamics in humans, and tune them using targeted interventions. In the Verhagen lab I pursue these interests by combining ultrasound stimulation with multimodal neuroimaging to study the relevance of deep brain regions for complex brain dynamics and cognitive flexibility.
Hi, my name is Carys, I am a postdoctoral researcher with Lennart Verhagen at the DCC and Sven Bestmann at UCL. My research focuses on the human motor system in health and after stroke, and the therapeutic potential of non-invasive neuromodulation. I am particularly interested in how we can maximise the efficacy of neuromodulation through individualised stimulation protocols. In the Verhagen Lab, I will probe the neuromodulatory effects of ultrasound stimulation on the sensorimotor network. My key methods are TMS, tDCS, and TUS.
As a postdoctoral researcher, I am a part of the Innovative Neurotechnology for Society (INTENSE) consortium where I study mechanisms of affective behavior, focusing on approach/avoidance decision-making. In this project, I will work towards a closed-loop neuro-intervention system aimed to detect the preparation of avoidance actions, and consequently, perturb avoidance behavior using Transcranial Ultrasound Stimulation targeted at the amygdala.
I’m a postdoctoral researcher in the Verhagen Lab and also a staff scientist for the DCC. I am interested in the neurophysiological and behavioural effects of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS), with an emphasis on cutting-edge transcranial ultrasonic stimulation techniques. The overarching aim of my research is to improve physical rehabilitation outcomes by using NIBS to make the brain more receptive to the neuroplastic changes we want to drive using exercise and other interventions. When I’m not thinking about stimulating the brain, I love to travel, spend time in nature and meet new people.
I'm a postdoctoral researcher (Radboud Excelence Program). My background is in psychology and cognitive neuroscience. During my Ph.D. at TU Dresden, I learned a lot about the neurophysiology of human action control using EEG. Now I am excited to be part of a team at the forefront of safe transcranial neuromodulation here at the Donders Institute in Nijmegen. I am trying to modulate subcortical activity in awake and asleep humans to hopefully reach my ultimate goal, which is to understand how lucid dreaming works.
My name is Benjamin Kop and I am a PhD student here in the Verhagen lab. While I enjoy stimulating my brain with books, music, films, and the like, I am always looking to stimulate other people’s brains in a more literal sense. During my Ph.D., I get to put this passion into practice in my research applying TUS to the motor system. My interest in the brain, neuromodulation and the motor system was sparked during my bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I further pursued these interests in a research master’s of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London. I am excited to be working with ultrasound and TMS to help establish the foundation of ultrasonic neuromodulation in humans, starting with its impact on motor cortical excitability.
My name is Sjoerd Meijer and I’m aPh.D.D student in the lab passionate about circuit-level neuroimaging and neuromodulation. I aim to discover how brain stimulation can alleviate anxiety in humans. I use a combination of state-of-the-art brain stimulation techniques, behavioral tasks, and functional neuroimaging to map causal brain-behavior relationships. I use transcranial ultrasonic stimulation (TUS), which enables us to target the source of anxiety – deep in the brain. Further, I investigate the potential anxiolytic effects of dual-site transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) on approach-avoidance behavior in social anxiety. My research could open up new avenues for anxiety disorder therapies.
My name is Soha and I am a Ph.D. student in Lennart Verhagen's Cognitive Neuromodulation lab and Hanneke den Ouden’s Learning & Decision-making lab. I completed my master's in Medical Neurobiology at Radboud University. I had the greatest difficulty choosing between different tracks and courses at the time. Still one of my biggest weaknesses is making decisions. Naturally, I thought it would be a good idea to study this trait in humans. I am interested in understanding how our motivations guide our actions in often seemingly irrational ways. I will focus on unraveling the role of the striatum (a deep brain structure) in motivational decision-making by non-invasively modulating this nucleus with TUS (pretty cool, right?).
Kenneth van der Zee
My name is Kenneth and I am assisting studies from the Verhagen lab by running acoustic and thermal simulations to predict the effects of FUS and maintaining the wrapper that allows us to run the simulations. Starting in my Bachelor’s in Psychology I’ve had an interest in neurostimulation in general and was particularly excited about the opportunities offered by FUS. This is why, after completing my Master’s in Cognitive Neuroscience in Maastricht, I left to start this exciting new job in Nijmegen.
Hi! I am Eleonora, a Neurophysics Master’s student in the Verhagen lab. I did my Bachelor’s in Engineering Physics at Polytechnic University of Turin. I am part of our study about ultrasound stimulation of the amygdala in fear learning. When I am not playing with ultrasound in the lab, I run acoustic simulations to model how the ultrasound wave propagates throughout the skull and brain and I try to optimize our current MR-skull imaging techniques. I’m really excited about the future of focused ultrasounds and I hope to continue my studies with a PhD. I love outdoor sports such as sailing, rowing and skiing and I am always up for a good slice of pizza!
My name is Jesse Lam and I am a master's intern in the lab. Previously, I completed my bachelor's internship in Lennart's lab and also worked as a student assistant. My daily activities involve programming experimental tasks and interfacing software with (ultrasound) hardware in a time-accurate manner. Additionally, I am involved in designing a new experimental paradigm with which we will assess the offline effects of TUS on deep brain regions during both rest, and task-related activation of these regions.
I'm Marwan, an intern in Lennart Verhagen's lab. I'm pursuing my Master's degree in cognitive neuroscience at the Donders Institute. For this, I am currently doing my internship under the supervision of Benjamin Kop. Here I am particularly interested in the neuromodulatory efficacy of TUS on motor cortical excitability. I enjoy making music, doing sports, cooking, and whenever possible traveling the world.
I am Solenn, a Research Master’s student in Cognitive Neuroscience and currently interning in Hanneke den Ouden’s lab, in cooperation with the Verhagen Lab. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Cognitive and Neurobiological Psychology (UU) with a minor in Behavioural Data Science (UvA). I am working on my thesis under the supervision of Soha Farboud. We aim to translate an established online TUS protocol for non-human primates targeting the frontal eye fields into a compatible version for modulating oculomotor behaviour in humans as well as understand the underlying mechanisms of TUS using fMRI and MR Spectroscopy. When I am not in the lab or coding, I enjoy boxing and being creative.
I am Martin, a Research Master’s student in Cognitive Neuroscience and currently interning in the Verhagen Lab. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Radboud University. I am working on my thesis under the supervision of Julian Kosciessa. We aim to proof the feasibility of transcranial ultrasound stimulation (TUS) engagement of the thalamus, and the effect on decision-making using fMRI and EEG. Besides my position in the Verhagen lab, I like to engage in sport and cooking.