NVP Winter Conference



NVP PhD thesis prize 2023: Dr. Cas Coopmans has been awarded the NVP PhD Thesis prize for his dissertation 'Triangles in the brain: The role of hierarchical structure in language use' which he defended at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. His thesis can be downloaded here.

NVP Early Career Award 2023: Dr. Surya Gayet, Assistant Professor at Utrecht University has been awarded with the Early Career Award for his innovative research in the field of visual perception, working memory and awareness.

NVP Poster prize awards 2023: Soha Farboud (Donders Institute) Kabir Arora (Utrecht University) Christoph Strauch (Utrecht University)

About the conference

The 19th NVP Dutch Society for Brain and Cognition Winter Conference takes place in Hotel Zuiderduin, Egmond aan Zee, Netherlands, on December 14-16, 2023. This 3-day meeting brings together Dutch and international scientists working on cognition, behavior and the brain, and features plenary sessions, member-initiated symposia, poster sessions, keynote lectures, the awarding of the NVP Dissertation Prize and the NVP Early Career Award, and a social program.

This year’s conference is organized by Prof. Peter Hagoort (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics), Tildie Stijns (Radboud University), together with the scientific committee, chaired by Dr. Henk van Steenbergen (Leiden University).


  • The program is available here.
  • Posters presented during poster session 1.
  • Posters presented during poster session 2.

Keynote speakers

Confirmed keynote speakers are:

  • Michael Inzlicht (University of Toronto)
  • Valerie Voon (Cambridge University)
  • Eiko Fried (Leiden University)
  • Nienke van Atteveldt (VU University)


Deciding how to decide - Neural circuits, computations and psychopathology in cognitive effort allocation

To successfully navigate life, it is crucial not just to make the right decisions but also to invest the right amount of time and effort in the decision process itself. A recent idea is that such meta-decisions are governed by a trade-off between associated costs and potential benefits. We will discuss factors that may guide effort allocation, including environmental richness (S1) and fluctuations in subjective confidence (S2); dissociable neural circuits for time and effort allocation (S3), and how motivation for cognitive effort may change cognitive control exertion in depression (S4).

  • Hanneke den Ouden (chair)
  • Dr. Laura Ana Bustamante (speaker)
  • Dr. Alessandro Bongioanni (speaker)
  • William Hopper (speaker)
  • Dr. Renée Koolschijn (speaker)

Explaining the brain From neural mechanisms to computational models

What are explanatory models in cognitive neuroscience? Interestingly, there is no good answer to this question. Sciences studying higher-level phenomena aim for mechanisms and causes, yet the philosophical basis of these terms is incomplete at best. In this symposium, we explore conceptual and practical challenges for explanatory models of the brain, such as whether/how to map 04-Explaining the brain From neural mechanisms to computational models psychological capacities onto mechanisms and the (presumed) tension between mechanistic and computational explanation.

  • Jolien Francken (chair/speaker)
  • Johannes J. Fahrenfort (speaker)
  • Vitória Piai (speaker)
  • Iris I.A. Groen (speaker)

Peripheral-central interactions in motivation and decision making

Peripheral processes such as those related to the immune system and microbiome exert significant influence on motivated behavior. This symposium hosts three talks at the interdisciplinary intersection between neuroscience and psychoneuroimmunology. Two talks explore the effects of acute immune manipulations on motivation and cost-benefit decision making. The third talk focuses on translating this knowledge into new (preventive) health interventions. Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the relevance of these findings for advancing mental health research.

  • Marieke van der Schaaf (chair/speaker)
  • Leonie Balter (speaker)
  • Esther Aarts (speaker)

Processing, predicting and remembering real-life experiences

The field of cognitive neuroscience is moving towards studying the brain during naturalistic and continuous perception. Exposing the brain to more dynamic stimuli such as auditory and/or visual narratives gives rise to a multitude of possible perspectives to study how the brain processes, predicts, and memorizes real-life events. By bringing together these perspectives, we create a collaborative environment among researchers who aim to study the brain under ecologically valid scenarios.

  • Dora Gözükara (chair)
  • Djamari Oetringer (speaker)
  • Silvy Collin (speaker)
  • Arnaud d'Argembeau (speaker)

Sensory integration and decision making in the on-line control of action

The classical work of Donders on cognitive processing in sensorimotor responses assumes that various stages of processing (detection, identification, action selection, execution) are serial. The aim of this symposium is to provide evidence that these stages are radically parallel. We will provide behavioural and electrophysiological evidence for various nested sensorimotor decision loops that act in parallel.

  • Jeroen Smeets (chair/speaker)
  • Leonie Oostwoud Wijdenes (speaker)
  • Yvonne Visser (speaker)
  • Brian Corneil (speaker)

The Curious Brain

Humans are curious by nature. We check our smartphones all the time, and have you ever noticed how many people stop to look when a tragic accident just happened? Theories postulate that we are mainly curious when we can make learning progress: The drive to minimize prediction errors seemingly enables understanding of the world and motivates us to learn new things. But what are the neural mechanisms underlying curiosity-driven exploration? Why do our brains seek information, even when we know the information might be useless, negative, or even morbid? Shortly: why are we so curious?

  • Olympia Colizoli (chair)
  • Lieke van Lieshout (speaker)
  • Suzanne Oosterwijk (speaker)
  • Eva Berlot (speaker)

Call for Plenary Events

We are also open to receiving proposals for plenary events that facilitate discussions on current trends, for example the utilization of artificial intelligence in research, sustainable research practices, the impact of climate change on research, and ways to promote inclusivity in our research community. Call CLOSED.

Plenary and poster presentations

Members can submit an abstract (call opens: early September, via the conference website. They can request either a poster or an oral presentation. Please note that each speaker is only permitted to give one talk or present one poster at the event. Abstract submission CLOSED

NVP PhD Thesis Award

At the conference, the Society awards a prize for the PhD thesis conducted in the Netherlands that made the most outstanding contribution to scientific knowledge in the field of Brain and Cognition. Eligible candidates have obtained a PhD degree from any Dutch university/institute in the roughly two-year time span between the deadlines of the previous and current thesis awards. Candidates can self-nominate or be nominated by their (co)promotor. The submitted PhD thesis should be original work in the field of Brain and Cognition and related fields, i.e. work in those fields that would typically be suitable for submission for poster and/or oral presentations at the NVP conference. Call CLOSED.

NVP Early Career Award

At the Winter Conference, the Society will award the Early Career Award to an early career researcher working at a Dutch research institution for their outstanding contributions to scientific knowledge in the field of brain and cognition. The purpose is to increase the visibility of our field and support excellent early-career scientists. The winner will receive an Award certificate, €500 prize money and the opportunity to present her/his work in the NVP Winter Conference. here Call CLOSED

NVP Master Student Awards

For the winter conference, 8 volunteer positions are open for MSc/MA students who would like to attend the conference and present a poster, but do not have funding to do so. The Master Student Award winners will receive a full fee waiver, in return for assistance at the conference with logistical needs. Candidates should currently be enrolled in a master program at a Dutch University. Call CLOSED

The application should consist of:

  • Poster abstract (max 200 words, excl. title)
  • Motivation letter specifying why the candidate would like to attend the conference and how attending the conference would be beneficial to their career (max 300 words)
  • One page CV

We explicitly encourage students of underrepresented groups to apply.

The documents should be sent as a single PDF file to sc@psychonomie.nl before November 1st, 23.59 CET. Master Student Award winners will be notified by November 15.

Note: Eligible students who would like to volunteer, but have already registered for the conference are also invited to apply. If their application is selected for the award, their registration fee will be reimbursed.

Organizing Committee 19th NVP Brain and Cognition Winter Conference

  • Prof. Peter Hagoort (Chair; Max Planck Institute Nijmegen)
  • Dr. Linda Drijvers & Dr. Noor Seijdel (Treasurer; Max Planck Institute Nijmegen)
  • Tildie Stijns (Radboud University)

Scientific Committee 19th NVP Brain and Cognition Winter Conference

  • Dr. Henk van Steenbergen (Chair; Leiden University)
  • Dr. Marieke van Vugt (chair elect) Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
  • Dr. Marnix Naber (Utrecht University)
  • Dr. Janna Cousijn (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
  • Dr. Timo Stein (University of Amsterdam)
  • Dr. Vincent van de Ven (Maastricht University)
  • Dr. Rinus Verdonschot (Max Planck Institute Nijmegen)
  • Dr. Eliana Vassena (Radboud University)
  • Dr. Freek van Ede (Vrije Universiteit)
  • Dr. Tessa van Leeuwen (Tilburg University)

NVP Early Career Award committee

  • Prof. dr. Uta Noppeney (Chair; Radboud University)
  • Prof. dr. Sonja Kotz (Maastricht University)
  • Dr. Chris Paffen (Utrecht University)

NVP PhD Thesis Award committee

  • Dr. Ben Harvey (Utrecht University)
  • MSc. Michelle Moerel (Maastricht University)
  • Dr. Marius Peelen (chair - Radboud University).
  • Dr. Yair Pinto (University of Amsterdam)
  • Dr. Anne Urai (Leiden University)

Programs of previous editions

Relive the past by browsing through the programs of previous years!