I am a PhD student working at the Basic & Applied Neurodynamics Lab (BAND lab) at Maastricht University in collaboration with Universidade do Minho, Braga (Portugal) under the supervision of Sonja A. Kotz, Michael Schwartze, and Ana P. Pinheiro.
More than a decade ago, I was lucky enough to be part of a very engaging biology course on neuroanatomy, which allowed me to dissect a pig’s brain. Slightly disgusted, but yet intrigued, I became interested in how the individual composition of the brain and our state of mind might influence behavior. Studying psychology for my bachelors and then neuropsychology for my masters seemed to smooth the way towards modestly making my attempt at becoming a researcher. Surrounded by great colleagues who turn out to be just as curious as me, I get to make the working experience, which I guess everyone would appreciate: learning for a living.
My dissertation focusses on auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) in non-clinical populations.
Based on previous research, the phenomenon of experiencing AVH or hearing voices is very often linked to neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, anorexia nervosa, post-traumatic stress disorder, or bipolar disorder, to name a few. However, AVH can also be found within the general, healthy population consisting of individuals, who have not been clinically diagnosed with any disorder.
So far, research has been zooming in on the dichotomy of clinical vs. non-clinical populations, which has delivered us with an ample and much needed body of research elucidating epidemiology, aetiology, and phenomenological aspects of AVH. Yet, one important aspect has been severely understudied; the actual mechanism behind the experience of hearing voices.
This is exactly where our project “Finding the neural basis of auditory verbal hallucinations” comes in. By applying EEG to non-clinical individuals who vary in the degree to which they hear voices (hallucinatory proneness), we try to identify gradual modulations of early components, which within the healthy literature have been associated with sensory gating (P50), prediction (N100), and other attentional processes (P200). Prospectively, this could help us identify early risk factors, which might increase the likelihood of developing AVH as a symptom.
- Cognitive neuroscience
- Auditory verbal hallucinations in clinical and non-clinical populations
- Hallucinatory proneness
- Self-/source monitoring
- Sensory gating
- EEG data acquisition/analysis
- Behavioural measures
- Matlab (Letswave), Presentation, SPSS
Qualifications and Professional Experience
- January 2017 – Present: PhD student, Maastricht University, Netherlands & Universidade do Minho, Braga (Portugal) under supervision of Sonja A. Kotz, Michael Schwartze, and Ana P. Pinheiro
- October 2015 – December 2016: Research intern, Maastricht University, Netherlands under supervision of Sonja A. Kotz
- April 2015 – August 2015: Clinical intern at Bavaria Rehabilitation Clinic, Kreischa (Germany) under supervision of Judith Kolodzie
- January 2015 – April 2015: Research intern at Maastricht University, Netherlands under supervision of Arjan Blokland
- September 2014 – August 2015: Master of Science in Neuropsychology (with distinction) at Maastricht University, Netherlands
- March 2014 – June 2014: Research intern at Zorgcentrum De Posten, Enschede (Netherlands) under supervision of Jojanneke Korte
- September 2009 – January 2014: Bachelor of Science in Psychology at University of Twente, Enschede (Netherlands)
-April 16th 2018– April 19th 2018: MatLab for Psychologists, University of Nottingham, England under supervision of Denis Schluppeck
-February 22nd 2018– February 23rd 2018: Disclosing fine-grained temporal processing: Common and advanced analysis of EEG time series, Maastricht University, Netherlands under supervision of Lars Hausfeld and Sanne ten Oever
-January 22nd 2018: CNS Pathways of Hearing – Neuroanatomy, Neurophysiology and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University, Netherlands
-May 31st 2017– June 1st 2017: Problem Based Learning – Tutor training, Maastricht University, Netherlands under supervision of Wladimir van Mansum
- Teaching experience
-January 2018 – Present: Second supervision Master theses, Maastricht University, Netherlands with Sonja A. Kotz as first supervisor
-October 2017 – December 2017: Ageing course – Tutoring, Maastricht University, Netherlands
-September 2017 – October 2017: Brain Damage course – Tutoring, Maastricht University, Netherlands
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