Catholic University of Leuven


Founded in 1425, Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven) has been a centre of learning for nearly six centuries. Today, it is Belgium's highest- ranked university as well as one of the oldest and most renowned research universities in Europe. As Europe’s most innovative university and co-founder of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), KU Leuven offers a wide variety of study programmes in English, all supported by innovative and interdisciplinary research. A KU Leuven degree is highly valued around the world. They consistently perform well in international rankings (top 100 university worldwide) and were declared Europe’s most innovative university for the 3rd year in a row by Reuters. KU Leuven is home to a vibrant community of international students and staff, with over 150 nationalities represented. From Science, Engineering and Technology to the Humanities and Social Sciences, KU Leuven has 15 faculties and offers international degree programmes in virtually every academic discipline (source).

The contribution of KU Leuven to COGDEC project is coordinated by the Laboratory for Neuro- and Psychophysiology, Department of Neurosciences.


The mission of the Laboratory for Neuro- and Psychophysiology is to investigate neural processes underlying visual cognition, mainly of extra striate or higher order cortices, of human and non-human primates with single-cell and multiple cell recordings, human and awake monkey fMRI, stimulation and inactivation studies, behavioural studies and modelling.


Current topics of interest are animate and inanimate object processing, action processing, 3D shape processing, visual control of grasping, perceptual learning, categorisation and modulations of visual cortical responses by attention and reward. At the technical level, the group investigates the relationship between neural activity and fMRI signals, homologies between non-human primates and humans, as well as novel imaging and causal brain tools.


Research topics of the Principal Investigator for KU Leuven, Marc M. Van Hulle, in COGDEC project are:

  • formation of kernel-based topographic maps, and their application to data modelling, regression and clustering;

  • development of tools for characterizing the linear and stochastic nature of fMRI signals;

  • development of data mining tools based on topographic maps for analysing large databases;

  • modelling of structure-from-motion processing in area MT based on cell data;

  • modelling of independent motion segregation from optic flow and the role of attention;

  • modelling of cell responses of monkey cortical area IT for a dichotomous object classification task and

  • development of tools for analysing fMRI data and for modelling functional cortical networks from fMRI data.