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What does it take to change your mind?

We received a prestigious WEAVE grant to investigate belief updating in relation to cognitive control: "Feeling is believing: a study on the relation between cognitive control and belief updating".  Collaboration with Wim Gevers (ULB). 


Heated political debates are often based on beliefs. One believes in climate change or one does not, one believes in the effectiveness of vaccines or one does not,… Once beliefs are installed, it seems difficult for people to update their beliefs in accordance to new (scientific) information. The aim of this research project is to study the mechanisms underlying belief updating with a cognitive neuroscience approach. 


Current Areas of Study

Practicing Free Throws


Decision making in high intensity zones. On the basis of the literature, we assume that a little bit of exercise improves cognitive performance, while high-intensity exercise has a negative impact on performance. We are measuring physiological parameters like oxygen uptake, heart rate and lactate in order to physiologically define the turning point . We are testing this in a (fit) student population and elite sporters.

Marie Van de Walle (master student)

Leslie Held (PhD student)

In collaboration with Alessandro Colosio


In the lab, we typically observe that participants slow down after errors. But how does this relate to the real world? What do we do after an error while playing a music instrument, while driving our bicycle or in sports?


    By means of analyses of online data in basketball and tennis, we analyse how professional sporters adapt after (unforced) errors.

 By means of field studies we simulate penalty series and measure how soccer players (or team members adapt after missed penalties).

  By means of lab studies, we measure how athletes respond to errors of team mates or opponents

Ayala Denul (PhD student)

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

How does the brain prepare for an action? In a series of studies, we demonstrated increased preparation for actions that are associated with reward (Bundt et al. 2016)

We are currently investigating how this preparation changes depending on the expected difficulty of the upcoming task.

We are also investigating how this relates to other indices of effort preparation, pupil size and CNV (contingent negative variation, as measured with electroencephalogram)

Nicoleta Prutean (PhD student)

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