Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience

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Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience
Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience Logo.png
MottoMaster the Mind
TypeResearch Institute
PurposeFundamental Neuroscience Research
HeadquartersAmsterdam, 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 19 research groups. In addition, the NIN includes the Netherlands Brain Bank and the Netherlands Sleep Registry.


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”. Under director Prof C. U. Ariëns Kappers (director 1909–1946) 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[edit]

The institute is led by a board of directors composed of 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 19 research groups led by scientists of international renown: Damiaan Denys and Ingo Willuhn, Chris De Zeeuw, Rainer Goebel, Alexander Heimel, Inge Huitinga, Andries Kalsbeek, Maarten Kamermans, Helmut Kessels, Christian Keysers, Maarten Kole, Christiaan Levelt, Christian Lohmann, Pieter Roelfsema, Dick Swaab, Eus Van Someren, Joost Verhaagen, Susanne La Fleur, Birte Forstmann, Valeria Gazzola.

Grants and Prizes[edit]

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 and Christian Keysers is a member of the Young Academy of Europe.

Research Infrastructure[edit]

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 hosting 3T and 7T MRI systems for human neuroscience, which is situated in the same premises.