Cognitive Neuroscience Center (CNC)

Cognitive Neuroscience Center (CNC)

High-quality measurements and analyses of brain structure and activity Facility
High-quality measurements and analyses of brain structure and activity
We provide high-quality measurements and analyses of brain structure and activity using a range of cutting-edge technologies. Founded in 2002, the CNC is a research facility where people from the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), the University of Groningen (UG), and external users collaborate. A variety of disciplines are combined, including medicine, psychology, linguistics, biology, and artificial intelligence.

The main aim of our center is to understand the neural basis of cognitive and emotional functioning during development and ageing using different modalities including fMRI, EEG, NIRS, and neurostimulation.

We focus on various research areas:

  • Psychiatric disorders, including depression and schizophrenia
  • Cognitive ageing
  • Attentional and emotional control
  • Visual perception
  • Food perception
  • Language acquisition
  • Neurofeedback
  • Motor control

Our unique position enables us to offer assistance in conducting a wide variety of studies, including brain studies. We collaborate with the Department of Nuclear Medicine and Radiology to support the integration of PET and MR studies. In addition to data acquisition, the CNC supports researchers with analyses and statistics and also offers a work environment with its own servers for researchers, including guest researchers. Furthermore, the CNC offers commercial partners a complete brain research ‘package’ for acquisition, analysis, and reporting.


Understanding the abilities and limitations of the human brain

The fundamental research conducted at the CNC is primarily aimed at discovering the differences between the mechanisms underlying mental illnesses, such as dementia, depression, or schizophrenia. In the long run, we hope to develop and contribute to a toolbox for optimal patient care.


We support data acquisition and data analysis for researchers from the UMCG, the UG, and other parties, including clinical research organisations. Although the principal focus is on functional brain research, other types of MR scans are supported as well.

Booking information

Please contact us for booking information. You will receive the necessary information about the modality you wish to use. Let us know which modality you want to book. Before the project can start, an intake will take place to discuss the training options and plans.

Please find our contact details below.


  • The CNC can provide ample dedicated scan time using the Siemens Prisma 3T scanner in collaboration with the UMCG’s Radiology Department. State-of-the-art sequences are available for functional and structural MRI scanning, magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), and diffusion-weighted imaging (DTI). An MR-compatible eye tracker, an MR-compatible force transducer and an MR-compatible ergometer are available as well. A dummy scanner is available to train subjects and to familiarize them with the scanner environment.

  • Two independent cabins are available for EEG measurements, which are performed with a 64-channel EEG amplifier (brand and type: TMSI Refa 8-64/72). We are also able to perform parallel measurements for up to 8 participants using 40-channel Refa systems.

  • Two NIRS machines (brand: NIRx) are available to simultaneously perform NIRS and EEG measurements. The 32-channel EEG/16-channel NIRS caps are suitable for simultaneous transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). The mobile NIRS system (manufacturer: NIRx Medical Technologies) can be used both indoors and outdoors, e.g. while cycling.

  • The CNC has two fully equipped TMS labs with a MagStim Rapid stimulator and a Medtronic MagPro 100 stimulator. Four coils are available: two figure-of-eight coils, a round coil, and a placebo coil. The CNC has considerable experience of TMS studies and has completed three clinical trials involving psychiatric patients over the past eight years.

  • The CNC has various labs to measure behavioural performance. Eye trackers (EyeLink 1000) are available to study both eye movements and changes in pupil dilation. In collaboration with professionals from the experimental psychology, artificial intelligence, and ophthalmology disciplines, we developed an innovative method (pupil dilation deconvolution) to isolate and track mental effort at a high temporal resolution. A range of stimulus presentation software is available, such as E-prime, Matlab and OpenSesame.


Visiting address
University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)
Cognitive Neuroscience Center (CNC)
Antonius Deusinglaan 2
9713 AW Groningen
The Netherlands