Universiteit Leiden (UL)

Universiteit Leiden has been consistently ranked one of the top three academic and research institution in the Netherlands in several independent rankings in recent years. It provides an excellent research environment with numerous labs for behavioral, neuroscientific, and simulation-based investigations. The university strongly supports and promotes interdisciplinary research between the social sciences, the humanities, medicine, and engineering. This research is facilitated by the Leiden Institute for Brain & Cognition (LIBC), of which Prof. Hommel is a co-founder and co-director. Prof. Hommel's Cognitive Psychology Unit belongs to the internationally leading research groups on interactions between perception and action and on the functional, neural, and neuromodular foundation of action planning and control.

The Leiden research group focuses on the grounding of human action control in sensorimotor interactions of the agent with his/her environment. It has made numerous contributions to the understanding of the impact of perception on action control, and vice versa, to the early development of action planning and action control in infants and children, to the acquisition of novel voluntary-control abilities in adults, and on the neuroscientific, neuromodular, and neurogenetic basis of action control. Recent work in the context of PACO+ focused on translating basic biological and psychological principles of the acquisition of novel actions and perceptuo-motor skills into neural-network simulations that can be implemented in artificial agents.

The main task of UL will consist in the translation of concepts and models from psychology and the cognitive neurosciences into an implementable cognitive-control architecture to generate both previously acquired and ad-hoc action plans. This architecture will provide a link between low-level feature codes and high-level symbolic codes and, thus, help grounding the concepts used for abstract action planning in sensori-motor experience.