Joram van DrielPostdoc
I am working together with prof. dr. Chris Olivers on his ERC-project “Template 2.0: Depicting the picture in your head”.
I studied Psychology at the University of Amsterdam (2004-2010), where I obtained my bachelor and master degree, with a specialization in Brain & Cognition (and a minor in Philosophy of Mind). During my masters I did an internship in UC Berkeley in the lab of prof. Rich Ivry where I studied cross-modal integration of audiovisual time perception. I graduated with a master thesis on executive functions in grapheme-color synesthesia, under supervision of Romke Rouw. I stayed at the UvA and did my PhD under supervision of Mike X Cohen (promotor: prof. dr. Richard Ridderinkhof), studying brain oscillations in cognitive control. Here I learned to use state-of-the-art analysis techniques that I applied on EEG and MEG data, including time-frequency decomposition, beamforming (source localization), and transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS). Topics involved, amongst other things, error processing, (cueing of) response conflict, sensory integration in time perception, and perceptual interference in synesthesia. Currently I am a postdoc in the group of prof. Chris Olivers, where I will apply similar techniques to study the electrophysiological dynamics underlying the use of a template in visual working memory and selective attention.
Oscillations are a fundamental property of nature. Brain activity is also strongly oscillatory, and from more and more research within cognitive neuroscience a picture is emerging that the brain uses the time-varying property of oscillatory activity as a basis for interareal communication as well as local representation. I find “time as a neural code” a fascinating hypothesis, and my main research interest concerns the role that neural oscillations play in adaptive and flexible control of behavior. In the ERC project with Chris Olivers, I will mainly focus on the top-down control of the template in visual search, and how this is supported by large-scale interregional phase synchronization. Apart from that, other research topics that I find particularly interesting—and that will come as no surprise by now—are synesthesia (e.g. perceiving a certain color upon hearing a particular sound), and time perception (our notion of a duration, the present, temporal order, and temporal predictibility).