Dr. Matthieu de Wit

Matthieu deWit Profile Picture

Assistant Professor of Neuroscience
Shankweiler 243S / 484-664-4485
matthieudewit@muhlenberg.edu / Website
 
Education
drs. (M.S.), University of Amsterdam
Ph.D., University of Hong Kong
Postdoctoral fellow, Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute

Research Interests: cognitive neuroscience / perception and action / embodied cognition

Research Program

My lab asks questions about the role of the brain in the production of behavior and cognition in human beings. We approach this topic from the perspective of cognitive neuroscience. That is, we study brain regions and systems (rather than, say, neurons or neurotransmitters).
More specifically, at the behavioral level we ask how action and perception affect each other, and how each both affects and is affected by cognition. At the neural level, we try to characterize the functional profile of brain regions and networks involved in these processes: are they best described as pluripotent (functionally diverse) neural resources, or do they operate more like (functionally specific) neural modules (as has traditionally been argued)?

A basic starting point for our research is the idea that (the brains of) human beings are both embodied (having particular bodies and abilities) and situated (living in particular environments that provide them with particular opportunities for action, that is, with affordances). Practically speaking, this means that in our studies research participants are typically actively engaging with and reporting about (real or virtual reality - VR) stimuli that are meaningful to them, while we indirectly (using dual task paradigms) or directly (using functional near-infrared spectroscopy - fNIRS) study the brain activity that accompanies their actions and perceptual experiences.

In addition to cognitive neuroscience we are also interested in subdisciplines of philosophy that are relevant to cognitive neuroscience such as philosophy of neuroscience, philosophy of mind, and phenomenology.

Courses

  • Mind & Brain (NSC 201)
  • Brain & Behavior (NSC 310)
  • Embodied Cognition (NSC 387)
  • Philosophy of Neuroscience (NSC 384)
  • Advanced Seminar in Neuroscience (NSC 401)