Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience

Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience
Motto Master the Mind
Formation 2005
Type Research Institute
Purpose Fundamental Neuroscience Research
Headquarters Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Meibergdreef 47, 1105BA Amsterdam
Official language
English and Dutch
Parent organization

The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) is a basic research institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) that carries out neuroscience research with special emphasis on the brain and visual system. Although the institute's focus is on understanding the fundamental mechanisms underlying brain function, its research spans the development, plasticity and ageing of the brain and is often linked to clinical research questions. The research program is carried out in 18 research groups. In addition, the NIN includes the Netherlands Brain Bank.


The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) came into being on 1 July 2005 as the merger of the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research (NIBR) and the Netherlands Ophthalmic Research Institute (NORI). The NIBR dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. A meeting of the International Association of Academies held in Paris in 1901 led in 1904 to the formation of the International Academic Committee for Brain Research, and the foundation of several institutes for brain research in Europe, including in 1908, the “Netherlands Central Institute for Brain Research”.[1] Under director Prof C. U. Ariëns Kappers (director 1909–1946) [2] and his successors the institute acquired an international reputation as a centre of excellent brain research. Originally oriented to comparative neuroanatomy the institute later became a multidisciplinary centre with outstanding research facilities

The NORI was founded in 1972 as an inter-university institute to perform basic research. The ophthalmogenetic database founded by Prof J.W. Delleman and the systematic functional analysis of the visual system initiated by Prof H. Spekreijse made the institute an internationally recognized centre in vision research. In the late nineties the research objective focused increasingly on the functioning of the visual system and its relation to the brain.

Research Groups and Organization

The institute is led by a board of directors composed of the a scientific director, Pieter R. Roelfsema, a vice director, Chris I. de Zeeuw, and a managing director, Ronald van der Neut. This board oversees the activities of the 18 research groups led by scientists of international renown: Julie Bakker,[3] Damiaan Denys,[4] Chris De Zeeuw,[5] Rainer Goebel,[5] Alexander Heimel,[6] Inge Huitinga,[7] Andries Kalsbeek,[8] Maarten Kamermans,[9] Helmut Kessels,[10] Christian Keysers,[11] Maarten Kole,[12] Christiaan Levelt,[13] Christian Lohmann,[14] Pieter Roelfsema,[15] Dick Swaab,[16] Ysbrand Van der Werf,[17] Eus Van Someren,[18] Joost Verhaagen,[19]

Grants and Prizes

Many of the institute's scientists are recipients of prestigious grants, awards and distinctions, including European Research Council laureates, VIDI/VICI grant holders. Several of its principal investigators are members of national and international academies: Chris de Zeeuw and Rainer Goebel are members of KNAW, Ysbrand van der Werf of the Young Academy of the KNAW and Christian Keysers is a member of the Young Academy of Europe.

Research Infrastructure

One of the strong points of the NIN is its research infrastructure. The institute host several two-photon excitation microscopy setups to perform in vivo brain imaging at the cellular and sub-cellular level, high density EEG labs, multi-electrode recording systems. The institute also hosts a large mechanical workshop, which provides technical support to its research staff and helps co-develop new research tools. Additionally, the NIN is an important stakeholder in the state of the art Magnetic resonance imaging Spinoza centre[20] hosting 3T and 7T MRI systems for human neuroscience, which is situated in the same premises.


  1. "The Central Institute for Brain Research in Amsterdam and its Directors", Journal of the History of the Neurosciences, 23:109–119, 2014
  2. "Walking a Fine Scientific Line: The Extraordinary Deeds of Dutch Neuroscientist C. U. Ariëns Kappers Before and During World War II", Journal of the History of the Neurosciences, 1–24, 2014
  3. "Bakker Group". Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  4. "Denys group". Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  5. 1 2 "De Zeeuw Group". Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  6. "Nederlands Herseninstituut > Research Groups > Heimel Group". Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  7. "Huitinga Group". Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  8. "Kalsbeek Group". Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  9. "Kamermans Group". Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  10. "Kessels Group". Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  11. "Keysers Group". Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  12. "Kole Group". Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  13. "Levelt Group". Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  14. "Lohmann Group". Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  15. "Roelfsema Group". Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  16. "Swaab Group". Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  17. "Nederlands Herseninstituut > Research Groups > Van der Werf Group". Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  18. "S&C, Home". Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  19. "Verhaagen Group". Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  20. "The Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging"
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