Cees Van Leeuwen

°1957, Nederlander

Werkte aan: RIKEN BSI, Japan

Nieuwe thuishaven: KU Leuven, Faculteit Psychologie en Pedagogische Wetenschappen

Titel project: Squaring the Triangle: visual experience, information processing, and the brain

Uit het jury-rapport:

Cornelis van Leeuwen’s scholarly track record distinguishes itself, not only in terms of the sheer number of publications he has produced in good-quality, peer-reviewed journals, but also in terms of the theoretical/empirical ingenuity those publications express.

Cognitive scientists have been struggling to find a way to utilize dynamical systems theory as an empirical tool for over two decades. Dr. Leeuwen’s research on coherence intervals does just that. In addition to providing a unique approach to analyzing EEG data, the notion of coherence intervals further provides the field of cognitive science with a means of conceptualizing neural activity that retains what was best about computationalism with the real-time flexibility of dynamical systems mathematics. As cognitive science works to figure out the role dynamical systems will play in its future, Dr. van Leeuwen’s work will continue to set the standard and serve as an example of what is possible.

He wants to apply his theoretical/empirical method of measuring coherence intervals, to mid- and higher-level vision. This is, of course, an extension of his previous work measuring coherence intervals in lower-level vision. More importantly however, every step in the research will constitute a theoretical/empirical advance for the field. For, given the dynamics he has discovered are scale-free and have more to do with spatio-temporal coherence than location-specific processing, his research may lead to a fundamentally different approach to what the brain is and how it works.