Scientific Tours

Guided visits to behavioral research laboratories
in and around the University of Nijmegen

The conference program included seven tours of the premier behavioral research facilities in and around the University of Nijmegen.

  • Nijmegen Institute of Cognition and Information. The NICI is a research institute for cognitive science, neuroscience, and information technology. It is affiliated with the University of Nijmegen. The NICI conducts interdisciplinary research and provides training in cognitive psychology and its neighbouring disciplines. Psychological and neurobiological principles of information processing are jointly studied by scientists from various disciplines. During the conference, The Department of Motor Control and Rehabilitation will provide a demonstration of combined 3D motion tracking and EMG recording in the study of graphic motor performance under varying task demands and conditions of stress. For more information about the NICI, click here.

  • Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. The institute carries out fundamental research to better understand the mental processes involved in language production, comprehension and acquisition, and to get a deeper insight in the relation between language and cognition. In this area of research the institute is one of the most well-known places in the world. The research is carried out by applying many different sorts of methodologies and paradigms and makes extensive use of modern technology. To be mentioned are here audio/video observations which are later annotated by web-based multimedia tools, many different types of experiments ranging from measuring reaction times to audio/visual stimuli to measuring eye movements, gestures, and brain images, and running complex simulations of human behaviour on computers. The excursion will include a general tour of the institute as well as demonstrations in some of the labs mentioned above. For more information about the institute, click here.

  • Department of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, University of Nijmegen. Part of the Cognitive Neuroscience group of the NICI has its laboratories at the Department of Comparative and Physiological Psychology. It is the strength of this group to combine human and animal research. The guided tour will lead you to some of the most frequently used experimental set-ups such as a human psychophysiological unit (EEG and ECG, ERP), a set-up where physiological recordings (mainly EEG and EMG) in freely moving rats (sleep, epilepsy, various types of evoked potentials) can be made, human and animal classical conditioning (role of the context) Skinner boxes and a set-up with recently developed Skinner boxes in which EEGs can be recorded (ERP). The latter set-up allows us to study brain activity during learning tasks.

  • Department of Psychoneuropharmacology, University of Nijmegen. The Department of Psychoneuropharmacology is part of the Medical Faculty and has strong research connections with several departments of the academic hospital such as Neurology, Medical Psychology and Psychiatry, as well as with the Central Animal Laboratory. The department is a cornerstone of the Nijmegen Institute for Neurosciences, and forms an integrated part of the Nijmegen Institute for Cognition and Information. The department's approach is to work with highly validated animal models for fundamental and applied research on centrally acting drugs. We analyze the resulting behavioral effects in terms of programming disorders, translate these into human cognitive and/or motor tasks, and validate these in the clinic. The guided tour will include a demonstration of various behavioral pharmacological approaches, including stereotyped gnawing and open field behavior. Special attention will be given to the analysis of open field behaviour using sophisticated neural networks to analyze different kinds of behaviors. For more information about the department, click here.

  • Department of Medical Physics and Biophysics, University of Nijmegen. The Department of Medical Physics and Biophysics is related to the Faculty of Science (Subfaculty of Physics) and the Faculty of Medical Sciences. It has three major research lines: (1) Bioelectricity, which investigates various aspects of volume conduction in biological media and the reconstruction of sources based on signals obtained using non-invasive techniques. (2) Brain and Behavior, which investigates the information processing in the nervous system underlying perception and motor control. (3) Neural Networks, which investigates theoretical aspect of neuronal information processing and applications of neural networks in various industrial areas. A guided tour will be given to the Nijmegen Motor Unit (NMU). In this laboratory, fundamental and clinical research is done on gait and postural behavior in normal subjects and patients. The tour includes an overview of the experimental techniques and methods used in these fundamental human behaviors. For more information about the department, click here.

  • Central Animal Laboratory, University Medical Center St. Radboud. The Central Animal Laboratory (Centraal Dierenlaboratorium, CDL) is affiliated to the University of Nijmegen, the University Medical Centre St. Radboud. The CDL breeds and supplies laboratory animals, provides animal accommodation, assists in experiments, provides the necessary equipment and facilities and gives advice, education and information on animal experiments. Researchers of all faculties of the university can make use of the services of the CDL. During the visit an overview will be given of how animal experiments are performed in the CDL. Also a guided tour is given in which surgery rooms, facilities (also NMR) and animals are shown.

  • Biomedical Engineering Department, University of Nijmegen. The Biomedical Engineering Department delivers dedicated solutions for behavior measurement. The department is able to incorporate mechanics, electronics and software into its integrated solutions.

Last updated: 1 November 2000