our mission:

We aim at understanding how the brain controls our movements and how it learns to perform new ones by means of detailed kinematic analyses of movement trajectories. We focus on age- and disease-related effects on these sensorimotor processes.

latest news

Dec 2023
The Funds for Flemish Research (FWO) has awarded a new project grant to the lab. This project in collaboration with An De Groef is entitled Multifaceted approach to investigate position sense in health and disease. We will be recruiting two PhD students to work on this project. Contact me if you are interested in working on that topic.

Nov 2023
Two new papers just accepted. First one is led by Lisa Decraene and in collaboration with Hilde Feys on bimanual coordination in 50 typically-developing children and 50 children with cerebral palsy: In-depth quantification of bimanual coordination using the Kinarm exoskeleton robot in children with unilateral cerebral palsy. The second is the last paper from the PhD thesis of Veerle de Rond (Promotor is Alice Nieuwboer) and has been accepted in Scientific report: Neural correlates of weight-shift training in older adults: a randomized controlled study.

Sept 2023
Congratulations to Pauline Hermans and Koen Vandevoorde for the preprint entitled Not fleeting but lasting: Limited influence of aging on implicit adaptative motor learning and its short-term retention. This preprint has been submitted to the PeerCommunity in Health and Movement Sciences

Sept 2023
Congratulations to Leen Saenen whose paper entitled The differential effect of age on upper limb sensory processing, proprioception and motor function has been accepted at Journal of Neurophysiology

Sept 2023
We welcome Frea Deroost and Jef Leplae to the team. They will work on the MAESTRO project where they will investigate the effect of aging on bike abilities. Co-promotor is Friedl De Groote.

Summer 2023
2023 will be an amazing year in terms of paper as several projects are being completed and papers accepted. Veerle De Rond has a third paper accepted on muscle activity of lower back muscles during weight-shifting: Lower back muscle activity during weight-shifting is affected by ageing and dual-tasking. Britt Vandoorent has a first PhD paper accepted: Effect of transcranial direct current stimulation on learning in older adults with and without Parkinson’s disease: A systematic review with meta-analysis, Finally, the preprint with the group of Konstantina Kilteni has been accepted at JNeurophysiology: Aging exerts a limited influence on the perception of self-generated and externally generated touch. Congrats to all those involved.

May 2023
Our C2-project entitled MAeSTRO: neuro-Musculosketetal ASsessement and Training of Older adults for safe (e-)cycling has been awarded. Two new PhD-students will be recruited. This is a collaboration with my colleagues Friedl De Groote and Jannique Van Uffelen.

May 2023
New meta-science paper issued from an online collaboration and led by Olivier Corneille (UCLouvain, Belgium): Point of View: Beware ‘persuasive communication devices’ when writing and reading scientific articles. Twitter thread here

May 2023
Congratulations to Veerle de Rond for her PhD thesis entitled Shifting the gear on shifting weight: behavioral, neural and neuromuscular correlates of ageing. Her main promotor is Alice Nieuwboer.

April 2023
Just back from the NCM conference in Victoria where we talked about our research. Anouck Matthijs presented a poster entitled ” Can physical resilience explain the variability in age-related changes in motor function? “. Anda De witte had a poster on” Cerebellum-Dependent Motor Prediction and Adaptation in Healthy Old Adults versus Young Adults “. The poster of Stien Van De Plas was about” Aging is detrimental to sensory function. Or is it? Let’s have a look at touch and proprioception. “. Finally, JJ organized a panel session on” Age- and disease-related changes in the cerebellum impact motor function “. Other speakers included Di Cao (Hopkins), Jovin Jacobs (Champalimaud) and Alanna Watt (Mc Gill). JJO gave a talk entiteld”Is there a cerebellar motor reserve “.

March 2023
New preprint led by Lili Timar from the team of Konstantina Kilteni: Aging exerts a limited influence on the perception of self-generated and externally generated touch. It was a real pleasure to collaborate with them on this topic. This is a very strong paper methodologically (high sample size, pre-registered).

December 2022
Congratulations to Leen Saenen for defending her PhD entitled: Upper limb sensory processing: development of a robotic paradigm.

Nov 2022
Congratulations to Silke Kerstens for a new paper: A novel tDCS control condition using optimized anesthetic gel to block peripheral nerve input. First of a series with Myles McLaughlin

Older News
Nov 2022
Take-over of Twitter by EM did not please many people including me… Therefore, I am tweeting less and tooting more. You can find me at

July 2022
Congratulations to Leen Saenen for her first first-author paper on sensory processing/haptic perception in stroke patients: Development and Validation of a Novel Robot-Based Assessment of Upper Limb Sensory Processing in Chronic Stroke. First joint paper with my colleague Geert Verheyden
Leen also has a new preprint on the effect of age on haptic perception : The differential effect of age on upper limb sensory processing, proprioception and motor function

summer 2022
JJ goes to Canada for his sabbatical until summer 2023. He will work with Andrew Pruszynski, Joern Diedrichsen and Paul Gribble at Western University (London,ON, Canada)

May-June 2022
Bike project will not be funded by an internal grant of KU Leuven, at least not this year. But comments are encouraging and give us food for thoughts. It’s rejection season, no fellowship from FWO to Anouck either (not yet ;-) )

1st of May 2022
We are sad to see Matheus Maia Pacheco leaving our group but we wish a lot of success for his new adventure as an assistant Professor at the University of Porto in Portugal.

March-April 2022
Many grants and fellowship were submitted:

  • application for a FWO PhD fellowship for Anouck Mathijs
  • senior FWO research project with An De Groef
  • C2 internal grant on the bike project with Friedl De Groote, Jannique Van Uffelen and Kathrin Gerling.

March 2022
The first pre-print of our bike project with Maarten Afschrift, Anouck Mathijs and Friedl De Groote is out: Turning the head while biking makes older people lose cycling direction and balance

November 2021
Just before Christmas, the first paper of Manasa Parthasharathy has been accepted for publication at the Journal of Neuropshysiology: Increased upper-limb sensory attenuation with age

November 2021
We waved goodbye to Manasa Parthasharathy who became Business Development Manager at icometrix

Summer 2021
Our team is growing. We welcome Anda De Witte on the 1st of July and Anouck Matthijs on the 1st of September. They will work on the FWO-funded project: “Is there a motor reserve in the cerebellum”. Exciting times!

23 July 2021
The last paper from the PhD of Koen Vandevoorde has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Neurophysiology: “Does proprioceptive acuity influence the extent of implicit sensorimotor adaptation in young and older adults?”. This is the last piece of a very enjoyable and fruitful collaboration.

31 May 2021
Congrats to Veerle for the acceptance of her first first-author paper entitled “Compromised Brain Activity With Age During a Game-Like Dynamic Balance Task: Single- vs. Dual-Task Performance”. Well done Veerle !

22nd of March, 2021
Last paper from the PhD thesis of Guy Rens has been accepted at Neuropsychologia: Motor resonance is modulated by an object’s weight distribution. Well done Guy! Preprint

15th of March, 2021
New preprint with Ryan Morehead (Leeds University, UK): A Synthesis of the Many Errors and Learning Processes of Visuomotor Adaptation.
The tweeprint made by Ryan is available here:

February/March, 2021
I am recruiting two PhD students to work on a FWO-funded project focused on cerebellar motor functions, aging and structural imaging. Please apply here:

February/March, 2021
Dante Mantini and Jean-Jacques are thrilled to welcome Matheus Pacheco as a post-doc. Matheus will use EEG to unravel age-related changes in error processing.

January 2021
JJ was interviewed on Open Science. You can read the interview here: An open scientist helps research and himself or herself to move forward

January 20th 2021
Congrats to Guy Rens who got his paper entitled “Lift observation conveys object weight distribution but partly enhances predictive lift planning” accepted for publication in the Journal of Neurophysiology.

December, 2020
Jean-Jacques got a grant from the FWO (Flemish Research Foundation) to work on a project entitled: “Is there a motor reserve in the cerebellum”. This project focuses on measuring age-related changes in motor function based on a large task battery and included structural MRI as well.

November, 2020
Paper with Friedl De Groote , Stefanie Vandevyvere and Florian Vanhevel accepted by Gait & Posture (after a very long review process that did not really change the paper) (paper). Preprint is available here. Data and code are on the Open Science Framework (LINK)

Octobre 1st, 2020
Stien Van De Plas starts her PhD today. Welcome Stien! She will work on the role of somatosensation on motor control for the next four years. Co-promotor is Dante Mantini.

September 20, 2020
Two new papers published in the Special Issue of the Journal of Computational Neuroscience dedicated to Lance Optican. See the publication page.

July 1, 2020
Koen Vandevoorde’s paper was published in Journal of Neurophysiology (paper). Preprint is available here

June 15, 2020
The departement of Movement Sciences is recruiting two tenure-track professors:

  1. motor control and neuroimaging: link

  2. motor control and performance in competitive and elite sports: link

Come and join us!!

June 3, 2020
Together with Prof. Dante Mantini, we are recruiting a PhD student to work on the influence of a decline in somatosensory function on motor control and learning. Vacancy is available here Note, the candidate has to be fluent in Dutch as s/he has to act as teaching assistant in that language

June 1st, 2020
Never forget to submit your paper as preprint first! We did forget to do it for this one but after being 4 months under review at Gait&Posture, we decided that it was enough. Preprint entitled “Validation of a smartphone embedded inertial measurement unit for measuring postural stability in older adults” is available here

May 27, 2020
Together with Prof. Dante Mantini, we are recruiting a post-doc to work on EEG and motor adaptation. Vacancy is available here

May 9, 2020
Koen Vandevoorde got his paper accepted in Journal of Neurophysiology. Preprint is available here

March 31, 2020
Congrats to Guy Rens who got his paper entitled Sensorimotor Expectations Bias Motor Resonance during Observation of Object Lifting: The Causal Role of pSTS accepted in Journal of Neuroscience.

Januari 20, 2020
With Prof. Friedl De Groote, we submitted a paper entitled “Validation of a smartphone embedded inertial measurement unit for measuring postural stability in older adults” to Gait&Posture.

October, 2019
Tamar Makin and JJ Orban de Xivry publish their paper on ten common statistical mistakes in eLife here. Interview about the paper: here