Experimental psychopathology

Clinical Experimental Psychology focuses on the experimental study of psychopathology. Our main research topics are cognitive dysfunction in neurodegeneration and affective disorders.

Implicit learning

We investigate the role of selective attention and attentional control in implicit learning processes as well as the representations (perceptual or motor) underlying implicit sequence learning. Another line of research focuses on the consolidation of implicit sequence knowledge. We also address the development of explicit knowledge during implicit sequence learning.

Cognitive decline in neurodegenerative disorders: deficits in automaticity and control

In collaboration with Eric Kerckhofs of the Department of Neurological Rehabilitation and Eva Dierckx of the Department of Developmental and Clinical Psychology

Our aim is to develop an integrative empirical model that predicts the development of cognitive decline in neurodegenerative disorders using a fine-grained analysis of cognition. More particularly, we focus on how disturbances in automaticity and control contribute to cognitive deterioration in Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Our long-term goal is to identify evidence-based predictors for cognitive rehabilitation based on innovative compensation strategies and neurostimulation.

Affective disorders: role of attentional control and repetitive negative thought

In collaboration with Rudi De Raedt and Ernst Koster of the Psychopathology and Affective Neuroscience (PAN) Lab of the Department of Experimental Clinical & Health Psychology of Ghent University.

We investigate how repetitive negative thought (RNT) and impaired attentional control contribute to affective symptoms. Another line of research determines the role of developmental psychological risk factors associated with anxiety and depression from childhood to adolescence. We also address the therapeutic effects of Cognitive bias modification on RNT and depressive complaints.



  • Natacha Deroost

PhD students

  • Mieke Beckwé
  • Koen Homblé

Postdoctoral researchers

  • Daphné Coomans
  • Jochen Vandenbossche


Centre for Neurosciences • Vrije Universiteit Brussels • ©2017 • www.c4n.be • info@c4n.be
Faculty of Medicine & Pharmacie • Laarbeeklaan 103 • 1090 Brussel, BELGIUM • Tel: +32 (2) 477 64 10
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