Jan Lauwereyns

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Jan Lauwereyns
Jan Lauwereyns
Jan Lauwereyns
BornJohan Marc José Lauwereyns
(1969-05-13) 13 May 1969 (age 49)
Antwerp, Belgium
OccupationWriter, scientist
LanguageDutch, English

Jan Lauwereyns (born 13 May 1969), full name Johan Marc José Lauwereyns, is a writer and scientist. As a cognitive neuroscientist, he specializes in the voluntary control of attention and decision making.[1][2][3] He has published articles in journals such as Nature, Neuron, and Trends in Cognitive Sciences, and the monographs The Anatomy of Bias and Brain and the Gaze with The MIT Press. As a multilingual poet, he gained an international reputation for innovative work.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

Cognitive neuroscientist[edit]

Lauwereyns was born in Antwerp, Belgium. He obtained his PhD at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, in 1998 with a thesis on the intentionality of visual selective attention. He has since conducted research and lectured on the neural mechanisms of perception and decision making at several institutes, including the U.S. National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, Maryland), Juntendo University (Tokyo, Japan), and Victoria University of Wellington (Wellington, New Zealand). He is currently Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Science and in the Graduate School of Systems Life Sciences at Kyushu University (Fukuoka, Japan).

The Intensive Approach[edit]

In 2010, The MIT Press published his monograph The Anatomy of Bias, an integrative account of the structure and function of bias and sensitivity. Lauwereyns connects findings and ideas in neuroscience to analogous concepts in psychoanalysis, literary theory, philosophy of mind, and experimental economics.[3][12] The book "offers a 'point of entry' in a fascinating field and a source of inspiration for further research"[13] and represents "a remarkable amalgam of science and poetry, one that ultimately serves the interest not only of truth but of beauty and goodness as well."[14] A second monograph, Brain and the Gaze, followed in 2012, also published by The MIT Press. This book, like the previous, offers an integration of perspectives from philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience; this time focusing on active vision.[15] Here, Lauwereyns develops The Intensive Approach, "a smart and reasonable combination of classic computational theories of perception (a la Marr) that say that vision is essentially a top-down process, and less conservative accounts (a la Noë) that emphasise the pervasive sensorimotor nature of perceptual experience and the role that (bottom-up) sensorimotor engagements play in visual processes. The intensive approach to vision is therefore a (top-down, bottom-up) approach that highlights the deeply interactive nature of perceptual awareness, while assigning a fundamental role to observer-dependent biases and to internal mechanisms in the processing of perceptual experience."[16]

Multilingual poet[edit]

Lauwereyns has published single-author volumes of poetry in his native language, Dutch, and in Japanese and English. He has received several prizes and nominations for his work in Dutch,[4] most notably the VSB Poetry Prize 2012.[17] He was also awarded grants from the Flemish Literature Fund and Creative New Zealand. According to the Flemish Literature Fund, his "analytical approach of poetic subjects produces a remarkable effect: funny, incisive and unsettling all at once. It is a poetry of crackling brain cells".[18] Lauwereyns is Associate Editor of the Belgian literary journal DW B, and often works in collaboration with other writers and artists, including Leo Vroman,[19] Patricia de Martelaere,[20] Rachel Levitsky,[21] Arkadii Dragomoshchenko, Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, Kiwao Nomura, and Michael Palmer.[22]

The poetry of Lauwereyns "embodies a relationship with the impossibility of perfection. The formal experiment of writing (sometimes in collaboration, in a range of languages) substantiates, up to a point and never completely, the insistent presence of absence. Forms temporarily affirm certainty, but never entirely or lastingly so: 'The lake won't actually fit on the page.'"[4]


In English[edit]

  • The Anatomy of Bias: How Neural Circuits Weigh the Options. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-262-12310-5
  • Three Poems. (with 27 + 3 drawings by Johan Velter) Reading: JOUGA, 2010.
  • Truths of Stone. (co-authored by Michael Palmer, with a drawing by Nicolas Leus; bilingual edition with a Dutch translation by Tom van de Voorde) Ghent, Belgium: Druksel, 2010.
  • Shoaling Things. (co-authored in Russian by Arkadii Dragomoshchenko, with a drawing by Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven; translated into Dutch by Jan Lauwereyns and Evgeny Pavlov) Ghent, Belgium: Druksel, 2011.
  • Brain and the Gaze: On the Active Boundaries of Vision. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2012. ISBN 978-0-262-01791-6
  • Rethinking the Three R's in Animal Research: Replacement, Reduction, Refinement. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Pivot, 2018. ISBN 978-3-319-89299-3

Translated into English[edit]

  • Song of the Lake. (Radiobook) Translated by Michael O'Loughlin. Brussels, Belgium: DeBuren, 2009.

In Dutch[edit]

  • Nagelaten sonnetten. [Posthumous Sonnets] Antwerp, Belgium: Manteau, 1999. ISBN 90-223-1519-3
  • Het zwijgen van de dichter. [The Silence of the Poet] Ghent, Belgium: Druksel, 2001.
  • Blanke verzen. [Blank Verse] Tielt, Belgium: Lannoo, 2001. ISBN 90-223-1519-3
  • De boeke-kas. Waartoe zo veel?. [The Book-Case. Why So Many?] Ghent, Belgium: Druksel, 2002.
  • Buigzaamheden. [Flexibilities] Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Meulenhoff, 2002. ISBN 90-290-7223-7
  • Het bloembed van de werkelijkheid. [The Flowerbed of Reality] Ghent, Belgium: Druksel, 2004.
  • Tegenvoetig, tweebenig. [Antipodean, Bipedal] Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Meulenhoff, 2004. ISBN 90-290-7574-0
  • Monkey business. Amsterdam: Meulenhoff, 2003. ISBN 90-290-7378-0
  • Splash. Nijmegen, The Netherlands: Vantilt, 2005. ISBN 90-77503-26-9
  • Anophelia! De mug leeft. [Anophelia! The Mosquito Lives] Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Meulenhoff|Manteau, 2007. ISBN 978-90-8542-093-4
  • Ik, systeem, de werkelijkheid. (co-authored by Leo Vroman, with an image by Jus Juchtmans) [I, System, Reality] Ghent, Belgium: Druksel, 2007.
  • Vloeistof en welvaart. [Liquid and Welfare] Amsterdam, The Netherlands: De Bezige Bij, 2008. ISBN 978-90-234-2878-7
  • Lied van het meer. (Radiobook) [Song of the Lake] Brussels, Belgium: DeBuren, 2008.
  • Zwelgen wij denkend rond. (co-authored by Leo Vroman) [Let's Wallow in Thought] Amsterdam, The Netherlands: De Bezige Bij, 2009. ISBN 978-90-234-2994-4
  • Stemvork. (co-authored by Arnoud van Adrichem) [Tuning Fork] Utrecht, The Netherlands: IJzer, 2010. ISBN 978-90-8684-059-5
  • De smaak van het geluid van het hart. [The Taste of the Sound of the Heart] Amsterdam, The Netherlands: De Bezige Bij, 2011. ISBN 978-90-5655-084-4
  • Hemelsblauw. [Sky Blue] Amsterdam, The Netherlands: De Bezige Bij, 2011. ISBN 978-90-234-5732-9
  • De willekeur. [Randomness] Amsterdam, The Netherlands: De Bezige Bij, 2012. ISBN 978-90-234-7246-9
  • Oorschelp. (with drawings by Bart Baele) [The Auricle] Middelburg, The Netherlands: Stichting CBK Zeeland (De Slibreeks nr. 144), 2013. ISBN 978-90-6354-181-1
  • Theorie van de rondworm. [Theory of the Roundworm] Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Koppernik, 2015. ISBN 978-90-8217-513-4
  • Monkey Business. (revised edition, translated to German by Helga van Beuningen). Frankfurt, Germany: Axel Dielmann Verlag, 2015. ISBN 978-3-86638-208-4
  • Nouvelle. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Koppernik, 2015. ISBN 978-94-9231-303-4
  • Het riool. (co-authored by Arnoud van Adrichem) [The Drain] Utrecht, The Netherlands: IJzer, 2016. ISBN 978-90-8684-127-1
  • Iets in ons boog diep. [Something in Us Bowed Low] Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Koppernik, 2016. ISBN 978-94-9231-313-3
  • Zus. [Sis] Antwerp, Belgium: Polis, 2018. ISBN 978-94-6310-351-0

In Japanese[edit]

  • あたまがないへび. (bilingual edition with a Dutch translation by Jan Lauwereyns) [Headless Little Viper] Ghent, Belgium: Druksel, 2009.
  • 馬を野に放つ. (co-authored by Kiwao Nomura, with images by Kris Martin; bilingual edition with a Dutch translation by Jan Lauwereyns) [Loose a Horse in the Field] Ghent, Belgium: Druksel, 2011.

In French[edit]

  • Baudelaise. (co-authored by Shoichiro Iwakiri, with visual work by Elly Strik; bilingual edition with a Dutch translation by Jan Lauwereyns) Ghent, Belgium: Druksel, 2012.

Selected honors and awards[edit]


  1. ^ Platt, Michael L.; Takikawa, Yoriko; Kawagoe, Reiko; Kobayashi, Shunsuke; Koizumi, Masashi; Coe, Brian; Sakagami, Masamichi; Hikosaka, Okihide (2002). "Caudate cues to rewarding clues". Neuron. 33 (3): 463–473. doi:10.1016/S0896-6273(02)00571-8. PMID 11832232.
  2. ^ Gold, Joshua I. (2003). "Linking reward expectation to behavior in the basal ganglia". Trends in Neurosciences. 26 (1): 12–14. CiteSeerX doi:10.1016/S0166-2236(02)00002-4. PMID 12495856.
  3. ^ a b Carpenter, R.H.S. "Jan Lauwereyns". The MIT Press. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Thomson, Heidi. "Jan Lauwereyns". Poetry International Web. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  5. ^ Robertson, Peter. "Jan Lauwereyns". The International Literary Quarterly. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  6. ^ Tanaka, Yosuke (May 2009). "Yan Rorensu". Gendaishi Techo (Japan). 5: 82–83.
  7. ^ De Geest, D.; Dewulf, J. (2012). Poetry of the Low Countries. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry & Poetics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. p. 824. ISBN 978-0-691-13334-8.
  8. ^ Joosten, Jos; Vaessens, Thomas (2006). Postmodern Poetry Meets Modernist Discourse: Contemporary Poetry in the Low Countries. Cultural Identity and Postmodern Writing VII. Amsterdam/New York, NY: Rodopi. pp. 15–54. ISBN 978-90-420-2118-1. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011.
  9. ^ Meduna, Veronika. "Neuroscience and poetry". Radio New Zealand National / Our Changing World. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  10. ^ Nomura, Mariko. "Shi-Nou (Brain and Poetry)". El Sur, Tokyo. Archived from the original on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  11. ^ Messerli, Douglas (27 June 2011). "Jan Lauwereyns". The PIP (Project for Innovative Poetry) Blog. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  12. ^ Gosselink, Carol A. (2010). "My bias about the book on bias". PsycCRITIQUES. 55 (39): 39.4. doi:10.1037/a0020804.
  13. ^ Colombo, Matteo (2010). "Jan Lauwereyns. "The Anatomy of Bias: How Neural Circuits Weigh the Options"". Journal of Consciousness Studies. 17: 254–259.
  14. ^ Freeman, Mark (2011). "Bias mania: Science, poetry, and the possibility of their union. Book review of "The Anatomy of Bias: How Neural Circuits Weigh the Options" by Jan Lauwereyns". American Journal of Psychology. 124 (4): 494–500. doi:10.5406/amerjpsyc.124.4.0494.
  15. ^ Clark, Rosie (2013). "Brain and the gaze: On the active boundaries of vision by J Lauwereyns". Perception. 42 (7): 793–794. doi:10.1068/p4207rvw.
  16. ^ Farina, Mirko (2013). "Jan Lauwereyns: Brain and the Gaze: on the active boundaries of vision". Biology and Philosophy. 28 (6): 1029–1038. doi:10.1007/s10539-013-9382-2.
  17. ^ "Jan Lauwereyns Wins the 2012 VSB Poetry Prize". Poetry International Web. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  18. ^ Schouten, Rob. "Jan Lauwereyns" (PDF). The Flemish Literature Fund. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  19. ^ Van der Straeten, Bart (2008). "Understanding is a concept that we cannot understand. On the bridge between poetry and science". TLC/The Low Countries. 16: 248–259.
  20. ^ Bousset, Hugo. "Over Lieve God". DWB. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  21. ^ DeFord, Susie. "Subtext. Rachel Levitsky: Won't you be my neighbor?". Bomblog / Newark Museum. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  22. ^ Velter, Johan. "Druksel". Druksel. Retrieved 7 February 2011.

External links[edit]

  • Official lab page [1]
  • Kyushu University database [2]
  • ORCID [3]
  • Poetry International Web [4]
  • Struga Poetry Evenings [5]
  • The MIT Press [6]
  • DeBuren, Radiobooks [7]
  • Flanders Literature [8]
  • Polis, CogitoErgoZus [9]