NVP: The Dutch Society for Brain and Cognition

The Netherlands has a rich history when it comes to the scientific study of mind, brain, and behavior (psychonomics). At the end of the nineteenth century, the first psychological laboratories were founded by Franciscus Donders in Utrecht and Gerard Heymans in Groningen. In these laboratories, Donders and Heymans conducted groundbreaking studies; many of these are still the basis of research that is done today. In 1968, the Stichting voor Psychonomie (Psychonomic Foundation) was founded. In 1985, this evolved into the Nederlandse Verening voor Psychonomie (Dutch Society for Psychonomics, or: Dutch Society for Brain and Cogntion). To its members, the society is best known by its abbreviation: NVP.

NVP aims to promote research on brain and cognition in the Netherlands and (from our perspective) abroad. Anyone with an interest in research on brain and cognition can become a member. But the focus of the society is on active researchers as well as on students with an interest in research.

The most important activity of NVP is the organization of the NVP Winter Conference, which takes place once every two years. In addition, NVP organizes specialist courses for researchers. And NVP engages with the Dutch government, funding agencies, and like-minded societies from other fields and countries, always with the aim to promote research on brain and cognition in every possible way.

The study of mind, brain, and behavior

Cognitive psychology. Cognitive neuroscience. Experimental Psychology. Psychonomics. All of these terms refer, perhaps in slightly different ways, to the study of mind, brain, and behavior. Researchers in these fields investigate things such as perception and attention: How can we make sense of all the input with which are senses are bombarded? And learning and memory: How do we use experiences from the past to behave more adaptively in the future? And language: How do we convey information about the world through symbols and sounds? And emotion: Why do some things trigger such strong emotional responses, and how does this affect our behavior? And decision making: Why are seemingly rational decisions so often driven by irrational heuristics? And many other things. Because the mind offers so much to study!

Ethics and integrity

NVP members are expected to act ethically and with integrity in all their scientific activities.

Diversity and inclusion

NVP is committed to work for inclusion, equity and diversity in our field. We recognize that racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination damage and limit scientific careers. In addition, they limit scientific progress by reducing the diversity of unique and varied perspectives that make up science. We have compiled a list of internet resources with information on how to enhance diversity and mitigate implicit bias in our field and science more generally.

Executive board

The NVP executive board consists of:

  • President: Prof. dr. Stefan van der Stigchel. Utrecht University
  • Treasurer: Dr. Linda Drijvers, Radboud University Nijmegen & Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
  • Secretary: Dr. Michelle Achterberg, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Executive member: Prof. dr. Elkan Akyürek, University of Groningen
  • Executive Member: Dr. Michiel van Elk, University
  • Executive member: Prof. dr. Alexander Sack, Maastricht University
  • Executive member: Drs. Nicolás Sánchez-Fuenzalida, University of Amsterdam
  • Executive member: Dr. Noor Seijdel, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics


Dr. Michelle Achterberg
Burg. Oudlaan 50
3062 PA Rotterdam

Past members of the executive board

The following people were previously part of the NVP executive board. This list is incomplete!

  • Albert Kok, Universiteit van Amsterdam
  • Artem Belopolsky, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
  • Edward de Haan, Universiteit van Amsterdam
  • Jaap Murre, Universiteit van Amsterdam
  • Laura Steenbergen, Universiteit Leiden
  • Lorenza Colzato, Universiteit Leiden
  • Mariska Kret, Universteit Leiden
  • Monicque Lorist, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
  • Richard Ridderinkhof, Universiteit van Amsterdam
  • Stefan van der Stigchel, Universiteit Utrecht

Honorary members

Occasionally, NVP awards an honorary medal to people who have, in one form or another, greatly contributed to the field. The following people have been awarded so far:

  • Peter Hagoort
  • Maarten Bouman
  • Nico Frijda
  • Edward de Haan
  • Pim Levelt
  • John Michon
  • Andries Sanders
  • Hans Smits
  • Gezinus Wolters

Diversity and Inclusion Committee

  • Dr. Teresa Schuhmann (Chair; Maastricht University)
  • Dr. Anne Urai (Leiden University)
  • Dr. Elkan Akyurek (Groningen University)
  • Dr. Helen Tiboel (Rotterdam University)
  • Drs. Nicolás Sánchez-Fuenzalida, (University of Amsterdam)