Fotograaf: onbekend

dhr. dr. S. (Simon) van Gaal

  • Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen
    Programmagroep: Brain & Cognition
  • Bezoekadres
    REC G
    Nieuwe Achtergracht 129  Kamernummer: 0.12
  • Postadres:
    Postbus  15915
    1001 NK  Amsterdam
    T: 0205256808
    T: 0205256711

I am an assistant professor at the Brain and Cognition department and head of the consciousness and decision-making lab. In my lab we study the neural correlates of consciousness and the role of consciousness in cognitive control and decision-making using various neuroimaging techniques (e.g., EEG, functional and structural MRI, MEG). Hopefully, this will eventually contribute to a better understanding of the neural mechanisms and potential function of consciousness.


On my personal website you can find information about ongoing research projects, open positions (jobs/training) people in the labalumni of the lab, and you can download publications.



  • Boot, N., Baas, M., Mühlfeld, E., de Dreu, C. K. W., & van Gaal, S. (2017). Widespread neural oscillations in the delta band dissociate rule convergence from rule divergence during creative idea generation. Neuropsychologia, 104, 8-17. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.07.033  [details] 
  • Boot, N., Baas, M., van Gaal, S., Cools, R., & De Dreu, C. K. W. (2017). Creative cognition and dopaminergic modulation of fronto-striatal networks: Integrative review and research agenda. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 78, 13-23. DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2017.04.007  [details] 


  • Francken, J. C., Meijs, E. L., Ridderinkhof, O. M., Hagoort, P., de Lange, F. P., & van Gaal, S. (2015). Manipulating word awareness dissociates feed-forward from feedback models of language-perception interactions. Neuroscience of Consciousness, 2015(1), [niv003]. DOI: 10.1093/nc/niv003  [details] 
  • Francken, J. C., Meijs, E. L., Hagoort, P., van Gaal, S., & de Lange, F. P. (2015). Exploring the automaticity of language-perception interactions: effects of attention and awareness. Scientific Reports, 5, [17725]. DOI: 10.1038/srep17725  [details] 
  • Jiang, J., Zhang, Q., & van Gaal, S. (2015). Conflict awareness dissociates theta-band neural dynamics of the medial frontal and lateral frontal cortex during trial-by-trial cognitive control. NeuroImage, 116, 102-111. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.04.062  [details] 
  • Jiang, J., Zhang, Q., & van Gaal, S. (2015). EEG neural oscillatory dynamics reveal semantic and response conflict at difference levels of conflict awareness. Scientific Reports, 5, [12008]. DOI: 10.1038/srep12008  [details] 
  • Pinto, Y., van Gaal, S., de Lange, F. P., Lamme, V. A. F., & Seth, A. K. (2015). Expectations accelerate entry of visual stimuli into awareness. Journal of Vision, 15(8), [13]. DOI: 10.1167/15.8.13  [details] 
  • El Karoui, I., King, J-R., Sitt, J., Meyniel, F., van Gaal, S., Hasboun, D., ... Naccache, L. (2015). Event-related potential, time-frequency, and fjjunctional connectivity facets of local and global auditory novelty processing: an intracranial study in humans. Cerebral Cortex, 25(11), 4203-4212. DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhu143  [details] 


  • Cohen, M. X., & van Gaal, S. (2014). Subthreshold muscle twitches dissociate oscillatory neural signatures of conflicts from errors. NeuroImage, 86(1), 503-513. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.10.033  [details] 
  • van Gaal, S., Naccache, L., Meuwese, J. D. I., van Loon, A. M., Leighton, A. H., Cohen, L., & Dehaene, S. (2014). Can the meaning of multiple words be integrated unconsciously? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences, 369(1641), 20130212. [20130212]. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2013.0212  [details] 


  • Cohen, M. X., & van Gaal, S. (2013). Dynamic interactions between large-scale brain networks predict behavioral adaptation after perceptual errors. Cerebral Cortex, 23(5), 1061-1072. DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhs069  [details] 
  • Jiang, J., van Gaal, S., Bailey, K., Chen, A., & Zhang, Q. (2013). Electrophysiological correlates of block-wise strategic adaptations to consciously and unconsciously triggered conflict. Neuropsychologia, 51(13), 2791-2798. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia2013.09.020  [details] 


  • Fahrenfort, J. J., Snijders, T. M., Heinen, K., van Gaal, S., Scholte, H. S., & Lamme, V. A. F. (2012). Neuronal integration in visual cortex elevates face category tuning to conscious face perception. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(52), 21504-21509. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1207414110  [details] 
  • van Gaal, S., de Lange, F. P., & Cohen, M. X. (2012). The role of consciousness in cognitive control and decision making. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6, [121]. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00121  [details] 
  • van Gaal, S., & Lamme, V. A. F. (2012). Unconscious high-level information processing: implication for neurobiological theories of consciousness. Neuroscientist, 18(3), 287-301. DOI: 10.1177/1073858411404079  [details] 
  • van Loon, A. M., Scholte, H. S., van Gaal, S., van der Hoort, B. J. J., & Lamme, V. A. F. (2012). GABAa agonist reduces visual awareness: a masking-EEG experiment. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24(4), 965-974. DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_00197  [details] 
  • Francken, J., van Gaal, S., & de Lange, F. P. (2012). Response to Desender & Van den Bussche: on the absence of a relationship between discriminability and priming. Consciousness and Cognition, 21(3), 1573-1574. DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2012.04.005  [details] 




  • Cohen, M. X., van Gaal, S., Ridderinkhof, K. R., & Lamme, V. A. F. (2009). Unconscious errors enhance prefrontal-occipital oscillatory synchrony. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 3(Article 54), 1-12. DOI: 10.3389/neuro.09.054.2009  [details] 
  • van Gaal, S., Ridderinkhof, K. R., van den Wildenberg, W. P. M., & Lamme, V. A. F. (2009). Dissociating consciousness from inhibitory control: evidence for unconsciously triggered response inhibition in the stop-signal task. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Human Perception and Performance, 35(4), 1129-1139. DOI: 10.1037/a0013551  [details] 


  • van Gaal, S., & Fahrenfort, J. J. (2008). The relationship between visual awareness, attention, and report. The Journal of Neuroscience, 28(21), 5401-5402. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1208-08.2008  [details] 
  • van Gaal, S., Ridderinkhof, K. R., Fahrenfort, J. J., Scholte, H. S., & Lamme, V. A. F. (2008). Frontal cortex mediates unconsciously triggered inhibitory control. The Journal of Neuroscience, 28(32), 8053-8062. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1278-08.2008  [details] 


  • Slagter, H. A., Alilovic, J., & Van Gaal, S. (2018). How early does attention modulate visual information processing? The importance of experimental protocol and data analysis approach. Cognitive Neuroscience, 9(1-2), 26-28. DOI: 10.1080/17588928.2017.1372405  [details] 


  • van Gaal, Simon (2016): ABC talent grant (Andres Canales-Johnson).
  • van Gaal, Simon (2016): Amsterdam Brain and Mind Project for the project.
  • van Gaal, Simon (2016): ABC talent grant (Jolien Francken).
  • van Gaal, Simon (2016): ERC starters grant.
  • van Gaal, S. (2015): Untangling the elusive influence of prediction on attentional capture and conscious awareness. Amsterdam Brain and Mind Project.


  • van Gaal, Simon (speaker) (15-11-2016): Invited lecture at the University of Sussex, UK (invited by prof. dr. Seth), University of Sussex, Brighton..
  • van Gaal, S. (invited speaker) (26-11-2015): Vrije wil in het onderwijs, Gemeente Amstedam Noord, Amsterdam.
  • van Gaal, S. (invited speaker) (16-9-2015): "Het zwarte gat" / Dingen met wetenschap, public lecture, Stadsschouwburg - Amsterdam.
  • van Gaal, S. (invited speaker) (15-10-2014): "Baas in eigen brein", public lecture debate Science unlimited, Den Haag.
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