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Prof. dr. H.A. (Heleen) Slagter

Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen
Programmagroep: Brain & Cognition

  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 129
  • Postbus 15915
    1001 NK Amsterdam
  • Profiel

    I teach and do research in the domain of Cognitive Neuroscience. My research is currently funded by NWO, ABC, ABMP, and the ERC. I recently moved to the VU as Professor in Brain, Cognition, and Plasticity.


    My research focuses on (the neural basis of) core cognitive capacities, such as attention, and methods that may enhance these capacities. What are the mechanisms that allow us to perceive, select, suppress, and become aware of information in the environment? Can these mechanisms that adaptively control information processing be optimized through e.g., training? The overall aim is to understand the (brain) processes that allow people to excel at certain behaviors, and how these processes may be facilitated.

    Research methods include: ERP/EEG, fMRI, DTI, MRS, PET, tDCS and behavioral testing. For more information and my publications, please visit my lab's website:

    Cognition and Plasticity Laboratory



    • Master in Biological Psychology, University of Utrecht, the Netherlands (2000)

    • PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Amsterdam (2000-2005)

    • Visiting Research Fellow Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Duke University, USA (2002)

    • Postdoc, Waisman Center for Brain Imaging and Behavior, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA (2005-2007)

    • Assistant Scientist, Waisman Center for Brain Imaging and Behavior, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA (2007-2009)

    • Assistant Professor (UD), Dept of Psychology, University of Amsterdam (2009-2011)

    • Associate Professor (UHD), Dept of Psychology, University of Amsterdam (2011-2018)

    • Professor (hoogleraar), Dept of Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (2019-present)



    • Marie Curie Reintegration grant (2009; €75.000)

    • VIDI (2010; €800.000)

    • Spinoza Junior Investigator Grant (2010; €11.250)

    • Aspasia (2011; €100.000)

    • Onderzoekstalent (2012; €168.000).

    • Early Career Award 2014 by the Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR)

    • ABC Project Grant (2015; €250.000)

    • ABMP Project Grant (2015; €250.000)

    • ERC starting grant (2015; €1.500.000)

    • ABC talent grant (2016; €250.000; co-PI).

    • Onderzoekstalent (2016; €168.000; co-PI).


    Student opportunities: internship or thesis

    If you are interested in doing your internship or thesis in mylab, please send an email with your CV and a transcript of your grades to: h.a.slagter@uva.nl

  • Publicaties







    • Band, G. P. H., Basak, C., Slagter, H. A., & Voss, M. W. (2016). Editorial: Effects of Game and Game-Like Training on Neurocognitive Plasticity. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10, [123]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2016.00123 [details]
    • Brown, S. B. R. E., Slagter, H. A., van Noorden, M. S., Giltay, E. J., van der Wee, N. J. A., & Nieuwenhuis, S. (2016). Effects of clonidine and scopolamine on multiple target detection in rapid serial visual presentation. Psychopharmacology, 233(2), 341-350. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-015-4111-y [details]
    • Kruis, A., Slagter, H. A., Bachhuber, D. R. W., Davidson, R. J., & Lutz, A. (2016). Effects of meditation practice on spontaneous eyeblink rate. Psychophysiology, 53(5), 749-758. https://doi.org/10.1111/psyp.12619 [details]
    • Slagter, H. A., Prinssen, S., Reteig, L. C., & Mazaheri, A. (2016). Facilitation and inhibition in attention: Functional dissociation of pre-stimulus alpha activity, P1, and N1 components. NeuroImage, 125, 25-35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.09.058 [details]
    • Slagter, H. A., van Wouwe, N. C., Kanoff, K., Grasman, R. P. P. P., Claassen, D. O., van den Wildenberg, W. P. M., & Wylie, S. A. (2016). Dopamine and temporal attention: An attentional blink study in Parkinson's disease patients on and off medication. Neuropsychologia, 91, 407-414. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.09.006 [details]
    • Vissers, M. E., van Driel, J., & Slagter, H. A. (2016). Proactive, but Not Reactive, Distractor Filtering Relies on Local Modulation of Alpha Oscillatory Activity. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 28(12), 1964-1979. https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_01017 [details]


    • London, R. E., & Slagter, H. A. (2015). Effects of transcranial direct current stimulation over left dorsolateral pFC on the attentional blink depend on individual baseline performance. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 27(12), 2382-2393. https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_00867 [details]
    • Matzke, D., Nieuwenhuis, S., van Rijn, H., Slagter, H. A., van der Molen, M. W., & Wagenmakers, E-J. (2015). The effect of horizontal eye movements on free recall: A preregistered adversarial collaboration. Journal of Experimental Psychology. General, 144(1), e1-e15. https://doi.org/10.1037/xge0000038 [details]
    • Slagter, H. A., Georgopoulou, K., & Frank, M. J. (2015). Spontaneous eye blink rate predicts learning from negative, but not positive, outcomes. Neuropsychologia, 71, 126-132. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2015.03.028 [details]


    • Tomer, R., Slagter, H. A., Christian, B. T., Fox, A. S., King, C. R., Murali, D., ... Davidson, R. J. (2014). Love to win or hate to lose? Asymmetry of dopamine D2 receptor binding predicts sensitivity to reward vs. punishment. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 26(5), 1039-1048. https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_00544 [details]
    • van Vugt, M. K., & Slagter, H. A. (2014). Control over experience? Magnitude of the attentional blink depends on meditative state. Consciousness and Cognition, 23, 32-39. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2013.11.001 [details]
    • van den Brink, R. L., Cohen, M. X., van der Burg, E., Talsma, D., Vissers, M. E., & Slagter, H. A. (2014). Subcortical, modality-specific pathways contribute to multisensory processing in humans. Cerebral Cortex, 24(8), 2169-2177. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bht069 [details]


    • Nieuwenhuis, S., Elzinga, B. M., Ras, P. H., Berends, F., Duijs, P., Samara, Z., & Slagter, H. A. (2013). Bilateral saccadic eye movements and tactile stimulation, but not auditory stimulation, enhance memory retrieval. Brain and Cognition, 81(1), 52-56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandc.2012.10.003 [details]
    • Slagter, H. A., & Georgopoulou, K. (2013). Distractor inhibition predicts individual differences in recovery from the attentional blink. PLoS ONE, 8(5), e64681. [e64681]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0064681 [details]
    • Tomer, R., Slagter, H. A., Christian, B. T., Fox, A. S., King, C. R., Murali, D., & Davidson, R. J. (2013). Dopamine asymmetries predict orienting bias in healthy individuals. Cerebral Cortex, 23(12), 2899-2904. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhs277 [details]


    • Slagter, H. A. (2012). Conventional working memory training may not improve intelligence. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 16(12), 582-583. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2012.10.001 [details]
    • Slagter, H. A., Tomer, R., Christian, B. T., Fox, A. S., Colzato, L. S., King, C. R., ... Davidson, R. J. (2012). PET evidence for a role for striatal dopamine in the attentional blink: functional implications. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24(9), 1932-1940. https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_00255 [details]


    • Cohen, M. X., Cavanagh, J. F., & Slagter, H. A. (2011). Event-related potential activity in the basal ganglia differentiates rewards from nonrewards: temporospatial principal components analysis and source localization of the feedback negativity: commentary. Human Brain Mapping, 32(12), 2270-2271. https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.21358 [details]
    • Colzato, L. S., Slagter, H. A., de Rover, M., & Hommel, B. (2011). Dopamine and the management of attentional resources: genetic markers of striatal D2 dopamine predict individual differences in the attentional blink. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23(11), 3576-3585. https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_00049 [details]
    • Samara, Z., Elzinga, B. M., Slagter, H. A., & Nieuwenhuis, S. (2011). Do horizontal saccadic eye movements increase interhemispheric coherence? Investigation of a hypothesized neural mechanism underlying EMDR. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 2, [4]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2016.00004 [details]
    • Shackman, A. J., Salomons, T. V., Slagter, H. A., Fox, A. S., Winter, J. J., & Davidson, R. J. (2011). The integration of negative affect, pain and cognitive control in the cingulate cortex. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 12(3), 154-167. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn2994 [details]
    • Slagter, H. A., Davidson, R. J., & Lutz, A. (2011). Mental training as a tool in the neuroscientific study of brain and cognitive plasticity. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 5, [17]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2011.00017 [details]



    • Colzato, L. S., Slagter, H. A., van den Wildenberg, W. P. M., & Hommel, B. (2009). Closing one's eyes to reality: evidence for a dopaminergic basis of psychoticism from spontaneous eye blink rates. Personality and Individual Differences, 46(3), 377-380. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2008.10.017 [details]
    • Hamidi, M., Slagter, H. A., Tononi, G., & Postle, B. R. (2009). Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation influences behavior by biasing endogenous cortical oscillations. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 3(14). https://doi.org/10.3389/neuro.07.014.2009
    • Lutz, A., Slagter, H. A., Rawlings, N. B., Francis, A. D., Greischar, L. L., & Davidson, R. J. (2009). Mental training enhances attentional stability: neural and behavioral evidence. The Journal of Neuroscience, 29(42), 13418-13427. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1614-09.2009 [details]
    • Shackman, A. J., McMenamin, B. W., Slagter, H. A., Maxwell, J. S., Greischar, L. L., & Davidson, R. J. (2009). Electromyogenic artifacts and electroencephalographic inferences. Brain Topography, 22(1), 7-12. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10548-009-0079-4
    • Slagter, H. A., Lutz, A., Greischar, L. L., Nieuwenhuis, S., & Davidson, R. J. (2009). Theta Phase Synchrony and Conscious Target Perception: Impact of Intensive Mental Training . Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21(8), 1536-1549. https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn.2009.21125 [details]



    • Slagter, H. A., Giesbrecht, B., Kok, A., Weissman, D. H., Kenemans, J. L., Woldorff, M. G., & Mangun, G. R. (2007). fMRI evidence for both generalized and specialized components of attentional control. Brain Research, 1177, 90-102. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2007.07.097 [details]
    • Slagter, H. A., Lutz, A., Greischar, L. L., Francis, A. D., Nieuwenhuis, S., Davis, J., & Davidson, R. J. (2007). Mental training affects distribution of limited brain resources. PLoS Biology, 5(6), [e138]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.0050138
    • Talsma, D., Mulckhuyse, M., Slagter, H. A., & Theeuwes, J. (2007). Faster, more intense! The relation between electrophysiological reflections of attentional orienting, sensory gain control and speed of responding. Brain Research, 1178, 92-105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2007.07.099


    • Ramautar, J. R., Slagter, H. A., Kok, A., & Ridderinkhof, K. R. (2006). Probability effects in the stop-signal paradigm: The insula and the significance of failed inhibition. Brain Research, 1105, 143-154. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2006.02.091 [details]
    • Slagter, H. A., Weissman, D. H., Giesbrecht, B., Kenemans, J. L., Mangun, G. R., Kok, A., & Woldorff, M. G. (2006). Brain regions activated by endogenous preparatory set shifting as revealed by fMRI. Cognitive Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience, 6, 175-189. https://doi.org/10.3758/CABN.6.3.175 [details]


    • Nieuwenhuis, S., Slagter, H. A., Alting von Geusau, N. J., Heslenfeld, D., & Holroyd, C. B. (2005). Knowing good from bad: Differential activation of human cortical areas by positive and negative outcomes.=. European Journal of Neuroscience, 22(11), 3161-3168. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-9568.2005.04152.x
    • Slagter, H. A., Kok, A., Mol, N., & Kenemans, J. L. (2005). Spatio-temporal dynamics of top-down control: Directing attention to location and/or color as revealed by ERPs and source modeling. Cognitive Brain Research, 22, 333-348. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogbrainres.2004.09.005 [details]
    • Slagter, H. A., Kok, A., Mol, N., Talsma, D., & Kenemans, J. L. (2005). Generating spatial and nonspatial attentional control: An ERP study. Psychophysiology, 42(4), 428-439. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8986.2005.00304.x [details]
    • Talsma, D., Slagter, H. A., Nieuwenhuis, S. T., Hage, J., & Kok, A. (2005). The orienting and relaxation of visuospatial attention: An event-related brain potential study. Cognitive Brain Research, 25, 177-129. [details]


    • Jansma, J., Ramsey, N. F., Slagter, H. A., & Kahn, R. S. (2001). Functional anatomical correlates of controlled and automatic processing. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 13(6), 730-743. https://doi.org/10.1162/08989290152541403


    • Davidson, R. J., & Slagter, H. A. (2000). Probing emotion in the developing brain: Functional neuroimaging in the assessment of the neural substrates of emotion in normal and disordered children and adolescents. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 6(3), 166-170. https://doi.org/10.1002/1098-2779(2000)6:3<166::AID-MRDD3>3.0.CO;2-O




    • Slagter, H. A. (2015). Amsterdam Brain and Mind Project (ABMP).
    • Slagter, H. A. (2015). Amsterdam Brain and Cognition Project Grant.
    • Slagter, H. A. (2015). ERC starting grant: The mind’s eye: How expectation and attention shape perception €1.499.938.
    • Slagter, H. A. (2014). Early Career Award by the international Society for Psychophysiological Research.
    • Slagter, H. A. (2014). Early Career Award.
    • Slagter, H. A. (2013). Research talent grant by Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.
    • Slagter, H. A. (2011). Aspasia grant (100.000) by Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.
    • Slagter, H. A. (2010). VIDI grant (800.000) by Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).
    • Slagter, H. A. (2009). Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant (75.000).


    • Slagter, H. A. (2015). Member program committee, Dutch Neuroscience meeting.


    • Slagter, H. A. (01-01-2014). Slimmer worden met een spel? Vergeet het maar [Print] NRC - hersenwetenschap. Slimmer worden met een spel? Vergeet het maar.


    • Slagter, H. A. (editor) (2017-2020). European Journal of Neuroscience (Journal).
    • Slagter, H. A. (editor) (2016-2020). Journal of Cognitive Enhancement (Journal).


    • Slagter, H. A. (speaker) (11-7-2018). “Contemplative Neuroscience:, International Conference on Mindfulness 2018, Amsterdam.
    • Slagter, H. A. (invited speaker) (13-9-2014). From sensory process to conscious perception: Insights from multimodal investigations of the attentional blink, Keynote speaker as SPR’s Early Career Award recipient, Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR) meeting, Atlanta, USA.
    • Slagter, H. A. (invited speaker) (25-8-2014). Control over experience? Effects of meditation on information flow within the brain, Keynote speaker at the 2014 European Mind and Life Summer Research Institute, Fraueninsel, Germany.


    • Slagter, H. A. (organiser) (2014). Organizer and chair of symposium at the 2014 meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, Boston. Contributions of alpha-band oscillations in cognition (organising a conference, workshop, ...).


    • Alilovic, J. (2021). Seeing beyond vision: Understanding how attention and prediction shape conscious visual perception. [details]


    • Reteig, L. C. (2019). Neuroplasticity of attention: How brain stimulation and mental fatigue affect attentional performance. [details]


    • Talsma, L. J. (2018). Transcranial direct current stimulation to boost working memory. [details]
    • Vissers, M. E. (2018). The role of selective attention in short-term memory and goal-directed behavior. [details]


    • Slagter, H. A. (2005). Top-down control of visual attention: complementary findings from ERP and fMRI studies. [details]



    • Reteig, L. C., Knapen, T., Roelofs, F., Ridderinkhof, K. R. & Slagter, H. A. (19-6-2018). No evidence that frontal eye field tDCS affects latency or accuracy of prosaccades. Universiteit van Amsterdam. https://doi.org/10.21942/uva.6462770.v1
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
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