Tilburg University department Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence



This project seeks to develop advanced machine-learning methods that can deal with sparse data. The sparsity may be in the limited number of instances available or in the limited number of labels available. Dealing with sparse data will be achieved by means of (i) transfer learning, (ii) structured approaches such as Graph Convolutional Networks, and (iii) unsupervised, self-supervised and semi-supervised methods. In the context of DH applications, these advanced deep-learning methods will assist users in integrating their explicit domain knowledge with implicit knowledge acquired from sparse data by deep learning models. Contact person: Prof. Dr. Eric Postma


This project will facilitate care service providers in designing and deploying personalized, integrated care prevention and intervention measures against dementia and frailty towards significantly and evidently improving the individuals’ wellbeing and quality of life. Contact person: Prof. Dr. Willem-Jan van den Heuvel

Icon project: From impoverished to enriched brains: a lifespan perspective on the link between poverty, nutrition, cognitive functioning and underlying brain networks

The aim of this research project is to uncover how poverty affects cognitive processes and life and unveil the underlying neural mechanisms by examining alterations in brain networks related to various poverty indicators, including malnutrition, from a lifespan perspective. Using digital science tools on large-scale databases, the goal is to advance knowledge, promote equitable opportunities and contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty. Contact person: Çiçek Güven

Project duration: 2023-2027

Icon project: Case-Inclusive Transparency for a Digital and Open Government (CITaDOG)

CITaDOG will assess to what extent public disclosure of single-case decisions as open data can strengthen transparency in administrative decision-making. This ‘case-inclusive transparency’ should empower citizens as watchdogs (‘citadogs’), thereby strengthening equality of arms between citizens and governments and increasing the legitimacy of administrative single-case decision-making. Contact person: Samaneh Khoshrou

Project duration: 2023-2027

Icon project: AI Deployment Journey in Healthcare: Governance, Design, and Adoption

The main issues of applying AI in healthcare practice concern the potential errors and patient harm, algorithmic bias caused by bad data and the application outside the scope, lack of transparency, persistent trust issues, the difficulty of deployment in the routine clinical care, privacy issues of medical records, liability with AI, and the risk of increased health inequalities. Aim of this project is to develop an integral system of practices, processes, and technological tools to support healthcare organizations’ deployment of AI technologies. Contact person: Marie Postma

Project duration: 2024-2028

Growth project: NAIL: Nail based Artificial Intelligence image Learning for measuring iron status

Combining expertise in machine learning, image analysis and app development with a collaboration with Sanquin blood bank, offers a unique opportunity to develop and validate a smartphone app able to measure hemoglobin levels from a picture of your fingernails. Contact person: Elisabeth Huis in 't Veld

Growth project: Mobile Cognitive Assessment for all Ages – Development of the Cognition App CogniA

Together with Sanquin, the only Dutch blood donation organization, this project aims (1) to develop a mobile application to assess cognition and (2) to validate the app with blood donors of all ages. The project outcomes will create synergies between psychological and public health research using digital sciences. Contact person: Elisabeth Huis in 't Veld

Growth project: Investigating mind-wandering while driving with a continuous virtual-reality driving task

To study whether mind wandering can be detected or even predicted from people’s eye movements and pupillary changes, a virtual reality driving simulator will be designed. Because it is also important to understand when mind wandering becomes dangerous, the project will also shed light on how different types and degrees of mind wandering affect driving behaviors. Working closely with Veilig Verkeer Nederland ensures that the project findings will be translated into campaigns to promote safe and attentive driving. Contact person: Myrthe Faber

Project duration: 2023-2024

Growth project: Developing a Pitch and Intensity Test (PINT) to measure second language learners’ auditory perception

Despite some investigation of duration as rhythmic property in the context of second language learning, little is known about the perception of pitch and intensity as syntactic markers. In this project a rhythmic test will be developed to measure second language learners’ perception of pitch and intensity in the context of the temporal organization of sounds, namely rhythm. So a better understanding of the auditory plasticity of second language learners can be gained and used to develop an explicit training of the relevant properties for different language background. This training may, in turn, aid individuals' second language segmentation and comprehension skills. Contact person: Paula Roncaglia

Project duration: 2023-2024

Growth project: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of gender-based discrimination in Translation Technology

This project focuses on investigating why and under which circumstances current Machine Translation systems perpetuate gender bias, how an ethical framework can evaluate and tackle it, and whether existing legal frameworks recognize and redress gendered linguistic injustice in this context. Contact person: Eva Vanmassenhove

Project duration: 2023-2024

SignON (Dimitar Shterionov)

SignON (Sign Language Translation Mobile Application and Open Communications Framework) (European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme). SignON is a user-centric and community-driven project that aims to research and develop an innovative machine translation framework and a mobile application to facilitate the exchange of information among deaf and hard of hearing, and hearing individuals. Contact person: Dimitar Shterionov

Project duration: 2021-2023

Black Box of Deep Learning (Afra Alishahi, Grzegorz Chrupala)

Opening the Black Box of Deep Learning for Language, Speech and Music (NWO). Project lead: Dr. Jelle Zuidema – University of Amsterdam; with (among others)  Afra Alishahi and Grzegorz Chrupała.  Deep learning is producing AI models so accurate that they are significantly affecting individuals, businesses and society. New responsibilities and questions are arising, and the poor interpretability of deep learning is a serious limitation. The consortium studies how to make deep learning transparent and ‘explainable’ for speech, language, and music applications.

Project duration: 2021-2026

MasterMinds project

The MasterMinds project consists of five innovative research projects, in which 15 partners work together to develop breakthroughs with interactive artificial intelligence technologies such as Serious Gaming, Virtual Reality, Data Science and Avatars.

Go to the Masterminds project.

MindLabs (Pieter Spronck)

MindLabs (2019-2023). Provincie Brabant. Contact person: Pieter Spronck

MindLabs (2017-2027). Gemeente Tilburg. Contact person: Pieter Spronck

Project duration: 2020-2024

FAINT (Lisanne Huis in 't Veld)

FAINT: FAcial INfrared Thermal Imaging in the prevention of needle-induced fainting. Contact person: Lisanne Huis in ‘t Veld.

Coordination and complexity (Travis Wiltshire)

Coordination and complexity: Augmenting team adaptive performance in crisis situations with wearable technology (2020-2024). Travis Wiltshire acquired a grant together with Josette Gevers (TU/e) as part of the Complexity and Creative Industry program of NWO. More information can be found below and at the NWO site (in Dutch). The grant covers two PhDs and workshops with the consortium partners. Joint project with Josette Gevers (TU/e). Contact person: Travis Wiltshire.

Project duration: 2020-2024

WeCare (Sharon Ong, Sebastian Olier, Lisanne Huis in 't Veld)

WeCare project AI and overcoming needle phobia (2021): Project with ETZ. Contact person: Lisanne Huis in ‘t Veld.

Project duration: 2021-2023

Project duration: 

WeCare seed project AI and Radiology (2020): Joint project with ETZ. Contact persons: Sharon Ong and Sebastian Olier.

Project duration: 2020-2021

WeCare seed project AI and Neurology/Neuropsychology (2020): Joint project with ETZ. Sebastian Olier and Sharon Ong.

Project duration: 2020-2020

Completed projects
NWO KIEM ICT ODYN (2020-2021). Contact person: Travis Wiltshire.
NWO KIEM (2020). Contact person: Martin Atzmueller.
NWO Take-off grant FAINT (2020): to investigate the practical and commercial feasibility of a serious game, for smartphones and tablets, that can help people to overcome needle fright. Joint project with Sanquin. Contact person: Lisanne Huis in ‘t Veld.
Understanding visually grounded spoken language via multi-tasking project awarded in the context of the Accelerating Scientific Discovery (ASDI) call (2019-2021). Contact persons: Grzegorz Chrupała and Afra Alishahi.
Uni-fonds Huijbers Alzheimer's disease (2019-2020). Uni-fonds. Contact person: Marijn van Wingerden.
NWO VENI (2018-2022): Why people get faint and fearful due to needles and blood. Individual grant. Joint research with Sanquin Research. Contact person: Lisanne Huis in 't Veld.
COMENIUS senior grant (2018-2021): Netherlands Initiative for Education Research (NRO) Project to integrate research and education in the context of virtual and mixed reality (DAF technology Lab). The Virtual Reality Lab participates in the execution of the project. Contact person: Marie Postma.
VIBE (Virtual Humans in the Brabant Economy) (2018-2021): OP ZUID, European Union, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Province of North Brabant, and the Municipality of Tilburg 13 corporate partners and knowledge institutions collaborate on the development and evaluation of virtual humans using virtual reality and interactive AI technology. Contact person: Max Louwerse.
DATA2GAME (2017-2021): NWO University of Twente, enhanced efficacy of computerised training via player modelling and individually tailored scenarios. Contact person: Pieter Spronck
MODUS (2017-2021): DFG Model-based Anomaly Pattern Detection and Analysis in Ubiquitous and Social Interaction Networks. Contact person: Martin Atzmueller
CAMPIONE Condition-Based maintenance (2015-2020): OP ZUID, European Union, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Province of North-Brabant, municipalities of Tilburg and Gilze-Rijen) 33 corporate partners and knowledge institutions are working together on predicting on-time maintenance. Contact person: Max Louwerse.
REVIGO: NWO Technical University of Delft, Van Gogh Museum, and Cultural Heritage Agency. REassessing VIncent van GOgh by means of digital analysis techniques. Contact person: Eric Postma.
DAF Technology Lab: Philanthropic donation Development of a virtual and mixed reality facility, together with sensing technologies to measure physiological and cognitive behavior. Contact person: Max Louwerse.
Extracting user characteristics from linguistic data. Private funding. Data science and computational linguistic analyses to identify user characteristics in language data.
Data Science solutions to enhance pension communication: Netspar/NWO Collaboration with the Tilburg School of Economics and Management. Contact person: Eric Postma.
Transparency of Deep Learning. KPN JADS, Eindhoven University of Technology. Develop methods to make trained deep learning algorithms explainable. Contact persons: Henry Brighton and Eric Postma.
COSLI: NWO Natural AI program AI for learning to communicate in interaction. Contact persons: Paul Vogt and Afra Alishahi.
Aspasia: NWO Aspasia provides grants to help more female scientists progress to associate and full professorships. Contact person: Afra Alishahi.
IMPACT: Smartphone use by adolescents. Tilburg University Impact theme fund Joint project of DCC, DCA, and Tilburg School for Social and Behavioural Sciences, study on the relationship between smartphone use and adolescent’s health and wellbeing using logging, mobile experience sampling, and machine learning. Contact person: Andrew Hendrickson.
HADZA communication: EC Marie Sklodowska-Curie Project to study the development of communication among Hadza hunter-gatherers using wearable technology. Contact person: Paul Vogt.
OpenSoNaR: CLARIN-NL KNAW Huygens and Meertens and several other Dutch partners. The OpenSoNaR project provided end users with the online means for extracting information from the SoNaR-500 reference corpus of contemporary written Dutch. Contact person: Martin Reynaert.
TraMOOC: EU, H2020 10 academic partners from the EU. Translation for Massive Open Online Courses. Contact person: Menno van Zaanen.
PICCL: CLARIAH KNAW Huygens. PICCL is the acronym for ‘Philosophical Integrator of Computational and Corpus Libraries’. Contact person: Martin Reynaert.
Data Science voor Alfa en Gamma SURF Open University, platform to facilitate data science education for non-technical students. Contact person: Marie Postma.
TiCCLing Philosophy: CLARIN-NL University of Amsterdam, Free University Amsterdam, KNAW Huygens. A TEI corpus-building workflow towards a new computational methodology for philosophy. Contact person:Martin Reynaert.
NAMES: CLARIAH pilot Utrecht University, INT, KNAW Huygens. This project aims to develop a gold standard for Dutch person name variants. Contact person: Martin Reynaert.
Medical Image classification challenge VWdata consortium JADS, Radboud University Nijmegen. Developing a medical image classification challenge. Contact person: Willem Huijbers.
Zwijsen project: Zwijsen publishers Keeping struggling students from illiteracy using design thinking.  Contact persons: Andrew Hendrickson and Emmanuel Keuleers.
EarlyWritePro: Developing methods for understanding early writing through analysis of process dysfluencies. 5 international universities. Contact person: Rianne Conijn.
PMD: Tilburg University Tilburg School of Behavioral Science (TSB), Personalize Memory Diagnostic from large scale data. Contact person: Willem Huijbers.
MRI2PET: Nvidea Corporation MRI to PET translation with deep learning. Contact person: Willem Huijbers.
CERTIF-AI NWO: The aim of the CERTIF-AI project is to use the large amount of data generated by production equipment and machines to certify processes, improve product quality and diagnose problems. From CSAI, Eric Postma and Sebastian Olier are involved in the supervision of the Gabriel Raya, the JADS PhD on the project, with a focus on generative deep learning methods. The project is a collaboration of JADS, Tilburg University, Eindhoven University of Technology, and the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences (HU). The industrial partners are Damen Shipyards, Omron, Additive Industries and VTEC.  
Di-Plast (Martin Atzmueller): Using interactive data science, intelligent analytics and smart sensoring for enabling the digital circular economy for the plastics industry. Joint project with JADS. Contact person: Martin Atzmueller.
Nederlab: NWO Groot KNAW Meertens Institute. Nederlab, online laboratory for humanities research on Dutch text collections. Tilburg involvement: 9 months. Contact person: Martin Reynaert.
L2TOR: European Commission in the framework of Horizon 2020 Consortium of European universities develop and evaluate a social robot for second language tutoring to preschool children. Contact person: Paul Vogt.
AI for Art (2020-2022): Eurostars project. Joint project with Art Recognition. Contact person: Eric Postma.