Author Archives: Roy de Kleijn

Conference announcement: ICON XIII

We are happy to make the second announcement for the ICON XIII conference, which will take place on 5-8 August 2017 in Amsterdam (the Netherlands). Amsterdam is an easily-accessible and progressive city. ICON will take place at the Beurs van Berlage, located in downtown Amsterdam and one of the most beautiful conference venues in Europe!

Visit the website:

ICON stands for International Conference for Cognitive Neuroscience. ICON has taken place every 2-3 years since 1980. This conference brings together researchers from diverse backgrounds, joined by their interest in studying the relationships amongst brain, mind, and behavior. ICON conferences are always a big success, and 2017 in Amsterdam will follow this same tradition!

Symposia and poster submissions will be open from early 2017, with deadlines of 1 February for symposia and 31 March for posters. Plan your research accordingly!


In addition to standard-format symposia, ICON2017 will feature two novel formats (see “What” and “Submit” links on for more details):

  1. “Hackathons” are computer-based sessions that can involve either a group of people working towards solving a problem, or can be more tutorial-like with the goal of teaching hands-on skills (e.g., using a toolbox or implementing an analysis in Matlab) that can be accomplished in ~2 hours (for longer workshops, consider organizing a satellite).
  2. “Ask-the-experts” is a panel of experts in a topic. No specific lectures are prepared; instead there is an open Q&A session. The focus can be on a theoretical issue, methodological issue, or hotly-debated topic in cognitive neuroscience.


We welcome pre-conference satellites, and will be happy to advertise them on the ICON website. Note that satellites are independent from ICON in terms of organization, registration, and costs.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss ideas for your satellite, please contact Mike Cohen ( and Birte Forstmann (


For up-to-date announcements before and during the ICON meeting, follow @icon2017 (see also “Media” tab on the website).

We look forward to seeing you in beautiful Amsterdam!

Mike X Cohen and Birte Forstmann

PhD-position It’s all in the numbers (1.0 FTE)

Job description

Competence in dealing accurately with numerical quantities is of great and ever increasing importance in our society. Infants already have some knowledge about non-symbolic quantities or magnitudes, which continues to increase throughout childhood. This non- symbolic numerosity has been suggested to be a precursor for future number knowledge and mathematical abilities. Recently our lab has shown evidence for a topographic representation of non-symbolic quantity in the Posterior Parietal Cortex, resembling the topographic organization apparent in, for instance, visual cortex. The current project will continue research into the cortical representation of numerosity and its manifestation in behaviour.

The PhD student will conduct supervised research on this topic, combining behavioural and imaging techniques. The student will have considerable freedom in pursuing his/her own interests and methods. Our lab has access to excellent imaging as well as TMS/DCS facilities. Collaborations leading to more applied questions (on for instance dyscalculia) are also possible, due to our involvement in the Dynamics of Youth programme.


We are looking for an excellent and enthusiastic student with a Master’s degree in Experimental Psychology, (Cognitive) Neuroscience or equivalent, and with proven interest in Psychophysics and Neuroimaging. Experience with programming and neuro-imaging techniques is an asset.


We offer a PhD position (1.0 fte) with an initial 1 year contract. After a positive evaluation this contract will be extended to a maximum of 4 years. Starting date is negotiable, but as soon as possible. The salary is €2,173 gross per month in the first year and €2,778 gross per month in the fourth year, for a full time contingent on satisfactory performance.
The salary is supplemented with an annual holiday pay of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% per year. We offer flexible working conditions terms of employment to support a good work – life balance of our employees. Other secondary conditions include e.g. a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave and flexible employment conditions. For more information visit Working at Utrecht University.

About the organization

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.
The city of Utrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, with a charming old center and an internationally oriented culture that is strongly influenced by its century-old university. Utrecht city has been consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the Netherlands.

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences is one of the leading faculties in Europe providing research and academic teaching in cultural anthropology, educational sciences, interdisciplinary social science, pedagogical sciences, psychology, and sociology. Research and teaching activities are concentrated in five areas:
1. Behaviour in Social Contexts;
2. Child and Adolescent Studies;
3. Cognitive and Clinical Psychology;
4. Education and Learning and
5. Methodology and Statistics.
More than 5,600 students are enrolled in a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programmes. The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has some 850 faculty and staff members, all providing their individual contribution to the training and education of young talent and to the research into and finding solutions for scientific and societal issues.

Additional information

The research project is a collaboration between the labs of Prof Dr Serge Dumoulin, Prof Dr Susan te Pas and Dr Maarten van der Smagt.
Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from: Dr. Maarten van der Smagt: +31 30 253 3090, or


Please send your application including a motivation, a curriculum vitae, a list of publications and contact details of at least two references.
You can apply online via PhD-position It’s all in the numbers (1.0 FTE) or

The application deadline is 15/09/2016.

Postdoc position in the Dutch Research Consortium ‘Language in Interaction’ (1,0 fte)

Maximum salary: € 4,654 gross/month
Vacancy number: 30.07.16
Application deadline: 24 July 2016, 23:59 CET


The NWO Gravitation consortium ’Language in Interaction’ invites applications for a postdoc position: ’Developing a language test battery for young adults’.

In this position you will have the opportunity to conduct world-class research as a member of an interdisciplinary team. You will lead a project that will be part of a large-scale research programme aiming to characterize individual variation in language skills at behavioural, neurobiological and genetic levels. A crucial component of this ambitious venture is to develop a test battery for language skills that comprehensively, reliably, and efficiently assesses the core skills underlying speaking and listening. The battery should be suitable for assessing young adults (18 to 30 years) with a broad spectrum of abilities. You will play a central role in the development of this test battery.

Work environment

The Netherlands has an outstanding track record in the language sciences. The Language in Interaction consortium, sponsored by a Gravitation grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific research (NWO), brings together  excellent research groups in the Netherlands in a research programme on the foundations of language. The team consists of researchers from eight research institutions with complementary expertise in a highly interdisciplinary area of research (Radboud University, University of Amsterdam, University of Maastricht, Leiden University, Utrecht University, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Tilburg University, and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics). Excellence in the domain of language and related relevant fields of cognition is combined with state-of-the-art research facilities and a research team with ample experience in complex research methods and utilization.

You will be appointed at Radboud University. You will primarily be based at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. These two institutions conduct research in an international setting  where English is the lingua franca.

What we expect from you

Your main task will be to take the lead in developing the individual components of the test battery (e.g. tests of listening ability, lexical knowledge, pragmatics), in designing and running pilot studies to assess each component and, at a later stage, in administering the battery to a large group (1000+) of young adults. You will analyse the results using advanced statistical approaches and generate research reports and publications. Furthermore, you will liaise with other postdoctoral fellows in companion projects on variability in language learning and the biological bases of language skills. Finally, you will give guidance to the research assistants testing participants.

In order to carry out these varied and complex tasks effectively, a strong background in experimental psychology, psycholinguistics, cognitive neuroscience, or psychological diagnostics is required. In addition, you should have ample experience in planning (large-scale) studies and an excellent knowledge of statistics. You should be able to work independently and to tight deadlines and to communicate effectively with other members of the team. Given that the key task is to develop a test instrument for Dutch, native or near-native knowledge of Dutch is desirable.

What we have to offer

  • employment: 1,0 fte;
  • a maximum gross monthly salary of € 4,654 based on a 38-hour working week (salary scale 11);
  • in addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • the starting salary will depend on qualifications and experience;
  • duration of the contract: 4 years, with a trial period of 1 year;
  • starting date: preferably September 2016;
  • the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) of Dutch Universities will be applicable;;
  • you will be classified as a Researcher, Level 3 (Onderzoeker 3) in the Dutch university job-ranking system (UFO).

Would you like to know more?

Further information on this position and on how to apply can be found on:

Call for NVP symposium proposals

We invite proposals for the next NVP Mini Symposium, to be held in Fall/Winter 2016. NVP Mini Symposia are small symposia that are organized biannually, in years when the NVP Winter Conference is not held. The symposium topic should be relevant to the field of psychonomics, and consist of three or four talks to fill an afternoon (e.g. 13h-18h). We encourage proposals with special attention to a topic with a strong Dutch tradition. During the coffee break there will be a poster session for graduate students. The symposium will be concluded with drinks and awarding the poster prize.

There will be budget available to invite speakers (max. 1 international speaker). The NVP board can provide assistance in organizing the symposium, e.g. logistics.

Proposals should include:

  • The title of the symposium
  • Organizers and their affiliations
  • The topic’s importance to the discipline of psychonomics (150 words)
  • Suggested speakers (3 or 4)

Deadline for submission is June 30, 2016. Please submit your proposal to For further information, contact

Symposium on multitasking in Groningen

Dear colleagues and students,

We would like to invite you to join our symposium on Multitasking here in Groningen, The Netherlands, on June 23, 2016.

Multitasking becomes ever more pervasive in everyday life. It is therefore important to have a better understanding of how the human brain processes multiple tasks. This can help us predict whether any given combination of tasks go well together. Furthermore it is important to know the nature of choice in multitasking: when do people choose to take on a secondary task, or decide to switch from one task to another. A better understanding can help to improve human-computer interaction, and to make people aware of how they can improve their own multitasking.

The symposium features a series of talks by international experts in the field and will be concluded with a panel-discussion around the question of what we have learned from research on multitasking and interruptions so far.

Registration is free and open until June 16.

For more information go to or send an email to

We are looking forward to seeing you at the symposium!

Katja Mehlhorn & Niels Taatgen

PhD position at Ghent University

We are seeking a highly motivated PhD student for a 4-year project on instruction following and its implementation in the human brain. An outline of the general project can be obtained upon request. The PhD research will be supervised by Tom Verguts (Ghent University, and Durk Talsma (Ghent University, The supervisors are specialized in cognitive control and instruction following, with methodological focus in resp. computational modeling and EEG.

Candidates should have a master’s degree in psychology, (cognitive) neuroscience, or a related discipline on the starting date. He or she will carry out behavioral and EEG experiments, potentially combined with computational modeling (depending on the candidate’s interests).

Experience with behavioral experimentation and EEG (programming, data collection, data analysis) is a strong benefit but not a must. In any case, the candidate must be highly motivated to learn such skills.

The starting date is October 2016 at the latest. Salary is according to standard Belgian regulations. Although the official language at Ghent University is Dutch, knowledge of Dutch is not required, and in general the research environment is strongly internationally oriented.

Interested candidates should send a CV, motivation letter, and two (email) addresses of potential referees to Informal inquiries can also be sent via email. Candidates will be considered until the position is filled.

For more information about the Department of Experimental Psychology, see