Team

Martin Dresler is principal investigator of the Donders Sleep & Memory Lab. Originally trained in biopsychology, philosophy and mathematics, he switched to cognitive neuroscience for his PhD and postdoctoral research at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Oxford University and Stanford University before establishing his own lab at the Donders Institute, giving him the opportunity to pursue several slightly weird research lines full time.
Boris Nikolai Konrad leads the mnemonics program in the lab. Trained in physics and computer science at the Technical University Dortmund and University of Reading, he switched to psychology for his PhD on the neural mechanisms underlying superior memory skills at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry. Being a professional memory trainer and successful memory athlete himself since many years, he recently failed to keep his superhero identity as the Memory Man a secret any longer.
Leonore Bovy spent already some years at the Donders Institute as a cognitive neuroscience student and research assistant before finally submitting to the third offer for a PhD position in the lab. Beyond her research line on the role of the mPFC and REM sleep for the phenomenon of memory bias in affective disorders, she pursues further strictly scientific projects in black metal and Dungeons & Dragons research.
Frederik Weber is the creator and lead developer of the SpiSOP sleep analysis toolbox. Originally trained in bioinformatics, he performed his PhD research on the association between sleep and memory processes. Currently transferring from Tübingen to Nijmegen, in the upcoming years Freddy will integrate SpiSOP into the FieldTrip environment – the product obviously to be dubbed as SleepTrip – and apply it on big sleep data.
Rathiga Varatheeswaran is a Research Assistant working on novel sleep recording techniques. Previously she did her master’s project on sleep EEG biomarkers of depression, and has been involved in several other projects in the lab since 2015, involving various methods, such as EEG, fMRI and TMS. She is interested in questions regarding altered states of consciousness, especially the bizarre state of REM sleep.
Demetrius Ribeiro de Paula collects degrees of higher education, holding a master in Physics from the Federal University of Ceará, Brazil; a master in project management from the University of Fortaleza, Brazil; and a master in medical physics from Western University, Canada. In addition to his PhD project on fMRI and EEG methods, he is CEO of Brainet, a company developing diagnostic neuroimaging tools. Besides being a free software enthusiast for many years, he likes yoga, running, swimming and biking.
Sofia Tzioridou did a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a master’s degree in cognitive and clinical neuroscience at Goldsmith’s University of London. After working as a research assistant at the Donders Institute and at Oxford University, she now pursues a joint PhD on the association between sleep/dreaming and emotional processing in the Donders Sleep & Memory Lab and at Marburg University.
Nils Müller originally studied mathematics, philosophy and education in Göttingen to become a school teacher. His interest in the mechanisms underlying learning success brought him to Nijmegen for a second master’s in cognitive neuroscience. During his PhD, he investigated how prior knowledge enhances the acquisition of new but related information. He joined us as for a short postdoc to follow up up on his previous studies on superior memory skills and mnemonic training.
Anastasia Mangiaruga did a bachelor in psychological sciences and a master in cognitive neuroscience at Sapienza University of Rome. In her PhD at the Laboratory of Sleep Psychophysiology of Sapienza University, she studied the link between sleep, dreams and cognitive functioning, particularly focusing on parasomnias and bizarre sleep phenomena. At the Donders Sleep & Memory lab, she investigates lucid dreaming induction strategies. During her spare time, she explores connections between art and science.
Charlotte Fraza did a bachelor’s degree in theoretical physics at Utrecht University, a minor in Korean language and culture at Sungkyunkwan University, and an Erasmus+ joint master’s degree in computer science and ‘color in science and industry’ at different universities in France, Spain, Finland and Japan. In her additional research master in cognitive neuroscience, she is now investigating the neural mechanisms of one of her long-time interests, namely using mnemonic strategies to learn new languages.
Sebastian Idesis has a degree in psychology from the University of Buenos Aires. After positions as assistant lecturer and research assistant at the University of Buenos Aires, he joined the Sleep & Memory Lab for a project on dense longitudinal multimodal phenotyping of a single subject, including hundreds of sleep recordings and dozens of MRI scans.
Marike Hoegen did a bachelor in biology at Wageningen University. Alongside her cognitive neuroscience master in Nijmegen, she is also doing the health and disease master in Wageningen. In the Sleep & Memory Lab she is investigating the role of sleep in depression, beyond she is learning Norwegian, goes for hikes, visits museums, meets up with friends and reads books.
Famke Roest did a bachelor’s degree in medical biology with a research project on 3D-Polarized Light Imaging on human brain tissue at Radboud University. During her master’s studies in medical biology she focused more on cognitive neuropsychology topics and the neural basis of psychiatric disorders. In the Sleep & Memory Lab, she explores how visual and acoustic cueing procedures can modulate dream experiences.
Oliver Stange investigated biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases during his bachelor’s in Furtwangen and Gothenburg. After a research assistance at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Tübingen, he started with his master’s in molecular life sciences with a specialisation in neuroscience at Radboud University. In the Sleep & Memory Lab, he investigates the association between sleep and blood plasma dynamics, and tries to convince the lab of the delicacy of Kanelbullar (Swedish cinnamon buns).
Diede Booltink studied Applied Science at Fontys University Eindhoven and is now working on her master’s degree in Medical Biology with the specialization of Neuroscience. In the Sleep & Memory Lab she is investigating lucid dreaming induction strategies. Beyond science, she loves traveling, going out with her friends, cooking, reading, making her own clothes and is always in for something new or a new experience.
Ashley Shih did a bachelor of life science at National Chung-Hsing University and a master of neuroscience at National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan. In her master of medical biology at Radboud University, she is focusing on science management and innovation. For her master project in the Sleep & Memory lab, she validates minimal sleep EEG headbands.
Jarrod Gott recently finished his master in neuroscience at Swinburne University, Melbourne, investigating the neural and behavioral correlates of internally generated imagery. Jarrod is focused on modeling the relationship between phenomenal perception, electrophysiological activity and agent control; particularly regarding aberrant metacognitive states. Outside scientific and philosophical research, he enjoys building electronics, hiking, mountain biking and free-diving.
Marieke Zwolsman is a medicine bachelor’s student interested in pretty much any branch of medicine as well as research. During her joint honors project at the Donders Sleep & Memory Lab and at Monash University in Melbourne, she will investigate the interaction between sleep, circadian rhythms, cognition, and mood.
…and we want YOU to join!

Alumni

Julia Pottkämper did a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in clinical psychology before starting a research master in cognitive neuroscience. In the Donders Sleep & Memory Lab she investigated the role of the mPFC and sleep for emotional memory bias. She now works on a PhD project on depression and epilepsy at the University of Twente.
Elisa Lancini studied clinical psychology at the University of Padua. In her master project in the Donders Sleep & Memory Lab, she analyzed the association between sleep and amyloid-beta dynamics. She then moved on to the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Magdeburg for a PhD project on the role of dopamine and noradrenaline in age-related memory decline.
Danielle Tump did a dual master’s degree in artificial intelligence and cognitive neuroscience. When not organizing parabolic flights with the European Space Agency or tinkering with brain-computer interfaces, she analyzed sleep EEG signatures of vestibular replay of radically new experiences, namely zero gravity. She now works at the Donders spinoff MindAffect, further developing BCI setups with a particular focus on application in ALS and Locked-In patients.
Alessandro Orticoni was trained in clinical engineering and biomedical engineering at the University La Sapienza in Rome. After a research stay at the EPFL in Lausanne, he joined the Donders Sleep & Memory Lab for his master’s thesis on lucid dreaming. Beyond lucid dreaming, he likes to travel, play football, ride bikes, watch movies, and he loves animals!
Carmen van Hooijdonk moved to Nijmegen to finish her master’s degree in cognitive neuropsychology with a project on lucid dreaming. Besides learning more about dreaming, sleep and other related topics, she likes to read fairy tales, go for a run with her twin sister, have a good cup of tea, travel the world and meet new people.
Simon Kern did a bachelor in cognitive science at Osnabrück University investigating pharmacological induction of lucid dreaming, and a master in artificial intelligence at Radboud University. For his master project in the Sleep & Memory Lab, he developed an automatic sleep scoring algorithm using convolutional neural networks. He now works on very similar topics in a start-up, developing analysis algorithms for sleep EEG headbands.
Thomas Houweling did a bachelor’s degree in social and organizational psychology at the University of Padua, a master’s degree in clinical neuropsychology at Leiden University, and a further master’s in cognitive neuroscience back at the University of Padua. He joined the Donders Sleep & Memory Lab as a postlauream Erasmus+ trainee, working on lucid dreaming and on lunar cycle effects on sleep. He now works on his PhD in neurolinguistics at the University of Zurich.
Isabella Wagner did a master’s degree in psychology and worked as research assistant on brain-computer interface projects in Graz and Albany before her PhD at the Donders Institute. As a postdoc in the Sleep & Memory Lab, she investigated how mnemonic experts encode, consolidate and retrieve long-lasting memories with ease. She now works on social neuroscience topics at the University of Vienna.

Alumni: Bachelor students and summer interns

Emma Peters is doing a biology bachelor, aiming for a medical biology specialization masters in neuroscience. Her favorite writer is Oliver Sachs – when reading his book back in school she fell in love neuroscience. Her favorite things are hallucinations and paranormal experiences seen from a neuroscientific viewpoint. In the Sleep & Memory Lab she is working on lucid dreaming. Outside of work she loves nature, music, hiking, hanging out with friends – and just finished building a tiny house.
Suzanne van Ooij worked during her medicine bachelor’s honors program jointly at the Donders Sleep & Memory lab and at Monash University in Melbourne, conducting research on REM sleep, mood, and subjective memory complaints. Next to studying and doing research, she likes to spend her time cooking with friends, traveling or working out at the gym.
Eline Boon is a biomedical sciences bachelor’s student. After a project on lucid dreaming within the Sleep & Memory Lab, for her bachelor’s thesis she is testing how sleep affects the consolidation of emotional memory schemas.
Mahmoud Chaabou is a biotechnology bachelor’s student at the Technical University Berlin. He joined the Sleep & Memory Lab to do his bachelor’s thesis on lucid dreaming. Since he was 16 he dreamed lucidly and was curious about this phenomenon, so he decided to move to Nijmegen to be part of a research group in this field. Besides lucid dreaming he enjoys the time with friends, playing volleyball and meeting new people.
Steven Wilson is a bachelor psychology student from Glasgow. He is in Nijmegen for a summer internship with the Sleep & Memory team because of his interest in the phenomenon of lucid dreaming, and he would like to gain experience in this field of research as he is hopeful of a career as a researcher after university. Outside of work Steven enjoys playing football, going to the gym and has a particular interest in conspiracy theories.
Luke Gorman did a bachelor in neuroscience at University College Dublin. He joined the Sleep & Memory team for work experience before his final year due to his passion and interest in the phenomenon of lucid dreaming. He hopes one day to lead a research team in sleep and dreaming back in Ireland. Apart from dreaming Luke enjoys playing football, and is passionate about the environment, nature, animals and food.
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