Mission statement:

Architecture of the mind

Our mission is to understand how networks of neurons enable the cognitive functions of the brain, including consciousness, perception, movement, learning and social interaction, in health and disease.

The research program integrates three levels of biological complexity:
  • genetic and molecular approaches
  • cellular approaches and network function
  • system and behavioral approaches

The research program is carried out in 17 research groups. In addition, the Institute includes the Netherlands Brain Bank and participates in the Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging

Scientific Director Pieter R. Roelfsema, PhD
Vice Director Chris I. de Zeeuw, PhD
Managing Director Ronald van der Neut, PhD




Recent Publications

Bergfeld, I.O., Mantione, M., Hoogendoorn, M.L., Ruhe, H.G., Notten, P., Van Laarhoven, J., Visser, I., Figee, M., De Kwaasteniet, B.P., Horst, F., Schene, A.H., Van den Munckhof, P., Beute, G., Schuurman, R., and Denys, D. Deep brain stimulation of the ventral anterior limb of the internal capsule for treatment-resistant depression: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry, in press. [abstract]


Dooves, S., Bugiani, M., Postma, N.L., ...., Klooster, J., Kamermans, M., ......, Abbink, T.E.M., Heine, V.M., and Van der Knaap, M.S. Astrocytes are central in the pathomechanisms of vanishing white matter. Journal of Clinical Investigation, in press. [abstract]


Self, M.W., Peters, J.C., Possel, J.K., Reithler, J., Goebel, R., Ris, P., Jeurissen, D., Reddy, L., Claus, S., Baayen, J.C., and Roelfsema, P.R. The effects of context and attention on spiking activity in human early visual cortex. PLoS Biology14 (2016) e1002420. [abstract]


Zaki, J., Wager, T.D., Singer, T., Keysers, C., and Gazzola, V. The anatomy of suffering: understanding the relationship between nociceptive and empathic pain. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, in press. [abstract]


Gao, Z., Proietti-Onori, M., Lin, Z., Ten Brinke, M.M., Boele, H.J., Potters, J.W., Ruigrok, T.J., Hoebeek, F.E., and De Zeeuw, C.I. Excitatory cerebellar nucleocortical circuit provides internal amplification during associative conditioning. Neuron 89 (2016) 645-657. [abstract]


Wassing, R., Benjamins, J.S., Dekker, K., Moens, S., Spiegelhalder, K., Feige, B., Riemann, D., Van der Sluis, S., Van der Werf, Y.D., Talamini, L.M., Walker, M.P., Schalkwijk, F., and Van Someren, E.J.W. Slow dissolving of emotional distress contributes to hyperarousal. PNAS, in press. [abstract]


Vermunt, M.W., Tan, S.C., Castelijns, B., Geeven, G., Reinink, P., De Bruijn, E., Kondova, I., Persengiev, S., Netherlands Brain Bank, Bontrop, R., Cuppen, E., De Laat, W., and Creyghton, M.P. Epigenomic annotation of gene regulatory alterations during evolution of the primate brain. Nature Neuroscience, in press. [abstract]


Zhu, Q.B., Unmehopa, U., Bossers, K., Hu, Y.T., Verwer, R., Balesar, R., Zhao, J., Bao, A.M., and Swaab, D.F. MicroRNA-132 and early growth response-1 in nucleus basalis of Meynert during the course of Alzheimer's disease. Brain, in press. [abstract]


Ten Brinke, M.M., Boele, H.J., Spanke, J.K., Potters, J.W., Komysheva, K., Wulff, P., IJpelaar, A.C.H.G., Koekkoek, S.K.E., and De Zeeuw, C.I. Evolving models of Pavlovian conditioning: cerebellar cortical dynamics in awake behaving mice. Cell Reports 13 (2015) 1977-1988. [abstract]


Zhou, L., Yang, D., Wang, D.J., Xie, Y.J., Zhou, J.H., Zhou, L., Huang, H., Han, S., Shao, C.Y., Li, H.S., Zhu, J.J., Qiu, M.S., De Zeeuw, C.I., and Shen, Y. Numb deficiency in cerebellar Purkinje cells impairs synaptic expression of metabotropic glutamate receptor and motor coordination. PNAS, in press. [abstract]


Kros, L., Eelkman Rooda, O.H., De Zeeuw, C.I., and Hoebeek, F.E. Controlling cerebellar output to treat refractory epilepsy. Trends in Neurosciences, in press. [abstract]


Zhu, Q.B., Unmehopa, U., Bossers, K., Hu, Y.T., Verwer, R., Balesar, R., Zhao, J., Bao, A.M., and Swaab, D.F. MicroRNA-132 and Early growth response-1 in nucleus basalis of Meynert during the course of Alzheimer's disease. Brain, in press.


Schreiber, J., Vegh, M.J., Dawitz, J., Kroon, T., Loos, M., Labonte, D., Li, K.W., Van Nierop, P., Van Diepen, M.T., De Zeeuw, C.I., Kneussel, M., Meredith, R.M., Smit, A.B., and Van Kesteren, R.E. Ubiquitin ligase TRIM3 controls hippocampal plasticity and learning by regulating synaptic y-actin levels. Journal of Cell Biology, in press. [abstract]


Bruinsma, C.F., Schonewille, M., Gao, Z., Aronica, E.M.A., Judson, M.C., Philpot, B.D., Hoebeek, F.E., Van Woerden, G.M., De Zeeuw, C.I., and Elgersma, Y. Dissociation of locomotor and cerebellar deficits in a murine Angelman syndrome model. Journal of Clinical Investigation, in press. [abstract]


More publications 



09 April 2016
Pieter Roelfsema was interviewed by Radio 1 last Saturday about a cultured cortex. Click here to listen to the interview [Dutch] 

31 March 2016
Joost Verhaagen received a grant of 300.000 euro from Wings for Life for the project: Promoting long-distance regeneration of lumbar spinal motor neurons by gene therapy using a novel immune-evasive gene switch.

12 February 2016
VICI-grant for Christian Keysers for research on emotions and social behavior. Read more [Dutch]


10 February 2016
Johan Winnubst receives his PhD with “cum laude” distinction at the VU.

8 February 2016
Press release: Volunteers achieve breakthrough insight insomnia, trauma and depression. Read more [Dutch]

4 December 2015
The NIN PhD Brain Award of this year is won by Mehran Ahmadlou.
See his article in Nature Communications

27 November 2015, TEDxAmsterdam
Damiaan Denys [view]

20 May 2015

Eus van Someren received an ERC Advanced Grant. Read more

27 March 2015

HRH King Willem-Alexander paid a working visit to the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience [news]

NINnews May 2015

NINnews December 2013

NINnews June 2013

NINnews May 2012

NINnews October 2011

NINnews April 2011

NINnews November 2010

NINnews June 2010



30 April 2016, 12:00 h, Heerenveen

Het Fitte Brein

met Dick Swaab, Erik Scherder en Ard Schenk [info]

9-10 June 2016, Lunteren

Dutch Neuroscience Meeting [program]

Keynote lecture by Frans De Waal (June 9th)

17 September 2016, 20:00 h, Museum de Lakenhal, Leiden

De nacht van Kunst & Kennis

Dick Swaab: Bestaat er een happy pil voor geluk? [info]

[interview] with Dick Swaab (in Dutch)