Post docs

Erik van der Burg

After my technical engineering (B.Sc.) and artificial intelligence studies (B.Sc. & M.Sc.), I finished my PhD (Summa Cum Laude) in November 2009 at the department of Cognitive Psycholgy at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). During my Ph.D. I investigated how the brain processes information via different sensory modalities (like audition, touch and vision) and how this information interacts with each other. After my PhD, I was a postdoc for two more years at the VU, and in April 2012 I moved with my wife and two boys to Sydney, Australia. At the University of Sydney, I worked as a postdoc with Prof. David Alais. Together with David and my other collaborator dr. John Cass (Western Sydney University), I published papers in the field of motion perception, multisensory perception, visual search, and object identification. I also applied AI techniques (such as genetic algorithms) to study human behaviour in complex scenes. Besides fundamental research, I also conducted a couple of more applied studies regarding wine tasting, and online dating. At the Sydney Uni, I successfully supervised a couple of Ph.D. students, and I received a prestigious DECRA grant from the Australian Research Council. When I was a senior Lecturer, I moved back to the Netherlands in January 2016 to become an Assistant Professor at the department of Cognitive Psychology (VU). Together with dr. Sander Begeer (VU), Prof. Hilde Geurts and others we received a prestigious grant from ZonMW to study autism. Since, 2020 I work one day a week at the d’Arc research group at the Brain and Cognition section at the University of Amsterdam. Here, we aim to develop an objective tool for diagnosing autism using machine learning techniques (AI). The remaining four days in the week, I work as a researcher at TNO (Netherlands organization of applied scientific research) at the Perceptual and Cognitive Systems research group to conduct applied research.   

See here for complete list of my publications.

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Novika Purnama Sari

I joined d’Arc/UvA in November 2021 as a postdoctoral researcher. My research interest has started on autism since 2014, it was the time when I had an internship in an inclusive school in Indonesia. For my master thesis, I developed a cultural-theme based teaching media specifically for classes that included students with autism.

In 2017 I started as a PhD candidate at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, exploring the association of autistic traits in children with various predictors and outcomes (e.g. academic achievement, peer relationship, parental age, parenting). The study was embedded in the Generation R Study group at Erasmus Medical Center, a cohort study with ten thousand participants including mothers and children. In addition, I was a visiting researcher at the Autism Research Centre, University of Cambridge, collaborating and comparing the cohort data for one of my PhD projects.

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Joost Agelink van Rentergem

I joined d’Arc as a post-doc in 2017. I am interested in the validity and application of statistical methods for establishing subtypes of participants within psychiatry, and within autism research in particular. These subtypes may have different prognoses, different causes for possible problems, and may benefit from different types of interventions. Once we can discover subtype membership in a more reliable and valid way, this will speed up research in each of these areas, and will benefit those who require support.

Special interests of mine are psychological measurement, combining measurements on multiple levels of abstraction, and improving clinical neuropsychological practice through the improvement of statistical practice. I am a methodologist by training and did my PhD (cum laude) at the University of Amsterdam on the Advanced Neuropsychological Diagnostics Infrastructure (ANDI) project, which provides a normative database and interactive website for clinical neuropsychologists to use in diagnostics.

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