Fachgebiet Cognitive and Developmental Psychology

Prof. Dr. Cees van Leeuwen


BUILDING6, Room 27

OE Experimentele Psychologie,

KU Leuven, Tiensestraat 102 - bus 3711,

Leuven B-3000 Belgium


Curriculum Vitae

October 2000  - present 
Research Full Professor, University of Leuven, Belgium
April 2001-May 2012Team Leader (adjunct from October 2011 - April 2012), RIKEN BSI, Japan
March 2000 - April 2004Research Full Professor (on secondment April 2001-2004), Business School, University of Sunderland, UK
Jan 1988 - Feb 2000Assistant Professor with tenure (70% until Jan. 1990, FT afterwards), Department of Psychonomics, University of Amsterdam, NL
1989Ph.D.  in Nijmegen
Jan 1988 - Dec 1989Visiting Assistant Professor (30%), Social Sciences Informatics, University of Groningen, NL
1986MA in Nijmegen
Sep 1983 - Dec 1987Research Fellow (Wetenschappelijk medewerker), Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Nijmegen, NL

Areas of Interest

Over the past two decades, the various incarnations of the “Laboratory for Perceptual Dynamics” in Amsterdam, Tokyo, and, most recently, Leuven have been promoting a 'complex systems' approach of visual perception. In this approach, ongoing internal processes in the brain are the basis for the experience of objects, textures, and shapes. Ongoing brain activity constitutes a necessary, but not sufficient condition for visual experience. In order to understand the sufficient conditions, the wider context in which this intrinsic dynamics is embedded has to be taken into account. This context includes visual texture, color, motion, and space but also sensations directly resulting from actively exploring the environment through eye-movement and locomotion, as well as the wider context of prior experience, learning, and development and evolution.

Major Research Grants

2011-2016Flemish government (FWO): Odysseus grant, US$ 6.7M for a research lab and staffing at the University of Leuven.
2000 - 2012Japanese Government (RIKEN): US$ 8M for a research lab and staffing at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute.

Honors, awards and press coverage

2012Huffington Post lead article What happens when the IQ test taker becomes the IQ test constructor?
2007Brain power- breakthrough in mathematical modelling, University of Leicester Press Release, September
2007Alpha Galileo, The world's leading resource for European research news, September
2007Vision requires flexibility, Special Feature of RIKEN BSI News, a quarterly leaflet on research highlights, Vol. 36, July
2007How the brain gets its message across, Research feature of the month in RIKEN News, April. Institute-wide monthly leaflet on research highlights discusses Gong & van Leeuwen (2007)
2007Wolfgang Metzger Award issued by the International Society for Gestalt Theory and its Applications. The prize is given bi-annually to reward a scientific paper (in German or English) that contributes to the research or any other field of research or application. The award was given for van Leeuwen (2007a).
2006Research Encouragement Award for a paper presented at the Society of Instrument and Control Engineers for presentation and research achievement: H. Nakatani & C. van Leeuwen (November, 18 2006) "Blinking and perceptual switching”.
2005IEICE Human Communication Award for a paper presented at HCS 2005, Waseda university: Tamura, K. et al. (2005). Towards effective spatial navigation systems for pedestrians”. IEICE, Human Communication Group (HCS 2005), 104, 59-64, Tokyo, Japan. (in Japanese).
2005Best Session Paper and Presentation Award The American Control Conference, Portland, Oregon (Automotive Applications), June 2005 to Tyukin et al.
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