Projects

Gezocht: Proefpersonen voor breinstudies

Proefpersonen voor een studie met fMRI, TMS of tDCS (in UZ Brussel of UZ Gent)

 

Wie mag niet deelnemen:

  • ouder dan 35 jaar
  • Nederlands is niet de moedertaal
  • linkshandigen
  • dragers van prothesen en artificiële implantaten
  • dragers van tandbeugels of ander belangrijke tandprothesen (een draadje achter je tanden is toegelaten)
  • personen die risico lopen op epileptische aanvallen
  • personen met een klinische diagnose (bv. schizofrenie, depressie, …)
  • die geregeld drugs gebruiken
  • personen met een tatoeage die voor 2005 werd gezet
  • vrouwen die zwanger zijn of borstvoeding geven

Wat is een fMRI studie?

fMRI is een techniek om hersenactiviteit te meten en te lokaliseren. Deze techniek noodzaakt geen injecties, noch medicatiegebruik en is volstrekt onschadelijk. De onderzoekstechniek vergt wel dat u tijdens de ganse duur van het onderzoek het hoofd perfect stil houdt.

Wat is een TMS of tDCS studie?

TMS en tDCS zijn non-invasieve technieken waarbij via neurostimulatie de werking van het brein tijdelijk wordt veranderd. Deze techniek noodzaakt geen injecties, noch medicatiegebruik en is volstrekt onschadelijk. 

Doel:

Met deze studie willen we dieper ingaan op de onderliggende hersenmechanismen die aan de basis liggen van het begrijpen van gebeurtenissen. We willen nagaan hoe mensen complexe informatie over gebeurtenissen verwerken en begrijpen, en waar dit in de hersenen plaatsvindt. Alles studies zijn goedgekeurd door het medisch ethisch comité van de uni­versiteit Gent of Brussel.

Waar:

Het Universitair Ziekenhuis Gent of Brussel. Indien u zich hebt ingeschreven voor een studie, krijg je van ons een specifieke routebeschrijving naar het onderzoekslokaal.
Duur: Een sessie duurt een 1 uur tot 2 uur afhankelijk van het type studie. 

Wanneer:

Indien u interesse hebt, stuur dan een mail naar (vermeld uw naam en telefoonnummer). We zullen laten weten wanneer we een onderzoek gepland hebben.
Tegemoetkoming: 20 euro + bij een fMRI studie een afbeelding van je eigen hersenen. 
trein+tram+busticket wordt ook terugbetaald.

Gebruik van uw gegevens:

Uw gegevens worden enkel gebruikt om u te informeren over lopende en aanstaand onderzoek. Zij worden enkel doorgegeven aan onze medewerkers voor dit onderzoek, en in sommige gevallen ook aan collega's van onze vakgroep in de faculteit.

Deze gegevens worden nooit aan derden doorgegeven!

Prof. Dr. Frank Van Overwalle

Social Brain Project: Reading the brain and mind of people (Prof. Dr. Frank Van Overwalle)

Gezocht: Proefpersonen voor Breinstudies

The brain brought to you: Breinwijzer

Internships at our lab

 

readingmind.jpg

"Women like to shop" and "Americans are fat" are examples of stereotypes. "My friend is handsome" and "My mother is anxious" are judgments about people we know well, which often also are quite accurate. We use stereotypes judgments about people to navigate through the social world. But what happens when we get information that goes against these stereotypes? Are all stereotypes and judgments resistant to change and how can we investigate this? How are stereotypes and judgments made in our brains? Where are the brain areas that make social judgments, and where are the groups and people we judge? How do we control our social behavior and the social context, and how do group norms have an impact on us? These are some of the questions that this project tries to answer.

The project is supported by researchers specialized in social neuroscience who study the mystery of the social brain. In social neuroscience, behavioral experiments and state-of-the art neuroimaging techniques like fMRI or TMS are used to explore which parts of our brains are active during certain social and cognitive processes. This tells us how we deal with other people, and the underlying mechanisms in our brains. For instance, what mechanisms ensure that we understand our own behavior and that of others in terms of their thoughts, intentions, interests, character traits.

Answers to these questions can provide information on a wide spectrum of topics such as mind reading (how spontaneous people infer goals and desires by observing them), autism (the lack of understanding of others) and paranoia (seeing too many hidden motives in others). Where we store information about traits and other people can tell us much about potential effects of brain damage by an accident or a stroke, and what impact this has on the social functioning of the patient.

The most important research questions in this project currently are...

The role of the cerebellum in social cognition: How the little brain gets a bigger role

A recent meta-analysis shows that the cerebellum plays a role in social cognition. Especially when abstract and complex judgments are made such as permanent trait inferences about people, or thoughts about our own past and future. What does this mean for social judgments? Is the cerebellum really necessary for such judgments, or is it just a tool that facilitates these judgments? And how does the cerebellum intervene on social judgments? 

cerbellum.jpg

Are patients with cerebellar lesions bad in in social cognition and the recognition of emotions?

The cerebellar cognitive-affective syndrome entails several deficits after lesions to the cerebellum, including deficits in affect.  This syndrome challenges previous views of the cerebellum as being responsible solely for motor functions. More recent studies in the context of this project even suggest that patients with cerebellar lesions are impaired in tasks requiring social cognition (Van Overwalle, Baetens, Mariën, & Vandekerckhove, 2014, 2015). In this study, we want to understand these deficits further. However, studies on social and affective deficits are very rare. The project attempts to gain more insight into social and affective deficits in cerebellar patients.

The Group in the Brain

Jeroen Delplanque (Supervisor: Frank Van Overwalle)
Just like persons, do we also hold representations of groups in our brain? The brain of humans has evolved to learn to live together in large groups with a complex cooperation. To achieve this goal, brains were needed that could remember the most reliable ingroups and dangerous outgroups. Where is this knowledge about groups located in the brain? Is this knowledge encoded in the same areas as representations of individuals?

Clinical Experimental Research (Prof. Dr. Natacha Deroost)

Clinical Experimental Research focuses on the experimental study of psychopathology. Our main research topics are cognitive dysfunction in neurodegeneration and affective disorders.

Implicit learning

We investigate the role of selective attention and attentional control in implicit learning processes as well as the representations (perceptual or motor) underlying implicit sequence learning. Another line of research focuses on the consolidation of implicit sequence knowledge. We also address the development of explicit knowledge during implicit sequence learning.

Cognition in Parkinson's disease: deficits in automaticity and control

In collaboration with Eric Kerckhofs of the Department of Neurological Rehabilitation

Our aim is to develop an integrative empirical model that predicts the development of cognitive decline in Parkinson's disease using a fine-grained analysis of cognition. More particularly, we focus on how disturbances in automaticity and control contribute to cognitive deterioration in Parkinson's disease. Our long-term goal is to identify evidence-based predictors for cognitive rehabilitation based on innovative compensation strategies and neurostimulation (tDCS).

Affective disorders: repetitive negative thought

We investigate how repetitive negative thought (RNT) and information processing contribute to affective symptoms. More specifically, we determine to what extent worrying and rumination are related to abnormalities in attentional control and memory.

Other Recent Projects