Rehabilitation and Neural Engineering Laboratory

Ceci Verbaarschot, PhD

After completing the first year of classical piano at the Music Coservatory in Tilburg (the Netherlands), I got a Bachelor in Artificial Intelligence at the Radboud University and a Master in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Donders Institute in Nijmegen (the Netherlands). During my Masters, I did an internship in Toronto (Canada) for six months at a company called InterAxon, which develops commercial EEG systems for brain-computer interface (BCI) purposes. Upon my return to the netherlands, I started a PhD at the Donders Institute in Nijmegen. During my PhD, I used BCI-techniques to predict when someone is about to move based on EEG data before they are aware of their intention to act. I used these predictions to investigate the link between conscious awareness and neural preparation of intended movement. After completing my PhD in 2019, I did a postdoc at the Donders Institute during which I developped a BCI-communication aid based on tactile noise-tags under the supervision of prof. dr. Peter Desain. Currently, I got a Dutch research grant that enables me to work as a postdoc at RNEL. Here, I will investigate the experience of artificial touch in closed-loop upper-arm prosthetics. 

Research Interest Summary

Human cognition, brain-computer interface, neuro-prosthetics, motor-rehabilitation, consciousness, philosophy of mind, robotics

Research Interests

I have been fascinated by Brain-Computer Interfaces ever since I was introduced to them during my bachelors in Artificial Intelligence. Not only because they can be a powerful tool to better understand human cognition, but also because they have a clear societal relevance. For me, they are the ideal means to both gain theoretical knowledge about the human brain and perform research that actually matters. I have a special interest in consciousness and movement: in daily life, we do not realize how incredibly awesome it is that we are (1) able to move whenever we want to and (2) experience thoughts, intentions and desires while doing so. With increasing knowledge on these topics, I aim to develop robust and intuitive closed-loop BCI prostheses.