Jeroen van Boxtel

Assoc Professor


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Adjunct Associate Professor Jeroen van Boxtel joined the School of Psychological Sciences in October 2013. Jeroen was previously a lecturer in the Psychology Department, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA. His research is focussed on the interaction between attention and consciousness, biological motion, and individual differences

Current Projects

1. Interaction between attention and consciousness
We investigate how attention and consciousness work independently and interact to form our visual perception. This is important because these are the main processes that together allow us to successfully interact with our surroundings. Attention and consciousness generally work synergistically, but we have recently shown that they can also work antagonistically. In this project we aim to thoroughly parameterise the interaction between attention and awareness, delimiting the situations in which attention and consciousness work together, and when their effects oppose each other. We aim to supplement this with computational approaches, and neuro-intervention techniques, to obtain a grip on the causal (and not just correlational) interactions between attention and consciousness.

2. Influence of individual personality traits on biological motion perception
Humans all differ in how we perceive the world. This may be largely inconsequential, but sometimes this is a life or death difference. We investigate how people differ in their perception of animate motion (i.e. action perception). We want to know how and why we differ, and if this relates to certain personality traits that we have. Employed methods include psychophysical methods like adaptation studies, and fMRI to investigate differences in brain function that underlie our differences in perception.

3. Individual differences in automatic (pre-attentive) processing
The visual system receives more information than it can process, and therefore needs to select the likely relevant information for processing, and disregard the other information. This selective process is performed by attention. What is considered important information, depends on the context, but potentially also on the individual. Autism spectrum disorder, for example, is reportedly linked to a decreased biological motion processing. We investigate in the typical population whether people with an increased number of autistic traits have different ways of allocating attention to biological motion, or different features on which pre-attentive processing is locked. This project employs psychophysical studies, combined with self-administered questionnaires.

Related Links:

Monash teaching commitment

PSY1011 - Psychology 1A
PSY3180 - Human neuropsychology: developmental and neurodegenerative disorders
PSY3280 - The neuronal basis of consciousness
PSY3310 - Introduction to Computational Neuroscience
PSY4130 - Developmental psychology and clinical neuroscience
DPSY5162 - Neuroanatomy for the clinical neuropsychologist

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research area keywords

  • attention
  • awareness
  • binocular rivalry
  • biological motion
  • cognitive neuroscience
  • visual perception

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or