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Veni grant for two researchers from the NIN

4 August 2023

NWO has awarded funding of 280,000 euros to 188 researchers across various scientific domains. Two of these researchers are affiliated with the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience. We would like to congratulate Frederic Michon and Paolo Papale on receiving the grant. The researchers can use the grant over the next three years to further develop their own projects. Read more about their projects below.

Learning danger from observing others’ misfortunes in my hippocampus

Frederic Michon

Learning from others is a fundamental building block of our societies, cultures, and who we are. Avoiding danger by observing others, for example, refraining from crossing a bridge after seeing others fall, can be a life-changing event. However, we know little about how observing others’ misfortunes changes our representations of the world and gets integrated into our memory. I will investigate – in both humans and rodents – how coordinated activity in the hippocampus (a brain circuit for memory and emotion processing) contributes to and is necessary for our ability to learn from observing others.

A window to the mind: How real and instilled subjective experiences shape visual perception

Paolo Papale

A fundamental question in neuroscience is how the activity of visual neurons changes during learning. Our visual perception is strongly influenced by our subjective experiences. For example, a trained birdwatcher can see subtle differences between species that remain hidden to the untrained eye. This project will answer this question by measuring the activity of thousands of neurons in the brains of monkeys as they are trained with natural visual stimuli. Additionally, the project will use microstimulation of neurons, artificial intelligence, and advanced decoding analyses to test if and how subjective experiences can be directly induced in the brain.

About the Veni, Vidi, Vici grants

The NWO Talent Program grants researchers the freedom to pursue their own research with creativity and passion. The program encourages innovation and curiosity. Independent research contributes to and prepares us for the society of tomorrow. Therefore, NWO focuses on a diversity of scientists, domains, and backgrounds. Veni is part of the Talent Program along with Vidi and Vici grants.

Read the press release from NWO here
View the full list of awards here

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