Scientific Tours

Scientific tours are guided visits to behavioral research facilities in and around Maastricht. The tours will take place on Thursday, August 28 from 14.30-17.00.There is no extra charge for participation in these scientific tours.

The following insitutes opened their doors for Measuring Behavior participants:

  • IDEE and Maastricht Instruments BV.

    (Engineering department, Maastricht University)
    IDEE (Instrument Development, Engineering & Evaluation) is the engineering department of the faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Science (FHML) of the Maastricht University (UM) as well as for the academic hospital Maastricht (azM).
    The goal of IDEE is to provide researchers and medical staff with innovative technology for scientific research as well as applied clinical research. IDEE specialises in design, development and prototyping of innovative instruments, devices, custom fit implants, software and equipment for a wide range of applications, with a focus on medical technology and life science.

    Maastricht Instruments BV
    Maastricht Instruments BV (MI) is an independent spin-off company (SME) residing under the Holding of University of Maastricht, and originates from IDEE, the engineering department of the FHML of the Maastricht University. MI and IDEE closely cooperate, where MI is the partner for all external relationships and business relationships, whereas IDEE performs activities for the FHML and azM.
    Prototypes that have been developed by IDEE for research purposes are redesigned by MI to fit market specifications, depending on the needs of the market. MI also performs engineering tasks for external companies and institutes.

    Visitors of the tour will experience the engineering capabilities of IDEE and MI and the specific expertise in the field of signal and image acquisition and analysis by demonstrating the following equipment:

    1. MPAQ system, a versatile high-end multi channel data-acquisition system.

    2. PASAQ system, a ambulatory wireless data-acquisition system

    3. Fall & Balance detector.

    4. VET, a Video Eye Tracking Device for vestibular research

    The tour will be completed with a visit at the vestibular research lab of Prof. Kingma, located at the azM.

    For more information see the Institute's web sites: and

  • Simulator Lab
    (Work and Organizational Psychology, Maastricht University)

    Work occupies a central place in the lives of many people, not only because a large part of one's life is spent at work, but also because of the meaning that people derive from their work. Work & organizational psychology studies work as an activity, from the perspective of individual workers as well as the organization.

    For the purpose of studying aviation related (group) behavior, our simulator lab is equipped with a static real-life helicopter cockpit environment simulating a Robinson 22/44 training helicopter. The two-seat simulator provides a human machine interaction platform for research into single pilot behavior, and two-member team behavior in an instructional setting, regarding navigation and way-finding, decision making, situational awareness and stress. Helicopter flight characteristics are simulated in slow and normal flight with a real time interface to individually programmable dials and controls. It is possible to manipulate the timing of dial readouts lags, and of emergencies such as weather deterioration and engine malfunctions. Measured are computer monitored flight behavior, possibly added by physiological measures and camera observation. 

  • Academic Anxiety Center
    (Clinical and Experimental Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry & Neuropsychology, Maastricht University)

    The research group ‘Clinical and Experimental Psychiatry’ is a subdivision of the department of Psychiatry & Neuropsychology at Maastricht University. This group has conducted internationally leading research in the field of anxiety (disorders) for over 20 years. The backgrounds of the different team members are diverse (psychiatrists, psychologists, biologists) underwriting a broad scope. Furthermore, there is a close collaboration with the Academic Anxiety Center (Mondriaan Zorggroep, Maastricht); a highly specialized treatment facility. Prof. dr. E. Griez is chair of the research group as well as one of the founders of the Anxiety Center.

The research group is internationally recognized for experimental modeling of anxiety in humans, and in particular for the development of the panicogenic 35% CO2 inhalation. The specific panicogenic characteristics of this model allow researchers to study various aspects of panic under standardized laboratory circumstances. Key topics include: treatment effects, biological mechanisms, genetics and dependence. The tour will provide you with the opportunity to learn all about the 35% CO2 inhalation methodology. Equipment will be presented, as well as the measures that are currently in use (electronic questionnaires) and future perspectives (fully integrated physiological measures). Also, for those who are interested: it is possible to experience a 35% CO2 /65% O2 inhalation yourself.

For more information, see the Institute's web site.

  • Institute of Experimental Psychopathology
    (Department of Clinical Psychological Science, Maastricht University)

The Institute of Experimental Psychopathology investigates psychological processes and mechanisms in human psychopathology, preferentially using experimental study designs. During the tour experimental setups will be demonstrated that measure cognitive and genital responses to erotic stimuli and behavior in response to pain induction.

Among the techniques that will be shown are male and female genital plethysmography, and computer-based reaction-time tests to measure speeded detection of and slowed disengagement from specific stimuli (visual search task). The set-ups that enable measurement of pain-related behavior include equipment to (safely) deliver electrical shock, pain due to (finger) pressure, and pressure applied to the vaginal entry by an inflatable balloon-device.
Visitors of the tour can experience the use of an ‘actometer’ that measures movement in real-life situations.

For more information, see the Institute's web site.

  • Human Energetics Facilities
    (Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University)

    At the Department of Human Biology we conduct high standing fundamental research into mechanisms of energy balance. The main focus is on intervention strategies for long-term maintenance of energy balance. Parameters of study are (neuro) endocrine mechanisms and the interaction with environment and behavioural components including food intake and physical activity.

    A food intake research lab is used, including a universal eating monitor, respiration chambers and ventilated hood devices.  Food reward is assessed by means of quantifying wanting and liking. Compliance to energy intake is measured using the doubly labelled water method for determining energy expenditure. Genetic predisposition is measured by determining relevant polymorphisms for fat cell differentiation, body composition, muscle fibre type distribution, behavioral disinhibition, dietary restraint. Body composition is assessed using underwater weighing, deuterium dilution, DEXA and MRI. Physical activity and activity patterns are assessed using tri-axial accelerometry.

    Visitors of the tour can see:

    • laboratory restaurant with universal eating monitor;

    • underwater-weighing and Bod-pod for body composition;

    • respiration chambers; ventilated hoods;

    • mass spectrometry facilities for labelled water to assess total energy expenditure, water turn over and water balance; and

    • physical activity assessment in daily life with miniature tri-axial accelerometers.

For more information, see the Institute's web site.

  • Ambulatory Motion Analysis
    (Department of Human Movement Sciences, Maastricht University)

At the department of Human Movement Sciences we focus on understanding how skeletal muscle weakness due to aging and/or chronic diseases affects movement performance, mobility, physical activity and thereby health. The department of Human Movement Sciences has strong collaborations with clinicians (gerontology, internal medicine, pulmonology, rehabilitation, orthopedics) in projects aimed at transferring ‘state of the art’ laboratory knowledge on human movement and muscle function into simpler measuring instruments for functional assessment outside the laboratory environment.

The department has a fully equipped 3-D motion analysis laboratory (VICON-NEXUS) and muscle testing facilities (Biodex) as well as a wide range of ambulatory motion analysis and ExG tools for long term monitoring of physical activity and physiological parameters. Recently a wearable fall detector/activity monitor for use in nursing homes and care centers has been developed in close collaboration Maastricht Instruments BV.

Vistors of the tour will see;

  • 3D gait analysis

  • Fall and balance detector

  • Ambulatory system for activity monitoring of upper and lower limbs

  • Sensorsleeve for arm function monitoring in MS patients

For more information see the Institute's web site.

  • Cultural tour - City walk Maastricht

    As an alternative to the scientific tours, a cultural tour to Maastricht city centre was offered. The best way to get know Maastricht is to go for a walk in the old centre of the city. Under the guidance of an English speaking host, participants were taken on a tour amongst several highlights of beautiful Maastricht.


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