It has been a couple of months since post-doctoral researcher Eelke Spaak returned to the Donders Institute. High time for an introduction!
Can you tell us about your return to the Predictive Brain Lab?
It is indeed not the first time I’ve been here! I did my PhD primarily in Ole Jensen’s lab, from 2010 to 2014, who was still at the Donders Institute during that time. I guess I was an ‘affiliate member’ of the Predictive Brain lab back then, joining a group meeting and/or retreat every now and then. Floris de Lange was my co-promotor.
Where else have you done research?
Between obtaining my PhD and coming back to join Floris’ group I worked in Oxford for just short of three years, with Mark Stokes. Although I’m happy to be back here, I have to say Oxford is also a great place to work!
What are your research interests?
In Oxford I studied working memory, specifically whether and how rapid changes in neural connectivity might underlie the maintenance of working memory information. Here in Nijmegen I will focus on how contextual information modulates visual perception in both conscious and unconscious manners. I’ll likely work on leveraging neural (oscillatory) activity as measured through MEG to try to uncover the neural mechanisms responsible for the interaction between context and conscious awareness.
When you are not doing research, what do you like to do?
Like many people I enjoy travelling, watching films, playing games, and having drinks with friends. Perhaps less common are my strong affinity with classical music, plus a keen interest in tap dance.