Tilburg University department Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence


The research of the CS&AI research program focuses on the cognitive sciences and artificial Intelligence, combining the measuring of mental and behavioral processing, the modelling of these processes in computational models, and the testing of these computational models with experiments. A considerable part of the research is based on the development and use of methods from data science. The research topics addressed by the group are wide and varied and are all related to aspects of cognitive science and artificial intelligence, including computational linguistics (language and text analytics), image recognition, affective computing (social signal processing), deep learning (neural networks), speech and voice analytics, multimodal communication, automated face and gesture analytics, decision making, cognitive modeling, virtual, mixed and augmented reality, (serious) gaming, robotics, and avatars.

Within our education the DCA department is responsible for the Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence (CSAI) Bachelor, the CSAI Master, as well as the university-wide Master Data Science & Society (formerly known as Data Science: Business and Governance). The department also contributes to the Eindhoven University of Technology / Tilburg University combined Bachelor Data Science and the Master Data Science & Entrepreneurship (Jheronimus Academy of Data Science or JADS). 

Research Groups

Human-Technology Interaction

A main activity of the research unit is the programming and building of robots, simulations, and games that exhibit a considerable degree of autonomous decision making. We study the behavior of these systems in real or simulated environments in interaction with a human user. To improve their performance, we make use of data gathered through smart phones and sensor technology.

  1. E-health Innovations with Cognitive Neuroscience & AI
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Elisabeth Huis in ‘t Veld, MBA
  2. AI for Robotics (AIR-Lab)
    Principal Investigators: Dr. Murat Kirtay, Dr. Giacomo Spigler
  3. Computational Modelling of Health & Well-being Data
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Drew Hendrickson
  4. Virtual Interactive Environments for Human Improvement
    Principal Investigators: Dr. Michal Klincewicz, Dr. Paris Mavromoustakos Blom
Deep Learning for Perception

The introduction of deep learning in society requires a careful calibration of human and machine decision making in contexts hallmarked by a high degree of complexity and uncertainty. In our research we study generative models of perception. We also address transparency and explainability of deep learning models, in combination with techniques designed to reduce complexity of deep learning architectures.

  1. Deep Learning for Medical Image Data
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Sharon Ong
  2. Tilburg Algorithm Observatory
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Henry Brighton
  3. AI for Nature and Environment
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Dan Stowell
  4. Vision and Imaging Data Analytics
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Koen Haak
Computational Linguistics and Psycholinguistics

Research in the Computational Linguistics and Psycholinguistics group mainly relies on statistical machine learning and (hierarchical) Bayesian modelling, as well as advanced deep neural models for processing linguistic and visual data. A number of research projects attempt to improve our understanding of human cognition by building formal and computational models of human language acquisition and use. Knowledge of how humans process language is in turn used to develop better applied systems and general-purpose tools and techniques for processing large collections of linguistic and extralinguistic data.

  1. Multimodal Language Learning
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Grzegorz Chrupała
  2. Computational Methods for Linguistic and Behavioral Research
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Emmanuel Keuleers
  3. Inclusive and Sustainable Machine Translation
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Dimitar Shterionov
  4. Computational Cognitive Models of Language Processing
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Bruno Nicenboim
Computational Models of Brain and Behaviour

The use of machine learning and deep learning algorithms to analyze neurophysiological data has improved our understanding of the human brain and allows for the creation of new types of non-invasive interfaces based on fMRI, EEG and sensor data. Researchers in the group explore a wide range of cognitive phenomena including attention, memory, perception, and production and comprehension of language, with applications in education, computational psychiatry and user-specific therapeutic interventions. 

  1. Computational Psychiatry
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Marijn van Wingerden
  2. Neurocomputation of Language
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Harm Brouwer
  3. Attention, Memory and Consciousness
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Myrthe Faber
  4. Collective Cognition and Complexity Science
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Travis Wiltshire
Data Science, Safety and Security
  1. Military Decision Making and Intelligence Analysis
  2. Semi-autonomous Systems Optimization
  3. Cybersecurity
  4. Ethical Aspects of AI for Defense Purposes

Research Collaborations

ILUSTRE - Caribbean Sustainability Lab

The Curaçao-based ILUSTRE lab is a living lab in the Caribbean with the objective to develop, implement and test AI innovations that will accelerate the energy transition and advance solutions in water treatment and wastewater recycling/purification. It focuses on long-term academic research and talent development in the Caribbean and Latin American region to make significant steps in
attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) and 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy). The lab is a collaboration with LaNubia Consulting (cofunding partner), the University of Curaçao, Aqualectra, WEB Bonaire, Alliander, KPN and the Ministry of Economic Development of Curaçao.

Read more about ILUSTRE.

ELSA Lab Defence

Research collaboration with TNO, TU/Delft, NLDA, University of Leiden, Ministry of Defense, The Hague Center for Strategic Studies, HSD, Asser Institute, and The Hague University of Applied Sciences on responsible use of military AI-based applications, such as (semi-)autonomous robots and cognitive warfare, in a broad societal context.

Read more about ELSA Lab Defence.

MasterMinds AI Lab

Research collaboration with 13 industrial, governmental and knowledge partners that aims to develop interactive AI technologies such as serious gaming, augmented, and virtual reality, intelligent tutoring systems, natural language processing, and data science.

Read more about MasterMinds AI Lab

LaRa - KPN Responsible AI Lab

Research collaborations with the Jheronymus Academy of Data Science and KPN CRM & Analytics in data science, decision making, privacy, and compliance.

Read more about LaRa - KPN Responsible AI Lab.