Alan Sanfey giving a lecture at Radboud Reflects
Alan Sanfey giving a lecture at Radboud Reflects

Alan Sanfey new Director Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging

As of 1 January, Alan Sanfey has been appointed as the new director of the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (DCCN). He is the successor of David Norris and Peter Hagoort. Sanfey has been involved in the Donders Institute for many years, for example serving as Theme Leader of the Perception, Action, and Decision-making theme.

Sanfey wants to make sure that the DCCN remains at the forefront of cognitive neuroscience research: “There are many moving parts within the DCCN, and these first months have really been a learning experience for me to see what is in my portfolio and how we can move forward. The next steps are determining how we can operate better, and how DCCN should be facing the outside scientific world”. In his new role, Sanfey will take a place on the Strategy Board of the Donders Institute.

Science is a team enterprise

Fostering a clear sense of community is important for science, according to Sanfey. Even though this exists currently within the Centre, it could be even better. Sanfey: "Obviously, COVID was a big disruption here. As a Centre I think we can work better together, without just adding lots of extra meetings and activities. That is something I want to focus on because community is important when we do science. It is not just the PIs or the PhD students, but together we all both contribute to the success we achieve, as well as benefit from it. Science is best done as a team enterprise, that is something I really feel strongly about.”

Sanfey believes that there might be interesting, and to date unexplored, overlaps between research groups that could result in longer term projects that really take advantage of the strengths of both the DCCN and the Donders Institute. Sanfey: “We are very committed to the Donders Institute as an enterprise, and the DCCN centrally contributes to the broader Donders Institute. It is an impressive Institute, and we want to make sure that DCCN is really part of that. So, in addition to the internal community building, we also want to build additional bridges to both the other Centres and the DI as a whole.”

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