dr. D.H. van Rijn
Heymansbuilding, room 2.76
In my work, I study and refine theories of human cognitive information
processing by means of a combination of formal modeling and behavioral
and neuro-cognitive experiments. |
On the one hand, theories in cognitive psychology often have impressive explanatory power, but lack strong biological constraints. On the other hand, much work in neuroscience has the inverse problem. One goal of my current work is to integrate existing psychological theories with low-level neurobiological constraints.
Also, many psychological theories are highly detailed and focus on a single aspect of human cognitive performance. This limits the applicability of these theories in applied, real-life settings. I actively try to overcome these constraints in collaboration projects with external, non-academic collaborators (e.g., Noordhoff Publishers).
A prime example is my work on interval timing, the cognitively
controlled timing of durations in the range of seconds, and the relation
of timing to cognitive control. I work on redefining the
pacemaker-accumulator theories that have been prominent since the 1960s
with models based on neurobiological constraints. This work is partly
computational, partly based on neuro-cognitive methods (e.g., EEG, MEG)
with human participants, and partly based on work with Drosophila (short
interview). At the same time, I am working on experiments that
demonstrate the role of interval timing in everyday tasks and contexts
and have just started a collaboration with robotica researchers to equip
robots with a human sense of time.