IC5 – Exploring your own mind

Lecturer: Marieke van Vugt
Fields: cognitive science, contemplative science


During this talk, I will introduce the science of mind-wandering, and connect this to the topic of mindfulness. In the study of mind-wandering we empirically test how subjective experience influences objective measures such as EEG, eye-tracking and behaviour. In contrast, in mindfulness, we explore our own minds. How can you explore your own mind, and become more familiar with mind-wandering from the inside?


  • Huijser et al. (2020). Captivated by thought: “Sticky” thinking leaves traces of perceptual decoupling in task-evoked pupil size. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0243532


Marieke van Vugt
Prof. van Vugt

Dr. van Vugt is an assistant professor at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, working in the department of artificial intelligence. She obtained her PhD in model-based neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania, then worked as a postdoc at Princeton University before moving to the University of Groningen. In her lab, she focuses on understanding the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying decision making, mind-wandering and meditation by means of EEG, behavioural studies and computational modeling. In some slightly outside-the-box research, she also records the brain waves of Tibetan monks and dancers.

Affiliation: University of Groningen
Homepage: https://mkvanvugt.wordpress.com