I study how cognition, emotion, personality, and psychopathology impact the organization of movement, with an emphasis on regulating balance. My research falls under the MOVE research institute.

 

Research interests:

1) Influences of emotion on balance

Charles Darwin recognized that emotions have clear communicative and behavioral characteristics, such as preparing the body for fight or flight. These innate tendencies manifest themselves in postural changes, such as ‘freeze’ and ‘avoidance’. Using recordings of the body center of pressure, PhD-student Daniëlle Bouman and I study how static balance and the initiation of gait are influenced by affective states, induced by pictorial stimuli. Also, in collaboration with Prof. Ian Loram and Jonathan de Melkert Worms (PhD student) at Manchester Metropolitan University, we study how fear of falling modifies postural behavior (part of the MOVE-AGE Program).

2) Motion sickness

Visual stimuli that specify self motion, as in first-person shooter games or virtual reality, can cause sensations of dizziness and nausea. This is thought to arise from a mismatch between expected and actual sensori-motor signals. However, it is unknown to what extent these symptoms are related to postural unsteadiness. The nature of this relationship was investigated in a recently finished PhD project by Dr. Astrid Lubeck in collaboration with Prof. Jelte Bos from TNO Soesterberg.

3) Regulation of balance in psychopathology

Various mental disorders are characterized by subtle movement abnormalities, such as altered regulation of balance. It is thought that this altered balance is in part modulated by hypervigilance to bodily signals and an excessive conscious control of movement. In collaboration with Dr. Claudia Emck at the Department of Human Movement Sciences and with Prof. Karin Roelofs and Dr. Muriel Hagenaars at the Behavioural Science Institute (Nijmegen) we investigate postural behavior in selected patient groups, such as childhood anxiety, PTSD, and conversion disorder.

This beautiful movie clip was made for Labyrint TV, but was unfortunately never broadcast. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ikzvdr07bnc (in Dutch)

 

4) Embodiment

One of the tenets of the embodied cognition theory is that mental states are grounded in the physical body, which can manifest itself as a reciprocity between mental states and bodily states. Motivated by this approach, I recently performed an experiment on how linguistic activity is reflected in changes in muscular activity (paper in press). Also, with Prof. Rouwen Canal Bruland we study how bodily states affect perceptual judgments of geometric properties of the environment.

 

Reviewer activities:

I have been an ad hoc reviewer for the following journals:

  • Acta Psychologica
  • Advances in Cognitive Psychology
  • Aging Clinical and Experimental Research
  • Annals of Biomedical Engineering
  • Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Behavioural Brain Research
  • BMC Pediatrics
  • Brain Sciences
  • Cerebellum
  • Clinical Interventions in Aging
  • Cognition and Emotion
  • Cognitive Processing
  • Displays
  • Emotion
  • Entropy
  • European Journal of Sport Science
  • Experimental Brain Research
  • Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Pediatrics
  • Frontiers in Physiology
  • Frontiers in Psychology
  • Gait & Posture
  • Healthcare
  • Human Movement Science (member of editorial board)
  • International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
  • International Journal of Psychophysiology
  • International Journal of Sport Psychology
  • International Medical Case Reports Journal
  • i-Perception
  • Journal of Applied Biomechanics
  • Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Journal of Biomechanics
  • Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
  • Journal of Motor Behavior
  • Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
  • Journal of Neurotrauma
  • Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology
  • Journal of Sport Sciences
  • Laterality
  • Motivation and Emotion
  • Motor Control
  • Multisensory Research
  • Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
  • Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
  • Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience Letters
  • Perceptual and Motor Skills
  • Philosophical Psychology
  • PLOS ONE
  • Psychological Research
  • Psychology & Neuroscience
  • Psychology of Sport & Exercise
  • Psychophysiology
  • Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
  • Scientific Reports
  • Sensors
  • The Spanish Journal of Psychology
  • Translational Neuroscience