About our research

As a Neurophysics student, you will perform research at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour (DI), a leading centre of research expertise with a strong international reputation. Research areas related to Neurophysics are clustered within the Donders Centre for Neuroscience (DCN), which focusses on understanding the complex neural networks underlying perceptual, motor and cognitive brain functions, by employing experimental as well as computational approaches. You are free to choose the research topic of your interest, and a specific approach that matches your background. On this page, you can read more about the relevant research institute(s) and departments in which our highly renowned research takes place.

Research institutes

Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour

The Donders Institute is a world-class research centre devoted to understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of human cognition and behaviour in health and disease. Their mission includes conducting interdisciplinary research of excellence at the unique interface between genetic, molecular, and cellular processes at one end and computational, system-level neuroscience with cognitive and behavioural analysis at the other end. An example of our leading research is that of Prof. John van Opstal, who received an ERC Advanced Grant for his insightful research into eye-head coordination. This research into the mechanisms of the human auditory system is directly applied to improve the function of cochlear implants and hearing aids of patients with impaired hearing in close collaboration with industrial partners.

Research groups

To give you an idea of the research you can perform during your internship, two relevant research groups are highlighted below. Or click the button to view all research areas at the Donders Institute. 


Donders Biophysics


This group focuses on the neural basis of sensorimotor behaviour, through experimental studies of the auditory system, the visual system, balance control, and eye-head motor control. In addition to experimental studies, they perform theoretical research on the computational principles that underlie intelligent behaviour in natural systems, and in building artificial intelligence.

EEG scan


The overall goal of this department is to understand how neurons encode information. We use techniques from Physics and Mathematics to model the mechanisms by which neural information is processed and modulated. The models range from single neurons to millions of neurons, with thousands degrees of freedom.

Research facilities

To study the brain in ever greater detail and in shorter time-scales you need state-of-the-art equipment. The Donders Institute has all facilities required for studying brain, cognition and behaviour and is taking the lead in developing and implementing new techniques.

Looking at health and disease
Genetic biobanks, patient groups and animal models for Alzheimers disease, depression, schizophrenia are all available for researchers wishing to study the genetic, molecular and cellular basis of cognitive skills or the illnesses that affect them.

Looking at cognition
We have a state-of-the-art Baby Lab, including eye-tracker and EEG equipment. A cognitive artificial intelligence laboratory is used to analyze human-computer interaction as well as the dynamics of intelligent behaviour, embedded embodied cognition and information retrieval.

Looking at behaviour
Sensori-motor facilities help to answer the question how our brain and our senses work together. This is why we have a vestibular sled, which combines EEG equipment with motion-tracking devices. Reach-in' 3D visualisation and force-feedback equipment allow experiments on manual actions in rich, three-dimensional virtual reality.

Looking into the brain
Neuroimaging facilities such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) at 1.5, 3 and 7 Tesla, Magnetoencephalography (MEG), Electroencephalography (EEG) and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) make it possible to look inside the skull - in a variety of ways.

MEG lab