Ruud van den Brink (you can call me Rudy)


How come brain activity is correlated across time and space? What shapes these correlations? What are the mechanisms by which such coordinated brain activity gives rise to our ability to attend to relevant sensory information, and allows us to make decisions? These are some of the questions that interest me. I focus in particular on the role of modulatory neurotransmitters (neuromodulators) that are secreted throughout the cortex by small structures in the brainstem. Neuromodulators are ubiquitous and profoundly alter the way in which neurons propagate information. The tools I use to study them, in humans, include pharmacological intervention, fMRI, pupillometry, and M/EEG.

I studied brain and cognitive sciences in Amsterdam, and received my PhD in cognitive neuroscience from Leiden University, the Netherlands, where I worked under the supervisor of Prof. Sander Niewenhuis. I’m currently a post-doc in the lab of Prof. Tobias Donner, in Hamburg, Germany.