Maarten Struijk, M.Sc.


2018 – present

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.


I’m a research assistant working on a virtual reality experiment regarding mimicry. In this  full body experiment, we are measuring mimicked scratching behaviours using motion tracking devices. The study is conducted in collaboration with Dr. Mariska Kret, Dr.  Antoinette van Laarhoven, and Dr. Roberta Sellaro, and runs in parrallell with the study of Dr. Esther van den Bos and Evania Fasya. We are interested to see how real-life mimicry translates to the virtual world. These studies will 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 create the virtual world, record animations, and map recorded body- and hand-movements unto a virtual agent. I set up the system so that participants will be able to move their virtual bodies and hands in real time, and I conduct the finalised experiment together with the participants.

    Latest news
    Latest blog