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 – which in our view can ultimately not be seen as independent from research – the CS&AI group is responsible for the Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence (CS&AI) Bachelor, the CS&AI Master, as well as the university-wide Master Data Science & Society (formerly known as Data Science: Business and Governance). The latter has now been accredited nationally and the former two are in the process of being accredited nationally (the Bachelor CS&AI passed a first phase in the accreditation process in August 2018). The CS&AI group 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). It should be pointed out that in particular the CS&AI Bachelor and Master programs demonstrate the department’s vision on research-based education. Students perform research within the projects of CS&AI, either internal projects or projects in an environment of public-private collaboration.

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 behaviour 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
    Principle Investigator: Dr. Drew Hendrickson
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
    Principle Investigator: Dr. Henry Brighton
  3. AI for Nature and Environment
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Dan Stowell
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. Inclusive and Sustainable Machine Translation
    Principle Investigator: Dr. Dimitar Shterionov
  3. Computational Methods for Linguistic and Behavioral Research
    Principle Investigator: Dr. Emmanuel Keuleers
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. Brain-Computer Interfacing

    Principle Investigator: Dr. Maryam Alimardani

  2. Computational Psychiatry
    Principle Investigator: Dr. Marijn van Wingerden
  3. Neurocomputation of Language
    Principle Investigator: Dr. Harm Brouwer

Research Collaborations


In 2019, MindLabs, the interdisciplinary research center where Minds, Media and Technology meet, was founded as a multi-partner initiative in the field of the development of learning and training applications. MindLabs is an initiative that brings together knowledge and expertise in areas related to human-centered AI, including robotics and avatars, serious games and learning, virtual and augmented reality and language and data technologies. MindLabs operates on the interface of human and artificial minds. It hosts a series of large AI-related projects, including the Tilburg University ICAI Lab “MasterMinds”. MindLabs functions complementarily alongside other initiatives in the province, including JADS and EAISI, and is located in a dedicated building in the Tilburg city center to house all relevant AI partners. 

Read more about MindLabs.


Experiencing Virtual Reality

The DAF Technology Lab provides high-tech facilities for students, researchers, and the business community. The combination of technology and behavioral sciences expertise offers unique possibilities for innovative teaching and research. The DAF Technology Lab consists of two spaces: the Experience Room and the Research Room.

Read more about the DAF Technology Lab.

LaRa - KPN Responsibe 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.

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.