My central research aim is to unravel the fundamental mechanisms by which the mammalian brain represents, stores and processes information. In my lab, we study how neuronal populations represent the sensory world, and we analyze the expression and use of memories during wakefulness or sleep.
Understanding how animals use memories to guide their behavior helps us map the basic operations of memory systems in the brain and provides us with clues on where these systems fail in diseases such as Alzheimer’s, epilepsy or different sleep disorders.
Associate Professor, Brain & Cognition, KU Leuven
Assistant Professor, Brain & Cognition, KU Leuven
Group Leader at NERF (VIB, IMEC and KU Leuven)
Post-Doctoral Fellow & Associate with Matthew Wilson, MIT
PhD Neurobiology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
MSc Medical Biology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
We showed that sleep reactivation boosts memory consolidation of highly rewarded experiences.
We showed that reward-responsive neurons in the ventral tegmental area coordinate with the hippocampus to replay recent experience.
We built a platform for real-time analysis and detection of neural activation patterns.
We optimized neural decoding algorithms for real-time use and for application to high-density neural probes and we were the first to demonstrate the real-time detection of memory reactivation patterns in behaving animals.
We designed implants for easy neuropixels recordings in freely behaving rodents.
Through collaborations across KU Leuven and imec we helped advance large scale neural recording technology.
Together with colleagues, I have set up a new Biophysics master course “Neural Systems and Circuits” at KU Leuven, to introduce students with a physics or engineering background to the current challenges and state-of-the-art methods in systems neuroscience.
Since 2014 I also teach in the Biomedical Sciences master course – Hot Topics in System and Cognitive Neurosciences, at KU Leuven (12 hrs/year)
I supervise interns, BSc, MSc and PhD students from KU Leuven and other universities and schools.
Valorization & tech development
We develop technologies and resources for the scientific community. We filed a patent application for a method for processing sensor data in a neuroprobe.