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The waking state is characterized by constant, sometimes large, fluctuations in arousal level. But the exact ways in which arousal affects the human brain, mind and behavior are still poorly understood. The aim of the Temporal Attention Lab  is to characterize the computational and neural mechanisms by which moment-to-moment fluctuations in arousal affect cognitive functions and cortical state.

In our research we manipulate arousal level or monitor spontaneous arousal fluctuations in human subjects, during rest and during the performance of challenging mental tasks. We examine the impact of changes in arousal on decision-making, cognitive control, learning, and global patterns of cortical brain activity, as assessed with neuroimaging methods and pupillometry.

  • It's expected that the project will be offered again per Fall 2021. (Please note: the project might be cancelled if empirical research in the institute is impeded by COVID-19).
  • Number of placements available: 1 per semester.


  • Basic background in cognitive psychology and neuroscience.

Faculty Department

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

The Cognitive Psychology Unit is affiliated with the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition. The unit organises weekly colloquia and lab meetings. One of the labs hosted by the unit is the Temporal Attention Lab led by Sander Nieuwenhuis, one of the senior academic supervisors of the EuroScholars Research Project.