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Edward de Haan


Professor of Neuropsychology Consultant Neuropsychologist University of Amsterdam

The neuropsychology of vision: clinical relevance and basic research


Compared to cognitive domains such as memory, attention and language, perception has traditionally played a lesser role in neuropsychological practice.

Recent studies by our group and others indicate that this might be an oversight, given the prevalence and predictive power of perceptual impairments after, for instance, a stroke. If a clinical reappraisal of perceptual abilities is in order, questions arise concerning our conceptual framework of, and our diagnostic arsenal for, visual perceptual abilities.

Our knowledge of the visual system is largely based on animal studies and functional imaging. Using the “What & How-model” of vision by Goodale and Milner as an example, I will argue that we need a more fine-grained concept of perceptual processing and better means of assessing deficits in this domain.

Short Bio

Edward de Haan trained as a clinical neuropsychologist in Groningen, the Netherlands (1983). In the same year, he moved to Oxford to work with Freda Newcombe at the MRC Neuropsychology Unit in the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford. He finished his PhD on face recognition disorders in 1988. He holds clinical qualifications in the UK and the Netherlands.

Currently, he is a full professor at the University of Amsterdam. From 1991 until 2008, he was Professor of Neuropsychology at Utrecht University and the Department of Neurology at the Academic Hospital in Utrecht. His research interests range from applied clinical neuropsychological issues to fundamental neuroscience, particularly visual, auditory and somatosensory perception, memory, emotion, and consciousness. He has supervised some 40 PhD students. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and recipient of the INS Paul Satz Award (2013) and the Medal of Honour of the Dutch Psychonomics Society (2007).