Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Theme 2: Perception, Action and Control

Sensorimotor Control

Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and BehaviourThe objective of our research group is to elucidate the computational and neural strategies in human sensorimotor processing, using modeling, psychophysical and neuroimaging techniques. Our main focus is on how sensory information is transformed into spatial representations and motor actions and how different spatial and motor representations are learnt, updated and/or maintained during self-motion.

Optimal control and Bayesian models are developed to guide our research. A vestibular motion platform, a haptic device (Phantom) and a robotic manipulandum (vBot and 3Bot), all associated with virtual reality and combined with kinematic recording techniques for eye, head and limb-movements (Eyelink, Optotrak), facilitate our behavioral experiments. Neuroimaging (fMRI, EEG and MEG) and perturbation techniques (TMS/tDCS/GVS) are used to identify the neural circuitry and neuronal communication for sensorimomotor integration, particularly in cerebral cortex.

Our research objective is pursued from a neuroscience systems point of view, with research projects studying topics such as spatial perception, visuospatial updating, multisensory integration, effector selection, motor learning, and sensory-guided actions of eye and limb movements. We also exploit our experimental paradigms in clinical settings to understand the fundamental mechanisms that underlie the disorders in patients with sensorimotor deficits.

Recently, we have started to also use virtual reality and wearable technology, and methods from data science and artificial intelligence, to connect the laboratory and the real-world, and make contributions to the field of Naturalistic Neuroscience. The group contributes to the Perception, Action, and Decision Making research theme of the Donders Institute


Name: Pieter Medendorp
Telephone: 024-3616041
Visiting address: Donders Centre for Cognition
Thomas van Aquinostraat 4
6525 GD Nijmegen
The Netherlands
Postal address: Donders Centre for Cognition
P.O. Box 9104
6500 HE Nijmegen
The Netherlands
Key grants and prizes
  • 2022  NWO-SGW: Naturalistic Neuroscience. Consortium grant: founder.
  • 2021 NWO – National Science Agenda (NWA): Brain and AI for safe navigation. Consortium grant. Co-founder and steering board.
  • Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO)
  • Veni (Selen / Maij)
  • Vidi, Vici (Medendorp)
  • ERC Consolidating grant (Medendorp)
  • EU Consortium grant “SpaceCog”
Key publications
  • Clemens I, De Vrijer M, Selen LPJ, Van Gisbergen JAM, Medendorp WP. Multisensory processing in spatial orientation: an inverse probabilistic approach. Journal of Neuroscience, 31: 5365-5377, 2011
  • Crawford JD, Henriques D, Medendorp WP. Spatial transformations for goal-directed action. Annual Review of Neuroscience 34: 309-31, 2011
  • Medendorp W.P. Spatial constancy mechanisms in motor control. Philosophical Transactions B. review. (Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B) 366, 476-491, 2011
  • Effect of depth information on multiple-object tracking in three dimensions: A probabilistic perspective.
    Cooke JRH, Ter Horst AC, van Beers RJ, Medendorp WP.
    PLoS Comput Biol. 2017 Jul 20;13(7):e1005554. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005554.
  • Decisions in motion: passive body acceleration modulates hand choice.
    Bakker RS, Weijer RHA, van Beers RJ, Selen LPJ, Medendorp WP.J Neurophysiol. 2017 Jun 1;117(6):2250-2261. doi: 10.1152/jn.00022.2017
  • Causal Inference for Spatial Constancy across Saccades.
    Atsma J, Maij F, Koppen M, Irwin DE, Medendorp WP. PLoS Comput Biol. 2016 Mar 11;12(3):e1004766. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004766.
  • Generalization and transfer of contextual cues in motor learning.
    Sarwary AM, Stegeman DF, Selen LP, Medendorp WP. J Neurophysiol. 2015 Sep;114(3):1565-76. doi: 10.1152/jn.00217.2015. Epub 2015 Jul 8.
  • Parallax-sensitive remapping of visual space in occipito-parietal alpha-band activity during whole-body motion.
    Gutteling TP, Selen LP, Medendorp WP. J Neurophysiol. 2015 Mar 1;113(5):1574-84. doi: 10.1152/jn.00477.2014. Epub 2014 Dec 10.
  • Understanding effector selectivity in human posterior parietal cortex by combining information patterns and activation measures.
    Leoné FT, Heed T, Toni I, Medendorp WP. J Neurosci. 2014 May 21;34(21):7102-12. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5242-13.2014.
  • Parietal oscillations code nonvisual reach targets relative to gaze and body.
    Buchholz VN, Jensen O, Medendorp WP. J Neurosci. 2013 Feb 20;33(8):3492-9. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3208-12.2013.


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Research Theme 2:
Perception, Action and Decision-making

Research Group
Sensorimotor Control

Principal Investigator
Prof. W.P. Medendorp

Group members

Senior researchers

Dr. Rob van Beers
Prof. Noel Keijsers (professor by special appointment)
Dr. Mathieu Koppen
Dr. Luke Miller
Dr, Leonie Oostwoud Wijdenes
Dr. Luc Selen

Prof. Gilles van Luijtelaar
Dr. Tineke van Rijn

Dr. James Cooke
Dr. Valeria Peviani (radoud Research Fellow)
Dr. Dominika Radziun

Milou van Helvert
Katrin Karadacha
Kevin Liu
Judith Rudolph
Sonal Sengupta
Katrin Sutter
Lonneke Teunissen
Erik Verhaar
Yvonne Visser
Sophie Willemsen
Hüseyin Orkun Elmas
Mathilde Sijtsma
Aslan Bellmann
Arun Karim