Visual Cognitive Neuroscience Lab

Welcome to Marius Peelen's Visual Cognitive Neuroscience lab

We use fMRI, MEG, TMS, and psychophysics to study visual perception and attention in humans.

We are based at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

The lab is primarily funded by an ERC Consolidator Grant aimed at characterizing the neural mechanisms underlying the efficiency of goal-directed naturalistic human vision.

Read more about our other projects here.

Lab news:

  • 09/21: Postdoctoral fellowship funded by the Radboud Excellence Initiative. Please contact me ( if you are interested in applying.

  • 09/21: Welcome to Qiu Han, who joins us from China for a 4-year PhD position.

  • 08/21: Paper reporting causal neural mechanisms of context-based object recognition published in eLife, see here for a summary.

  • 08/21: Congratulations and best wishes to Surya who started as an assistant professor in Utrecht this month! Luckily, he will remain affiliated with the Peelenlab for the duration of his Veni grant.

  • 08/21: Preprint on the effect of valence on visual and auditory word recognition.

  • 06/21: Welcome to Mariska, who recently joined us as an RA

  • 04/21: New perspective paper in iScience about the importance of considering context in cognitive neuroscience research.

  • 03/21: Welcome to Martina, who will conduct her MSc internship research with us

  • 02/21: Congratulations to Marco for winning a Marie Curie Fellowship, allowing him to continue his research on memory-based perception in the lab.

  • 02/21: Welcome to Lu-Chun Yeh, who will spend a year with us to investigate semantic influences in visual search. She is a final-year PhD student at National Taiwan University.

  • 01/21: New visual detection paradigm reveals that face orientation can be processed unconsciously, but that category-based attention requires awareness; work that Timo Stein started during his postdoc and greatly expanded in the years afterwards.

  • 12/20: paper out in J Neurosci: "Causal evidence for a double dissociation between object- and scene-selective regions of visual cortex: A pre-registered TMS replication study"

  • 10/20: Welcome to Chuanji Gao (postdoc) and Maëlle Lerebourg (PhD student). Not an easy time to start a new position, but already full of ideas!

  • 09/20: Best of luck to Miles in his new postdoc position at the University of Minnesota!

  • 08/20: New paper in Cerebral Cortex, in which we use EEG to demonstrate that contextual and spatial associations between objects interactively influence object processing. Results reveal the neural timecourse of multi-object grouping based on typical relative spatial position (e.g., lamp above table).

  • 06/20: Congratulations to Chuanji Gao for winning a Radboud Excellence Fellowship! Chuanji will join us in October.

  • 05/20: New PhD project on attention, funded by the DCC.

  • 03/20: Welcome to three new lab members: Marco Gandolfo (ERC postdoc), Simen Hagen (ERC postdoc), and Andrea Ghiani (Erasmus intern).

  • 02/20: Alexandra accepted into the UC Davis graduate school, working with Prof. John Henderson. Wonderful news!

  • 02/20: Congratulations to Myrthel on her new position as editor at Nature Communications.

  • 02/20: Welcome to Linlin Shang, starting her PhD in the lab.

  • 01/20: Register now for the Concepts, Actions, Objects workshop (Rovereto, Italy, 7-9 May 2020)!

  • 12/19: Marius appointed Associate Editor at The Journal of Neuroscience

  • 10/19: Daniel Kaiser, Stefania Bracci, and Reshanne Reeder (former PhD students ) all obtained faculty positions - congrats!

  • 09/19: New paper in eLife, investigating the nature of the animacy organization in the ventral stream.

  • 08/19: Marius joins the eLife editorial board

  • 08/19: We are hiring! See opportunities

  • 08/19: Come find us at ECVP where we will present lots of new work.

  • 07/19: Surya receives Veni grant to fund another 3 years of research - top!

  • 06/19: New paper in Cerebral Cortex: Auditory and Semantic Cues Facilitate Decoding of Visual Object Category in MEG. pdf

  • 05/19: Myrthel Dogge joins the lab as researcher on Surya's NWO replication grant - welcome!

  • 05/19: Workshop on Concepts, Actions, and Objects in Rovereto. link

  • 05/19: New review paper in TiCS: Object Vision in a Structured World. pdf

  • 04/19: Yuan-Fang Zhao joins the lab as an ERC postdoc - welcome!

  • 03/19: New paper in NeuroImage: MEG sensor patterns reflect perceptual but not categorical similarity of animate and inanimate objects. pdf

  • 02/19: New commentary in Emotion: The danger of interpreting detection differences between image categories. pdf

  • 02/19: Genevieve obtains Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship to continue her research in the Peelen lab - congratulations!

  • 02/19: Miles Wischnewski joins the lab as an ERC postdoc - welcome!

Selected Publications:

  • Wischnewski M, Peelen MV (2021). Causal neural mechanisms of context-based object recognition. eLife Full text

  • Stein T, Peelen MV (2021). Dissociating conscious and unconscious influences on visual detection effects. Nat Hum Behav Preprint / Author version / doi

  • Thorat S, Proklova D, Peelen MV (2019). The nature of the animacy organization in human ventral temporal cortex. eLife Full text

  • Gayet S, Peelen MV (2019). Scenes modulate object processing before interacting with memory templates. Psychol Sci Full text

  • Kaiser D, Quek GL, Cichy RM, Peelen MV (2019). Object vision in a structured world. Trends Cogn Sci Full text

  • Brandman T, Peelen MV (2017). Interaction between scene and object processing revealed by human fMRI and MEG decoding. J Neurosci Full text

  • Battistoni E, Stein T, Peelen MV (2017). Preparatory attention in visual cortex. Ann N Y Acad Sci Full text

  • Peelen MV, Downing PE (2017). Category selectivity in human visual cortex: Beyond visual object recognition. Neuropsychologia Full text

  • Kaiser D, Oosterhof NN, Peelen MV (2016). The neural dynamics of attentional selection in natural scenes. J Neurosci Full text

  • Stein T, Peelen MV (2015) Content-specific expectations enhance stimulus detectability by increasing perceptual sensitivity. J Exp Psychol Gen Full text

  • Hickey C, Peelen MV (2015). Neural mechanisms of incentive salience in naturalistic human vision. Neuron Full text

  • Bracci S, Caramazza A, Peelen MV (2015). Representational similarity of body parts in human occipitotemporal cortex. J Neurosci Full text

  • Peelen MV, He C, Han Z, Caramazza A, Bi Y (2014). Nonvisual and visual object shape representations in occipitotemporal cortex: evidence from congenitally blind and sighted adults. J Neurosci Full text

  • Kaiser D, Stein T, Peelen MV (2014). Object grouping based on real-world regularities facilitates perception by reducing competitive interactions in visual cortex. PNAS Full text

  • Peelen MV, Kastner S (2014). Attention in the real world: Toward understanding its neural basis. Trends Cogn Sci Full text

  • Bracci S, Peelen MV (2013). Body and object effectors: the organization of object representations in high-level visual cortex reflects body-object interactions. J Neurosci Full text

  • Peelen MV, Caramazza A (2012). Conceptual object representations in human anterior temporal cortex. J Neurosci Full text

  • Stein T, Sterzer P, Peelen MV (2012). Privileged detection of conspecifics: evidence from inversion effects during continuous flash suppression. Cognition Full text

  • Peelen MV, Kastner (2011). A neural basis for real-world visual search in human occipitotemporal cortex. PNAS Full text

  • Peelen MV, Atkinson AP, Vuilleumier P (2010). Supramodal representations of perceived emotions in the human brain. J Neurosci Full text

  • Peelen MV, Fei-Fei L, Kastner S (2009). Neural mechanisms of rapid natural scene categorization in human visual cortex. Nature Full text

  • Peelen MV, Downing PE (2007). The neural basis of visual body perception. Nat Rev Neurosci Full text

  • Peelen MV, Wiggett AJ, Downing PE (2006). Patterns of fMRI activity dissociate overlapping functional brain areas that respond to biological motion. Neuron Full text

  • Peelen MV, Downing PE (2005). Selectivity for the human body in the fusiform gyrus. J Neurophys Full text