prof. dr. A.J. van Opstal (John)
Hoogleraar - Donders Centre for Neuroscience – Neurophysics
Hoogleraar - Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
We aim to understand the quantitative relationships between sensory (auditory, visual, vestibular) stimuli and the resulting behavioural response, such as rapid gaze-orienting. Gaze saccades are natural orienting responses to sensory stimuli and are interesting because of the tedious coupling of fast eye- and head movements. We uncover the neural computations underlying the perception-action cycle of this spatial behaviour, including the role of motor feedback (efference copies) that guides execution and programming of gaze saccades, the neural circuitry for eye-head gaze shifts, and multisensory integration mechanisms.
Our results help to understand neural dysfunction of gaze control, and of the auditory and vestibular systems. We therefore have intensive collaborations with the otolaryngology department at UMCN.
I study the normal auditory system, but also plasticity mechanisms in response to pathology. We carry out psychophysical studies on human subjects (including patients, and e.g., children), and we have performed neurophysiological studies in trained rhesus monkeys that carried out cognitive localization tasks. We explain our data with neuro-computational models that aim for neurobiological plausibility. My facilities include five fully equipped human psychophysics labs: two unique auditory setups, one visual lab, a 2-axis vestibular setup, and a neuro-imaging NIRS-EEG lab.
A third research line concerns a humanoid robotics collaboration with the Vision Lab of the Instituto Técnico Superior of Lisbon University (prof. Bernardino).
In 1998 I received a Human Frontiers collaborative grant, in 2005 a personal Vici from NWO-ALW, in 2013 a large EU-Marie-Curie IDP grant (3.3 M€) and in 2016 a personal ERC Advanced Grant (2.6 M€). Over the last 10 years I acquired ~10 M€ in grants for my research. So far, 16 PhD students defended their thesis. My current research group consists of 10 PhD students, 2 postdocs, 1 assistant professor, and 3 technicians.
- H.H.L.M. Goossens and A.J. Van Opstal (2012):Optimal control of saccades by spatial-temporal activity patterns in monkey Superior Colliculus.PLoS Computational Biology 8(5): e1002508 Volledige tekst
- M.P. Zwiers, A.J. Van Opstal and G.D. Paige (2003):Plasticity in Human Sound Localization Induced by Compressed Spatial Vision.Nature Neuroscience, 6: 175-181 Volledige tekst
- P.M. Hofman, J.G.A. Van Riswick, and A.J. Van Opstal (1998):Relearning Sound Localization with New Ears.Nature Neuroscience, 1: 417-421 Volledige tekst
- A.J. Van Opstal, K. Hepp, B.J.M. Hess, D. Straumann, and V. Henn (1991):Two-, rather than three-dimensional representation of saccades in monkey superior colliculus.Science 252: 1313-1315 Volledige tekst
- A.J. van Opstal (2016)"The Auditory System and Human Sound-Localization Behavior"Academic Press, Elsevier Publishers, Amsterdam, 423 pagesISBN: 978-0-12-801-529-2 Volledige tekst
Onderzoeksbeurzen en -prijzen
- 2013 - FP7-Marie Curie IDP grant for project HealthPAC (14 PhD positions for the PAC sensori-motor team of 10 PI's; collaboration with 7 companies and 3 research/clinical/rehabilitation institutes).> Meer informatie
- 2012 - NWO-ALW open competition grant to study the role of the primate midbrain in multisensory gaze-orienting.> Meer informatie
- 2016 - STW Perspectief grant "OTOCONTROL" to optimise the algorithms for fitting cochlear implants and hearing aids in the hearing impaired.> Meer informatie
- 2016 - ERC Advanced Grant (Horizon 2020) "ORIENT" to study multisensory gaze control in complex audiovisual environments (2 PhD students, 4 postdocs).> Meer informatie
- 2005 - Vici research grant from NWO (ALW): to study the auditory system, from neuron to cognition to behaviour (3 PhDs, 2 postdocs)> Meer informatie
- Additional Internship and Report
- Bachelor Internship and Report
- Bachelorstage Natuur- en Sterrenkunde
- Internship Bachelor Biology
- MSc Human Biology internship
- Master (Medical) Biology SMI/SIS internship
- Master (Medical) Biology education internship
- Master (Medical) Biology research internship 1
- Master (Medical) Biology research internship 2
- Master Thesis (TWM)
- Master Thesis Physics and Astronomy
- Master Thesis Project Physics and Astronomy
- Physics and mathematics of complex biological systems
- Psychofysica 1
- Research Proposal
- Review Article
- Science, Management and Innovation Research Project
- Second Internship
- Systematic Reviews in Neuroscience
- The Auditory System
- Third Internship