Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Theme 4: Natural Computing & Neurotechnology

Donders-BRAIN-NETWORKS-printThis theme integrates theoretical, computational, experimental, and technological research at the Donders Institute and has as its scientific mission to uncover fundamental mechanisms of brain functions.

This common mission is realized via two distinct but complementary research lines: “Natural Computing” and “Neurotechnology”.

Natural Computing

The Natural Computing research line aims to understand the computational principles, mechanisms and algorithms that drive learning, inference and control in neural systems and replicate these processes in machines. To this end, we unite researchers in computational neuroscience, systems neuroscience, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Research topics range from advances in machine learning and control theory to experimental and computational neuroscience to understanding the mechanism behind the way in which neurons, learning rules and network structures determine computation, so that and development of (biophysically realistic) models of neurons, synaptic learning rules and neural network architectures can be developed.

Together, these advances will provide insights into natural computing, ranging from information processing in single neurons to goal-directed behavior of natural agents in complex environments. Fundamental research will also promote breakthroughs in neuromorphic computing and other novel brain-based technologies. Moreover, it paves the way for more robust and efficient autonomous systems, thereby reducing the gap between artificial and natural intelligence.


The Neurotechnology research line aims to achieve technological breakthroughs in the measurement and control of neural activity and the associated behavior. Our objective is to reveal principles of brain function at the neuron, circuit and systems level by making use of state-of-the-art technology as applied to experimental data. This not only involves advances in brain recording, brain state decoding and control but also the development and active dissemination of novel algorithms that provide optimal interpretation and control of neural systems.

Breakthroughs in this area may provide insights into behaviour and mental processes that cannot be obtained otherwise, yield a causal understanding of brain circuits and restore sensory, cognitive and motor function in patients that suffer from a variety of brain disorders.

Fleur Zeldenrust, (speaker of this theme)
T: 024-3655931

Marie-Louise Beenen 
T: 024-3653276

Researchers and research groups

Christian Beckmann     beckmann10x152018umc

Principal Investigator
Statistics Imaging Neuroscience

Michael Cohen    Cohen10x15umc2018

Principal Investigator
Synchronisation in Neural Systems

Ton Coolen  coolen

Principal Investigator
Physics of Machine Learning and Complex Systems

Peter Desain Desain%20Peter-5fdb37b0

Principal Investigator
Brain Computer Interfacing

Martin Dresler                                                                                         GV_2309A5036Dresler

Principal Investigator
Sleep and Memory

Bernhard Englitz 687782

Associate Principal Investigator
Computational Neuroscience Lab

Linda Geerligs                                                                 geerligslinda

Principal Investigator
Dynamic and naturalistic cognitive neuroscience

Marcel van Gerven Marcel van Gerven

Principal Investigator
Artificial Cognitive Systems

Koen Haak  naamloos

Associate Principal Investigator
Vision and Imaging Neuroscience

Saskia Haegens saskiahaegens

Associate Principal Investigator
Brain Rhythms

Anne-Sophie Hafner

Principal Investigator
Molecular dynamics of the Synapse

Tom Heskes Tom_Heskes

Affiliated Principal Investigator
Machine Learning (iCIS)

Max Hinne   hinne max 1

Associate Principal Investigator
The Uncertain Systems Lab

Bert Kappen coverfoto_-_artikel

Principal Investigator
Machine Learning (Biophysics)

Tim Kietzmann kietzmann foto

Associated Principal Investigator
Cognitive Computational Neuroscience

kwisthoutfotoJohan Kwisthout

Principal Investigator
Foundations of Natural and Stochastic Computing

Pablo Lanillos Pradas Pablo Lanillos Pradas

Principal Investigator
Artificial Cognitive Systems

Eric Maris     Maris_E

Principal Investigator
Neurophysiology of Active Perception

André Marquand Marquand10x15jaaronbekend

Principal Investigator
Predictive Clinical Neuroscience

José P. Marques Jose_Marques6

Associate Principal Investigator
MR Structural Quantitative Imaging

David Norris    david norris

Principal Investigator
MR Techniques in Brain Function

Freyja Ólafsdóttir    freyja olafsdottir

Research Fellow
Neural Mechanisms of Episodic and Spatial Memory

Robert Oostenveld  robert

Associate Principal Investigator
MEG methods

Michael Tangerman tangerman Michael

Associate Principal Investigator                                                    
Data-driven Neurotechnology lab
Theme: Natural Computing & Neurotechnology

Serge Thill                                                                       serge thill foto2

Principal Investigator                                                    
Foundations of Intelligent Technology (FoundIT)

Paul Tiesinga  paul

Principal Investigator

Paul Verschure   PaulVerschure 1

Principal Investigator

Corette Wierenga        CoretteWierenga

Principal Investigator
Molecular mechanisms underlying the formation
and plasticity of inhibitory synapses

Fleur Zeldenrust Fleur Zeldenrust

Research fellow
Biophysics of neural computation