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Dr. Rob van der Lubbe


  • Cognitive Psychology (part module 3)
  • Vigilance (part module 6)
  • Consciousness (finished 2015)
  • Bachelorthesis HFE (cognitive psychology / psychophysiology)
  • Masterthesis HFE (cognitive psychology / psychophysiology)
  • Internship HFE


Lateralized power spectra of the EEG to index visuospatial attention, visual short term memory, nociceptive spatial attention, changes in spatial attention due to a mindfulness based stress reduction training, and variations in spatial attention due to different cue validities.

In 2013, Van der Lubbe and Utzerath proposed an extension of a lateralization index of the raw EEG introduced by Thut et al. (2006). The general idea of the method is to isolate relevant from irrelevant brain activity by taking advantage of the fact that many processes are lateralized. General hemispherical differences may confound a single contralateral minus ipsilateral subtraction while application of a double subtraction procedure circumvents this problem. The lateralized readiness potential and the posterior contralateral negativity are based on the same principle, however, these measures are derived from event related potentials, which implies that activity that is not phase-locked to stimulus onset is cancelled out. By determining the lateralized power in various frequency bands it can be determined whether these frequencies depend on lateralized processes. Van der Lubbe and Utzerath (2013) determined the so-called lateralized power spectra (LPS) in a visual endogenous orienting paradigm where a cue signals the to be attended side where subsequently a target may appear. They observed increased ipsilateral vs. contralateral activity in the theta, alpha and beta bands above occipital and parietal sites in the cue-target interval. Van der Lubbe et al. (2014) used the same method to contrast external spatial attention with internal spatial attention (i.e., the selection of information from visual short term memory). In this study it was revealed that there are strong similarities in lateralized activity in both the theta and the alpha bands. The LPS procedure was also applied when participants had to focus their attention on their left or right hands where a nociceptive stimulus might appear. In this case, the LPS index showed a shift from an initial occipital to a more centro-parietal focus in the cue-target interval. The method was also applied on data of participants that participated in a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training. Results indicated that participants displayed increased lateralized power in the alpha band after participating in the training. In a very recent study, we examined whether the LPS procedure is also sensitive to different predictabilities of spatial cues, and as expected, findings supported the idea that attention was deployed more efficiently in the case of higher cue validity. Currently, the method is also applied to index motor preparation, and motor imagery.


  • Thut, G., Nietzel, A., Brandt, S.A., & Pascual-Leone, A. (2006). Alpha-band electroencephalographic activity over occipital cortex indexes visuospatial attention bias and predicts visual target detection. The Journal of Neuroscience, 26, 9494-9502.
  • Van der Lubbe, R.H.J., & Utzerath, C. (2013). Lateralized power spectra of the EEG as an index of visuospatial attention. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 9, 184-201.
  • Van der Lubbe, R.H.J., Bundt, C., & Abrahamse, E.L. (2014). ┬áInternal and external spatial attention examined with lateralized EEG power spectra. Brain Research, 1583, 179-192.

Curriculum Vitae

Van der Lubbe studied psychology at the University of Amsterdam (finished at April 23rd 1992), and got his PhD degree at the Free University in Amsterdam (VU; defended at June 10th 1997). Subsequently, he worked as a postdoc at the Medical University of L├╝beck (from September 1st 1997 till October 1st 2000) and the University of Utrecht (from October 1st 2000 till June 1st 2005). In 2005 he got a position of assistant professor at the department Cognitive Psychology and Ergonomics at the University of Twente, The Netherlands (from July 1st 2005 till July 1st 2010), and in 2010 he was promoted to the position of Associate Professor (from July 1st 2010 till now). In 2011, he also got a position as Associate Professor at the University of Finance and Management at the Department of Cognitive Psychology in Warsaw (Poland). In 2013 and 2014, Van der Lubbe also held a temporary position as visiting professor at the Adam Mickiewicz University at the Physics Department. Since January 1st 2013, Van der Lubbe has a 0.6 fte position at the University of Twente. Van der Lubbe is associate editor of the ISI journal Biological Psychology (since 1-1-2012), and is Co-editor in Chief and Associate editor of the ISI journal Advances in Cognitive Psychology (since 1-4-2011).

H-index: 20 (Scopus, May 2015)