2018 – 2021
Maarten has received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Amsterdam in 2015. His thesis was about effort-based decision making in virtual reality, which was supervised by Dr. Jasper Winkel. His Master’s thesis, with Dr. Yaïr Pinto, was regarding the correlation between susceptibility to a visual illusion and the level of psychotic traits. Maarten also wrote a literature review about the results and shortcomings of current research regarding the use of ayahuasca in addiction-treatment. He received his Master’s degree, specialising in Brain & Cognition, in 2018.
In the CoPAN lab, I was a research assistant working on a virtual reality experiment regarding mimicry. In this full body experiment, we measured mimicked scratching behaviours using motion tracking devices. The study was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Mariska Kret, Dr. Antoinette van Laarhoven, and Dr. Roberta Sellaro, and ra in parrallell with the study of Dr. Esther van den Bos and Evania Fasya. We were interested in seeing how real-life mimicry translates to the virtual world. These studies have shed light on the social aspects of virtual reality, possibly allowing various forms of virtual therapy, training, and interaction to become more natural and beneficial to the people using them.
As a research assistant I created the virtual world, recorded animations, and map recorded body- and hand-movements unto a virtual agent. I set up the system so that participants are able to move their virtual bodies and hands in real time, and I conducted the finalised experiment together with the participants.