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

Societal Implications of Artificial Intelligence & Cognitive Neuroscience (SIAC)


The SIAC group (Societal Implications of AI & Cognitive Neuroscience) aims at analyzing fundamental presuppositions and theoretical & societal implications of research within Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Neuroscience.

Its methods are characterized by the use of conceptual analysis, experimental philosophy and value-sensitive design. The group contributes primarily to the Perception, Action & Decision Making theme, but also links to research in the Natural Computing and Neurotechnology theme.

Specific research questions are:

  • What are the societal implications of AI (e.g. big data, machine learning, robotics) and neurotechnology (e.g. BCI, brain reading and brain stimulation)?
  • What are the consequences of artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience and neurotechnology for human agency and responsibility for action?
  • How can a societally responsible technical and institutional design promote human-centered innovation in AI and neurotechnology?
Name: Pim Haselager
Telephone: 024-3616148
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
  • Horizon Europe – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon-CL2-2021-Transformations-01-05: Integration of emerging new technologies into education and training (2021-2027). Empower. Applicants: Prof Herrera (University of Valencia, Spain), prof. Costescu, (Babes-Bolyai University, Romania), dr Thill (Radboud University), et al. (2m).
  • Research Grant of the Donders Centre for Cognition, (2022). 4 year PhD project. Reflection machines. Promotor. Co-applicants & co-promotors (dr. S. Thill & dr. H. Schraffenberger) (200k).
  • NWO research grant (Open competition for digitalization, SSH), 2019. Look who’s talking: Towards engaging long-term interactions with conversational agents. Applicants: Prof E. Krahmer (TiU), dr G-J. de Bruijn (UvA), prof T. Bosse (RU), prof. M. Antheunissen (TiU), dr. W. Haselager (RU), prof R. Wiers (UvA). (750k).
  • Research Grant of the Donders Centre for Cognition, 2017. 4 year PhD project Affective computing in natural and artificial agents. Co-applicant & co-promotor, co-promotor dr.B. Grzyb, promotor prof. dr. M. van Gerven. (200k).
  • Research Grant of the Donders Centre for Cognition, 2014. 4 year PhD project Investigating the subjective experience of the what, when and whether phases of an intentional act. Co-applicant & co-promotor, co-promotor: dr.J. Farquhar, promotor: prof. dr. P. Desain. (200k).
Key publications
  • G.Mecacci, S.C. Calvert, F. Santoni de Sio. Human-machine coordination in mixed traffic as a problem of meaningful human control. AI & Society. (2022)

  • Peeters, A., & Haselager, P. (2021). Designing virtuous sex robots. International Journal of Social Robotics, 13, 55–66.

  • Santoni de Sio, F. & Mecacci, G. (2021). Four responsibility gaps with Artificial Intelligence: why they matter and how to address them. Philosophy and Technology.


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Research Theme 2:
Perception, Action and Decision-making

Research Group
Societal Implications of Artificial Intelligence & Cognitive Neuroscience (SIAC)

Principal Investigator
W.F.G. Haselager

Group members

Senior staff
Giulio Mecacci (assistant Professor)
Lotte van Elteren (junior lecturer)

Gabriëlle Ras 
Simon Fischer
Lotte van Elteren 
Gabi Ras

Former PhD's
Mark Blokpoel
Mike Farjam
Giulio Mecacci
Rebecca Schaefer
Sebo Uithol
Ceci Verbaarschot
Rutger Vlek