Marieke van Vugt is an assistant professor in the Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Groningen (UG).
Her research aims to understand how, when, and why we mind-wander. She is also fascinated by how this mind-wandering process is adaptive--as in the case of creativity--and when it becomes maladaptive, as is the case for depressive rumination. She uses a multimodal approach that combines computational modeling, scalp and intracranial EEG, behavioral studies, and eye-tracking. In addition, she is interested in how meditation practice affects our cognitive system, and she investigates meditation in both Western practitioners and Tibetan monks.
Marieke has extensive international experience by for instance a long standing collaboration and research in India and by supervising PhD students from China. With a congress in Viña del Mar, Chili on the planning, she decided to also visit the UGs strategic partner university, Universidad de Chile (U. de Chile).
The international officers of U. de Chile she met earlier this year in Groningen, helped her make connections at the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Engineering (Computing Science) of the U. de Chile. She was invited to speak at both faculties where she gave her presentation: model-driven versus data-driven computational methods in psychiatry.
First of all her presentation was attended by, amongst others, potential PhD students. There was strong interest in the UG and connections were made.
In the Research School of Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences (BCN) five faculties of the University of Groningen and the University of Twente perform interdisciplinary research activities on the subject of neuroscience. The U. de Chile is very interested to also set up inter-faculty research /PhD programmes in this field. The universities could work together and learn from each other. There is also interest in working together on joint/double doctorates.
What a positive experience Marieke had in Chili! Everyone was really helpful and caring. Traveling was easy and she felt safe. Marieke really sees the value of visiting each other. Apart from making connections, you can experience how universities and countries work and this contributes to understanding each other. This truly benefits international collaboration.
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