mw. dr. H.A. (Heleen) Slagter

  • Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen
    Programmagroep: Brain & Cognition
  • Bezoekadres
    REC G
    Nieuwe Achtergracht 129  Amsterdam
    Kamernummer: 0.13
  • Postadres:
    Postbus  15915
    1001 NK  Amsterdam
    T: 0205256807
    T: 0205256840

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology (section Brain and Cognition) of the University of Amsterdam, and teach and do research in the domain of Cognitive Neuroscience. 


My research focuses on (the neural basis of) core cognitive capacities, such as attention, and methods that may enhance these capacities. What are the mechanisms that allow us to perceive, select, suppress, and become aware of information in the environment? Can these mechanisms that adaptively control information processing be optimized through e.g., training? The overall aim is to understand the (brain) processes that allow people to excel at certain behaviors, and how these processes may be facilitated.

Research methods include: ERP/EEG, fMRI, DTI, MRS, PET, tDCS and behavioral testing. For more information and my publications, please visit my lab's website:

Cognition and Plasticity Laboratory



  • Master in Biological Psychology, University of Utrecht, the Netherlands (2000)

  • PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Amsterdam (2000-2005)

  • Visiting Research Fellow Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Duke University, USA (2002)

  • Postdoc, Waisman Center for Brain Imaging and Behavior, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA (2005-2007)

  • Assistant Scientist, Waisman Center for Brain Imaging and Behavior, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA (2007-2009)

  • Assistant Professor (UD), Dept of Psychology, University of Amsterdam (2009-2011)

  • Associate Professor (UHD), Dept of Psychology, University of Amsterdam (2011-present)



  • Marie Curie Reintegration grant (2009; €75.000)

  • VIDI (2010; €800.000)

  • Spinoza Junior Investigator Grant (2010; €11.250)

  • Aspasia (2011; €100.000)

  • Onderzoekstalent (2012; €168.000).

  • Early Career Award 2014 by the Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR)

  • ABC Project Grant (2015; €250.000)

  • ABMP Project Grant (2015; €250.000; co-PI)

  • ERC starting grant (2015; €1.500.000)


Student opportunities: internship or thesis

If you are interested in doing your internship or thesis in mylab, please send an email with your CV and a transcript of your grades to:


  • Slagter, H. A., Alilovic, J., & van Gaal, S. (2017). How early does attention modulate visual information processing? The importance of experimental protocol and data analysis approach. Cognitive Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1080/17588928.2017.1372405 
  • Vissers, M. E., Gulbinaite, R., van den Bos, T., & Slagter, H. A. (2017). Protecting visual short-term memory during maintenance: Attentional modulation of target and distractor representations. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 4061. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-03995-0 
  • Rac-Lubashevsky, R., Slagter, H. A., & Kessler, Y. (2017). Tracking Real-Time Changes in Working Memory Updating and Gating with the Event-Based Eye-Blink Rate. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 2547. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-02942-3 
  • Talsma, L. J., Kroese, H. A., & Slagter, H. A. (2017). Boosting Cognition: Effects of Multiple-Session Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Working Memory. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 29(4), 755-768. DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_01077 
  • Slagter, H. A., Mazaheri, A., Reteig, L. C., Smolders, R., Figee, M., Mantione, M., ... Denys, D. (2017). Contributions of the Ventral Striatum to Conscious Perception: An Intracranial EEG Study of the Attentional Blink. The Journal of Neuroscience, 37(5), 1081-1089. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2282-16.2016 


  • Vissers, M. E., van Driel, J., & Slagter, H. A. (2016). Proactive, but Not Reactive, Distractor Filtering Relies on Local Modulation of Alpha Oscillatory Activity. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 28(12), 1964-1979. DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_01017  [details] 
  • Band, G. P. H., Basak, C., Slagter, H. A., & Voss, M. W. (2016). Editorial: Effects of Game and Game-Like Training on Neurocognitive Plasticity. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10, [123]. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00123  [details] 
  • Brown, S. B. R. E., Slagter, H. A., van Noorden, M. S., Giltay, E. J., van der Wee, N. J. A., & Nieuwenhuis, S. (2016). Effects of clonidine and scopolamine on multiple target detection in rapid serial visual presentation. Psychopharmacology, 233(2), 341-350. DOI: 10.1007/s00213-015-4111-y  [details] 
  • Kruis, A., Slagter, H. A., Bachhuber, D., Davidson, R. J., & Lutz, A. (in press). Effects of meditation practice on spontaneous eyeblink rate. Psychophysiology.
  • Slagter, H. A., van Wouwe, N. C., Kanoff, K., Grasman, R. P. P. P., Claassen, D. O., van den Wildenberg, W. P. M., & Wylie, S. A. (2016). Dopamine and temporal attention: An attentional blink study in Parkinson's disease patients on and off medication. Neuropsychologia, 91, 407-414. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.09.006  [details] 
  • Slagter, H. A., Prinssen, S., Reteig, L. C., & Mazaheri, A. (2016). Facilitation and inhibition in attention: Functional dissociation of pre-stimulus alpha activity, P1, and N1 components. NeuroImage, 125, 25-35. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.09.058  [details] 


  • Matzke, D., Nieuwenhuis, S., van Rijn, H., Slagter, H. A., van der Molen, M. W., & Wagenmakers, E-J. (2015). The effect of horizontal eye movements on free recall: A preregistered adversarial collaboration. Journal of Experimental Psychology. General, 144(1), e1-e15. DOI: 10.1037/xge0000038  [details] 
  • Slagter, H. A., Georgopoulou, K., & Frank, M. J. (2015). Spontaneous eye blink rate predicts learning from negative, but not positive, outcomes. Neuropsychologia, 71, 126-132. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2015.03.028  [details] 
  • London, R. E., & Slagter, H. A. (2015). Effects of transcranial direct current stimulation over left dorsolateral pFC on the attentional blink depend on individual baseline performance. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 27(12), 2382-2393. DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_00867  [details] 


  • Tomer, R., Slagter, H. A., Christian, B. T., Fox, A. S., King, C. R., Murali, D., ... Davidson, R. J. (2014). Love to win or hate to lose? Asymmetry of dopamine D2 receptor binding predicts sensitivity to reward vs. punishment. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 26(5), 1039-1048. DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_00544  [details] 
  • van Vugt, M. K., & Slagter, H. A. (2014). Control over experience? Magnitude of the attentional blink depends on meditative state. Consciousness and Cognition, 23, 32-39. DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2013.11.001  [details] 
  • van den Brink, R. L., Cohen, M. X., van der Burg, E., Talsma, D., Vissers, M. E., & Slagter, H. A. (2014). Subcortical, modality-specific pathways contribute to multisensory processing in humans. Cerebral Cortex, 24(8), 2169-2177. DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bht069  [details] 


  • Slagter, H. A., & Georgopoulou, K. (2013). Distractor inhibition predicts individual differences in recovery from the attentional blink. PLoS One, 8(5), e64681. [e64681]. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064681  [details] 
  • Nieuwenhuis, S., Elzinga, B. M., Ras, P. H., Berends, F., Duijs, P., Samara, Z., & Slagter, H. A. (2013). Bilateral saccadic eye movements and tactile stimulation, but not auditory stimulation, enhance memory retrieval. Brain and Cognition, 81(1), 52-56. DOI: 10.1016/j.bandc.2012.10.003  [details] 
  • Tomer, R., Slagter, H. A., Christian, B. T., Fox, A. S., King, C. R., Murali, D., & Davidson, R. J. (2013). Dopamine asymmetries predict orienting bias in healthy individuals. Cerebral Cortex, 23(12), 2899-2904. DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhs277  [details] 


  • Slagter, H. A. (2012). Conventional working memory training may not improve intelligence. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 16(12), 582-583. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2012.10.001  [details] 
  • Slagter, H. A., Tomer, R., Christian, B. T., Fox, A. S., Colzato, L. S., King, C. R., ... Davidson, R. J. (2012). PET evidence for a role for striatal dopamine in the attentional blink: functional implications. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24(9), 1932-1940. DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_00255  [details] 


  • Cohen, M. X., Cavanagh, J. F., & Slagter, H. A. (2011). Event-related potential activity in the basal ganglia differentiates rewards from nonrewards: temporospatial principal components analysis and source localization of the feedback negativity: commentary. Human Brain Mapping, 32(12), 2270-2271. DOI: 10.1002/hbm.21358  [details] 
  • Samara, Z., Elzinga, B. M., Slagter, H. A., & Nieuwenhuis, S. (2011). Do horizontal saccadic eye movements increase interhemispheric coherence? Investigation of a hypothesized neural mechanism underlying EMDR. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 2, [4]. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2016.00004  [details] 
  • Slagter, H. A., Davidson, R. J., & Lutz, A. (2011). Mental training as a tool in the neuroscientific study of brain and cognitive plasticity. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 5, [17]. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2011.00017  [details] 
  • Colzato, L. S., Slagter, H. A., de Rover, M., & Hommel, B. (2011). Dopamine and the management of attentional resources: genetic markers of striatal D2 dopamine predict individual differences in the attentional blink. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23(11), 3576-3585. DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_00049  [details] 
  • Shackman, A. J., Salomons, T. V., Slagter, H. A., Fox, A. S., Winter, J. J., & Davidson, R. J. (2011). The integration of negative affect, pain and cognitive control in the cingulate cortex. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 12(3), 154-167. DOI: 10.1038/nrn2994  [details] 


  • Slagter, H. A., Davidson, R. J., & Tomer, R. (2010). Eye-blink rate predicts individual differences in pseudoneglect. Neuropsychologia, 48(5), 1265-1268. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.12.027  [details] 
  • Slagter, H. A., Johnstone, T., Beets, I. A. M., & Davidson, R. J. (2010). Neural competition for conscious representation across time: an fMRI study. PLoS One, 5(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010556  [details] 
  • Hamidi, M., Slagter, H. A., Tononi, G., & Postle, B. R. (2010). Brain responses evoked by high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation: an event-related potential study. Brain Stimulation, 3(1), 2-14. DOI: 10.1016/j.brs.2009.04.001  [details] 


  • Slagter, H. A., Lutz, A., Greischar, L. L., Nieuwenhuis, S., & Davidson, R. J. (2009). Theta phase synchrony and conscious target perception: impact of intensive mental training. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21(8), 1536-49. DOI: 10.1162/jocn.2009.21125 
  • Colzato, L. S., Slagter, H. A., van den Wildenberg, W. P. M., & Hommel, B. (2009). Closing one's eyes to reality: evidence for a dopaminergic basis of psychoticism from spontaneous eye blink rates. Personality and Individual Differences, 46(3), 377-380. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2008.10.017  [details] 
  • Hamidi, M., Slagter, H. A., Tononi, G., & Postle, B. R. (2009). Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation influences behavior by biasing endogenous cortical oscillations. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 3(14). DOI: 10.3389/neuro.07.014.2009 
  • Lutz, A., Slagter, H. A., Rawlings, N. B., Francis, A. D., Greischar, L. L., & Davidson, R. J. (2009). Mental training enhances attentional stability: neural and behavioral evidence. The Journal of Neuroscience, 29(42), 13418-13427. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1614-09.2009  [details] 
  • Shackman, A. J., McMenamin, B. W., Slagter, H. A., Maxwell, J. S., Greischar, L. L., & Davidson, R. J. (2009). Electromyogenic artifacts and electroencephalographic inferences. Brain Topography, 22(1), 7-12. DOI: 10.1007/s10548-009-0079-4 


  • Colzato, L. S., Slagter, H. A., Spapé, M. M. A., & Hommel, B. (2008). Blinks of the eye predict blinks of the mind. Neuropsychologia, 46(13), 3179-83. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.07.006 
  • Talsma, D., Kok, A., Slagter, H. A., & Cipriani, G. (2008). Attentional orienting across the sensory modalities. Brain and Cognition, 66(1), 1-10. DOI: 10.1016/j.bandc.2007.04.005 
  • Lutz, A., Slagter, H. A., Dunne, J. D., & Davidson, R. J. (2008). Attention regulation and monitoring in meditation. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12(4), 163-169. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2008.01.005 


  • Slagter, H. A., Giesbrecht, B., Kok, A., Weissman, D. H., Kenemans, J. L., Woldorff, M. G., & Mangun, G. R. (2007). fMRI evidence for both generalized and specialized components of attentional control. Brain Research, 1177, 90-102. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2007.07.097  [details] 
  • Slagter, H. A., Lutz, A., Greischar, L. L., Francis, A. D., Nieuwenhuis, S., Davis, J., & Davidson, R. J. (2007). Mental training affects distribution of limited brain resources. PLoS Biology, 5(6), [e138]. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0050138 
  • Talsma, D., Mulckhuyse, M., Slagter, H. A., & Theeuwes, J. (2007). Faster, more intense! The relation between electrophysiological reflections of attentional orienting, sensory gain control and speed of responding. Brain Research, 1178, 92-105. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2007.07.099 


  • Ramautar, J. R., Slagter, H. A., Kok, A., & Ridderinkhof, K. R. (2006). Probability effects in the stop-signal paradigm: The insula and the significance of failed inhibition. Brain Research, 1105, 143-154. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2006.02.091  [details] 
  • Slagter, H. A., Weissman, D. H., Giesbrecht, B., Kenemans, J. L., Mangun, G. R., Kok, A., & Woldorff, M. G. (2006). Brain regions activated by endogenous preparatory set shifting as revealed by fMRI. Cognitive Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience, 6, 175-189. DOI: 10.3758/CABN.6.3.175  [details] 


  • Slagter, H. A., Kok, A., Mol, N., & Kenemans, J. L. (2005). Spatio-temporal dynamics of top-down control: Directing attention to location and/or color as revealed by ERPs and source modeling. Cognitive Brain Research, 22, 333-348. DOI: 10.1016/j.cogbrainres.2004.09.005  [details] 
  • Slagter, H. A., Kok, A., Mol, N., Talsma, D., & Kenemans, J. L. (2005). Generating spatial and nonspatial attentional control: An ERP study. Psychophysiology, 42(4), 428-439. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2005.00304.x  [details] 
  • Talsma, D., Slagter, H. A., Nieuwenhuis, S. T., Hage, J., & Kok, A. (2005). The orienting and relaxation of visuospatial attention: An event-related brain potential study. Cognitive Brain Research, 25, 177-129. [details] 
  • Nieuwenhuis, S., Slagter, H. A., Alting von Geusau, N. J., Heslenfeld, D., & Holroyd, C. B. (2005). Knowing good from bad: Differential activation of human cortical areas by positive and negative outcomes. European Journal of Neuroscience, 22(11), 3161-3168. DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2005.04152.x 


  • Jansma, J., Ramsey, N. F., Slagter, H. A., & Kahn, R. S. (2001). Functional anatomical correlates of controlled and automatic processing. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 13(6), 730-743. DOI: 10.1162/08989290152541403 


  • Davidson, R. J., & Slagter, H. A. (in press). Probing emotion in the developing brain: Functional neuroimaging in the assessment of the neural substrates of emotion in normal and disordered children and adolescents. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 6(3), 166-170. DOI: 10.1002/1098-2779(2000)6:3<166::AID-MRDD3>3.0.CO;2-O 


  • Slagter, H. A., Vissers, M. E., Talsma, L. J., & Ridderinkhof, K. R. (2017). Cognitive enhancement: it's about time. Cognitive Neuroscience, 8(2), 119-120. DOI: 10.1080/17588928.2016.1205576 
  • Schutte, I., Slagter, H. A., Collins, A. G. E., Frank, M. J., & Kenemans, J. L. (2017). Stimulus discriminability may bias value-based probabilistic learning. PLoS One, 12(5), e0176205. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0176205 


  • Slagter, H.A. (2015): Amsterdam Brain and Mind Project (ABMP).
  • Slagter, H.A. (2015): Amsterdam Brain and Cognition Project Grant.
  • Slagter, H.A. (2015): ERC starting grant: The mind’s eye: How expectation and attention shape perception €1.499.938.
  • Slagter, H.A. (2014): Early Career Award by the international Society for Psychophysiological Research.
  • Slagter, H.A. (2014): Early Career Award.
  • Slagter, H.A. (2013): Research talent grant by Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.
  • Slagter, H.A. (2011): Aspasia grant (100.000) by Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.
  • Slagter, H.A. (2010): VIDI grant (800.000) by Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).
  • Slagter, H.A. (2009): Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant (75.000).

Wetenschappelijke positie

  • Slagter, H.A. (2015): Member program committee, Dutch Neuroscience meeting.


  • Slagter, Heleen (01-01-2014): Slimmer worden met een spel? Vergeet het maar [Print] NRC - hersenwetenschap. Slimmer worden met een spel? Vergeet het maar.


  • Slagter, H.A. (invited speaker) (13-9-2014): From sensory process to conscious perception: Insights from multimodal investigations of the attentional blink, Keynote speaker as SPR’s Early Career Award recipient, Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR) meeting, Atlanta, USA.
  • Slagter, H.A. (invited speaker) (25-8-2014): Control over experience? Effects of meditation on information flow within the brain, Keynote speaker at the 2014 European Mind and Life Summer Research Institute, Fraueninsel, Germany.


  • Slagter, H.A. (organiser) (2014): Organizer and chair of symposium at the 2014 meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, Boston (organising a conference, workshop, ...).


  • Slagter, H. A. (2005). Top-down control of visual attention: complementary findings from ERP and fMRI studies [details] 
This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library  or the Pure staff  of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure  to edit your publications.
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