Matthias Nau

Cognitive neuroscientist at the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, USA

Welcome to my website

I am an incoming Assistant Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in collaboration with the Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging starting on January 01, 2024. Currently, I am pursuing my postdoctoral research in the lab of Chris Baker at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda (USA). This is a personal website and I do not represent the NIH here.

Research Interests

My research focuses on the links between spontaneous natural behaviors and brain activity during vision, imagery, and memory recall. Our ongoing experience is grounded in our behavior and vice versa, and both depend on and determine what we remember. This inseparability poses a challenge: behavioral, neural, and mental states must be studied together, and neural activity can only be interpreted with behavior in mind.

My Work seeks to address this challenge, both on a theoretical and methodological level, by characterizing how human brain activity, complex behaviors (such as viewing and navigation), and our experiences (e.g., during visual perception and memory) are grounded in each other. To do so, I combine neuroimaging and eye tracking with naturalistic stimuli and virtual reality, with focus on multi-task studies to find general principles. In addition, I develop open access Resources to push the boundaries of how human behavior can be studied using neuroimaging and machine learning.

Education & Experience

Starting 01/2024 - Assistant Professor of Computational Cognitive Neuroscience
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Section of Cognitive Psychology, Amsterdam, NL.

Since 11/2020 - Postdoctoral researcher
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Laboratory of Brain and Cognition (LBC), Bethesda, MD, USA. PI: Christopher I. Baker
Supported by a Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation .

01/2020 - 10/2020 - Postdoctoral researcher
Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, Centre for Neural Computation, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway. PI: Christian F. Doeller

09/2016 - 01/2020 - PhD Candidate
Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, Centre for Neural Computation, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway. PI: Christian F. Doeller

04/2016 - 08/2016 - Research Assistant
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition & Behaviour, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. PI: Christian F. Doeller

11/2014 - 03/2016 - Research Assistant
Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, Tübingen, Germany. PI: Andreas Bartels

11/2014 - Master of Science
University of Tübingen, Neurobiology, Tübingen, Germany.

04/2019 - 04/2023 - Guest researcher
Max-Planck-Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany.

11/2014 - 03/2016 - Guest researcher
Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany.