Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
Zoek in de site...

Synthetic, Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems Lab – SPECS-lab

“SPECS uses synthetic methods to study and synthesize the neuronal, psychological and behavioural principles underlying perception, emotion, cognition, and action.”

Prof. Paul Verschure’s runs the Synthetic Perceptive, Emotive, and Cognitive Systems (SPECS) Laboratory ( and his scientific aim is to find a unified theory of mind and brain using synthetic and empirical methods and to apply it to quality of life-enhancing technologies. His Distributed Adaptive Control (DAC) theory has shed light on the function of several brain structures, is used to control advanced mobile and humanoid robotic systems, and has laid the foundation for a novel neurorehabilitation approach called the Rehabilitation Gaming System ( Paul explores new methods for the simulation, visualization, and exploration of complex data to support his DAC theory and advance clinical diagnostics and intervention in neuropathologies such as stroke and epilepsy (

He is currently building up the Neuroengineering program at the Faculty of Science and Technology at Radboud University. This is linked to a larger European University Alliance initiative to build a University of Brain and Technology, NeuroetchEU.

Paul Verschure is the founder of Eodyne Systems S.L. ( and Sapiens5 Holding B.V. (, commercializing new science-grounded neurorehabilitation and cultural heritage technologies. The Founder/Chairman of the Future Memory Foundation (, which aims at supporting the development of new tools and paradigms for the conservation, presentation, and education of the history of the Holocaust and Nazi crimes. Paul is the Founder/Chairman of the Convergent Science Network Foundation, which supports the development of new science and technology platforms to advance the domains of neurotechnology and neuroengineering to advance the human condition.

Complementary to his science, Paul has developed and deployed over 35 art installations ( These include the biomimetic mixed reality space Ada experienced by over half a million visitors (2002) and, more recently, three virtual/augmented reality educational installations and applications for the Memorial Sites Bergen-Belsen (2012-), and Falstad, which is now generalized to other sites across Europe. His most recent installation is now on permanent exhibition in the entrance hall of the Faculty of Science of Radboud University: The eXperience Induction Machine (


Visiting Address

Faculty of Science 
Department of Biophysics
Heyendaalseweg 135, HG00.131
6525 AJ Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Postal Address

Faculty of Science 
Department of Biophysics
P.O. Box 9101
6500 HB Nijmegen 
The Netherlands

Key grants and prizes
European Innovation Council Award 2022
Universitat Pompeu Fabra Obra Social prize 2015
European Research Council Advanced Grant 2014

Patents and software registrations

  1. Verschure, P F.M.J.; Duff, Armin; Martinez Bueno, Enrique. B-2100-13. Rehabilitation Gaming System (RGS) V2.1 (Software Registration) Application España. 09/05/2013.
  2. Verschure, P F.M.J.; Bermudez Badia, Sergi; Da Silva Cameirao, M. ber: 4555. Rehabilitation Gaming System (RGS) (Software Registration) Application España. 21/10/2010.
  3. Delbrück, T.; Marchal, R J; Verschure, P F.M.J.; Whatley, A.M.ber: 6603082. A devicefor controlling a physical system Application 08/05/2003.


  • European University of Brain and Technology NeurotechEU EU Erasmus+ IBA SwafS EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY ALLIANCES 2021 2019-2023 Coordinator
  • NeurotechRI European University of Brain and Technology - Research and Innovation. 
    H2020-IBA-SwafS-Support-2-2020 2022-2025 Coordinator
  • CAVAA Counterfactual Assessment and Valuation for Awareness Architecture European Union HORIZON-EIC-2021-PATHFINDERCHALLENGES-01-01  (2021) 2022-2024 Coordinator
  • EBRAINS Health European Union HORIZON-INFRA-2021-TECH-01 (Next generation of scientific instrumentation, tools and methods (2021)) 2022-2024 Partner
  • AISN Integrating AI in Stroke Neurorehabilitation European Union HORIZON-HLTH-2021-DISEASE-04-04 2022-2026 Coordinator
  • PHRASE Personalised Health cognitive assistance for RehAbilitation SystEm European Union HORIZON-EIC-2021-TRANSITION-CHALLENGES-01 2022-2025 Partner
  • MEMORISE Virtualisation and Multimodal Exploration of Heritage on Nazi Persecution European Union HORIZON-CL2-2021-HERITAGE-01-04 2022-2026 Partner
  • NEST Neurorehabilitation Ecosystem for Sustained Therapy. Ambient Assisted Living 2021; 2021-2025 Partner
  • Rehabilitation based on Hybrid neuroprosthesis (Rehyb) Ref: H2020-ICT-2019-2020- 871767 European Union
    H2020-ICT-2019-2020 2020-2023 Partner
  • Research Whole brain modelling, analytics, visualization VirtualBrainCloud Ref: H2020-SC1-DTH-2018-1-826421 European Union H2020-SC1-DTH-2018-1 2018-2022 Partner
  • Research Big data analytics and visualization Hybrid Human-Robot RECYcling plant for electriCal and eLEctRonic equipment (HR-Recycler) Ref: H2020-NMBP-FOF-2018- 820742 European Union H2020-NMBP-FOF-2018 2018-2022 Partner


Selected publications as corresponding/senior author
in the last ten years

Ballester, B. R., Ward, N. S., Brander, F., Maier, M., Kelly, K., & Verschure, P. F. (2022). Relationship between intensity and recovery in post-stroke rehabilitation: a retrospective analysis. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry93(2), 226-228.

Verschure, P. F., & Wierenga, S. (2022). Future memory: a digital humanities approach for the preservation and presentation of the history of the Holocaust and Nazi crimes. Holocaust Studies, 28(3), 331-357.

Santos-Pata, D., Amil, A. F., Raikov, I. G., Rennó-Costa, C., Mura, A., Soltesz, I., & Verschure, P. F. (2021). Epistemic autonomy: self-supervised learning in the mammalian hippocampus. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 25(7)582-595.

Estefan, D. P., Zucca, R., Arsiwalla, X., Principe, A., Zhang, H., Rocamora, R., ... & Verschure, P. F. (2021). Volitional learning promotes theta phase coding in the human hippocampus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences118(10).

Wiers, R. W., & Verschure, P. (2021). Curing the broken brain model of addiction: Neurorehabilitation from a systems perspective. Addictive Behaviors, 112, 106602.

López-Carral, H., Grechuta, K., & Verschure, P. F. (2020). Subjective ratings of emotive stimuli predict the impact of the COVID-19 quarantine on affective states. PloS one15(8), e0237631.

D. Pacheco Estefan, M. Sánchez-Fibla, A. Duff, A. Principe, R. Rocamora, H. Zhang, N. Axmacher & P. F. Verschure. “Coordinated representational reinstatement in the human hippocampus and lateral temporal cortex during episodic memory retrieval”. Nature communications, 10: 2255 (2019).

M Maier, B Rubio Ballester, A Duff, E Duarte Oller, P. Verschure. “Effect of specific over nonspecific VR-based rehabilitation on poststroke motor recovery: a systematic meta-analysis”. Neurorehabilitation and neural repair, 33(2), 112-129 (2019).

K. Grechuta, B. Rubio Ballester, R. Espín Munne, T. Usabiaga Bernal, B. Molina Hervás, B. Mohr, ... & P- Verschure, P. “Augmented dyadic therapy boosts recovery of language function in patients with nonfluent aphasia: a randomized controlled trial”. Stroke, 50(5): 1270-1274 (2019).

B. Rubio, M. Maier, A. Duff, M. Cameirão, S. Bermúdez, E. Duarte, A. Cuxart, S. Rodríguez, R. María San Segundo Mozo, and P. Verschure. “A critical time window for recovery extends beyond one-year post-stroke”. Journal of neurophysiology, 122(1): 350-357 (2019).

T.J. Prescott, Nathan Lepora and Paul FMJ Verschure (Eds). Living machines: A handbook of research in biomimetics and biohybrid systems. Oxford University Press (2018). 65 Chapters.

G. Maffei, I. Herreros, M. Sanchez-Fibla, K. J. Friston, and P. Verschure. “The perceptual shaping of anticipatory actions”. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B. Biol. Sci., 284 (2017).

P. Verschure. “Synthetic consciousness: the distributed adaptive control perspective”. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B. Biol. Sci., 371(1701): 263-275 (2016).

Herreros, I., Arsiwalla, X., & Verschure, P. (2016). A forward model at Purkinje cell synapses facilitates cerebellar anticipatory control. Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems29, 3828-3836.

G. Maffei, D. Santos-Pata, E. Marcos, M. Sánchez-Fibla, and P. Verschure. “An embodied biologically constrained model of foraging: from classical and operant conditioning to adaptive real-world behavior in DAC-X”. Neural Networks, 72: 88-108 (2015).

E. Marcos, P. Pani, E. Brunamonti, G. Deco, S. Ferraina, and P. Verschure. “Neural Variability in Premotor Cortex Is Modulated by Trial History and Predicts Behavioral Performance”. Neuron, 78(2):249-255 (2013).

C. Rennó-Costa, J. E. Lisman, and P. Verschure. “A signature of attractor dynamics in the CA3 region of the hippocampus”. PLoS computational biology, 10(5): e1003641 (2014).

Verschure, P. F., & Wiers, R. W.
Addiction Biases Choice in the Mind, Brain, and Behavior Systems: Beyond the brain disease model. In Evaluating the Brain Disease Model of Addiction (pp. 384-404). Routledge. eBook ISBN9781003032762, (2022)

Blancas, M., Valero, C., Vouloutsi, V., Mura, A., & Verschure, P. F.
Educational Robotics: A Journey, Not a Destination. In Handbook of Research on Using Educational Robotics to Facilitate Student Learning (pp. 41-67). IGI Global. (2021)

Dept of Biophysics  (
Spin off Eodyne (
Future Memory Foundation (
Convergent Science Network Foundation ( and

Back to:
Theme 4:
Natural Computing & Neurotechnology

Research Group

Synthetic, Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems Lab – SPECS-lab

  • Architectures of mind and brain
  • Computational and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Embodied Autonomous Systems
  • Human Neurophysiology
  • Neuroinformatics
  • Neurorehabilitation

Principal Investigator
prof. dr. Paul Verschure

dr Majid Khalili Ardali

PhD candidates
Adrian Fernández Amil
Ismael Freire Gonzalez
Oscar Guerrero Rosado
Sajad Kahali
Hector López Carral
Tarandeep Mandahar
Tue Ngo
Vivek Sharma

Staff scientist
Lya Leal Mijares

Junior Researcher
Raimon Bullich

Project management
Pam Graave
Aaron Klomp
dr. Wim Scheenen
Gemma van der Sluijs
Guillermo Talavera Velilla

(Update January 2023)